Since the birth of dolly- the famous cloned sheep- in 1997, and the world has still been struggling into several social, scientific, and religious debates regarding cloning. Dolly’s cloning created a spontaneous reaction that exposed the idea of human cloning. Therefore, different authorities with diversified perspectives lead to numerous hesitative opposing points of view based on their background of moral and ethical images. These images are not just statements that are considered as virtues or rights; however, they are rather images of how virtues and rights stick together, and what they may perform to influence our positions in life (Burley, 1998, p.4). Such images construct the nucleus for the debate regarding human cloning in its miscellaneous perspectives. In addition to the issues of morality and ethics, the confusion of science with technology reveals, where they both must work coherently for the sake of humanity to serve the common good and not just for achieving mere individual desires and self-aggrandizing imperatives (Rantala, 1999, p.122).
According to human cloning, the process acquires transferring DNA from the nuclei of a living cell into a human ovum, and then this embryo will be implanted into a woman’s uterus (CNN, Jones). So, we are able to implement human cloning, but is it accurate to do it? Will there be any side effects that will threaten the world? Does implementing human cloning counter our social, scientific, and religious perspectives?
In reply to the above questions, Dr. Panos Zavos, an American researcher, ignores all threats and states, “We intend to do this, and we do intend to do it right” (CNN, 2001 Jones). As a matter of fact, Dr. Zavos along with Dr. Severino Antinori, an Italian professor, intend to clone a human in November 2003.
Regarding the mentioned issues, CNN TV made in February 1997 and in February 2001 some statistical studies in USA to view out people’s reactions towards human cloning. CNN realized that around 90% of the sample felt that human cloning is bad idea, where as about 70% are scared from the possibility of human cloning, and nearly 72% believe that human cloning is against God’s Will (Bruce). Although CNN’s studies show that the majority in USA discards human cloning; there are a lot of people throughout the world who are still demanding this scientific technology for many reasons such as, curing diseases, regarding infertility, social fulfillness, religious freedom, and some special personal demands.(Smith, Reasons).
Cloning should be used in the most proper way to benefit humanity. As an example, animal cloning can help human to produce more milk or wool that will fulfill the great demands of the increasing number of people. But regarding human cloning, many divine a lot of benefits that are summarized as rejuvenation, another ways for curing as well as for cosmetic surgeries, and curing some fatal diseases like leukemia and cancer (Smith, Benefits). Hence, Professor Jack Scanisbuick, a British director of life, predicts, “The pressures will be great when people hear a story about couples who have lost a child and want to replace it, they will consent to it inevitably (CNN, Jones).” But Putnam replies claiming that the technology of human cloning may become widely used by any one who wishes to have an identical copy of himself (Burley, 1998 p.7). On the other hand, some people are panicked about human cloning for the following reasons: the clone may not be a real human, the idea that “cloning is playing God,” and the misuse that may lead to denying the “sanctity” of human life. For example, some prospect that human cloning may result in many dis-human activities such as prostitution, child abuse, and raping (Bruce).
The society’s reflex for the first hearing about human cloning can’t be taken seriously into consideration because it’s based upon assumptions, fears, and threats that aren’t enough for judgment. As a result, one should make researches to study human cloning as a real science to check deeply its advantages, as well as its disadvantages.
As many of the previous hot topics, like abortion and euthanasia, human cloning moves us toward issues concerning human dignity and life. Therefore, science and technology are to be dealt with consciously because they should not allow us to achieve all of our physical abilities, knowing that they may threaten our true natures (Rantala, 1999 p.125). Nevertheless, the science of human cloning may offer the world wide visions for problems related to spinal cord, heart muscle, and brain tissue that don’t recover after any damage (Rantala, 1999 p.235). On this issue, Dr. Antinori comments, “Cloning will help us put an end to so many diseases, and give infertile men the chance to have children; we can’t miss the opportunity.”(CNN, Jones)
Consequently, human cloning may help in improving humanity by giving birth to children who are free of diseases, and have better contributions like smarter, stronger, live happier, etc… Yet we should not sink into dreams and special desires, and never try to do simply anything we are able to do (Pence, 1998 p.167). Furthermore, Antinori explains, “Cloning creates ordinary children. They will be unique individuals, not photocopies of individuals” (CNN, Jones). But, if we are to clone a human, to what extent can we go into researches?
As a matter of fact, God distinguishes humans from all other living beings. He allows human to kill animals, and make experiments on them in any way that benefits the mankind. Thus, it’s immoral to treat human as animals by setting them to random experiments because animals are not conceived as intelligent and sensitive beings as humans (Pence, 1998 p.169). So, to experiment humans we should always take extra precautions and safety measures. This is the reason why professor Art Caplan, from the University of Pennyselvania, focuses on the unsafe of human cloning. He explains that by stating that there’s a probability of about 290 dead embryos before ending in only one zygote. Moreover, he adds that Dr. Zavos and Dr. Antinori were “flying high” without taking any precautions (CNN, Jones).
After studying the process of human cloning, Gregory E. Pence, an author and researcher, reveals how complex it is. In addition, he raises the issue that human cloning is immoral eugenics, and that only perfect babies will be desired. This issue is able to put tremendous obstacles to the process of human cloning. Later on, Pence discovered that cloning is a very multifaceted process because in every point there are a lot of aspects to take into consideration especially the ethical thrusts.
In reality, the ethical thrusts figure out the most complicated issues because they consist the religious points of view. According to human cloning, ethicists may not have problems dealing with it as a new scientific technology, but they fear it will lead humans to be used as products or properties (Rantala, 1999 p.121). Nowadays, most of the objections regarding religious points of view have been relative to scariness: scariness of charge, scariness of changing human nature, and scariness of human having more choices and control over their reproduction (Pence, 1998 p.165). Furthermore, ethical and religious groups claim that Antinori is “playing God.” Also, another opposing authority to Zavos and Antinori is President Bush, who asks for the science that honors and respects life, assuming that human cloning does not (CNN, Jones). But religious thinking must not be based on fear; on the other hand, it must be built on the real value of suffering from genetic disease and the importance of not harming the children as well as the family (Pence, 1998 p.166). These issues are only realized when it’s dealt with human cloning as a real science.
According to the objections, Pence found that they are revealed by the strict traditions and beliefs in Christianity and Judaism that focus on love and reason (Pence, 1998 p.165). Actually, Catholic authorities condemn human cloning for the reason that they believe it dehumanizes sex and reproduction (Rantala, 1999 p.124). Likewise, different Christian groups agreed that human cloning has to be banned so that human dignity won’t be ashamed and humelaited. They also warned about violating God’s will by killing many zygotes- just for testing. Yet to mention that these groups are summarized by: Church of Scotland, Nicolas Coote of the Roman Catholic Bishops, Pope John Paul II, and Ben Mitchell of the Christian Ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Bruce).
Similar to the bans of Christians and Jewish, some Islamic authorities insist on forbidding human cloning. As a matter of fact, Sheikh Mohammed ibn Saleh al-Othinui, a member of the counsil Ulema, in addition to the Islamic Fiqh counsil fear the social and moral problems that would occur if human cloning was established; this the reason behind prohibiting this technology. But since there’s no central authority in Islam, Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah oppose with the previous Islamic, Christian and Jewish authorities, and asks for taking extra careness before banning or accepting such scientific technology. Fadlallah focuses on God’s Will and states, “It’s false to say that cloning is an attempt to intervene in the divine creation…” He adds, “The researchers have not invented new laws.”(Bruce)
After summarizing the main points as to the social, scientific, and religious issues, we reach to draw a final conclusion for human cloning. We may concise that human cloning is a very strict and dangerous science that requires extra precautions because it may affect the humanity badly. Human cloning may offer identical copies for a human regarding his genes and outfit. Also, it may help infertile people to get children. But is it just a smile what we expect our science to provide us? Is it logic that our science is set to achieve our desires and dreams? It is meritorious nonsense that we become objects rather than cherished individuals, which is not what God’s will about. We will –no doubt- humiliate our religions, our traditions, and even our selves. But this doesn’t mean that we should ban human cloning. We must let science directs its advantages in the best interest of human beings in a way that we don’t have to fear of our religions because this science does not defy the religious doctrine believing in God as the Only Creator.
So, we should not think backwarded and ban human cloning immediately. Nor we should go further in human cloning process leading to many misuses. On the contrary, we should support this technology under the cover of science that benefits humanity. And the question remains, why do some ban human cloning knowing that it has unlimited benefits in transplanting organs, while ignoring the fact that nowadays there’re some exchange in organs like kidneys or hearts between people? Here, the answer will remain controversial to many people between good and evil, and between benefits and misuses. Such question will only be answered by the near future. Keeping in mind, the Islamic legislation “Once evil vanquishes good in any subject, transgression prevails, and vise versa.”
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