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RandomMrdan's avatar

What are your thoughts on human cloning used for good?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7387 points ) July 30th, 2009

Human cloning used to the degree of not necessarily making a copy of a human exactly, but using that technology to enhance children before birth. To ensure a birth free of defects, disease, cancers, and perhaps if wanted guarantee eye color, sex, and attributes to a certain degree?

I kind of like the idea of a guarantee placed on a healthy child…I don’t like the idea of making copies of people simply for the way you’d have to practice and inevitably fail trying and having to live with the failed outcomes. But genetic enhancements I think would be a nice thing to have. I don’t think I would take advantage of the option to determine sex before birth, I think I would like the surprise. What do you think?

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35 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am all for scientific advances, artificial intelligence, human cloning, the nine…in an ideal world…which we don’t have…I don’t think we, as a society, are in any shape to handle such advances ethically

Bugabear's avatar

When from what I learned in Science class theres two types. Reproductive and theraputic.

Reproductive is kinda stupid because I think we’ve got enough people in the planet (6 billion) without there being copies of other people. IF you could somehow transfer your brain into another body then maybe. But thats science fiction.

Thereputic on the other hand is something that would definitely benefit our world. I’d support that.

dannyc's avatar

Double trouble.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’m totally for it up until we get to the “Island of Doctor Moreau” point.

FrogOnFire's avatar

No..such advances will ruin our society’s acceptance and compassion for people who are less than perfect, whether they just don’t have the body of a supermodel or they have down syndrome. And consider the effects that genetically engineered plants have had on their ecosystems..now imagine those with humans. It’s never wise to mess with mother nature.

From a moral standpoint, I believe we were all made the way we were for a reason and I think it’s morally wrong to mess with this kind of stuff.

Ivan's avatar

Science is good.

Zendo's avatar

They are using human cloning for food?

Soylent Green is…..

People!

crunchaweezy's avatar

See “The Island”. Exactly what @Simone_De_Beauvoir is talking about.

nikipedia's avatar

I think you’re referring to genetic engineering, or modifying an organism’s DNA, as opposed to cloning, which creates an exact replica of an existing organism.

And as long as we can get all the kinks worked out, I’m all for it. Fortunately, I expect my kids will be perfect anyway.

Point5r's avatar

I don’t like the idea of what can be defined as a “defect” in a birth, different people have different ideas of what a defect could be….and how do you decide what a “good” use is, seeing as the definition of “good” varies so widely between people?

mrentropy's avatar

I’m okay with cloning parts of people, but not necessarily a whole person. It would be handy to have spare bits you could replace in case something stopped working. Despite the fact that I don’t consider myself very religious, I don’t think cloning an entire person is like having two of the same person; I think it’s more like having a twin custom made.

Genetic modification is a whole other can of worms. Generally I’m in favor of it, especially if it means being able to add gills or a third breast on the back, for dancing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@FrogOnFire society already doesn’t have compassion for that

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, you are using the word “cloning” here when you really mean to talk about genetic engineering and biotechnology, which is using science and tools to analyze and modify existing objects. Cloning has no relation to this. Albeit also using tools and science, cloning is creating a completely new object from an existing object.

I am generally in support of genetic engineering, period. I am 100% in support for analyzing fetuses to see if they have any debilitating diseases. There is no case where withholding information is beneficial, and this situation is the same.

Things like making custom eye color, well that’s getting a bit too tailored for my liking, but as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, I see no reason why I would object.

I am even in support for any type of technology which would produce a backup organ based on my own cells, even if that did require some type of cloning.

whitenoise's avatar

I hold no dogmatic objections to cloning, other than to make sure that whenever a human being is cloned into another human being both of these should have same chances in life and protection as would those born through conventional methods. When cloning means owning a person as a product, for instance, I would object. Cloning parts is not cloning a human, it is cloning a part. I have no objections, to me it is just as any other technology: it needs to be safe for the individuals involved as well as for the society overall.

I have children who have cloned. No issue with them at all – lovely kids.

ShanEnri's avatar

I think it would be akin to playing God! I don’t agree with cloning humans unless it’s for people that can’t have children and just want that particular blessing. If we start cloning to improve the species, then are we any better than Hitler who thought a particular hair and eye color was above everyone else. I have nephews with birth defects and they have as much right to life as anyone else!

crunchaweezy's avatar

@ShanEnri

I’m sorry, who’s this “God” you’re referring to ?

ShanEnri's avatar

The one I believe, who’s the one you’re asking about?

crunchaweezy's avatar

Oh! Haven’t heard of those.

ShanEnri's avatar

Whatever!

drdoombot's avatar

There’s a James Tiptree, Jr. story titled, “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” where the entire male population and most of the female population has been wiped out.

The remaining women figure out how to clone themselves. The clones keep the name of the original donor but change their first names. For example, there could be a Paris Judy and a Samantha Judy. Each Judy keeps notes over her entire lifetime about the decisions she made in her life: where to live, what job to have, who to love, etc. Near the end of her life, each Judy submits her notes to the Book of Judy, which all Judy’s have access to. A Judy who is unsure of a decision can look through the book of Judy and see how previous incarnations handled different situations and decide whether to follow in an old path or forge a new one.

I found this concept to be quite beautiful. We all are indecisive about our lives; how wonderful would it be to have a resource like the Book of Victor to see what I would enjoy, from vocations to vacations, flings to romances, high-activity to sloth?

If cloning ever came about, it would be interesting to see if people will bother to keep records for clones to look at.

cyn's avatar

Uhhh..I personally wouldn’t mind.

troym333's avatar

I do not want it because that wouldn’t be fair to everyone else. If one was to live longer can we accomplish that naturally and not cheat cloning people.

I hate those damn clones

CMaz's avatar

I think it is good.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@dynamicduo human cloning on some level does have something to do with it though. In order to make our advances to the point of genetic manipulation, we’ll need to create human embryos for research, and stem cell research…they kind of all go hand in hand from what I understand…am I wrong?

mattbrowne's avatar

You are probably referring to preimplantation genetic screening and genetic engineering. It’s perfectly understandable for parents to wish for healthy children. But for the whole of humanity there’s also a danger attached with widespread perfection. It might actually slow down our progress as counterintuitive this might seem. Imperfection includes people like Stephen Hawking or Ray Charles for example. Suppose preimplantation genetic screening had led to their embryos being discarded? Or to being engineered in a way the embryos had turned into different people? Would we know about the secrets of black holes? What about Ray Charles’s wonderful music? A world without blind people and their superior hearing capabilities? Wouldn’t the world be a little more boring without it?

Cloning is an entirely different story. What about the enucleated oocytes required for cloning adults? And there’s also embryo splitting and semi-natural method creating identical twins. You could freeze one to be used 30 years later. What about young people running into their identical twin who is much older? Foretelling your future?

There’s an interesting article from the Sunday Times titled “Couple seek to have twins born years apart”.

Here’s a PDF version of it in case you’re interested

http://www.meet-matt-browne.com/SUN-TIM.pdf

RandomMrdan's avatar

@mattbrowne you make good points, but I will point out, the human race will still have blind people, paralyzed people, and every sort of injury. Accidents happen daily. Just because people are made to be as perfect as they could be doesn’t mean something wrong can’t happen along the way.

interesting article, not sure why the couple doesn’t see a problem with that though…it would just be strange for the kids.

mattbrowne's avatar

@RandomMrdan – Yes, accidents. One scenario is depicted in the movie Gattaca. The supposedly perfect young man, who was a designer baby, gets into an accident. The supposedly imperfect young man, who was a result of spontaneous sex, is denied equal opportunities. Till he assumes a ‘perfect’ identity.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@mattbrowne yeah, that was a great movie. I think I may watch that tonight after work.

phoenix13's avatar

I think it is not important to know if science is good or bad, because there will be always people that don’t agree a way or another .(about any topics :-).. I prefer to explore the spiritual implication .. if we can duplicate ourselves, spirituality and religion are going to evolve. I like the Gene therapy progress allowing us to live longer by knowing which disease our genetic code might make us more susceptible to develop and applying a preventive therapy.

Christian95's avatar

I think that the best way to use cloning is to duplicate organs,blood and other essential parts in your body.By doing this anytime when you’ll have a failure or a deathly disease(cancer,rare syndromes,HIV,etc),the only thing that you’ll have to do is to replace your organ with your cloned organ.Probably by doing this the life expectancy would be increased.(we’ll have to find a way to do organ cloning affordable).

If you want to talk about genetics than the best think to do is to modify our DNA to make us immune to every know disease.I don’t know if this would make us immortal(probably not)but life expectancy would definitely be dramatic increased.

I know that everything I sad is against any religion and that a lot of religious fanatics would attack me but who cares this is the way of science which is more powerful than any religion.

jackfright's avatar

While your post refers more to genetic engineering, i think cloning’s a far more interesting subject. Creating artificial people (modified through genetic tempering or otherwise) raises a number of interesting questions that i would love to see the religious answer.

We may not have the ethical maturity required to manage such technology on a scale that benefits all humanity, but when have we ever had that maturity? Some will benefit, and many (perhaps the majority) will not. Some groups will use it to dominate other weaker groups. Sounds precisely like every other advance we’ve made so far, doesn’t it?

So why not?
Push the envelope i say.

bean's avatar

it’s a good idea! a really good idea… lets just hope who ever has their hands on this kind of technology uses it for the greater good….

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Not to say it is you, or that you are onboard with it tens of thousands of women play God every year with the government’s blessing by ending life that will complicate their’s, so why not “play God” in the creating love catagory, expecially if you are not trying to control that life or make it worship you?

CMaz's avatar

“especially if you are not trying to control that life or make it worship you?”

Then what good is cloning?

tearsxsolitude's avatar

This might sound bad but no. I think we shouldn’t do that. I mean everyone wants a healthy child and it’s sad when something goes wrong, but it’s nessicary. Humans are constantly trying to find a way to beat death but we desperatly need it. Population is already becoming a problem. This cloning thing will only make it worse. Not only that, but think how much money that would cost. Only rich people would be able to afford it. And we all know that viruses will mutate and become stronger because we are. So the children whose parents couldn’t afford the cloning thing will be hit the hardest by the transformed disease. It’s just a really bad idea. Humanity should quit messing with nature. We’ve screwed enough shit up already.

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