The Instigator
thenorwegian
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
autodidact
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Cloning humans is wrong

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,172 times Debate No: 38872
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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thenorwegian

Pro

First round for acceptance only.
autodidact

Con

I accept and wish you well.
Debate Round No. 1
thenorwegian

Pro

I'm happy to be debating with you, and I hope you learn something today.

Here are my arguments for my first round:

A cloned person may feel a pressure on him or her to be equal to the original person, and it can be hard to live up to expectations. This is not a full life for a human being! Everyone also have the right to their own unique genetic identity, and it is easy to feel inferior or like a copy, even if the clones will be more similar than identical twins.

Besides, cloning is relatively new and therefore very expensive. A couple tells nettavisen.no they cloned their dog for 1.1 million dollars. Then we can imagine what it would cost to clone humans! It is also far from certain. The first sheep that was cloned, Dolly, died of lung disease early. Other animals that have been cloned have been freaks or died prematurely from serious diseases and disorders. It proves that it is not safe to clone humans yet!

Cloning is very bad. This is because several of the arguments you have already read, but the main point of view is that we will tamper and arrange human genes. This is mainly due to it being too hard to keep control of such a thing. We're always talking about people are unique, there is none like you, but what if you suddenly encounter a clone? We do not know how a cloned person will react in practice, and we will ask questions such as: Can cloned children be manipulated to become monsters, like Hitler, or slaves, which is examined in the Brave New World? Or if a clone is created from an existing person, who can be the parents? And not least, we can wonder about the personality of the clone will be completely different, or if the genes actually play a very large role in personality? These are issues that are impossible to answer, and the consequences of trying this can be fatal.

A quick summary and more arguments:

"Cloning would devalue children and treat them as commodities.
"It would radically alter what it means to be human - we would lose something vital to the uniqueness of humanity.
"It is genetic reductionism.
"Cloning fixes the genome and creates genetic throw backs.
"Family relationships are confused by cloning and it creates inheritance issues.
"Cloning could be used to replace family members who have died in accidents.
"Writing in 1999, P. Moore reported that cloned eggs only have a 1% survival rate.
"Consideration should be given to the negative effect upon the child of its origins.
"There are uncertain genetic consequences: many of the early animal clones had clinical problems derived from genetic effects. For example, old age ilnesses in the youthful Dolly the sheep.

Source: genefaith.org
autodidact

Con

(quotes directly from Pro will be bolded)

Over all Pro's argument is simply a begging the question fallacy, with all his what ifs, what if human cloning has some actual negative consequences? It all boils down to one thing fear of the unknown. And this fear has caused a loss of perspective.
What if they feel pressure to live up to a legacy?
What if they feel inferior or like a copy?
What if the process is very expensive?
What if they are unhealthy?
What if we edit out genes we don’t like?
What if you encounter your clone?
What if the clone is manipulated to become the next Hitler?
What if the clone is manipulated to be a slave?
Who would the clone’s parent/s be?
What if the consequences of trying this leads to fatality?

There are actually some good questions Pro has put forth, and some very silly one as well.
To clearly put it my position is this, any basic action can in the right context be seen as moral and in another context as immoral as such an action lacking consistent morality state is neither moral nor immoral but rather amoral and it is only through a situation that anything can be given moral value. The proposition has no context given and as such I conclude that it is not wrong necessarily, and hope that the voters conclude that I made a strong case for my stance.
I will now go through what I feel to be the major ideas in pro's argument.

"A cloned person may feel a pressure on him or her to be equal to the original person, and it can be hard to live up to expectations"
The son or daughter of notable politicians or community leaders feel equally great or greater pressure to achieve as Pro suggests a hypothetical cloned child would. Now with the current grid lock in Washington perhaps we would love if our elected officials would not reproduce, but to say such people shouldn't have kids because the kids may feel pressure to follow in the parents footsteps is ridiculous, just as it is ridiculous to say that human cloning is bad because the clone may feel pressure to achieve. We all feel pressure to achieve. This objection boils down to what if they feel pressure to live up to a legacy? Is just as valid for natural reproduction and that is to say it is invalid.

'Everyone also have the right to their own unique genetic identity, and it is easy to feel inferior or like a copy, even if the clones will be more similar than identical twins."
I know of no place where this asserted right is established please provide evidence of said right. Furthermore identical twins are genetically the same. There may be slight differences between a pair of twins due to genetics (the exact timing of the switching on and off of genes) but a clone would share in the same level of dissimilarity or likely more due to the clone not being in the same womb whereas the twins were in the same womb at the same time. Furthermore while things like IQ have a strong genetic correlation, experiences shape much of our perceptions of the world around us. Twins being the same age experience much of the same stimulus. Whereas a clone would have much different life experiences than his older genetic twin. As such clones would on average be more different than identical twins. This objection boils down to what if they feel inferior or like a copy? Is forgetting natural twins can feel much the same way but no one is arguing that we should abort a twin so that they both don’t feel like a copy.

"Besides, cloning is relatively new and therefore very expensive. A couple tells nettavisen.no they cloned their dog for 1.1 million dollars. Then we can imagine what it would cost to clone humans!"
This objection boils down to what if the process is very expensive? This question is answered simply too. When cancer treatments first came out they were very expensive as well. Just because something is expensive does not make it wrong.

“The first sheep that was cloned, Dolly, died of lung disease early. Other animals that have been cloned have been freaks or died prematurely from serious diseases and disorders. It proves that it is not safe to clone humans yet!”
Since 1996 a lot of advances have been made. also I would like to note Dolly died of a virus which she had an increased risk of due to he being kept overnight inside for security reasons.[1] so to point at Dolly's death as the reason why cloning is bad is to spread misinformation. If we boil down this objection we get what if they are unhealthy? What we are dealing with here is a case of situational ethics. If cloning is imperfect then it is easy to argue we shouldn't do it at that time. But times change the issues that make human cloning unethical get solved. Does human cloning still remain wrong when the situations change? Yes or no either way it indicates heath concerns are situational and not a reason in and of itself why human cloning should be viewed as wrong.

"Cloning is very bad. This is because several of the arguments you have already read..."
What pro has presented is cases where the choice to clone humans would be unethical. The choice would be unethical under certain cases not the action itself or argument from consequences fallacy, like "Besides, cloning is relatively new and therefore very expensive."

"...but the main point of view is that we will tamper and arrange human genes.”
This boils down to what if we edit out genes we don’t like? Again like the general action of human cloning it is my view that without context we can think of examples like editing out the gene for Huntington disease could be a good thing.

“We’re always talking about people are unique, there is none like you, but what if you suddenly encounter a clone?"
From time to time identical twins are put up for adoption and from time to time they will be separated in the adoption process. These twins provide a great window into nature versus nurture questions. This objection boils down to what if you encounter your clone? Nature made clones known as identical twins in some cases like above may not know they are twins. What happens when you meet your twin? You learn to deal with the change in your reality. This is not a good reason on why human cloning should be seen as wrong.

"Can cloned children be manipulated to become monsters, like Hitler, or slaves,"
And we have arrived at total loss of perspective. In theory the answer is yes but if we take one word out and ask “Can children be manipulated to become monsters, like Hitler, or slaves” the answer is again in theory yes. So this is not a reason to say human cloning should be viewed as wrong.

“Or if a clone is created from an existing person, who can be the parents?"
Great legal question, which has no bearing on why we should view human cloning to be wrong.

"These are issues that are impossible to answer, and the consequences of trying this can be fatal."
Many of these issues are answerable and I feel have answered them. Several of them apply to non-cloned persons equally well and have no bearing on if we should view human cloning as wrong. There are some worries about the health of clones, but this is situational ethics in which the choice to clone a person when cloning has yet been perfected would be immoral while the general idea of cloning a human under ideal conditions remains unscathed.

"A quick summary and more arguments:"
This is mislabeled it is a cut and paste from the link pro gives and nothing more the link having as much context as the cut and paste. as such I will not be addressing them as they are not arguments but only assertions that pro has failed to put in his own words.

So what are we left with? Pro has argued that we should view the cloning of humans as wrong because of the fear of the unknown and that historically clones have been less healthy.
My view is that while we can think of hypothetical situations where it would be unethical to clone a human, we can also consider the hypothetical ideal result for human cloning, and all we seem left with are a few good legal or psychological questions. Neither of which lead to a conclusive argument on why we should view human cloning as wrong.




[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
thenorwegian

Pro

thenorwegian forfeited this round.
autodidact

Con

In conclusion, we need not find cloning of humans to be wrong altogether, while still concluding that under the current conditions it would be unethical to do so due to complications.

please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by davidleejohn 3 years ago
davidleejohn
This position seems a little ridiculous. If it is possible to clone people, then we must incorporate this into what we call natural. Arguing that cloning will upset our understanding of humanity, would be like arguing that discovering North America will upset our understanding of geography. If this was reason to not move forward on exploration and scientific discoveries, we would still be making pottery in caves.

As well, when technology advances, and cloning is easier to accomplish, there may be no way to stop it from happening somewhere in the world. Instead of arguing the ethics of cloning, we should be working on ensuring the rights of cloned animals in general. We shouldn't treat a cloned cow worse than the original, nor should we treat a cloned human different than the original.

My final thought on why this position is moot from the outset, is in regards to epigenetics. From the study of epigenetics, we begin to see that two identical genetic codes can manifest in quite a lot of diversity. This position could only be somewhat valid if we say humanity is all nature and zero nurture.

Anyways, looking forward to the arguments, glad my verbose rant is relegated to the comments.
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