HUMAN CLONING: AN EXAMINATION OF THE ISSUES AND AN ARGUMENT OPPOSING THE PRACTICE
The potential for human cloning is a contentious issue in the fall of 2003. The issue is controversial in most societies; however, the debate is especially acrimonious in the North America (Maienschein 5).
Various opponents and proponents of human cloning establish their positions from a variety of perspectives. Some positions on each side of the issue are expressed in very narrow and rigid terms, while other positions on each side of the issue tend toward the careful examination of opposing arguments before refuting them from differing philosophical perspectives (Szoke 6).
Regardless of the specific justification offered for the various positions on the practice of human cloning, however, theories and principles of ethics provide the essential character of all of the positions. The theory of results-based ethics (frequently referred to as "consequentialism" or "utilitarianism") underlies the position of the scientist who contends that human cloning must be permitted because the practice will advance human knowledge, as well as the position of the medical researcher who contends that human cloning is justified because it will facilitate the development of life-saving medical procedures. Similarly, the theory of standards-based ethics (frequently referred to as "deontology" or "duty ethics") underlies various positions opposing the practice of human cloning. The position of the priest who contends that human cloning is wrong because the practice allows man to play God stems from the standards-based ethical theory that the practice is morally wrong. So too does the position of the biomedical researcher who contends that human cloning would be an assault on human dignity when one is uncertain as to the outcome of such a procedure.
In the preceding examples, the utilitarian ethical perspective is used to justify positions on human clonin...