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Aspects of Genetic Cloning

The thesis of the study is that the scientific pursuit of genetic cloning too often ignores the ethical and spiritual aspects of humanity. This study will examine some of the pros and cons of this subject, focusing on human cloning.

Just as animal cloning has been accomplished, it is likely that human cloning is also within the reach of science. However, the question is whether the benefits of cloning outweigh the drawbacks. Are human beings supposed to live longer, one result of cloning? Is the cloned human being, in fact, an authentic human being? Is the relative perfection afforded by cloning desirable, or is it a danger to the essence of human nature? The argument here is that individuality, imperfection, sickness and even death are natural parts of human existence and yet one promise of human cloning is to do away with these factors which make individual human beings individual human beings.

J. Madeline Nash ignores the more subtle ethical and spiritual questions attached to genetic engineering:

At long last, we will reclaim the awe and wonder our predecessors reserved for machines and turn them back toward our biological selves. Like Narcissus, we will behold the image of our minds and lose ourselves in endless admiration" (Nash, 1997, 345).

Of course, Narcissus drowned admiring his own image. Even if Nash intends irony here, the thrust of her article is clearly that science can do for humanity what God has not done. The major problem of her article is the major problem with science itself--it ignores the spiritual component of humanity and reduces human beings to biological machines which can be duplicated through cloning.

Lewis Thomas' protests against the cloning of human beings also has more to say about what is not authentic human reality than what is:

The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behavior control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, ...

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