Cloning, when conducted on animals in the late 1990s, was a subject open to heated debate as people felt quite strongly about making clones or live doubles of living things through scientific means. In 1997, the members of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly (Hwang, 2004). This famous case welcomed support along with eloquent protests, most notably from religious groups, as they saw the cloning as disrespectful to God’s will and an attack on the universe’s equilibrium. Many countries across the world are now debating legislations about allowing human clone testing for the purpose of helping the sick and development because of the multiple ethical issues involved (Mansons, 2004). Because of the asexual process of producing a human being, human cloning is immoral and ethically dangerous to society’s morals and beliefs and will destroy the current balance of the social world. Human cloning needs to become illegal in courts and on moral grounds because it is uses unsafe technological methods, attacks religious beliefs, is an insult to human dignity and the sanctity of marriage and family and turns human beings into experimental objects.
In 2005, film director Michael Bay made a film called “The Island” which showed what would happen if human cloning was conducted. The film is set on an island which is home of the laboratories used to make, test and imprison human clones. The purpose behind the secret cloning organization is to provide extra body parts, organs, cells and customized treatments for people when they get sick or to prolong their lives. The main characters, who are clones, discover that the truth and fight for their freedom, showing to the audiences that they are living, breathing people who are no different than their sponsors. Even though it is fictional, the film shows a society in which human lives are devalued and one person (clone) is murdered to keep the “original” person or sponsor alive, portraying the concept of human cloning on screen for people to visually realize (IMDB, 2005).
First and foremost, the technology used in cloning is exceptionally unsafe and there are no concrete techniques which scientists use, thus making the experiments open to test and error methods. These amateur methods paired with dangerous, unfinished gadgets are prone to make mistakes and waste time, energy, and government funds. The technique used for Dolly the sheep was known as the Nuclear Transfer technique and was not only wasteful but relied on lucky guesses and tries for results, leading to much lost time. For instance, almost three hundred embryos were kept under the watch, out of which 299 went to waste as only one was needed for the experiment to be successful (University of Utah, 2011). Scientists currently do not know which one out of hundreds of embryos will be successful, which is insufficient to start any kind of experimentation. With a success rate of only three percent, the technology and methods are not fool proof as scientists, such as Ian Wilmut, hypothesize that the clones will most likely suffer from premature ageing (Kilner, 2004).
Secondly, attempting to create humans “out of thin air” defies all moral and religious grounds and places a scientist above all other power, such as God. This provides unfair advantage some people, who will eventually usurp all power and literally play God, selecting which humans to give birth to and which lives to terminate. Kass states in his argument, “Unwilling to acknowledge our debt to the past and unwilling to embrace the uncertainties and the limitations of the future, we have a false relation to both: cloning personifies our desire fully to control the future, while being subject to no controls ourselves” (Kass, 1997). Furthermore, proponents of human cloning tend to forget that there is no need for cloning. The concept of making another human being simply to cure a dying person is inaccurate and twisted, taking civilization back in time to societies with sacrificial rituals. People forget that there are countless people in the world who are already suffering through undesirable circumstances such as homelessness, poverty and being orphans (Kilner, 2004).
Thirdly, human reproductive cloning is essentially an insult to human dignity, as one of the main reasons for human existence is to procreate along with surviving. It is not simply a matter of religion as secular organizations like the World Health Organization and others concluded that cloning is a direct violation of human rights. Making a human being entirely out of a laboratory is unethical and snatches away the right to have offspring from healthy couples. Furthermore, the cloned offspring will suffer from a lack of parental history and the clone’s human rights will also be violated as it will be snatched the chance to live like others who were borne from natural reproduction (Brocks, 2000).
This in turn leads to violating the institution of family and the group’s integrity and values. Cloning will allow anyone to “give birth” to a child, without the existence of a second parent, let alone consent. Psychologists repeatedly point to strong evidence which proves that in order to be emotionally and physically healthy children ideally need to be raised with both parents, as the family works in a certain balanced fashion, answering to the child’s needs from different points of view. The family symbolizes eternal love and commitment for each other and when children will be told that they were the products of laboratory experiments, they will be significantly harmed and will be subject to low self-esteem and become social outcasts (Brocks, 2000).
Moreover, cloning will create a new social caste system in which children will become objects for people to use in order to define their lifestyles and independence. After being accessible to the public, cloning will allow people to create and purchase children on demand, labeling them as prizes from the start. There is no way to tell whether everyone who “purchases” a clone will be using it for the same noble purpose of raising a child with love and care. There are numerous risks involved such as pedophiles gaining access to clones and not considering them equal to naturally borne children, hence abusing them more easily and without guilt (Kilner, 2004).
Creating clones under the label of curing human beings is not only ironic but sacrificial. Proponents of human cloning are mostly scientists who are obsessed with seeing successful results of their experiments and not solely with human well-being. The reason for this is that even if cloning successfully saves terminally ill lives or prolongs them, it is ending lives of healthy individuals, being murdered because they are considered to be non-living beings. Even though the intentions are honorable for human cloning, scientists fail to realize that one thing will lead to another, eventually making cloning widely acceptable and used for reasons other than helping the sick. There are already countless people suffering in the world and we cannot allow some scientist’s outrageous dream to bring more people into this world for the sake of simply being objects and increasing human suffering.