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Re: Human Cloning (a long post)

Mar 22, 1997 07:43 PM
by kymsmith

Dennis wrote:

> In this century alone before nuclear weapons were developed there
>were two ("count 'em")

Ok.  One, two.

>Two world wars.

Well!  If had had known you were going to count them for me. . .

>Have you noticed how many
>world wars we've had since the dawn of the atomic age?

Nostradamus has cautioned us not to get too comfy - but what does he know

If atomic bombs really are the peacekeepers you seem to imply they are, a
"Hug the A-bomb" bumper sticker is in order.

>You [Kym] replied>> If this conclusion is true, who is really in control -
>or technology?
>I write> For all practical purposes --- technology!

I disagree - humans are responsible for the good and bad of technology.  We
may want to say we aren't in control, therefore "it" wasn't our fault, but
we're in far more control than we'd care to admit.  Technology cannot
control us unless we give technology the permission to do so.

>You [Kym] replied>> Whoa, definitely disagree here.  According to the above
>statement, those who would like careful deliberations ... would be con-
>sidered the folks who should "get the #### out of the way."
>I write> Wrong, Kym!  Those are the folks who should be LEADING!

With all due respect to philosophers as I am a philosophy major,
philosophers and those like them really make poor leaders.  If we think we
have gridlock in our American legislative system now, just picture a bunch
of 'careful deliberators' going at it.  Plato, among others, fancied
philosophers as benevolent dictators.

Anyway, on the cloning subject, scientists are the ones who are leading, and
maybe should be - but, hopefully they will stop and listen before proceeding.

>You [Kym] wrote>> What about the rights of those who are cloned?
>I write>  Easy question --- they will have the same rights as anyone else.

Are you sure?  Why?  Medical ethicists, and even some legislators, are
wondering if that will be so.

>You [Kym] wrote>> Is it ethical to clone someone for organs?
>I write> No!

Why?  A few years ago, a couple whose living child had cancer had a baby in
the hopes it would be a bone marrow match, and therefore donor, for the
living child.  I think the child did turn out to be a match.  Was that
unethical?  There are organs people can donate without dying - would it be
ethical to do so if the clones wouldn't die from the procedure?

>You [Kym] wrote>> What reason would a woman have for carrying a clone
>if it is not going to be her child?
>I write> Another easy question --- the same reason(s) as any other
>surrogate mother.

Well, due to the failure rate and health risks, I wonder how scientists are
going to find the huge numbers of women they will need in order to clone.
The risk is far greater for the carrier of a clone than a surrogate mother
at this stage.  I would gather human "hosts" may be difficult to come by.

>You [Kym] wrote>> Are parents who want clones of themselves really
>having children for the "right" reason?
>I write> Who are we to mandate (to them or anyone else) what
>the "right" reason is?

We mandate rules for adoption.  We mandate rules for surrogate mothers.  We
mandate rules for parents who use surrogate mothers.  We mandate rules for
foster parents. We mandate what consitutes basic parenting - food, shelter,
schooling, lack of mistreatment, etc.  We mandate what makes parents unfit
in courts of law everyday. Why should parents of clones have it different?

If someone claimed they were having a child cloned from a dying child, how
would we feel about that?  How would the cloned child feel?  Should there be

>You [Kym] wrote>> What reason could there be for cloning a human?
>I write> Certainly more reason than there is for knowingly
>conceiving by natural means genetically defective babies.

This is a confusing answer.  Would you please clarify or expand on this?

>You [Kym] wrote>> Isn't this going to really mess with the gene pool?
>I write> Your first tough question, Kym (all the others were"softballs").

Congratulations on your ease of understanding of complex issues.  Perhaps
you should consider cloning. . .

>You [Kym] wrote>> Is cloning animals according to laboratory medical/
>scientific needs and experiments really ethical?
>I write (sigh)> Back to the easy questions again.

Sigh?  Sorry to disappoint you, Dennis - ok, ok, I'm lying.

>Of course it is!  It is
>no more unethical than for naturally conceived laboratory animals.

I disagree that the use of animals is medical experiments is ethical.  There
is no such being as a "laboratory animal."  There are only animals being
used in laboratories.  I do not believe animals were made for this purpose -
and there is less and less excuse for using them as we advance in technology.

I am concerned that animals "made to specification" will bring false
readings to results of experiments - there is already ample difference in
animal and human responses to the same chemicals.  I am also concerned that
the pain factor of animals will be increased, as they will be seen even more
so as "manufactured" objects.  I am also concerned that people will draw a
distinction between cloned animals and naturally conceived animals.

Maybe we could clone endangered species, and prevent them from extinction -
but wouldn't that just let humanity off the hook?  Why should humanity care
if we shoot all the elephants as long as we can clone them?  If we learn to
fix everything we break, will we ever learn respect for anything?  Can we
balance it?  Maybe.

>   Don't be discouraged, Kym.


Kym the Undiscouraged

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