The Instigator
amcompton
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
gabbykmiec
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Cloning

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,069 times Debate No: 48512
Debate Rounds (4)
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amcompton

Pro

Did you know that cloning could save millions of lives? Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Scientists have discovered technology that allows them to inject cloned healthy heart cells into damaged hearts to repair cells and prevent premature deaths by heart attacks. Cloning is process by which new cells are cloned from another cell to create a genetically identical copy. Cloning can be useful in two different ways, one way is referred to as therapeutic cloning. Therapeutic cloning is a process by which embryonic stem cells are produced to repair or replace damaged cells or organs in the body. The other use for cloning is known as reproductive cloning. This is the process by which, genetically identical copies of individuals are reproduced. Many people believe that cloning should not be allowed at all, because it"s playing the role of god and creating humans without having to reproduce. Many also fear that if cloning was allowed, eventually all of society would be the same and no one would be unique or individual. I strongly believe that cloning is a process that we could benefit greatly from and that cloning organisms should be allowed.
gabbykmiec

Con

Regardless of all our research, 95% of cloning experiments fail. Do we really want to risk the many consequences of cloning organisms? Cloning is a very controversial issue bubbling up today between scientists, politics, and the general public. Many believe that we can develop the technology to perfect cloning. But, others argue that the process is very dangerous, and to get to the levels of perfection there will be many risk factors. Cloning is the process of creating an identical organism asexually, or producing cells to perform a certain task. Producing stem cells and using them to create another organ or tissue is an example of Therapeutic cloning. Making a genetically identical organism is called Reproductive cloning. Scientists use Therapeutic cloning to cure diseases like Diabetes or heal organs in an organism. They"ve tested this process on many animals. Scientists take a woman"s ovum and extract the DNA, then insert the DNA of another cell in the patients body. The cells start to develop into Pluripotent stem cells, which are cells that can form any cell in the body to perform a certain task. They take these stem cells and create an organ/tissue needed for the operation. The argument related to Therapeutic cloning is that many people believe it is considered a murder to a living organism. But, others believe that it is a very successful way to obtain the organs needed for an operation. There are many more disagreements, especially dealing with Reproductive cloning. Scientists use Reproductive cloning to create new organisms. They"ve done this on many animals, and are deciding whether or not to perform this task on humans. Many citizens think that Reproductive cloning may lead to more arguments, for example designer babies. They believe rich people will take advantage of this process to create the ideal child. But, others think that Reproductive cloning is a great advancement to the technology in our time. They think that it needs to be explored for scientific purposes. I strongly believe that both performances of cloning should not be used, they are recognizably dangerous and could potentially hurt our society. In general, all cloning should be banned.
Debate Round No. 1
amcompton

Pro

Cloning technology is a significant breakthrough in biotechnology with the potential to benefit individuals and our society as a whole. While there are ethical considerations that must be addressed, it would be an unthinkable to discontinue research in cloning technology due to fear of the unknown. The potential medical advances involving cloning could help to improve quality and length of life. Cloning, like other medical breakthroughs, will take time and will be difficult. There may be errors, mistakes and even failed attempts to save lives along the way. This is how every medical breakthrough progresses. For example, the first human to human kidney transplant occurred in 1936 and worked poorly for only two days before finally failing. There were many steps that had to happen before this failed attempt was possible, and the timeline of transplantation medicine is rich with many imperfect attempts before getting to successful outcomes. Although tragic, negative outcomes along the way are not unethical because the intentions are to save lives, improve outcomes, and use all findings to continue to improve the science. Another of the primary ways that cloning technology is expected to improve human health conditions is by decreasing risk for transplant organ rejection due to the patient"s immune system. Organs developed through cloning would be genetically identical to the patients" own cells so there would be no chance of their immune system rejecting the transplant. Although we currently have immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ rejection, these drugs increase risks of infection, cancer, heart disease and bone marrow suppression. Thus, there is lots of room for improvement in this field that cloning could help to advance.
gabbykmiec

Con

I have a few questions for you reflecting your side of the argument:

I would like to know what you classify as unknown fears, because my understanding is that the fears are known, and that is why we are afraid of them. These include massive expenses, and birth defects of the clones. In general, what are these "unknown fears" you are speaking of?

How can you say cloning will improve the length of life, when studies show most clones die early?

This type of biotechnology (Cloning) Is very dangerous and should NOT be permitted. One reason for this is that cloning is extremely dangerous. In reproductive cloning cases, the process has failed 95% of the time. Do we really want to take that risk on humans? Cloning could lead to many deaths of new organisms, such as miscarriages, and abortion. In mammals, reproductive cloning has resulted in more deaths than sexual reproduction. The organisms that do survive often have birth defects, and more health issues in development. Another issue with cloning that I would like to go into further detail about is cloning for agricultural purposes. I think that cloning animals will benefit in some ways, like producing the best animals for food purposes. But, it is only beneficial if it works. Dolly"s experiment took 277 tries to get the final production. Putting animals at that kind of risk is not beneficial, in fact it is animal cruelty. Also, animals that are produced are more likely to develop diseases, even if they are considered "the best of the herd." Now that I have mentioned all of these issues, do we really want to invest our taxes in the risky processes of cloning? In case you were wondering, the answer to that question is no. With the amount of risk factors and ethical issues, cloning is not something we should legalize. Do we really want to risk that on humans? There also stands the ethical issues with cloning. According to Pew-research.org, 78.4% of all Americans are Christian, and more are other religions. Over half of our country is religious. Many religious people believe that by cloning organisms, we are "playing God." They claim that since we are choosing the traits/organism cloned, we are making babies, and not reproducing them. Working alongside of God is not something Christians believe is right in this context. There are also many unknown theories about how the cloned child will be raised if we decide to clone humans. Clones won"t be "exactly" the same as their donor, the environmental factors change their personalities and actions. Will clones consider their parents their "parents?" Clones may be beneficial because Gays will have the chance to have a child, but there are so many theories about the issues of raising clones. Will it be different from raising other families? Why take the risk? Clones may also have issues with fitting in at school or in public. Many kids bully others who are different, or have a characteristic that makes them less superior compared to others. 93% of teenagers hear negative words being said directed to another kid in their schools. If kids get bullied for being gay, lesbian, or any other reason, what would stop them from getting bullied if they were a clone? What is the point of cloning organisms if there stands all of these risks?
Debate Round No. 2
amcompton

Pro

I would like to thank-you for your thoughtful response and questions. Let me begin by reminding you of the distinction between reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Many of your criticisms are based on issues involving reproductive cloning, which I will elaborate on in a moment. First, I would like to further explain why I believe therapeutic cloning will help to improve the quality and length of life for individuals with failing or diseased vital organs. There is a high demand for organ transplants. Did you know, due to a shortage of donated organs, an average of 18 people die each day waiting for organ transplants? Eventually, therapeutic cloning could help to provide cloned organs to every individual on the organ wait list, both extending and saving lives. Therapeutic cloning of this kind will take years of dedicated research to make possible, with a series of trials and errors. In your response, you point out that "cloning could lead to many deaths of new organisms." While technically, this may be true if you believe that life begins at the moment an egg is fertilized. However, in therapeutic cloning a cloned embryo is created for the purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell and are harvested in the blastocyst stage. It is true that this results in the destruction of the embryo at a very early stage of development (less than 1 week) and in my opinion this is not considered a new life.
In the case of reproductive cloning, your questions include the "massive expense and birth defects of the clones". It is true that we are currently lacking the knowledge and technology to clone human beings successfully at a reasonable cost. I would like to bring to your attention two points: (1) every new achievement in biotechnology begins with an idea that has not been successfully accomplished, and (2) new technology is usually expensive until it becomes widely available. If we stop our research now, we will never be able to succeed in reproductive cloning. This raises the question of whether reproductive cloning should be a goal and I believe the answer is yes. Consider the possibility that, with time and more research, reproductive cloning of animals who are endangered could be used to save their species. Another advantage to reproductive cloning is that it has potential for same-sex and infertile couples to have genetically related children. In fact, scientists argue that it may be possible to use cloning combined with genetic modifications to safely create children who are genetically related to both partners. Keep in mind that this technology will not be used on humans until it can be used in a safe and reliable manner. Regarding your concerns about tax payers and funds for cloning research, I believe this is an issue that should be left to the voters to decide.

Questions:

1.) You argue that most people in our country are religious, primarily Christian, and therefore are against reproductive cloning because it is "playing God". How is it that other infertility treatments are not considered "playing God" but cloning is? Shouldn"t all reproductive strategies be legal?

2.) Why would babies who are clones be treated differently than any other child conceived with biotechnology assistance (test tube babies)?
gabbykmiec

Con

First I would like to address your questions:

I probably should have addressed the issue of "playing god" in a more detailed manner. I do address it in my next argument, but let me clarify. What I should have said about christians believing we are playing god is that we are using possible life forms for our own needs. "Playing God" is when you create potential organisms only to use them, which is displayed in therapeutic cloning. We take an embryo to perform a task/create an organ, and then it dies. Sorry about my misunderstanding.

Babies who are clones wouldn"t be treated differently than any other child conceived with biotechnology assistance. They would still have a higher chance of getting bullied at school, most kids with something that makes them different do. Take Gay kids for example, we say they deserve to be equal to us, and that includes anti-bullying circumstances. But they still get bullied more on average than straight children.

Questions:
You stated in your introduction that cloning saves many lives. But how can you consider it saving lives if at the same time it is killing hundreds of possible living things? (The process of therapeutic cloning involves an egg/many eggs.)

I know this was a while back, but you stated in your introduction that cloning saves many lives. But how can you consider it saving lives if at the same time it is killing hundreds of possible living things? (The process of therapeutic cloning involves an egg/many eggs.)

You may think that therapeutic cloning is beneficial, but many consider it a case of murder to a living organism. In the process of therapeutic cloning, they take the DNA out of an embryo to make stem cells for the desired organ/tissue. Doing so is taking away the chance of an organism to develop, which is why people consider it a case of murder. By taking the DNA out of an egg you are killing the chance of a living thing to grow. Another reason why therapeutic cloning is a horrible idea is the fact that the egg comes from another woman. You may think, "well why is that a problem?" The issue is, most woman would not want to donate their egg. The only way woman would want to donate their egg is if there is something in it for them. Many politicians, scientists, and citizens of the general public think that poor woman would give up their eggs for money. In fact, currently woman sell their eggs for $1000 to $2000 each. This is just for the eggs. Scientists round up the total cost, averaging about $200,000 per treatment. But, this total doesn"t take into account the growth of the egg demand. These treatments often fail, so there is a need for more than one egg. This will make the price even higher. Is all this money really worth it? This is morally wrong, and I don"t think we should be stirring up this issue along with the many other problems in society. Therapeutic cloning also takes many attempts, according to explorestemcells.co.uk. With the hundreds of failed embryos, this goes along with the murder concept. Therapeutic cloning along with reproductive cloning also deals with the issue of "playing god." By creating life only to use it, we are interfering with religious concepts. This process may be beneficial in the sense of creating organs in order to help a human, but I don"t think it is worth it, We still have not perfected this project. According to a Wall Street Journal published on May 20, scientists have already poured in 100 into this biotechnology, and 40 billion has been lost. This shows the many failed attempts of therapeutic cloning.
Debate Round No. 3
amcompton

Pro

I would like to address your question and major points in this final rebuttal. First, you argue/question the value of therapeutic cloning for saving lives because at the same time it is "a case of murder". I would like to turn your attention to the fact that there is not a developed organism to "murder". Rather, at the blastocyst stage there is only a small cluster of cells which include approximately 100 undifferentiated cells (pluripotent cells). While every embryo holds with it the potential for life, in the natural course of things, a large percentage of embryos never make it to the final stages of development. There is no evidence that these early cells have any ability to think, feel, sense or even interact with the world. In addition, the cloned cells are not being killed, they are being grown into larger organs used to save already living individuals. In my opinion, therapeutic cloning is not "murder", but is an alternative way to save individuals that are sick and likely to die. Next, you argue that allowing cloning will lead to a human egg black market. Unfortunately, it is true that the underprivileged in our society are vulnerable to doing all kinds of things for money. Therapeutic cloning may increase the demand for human eggs; however, legislation and law enforcement will decrease the risk an egg black market. This is no different than current laws that ban black market sales of babies and organs. You also argue that all cloning is "playing God" by creating life only to use it and note that this is in opposition to religious concepts. First, I"d like to point out that there is often a tension between science which is based on observation and fact and religion which is based on faith. Although I respect that everyone has a right to their own faith and opinions, there are wide variety of beliefs and many advances in biotechnology would not exist if religion was the guideline. I believe that science should be separated from religion. Second, I believe it is ethical and morally right to create cells to save a life. Finally, you argue that given the number of failed cloning attempts and the high cost of this technology, cloning should be banned. Rather than banning it, we need to perfect it. Although cloning technology is not yet ready to be used with humans, the research is well underway and we should learn from each failed attempt. Great things come from our mistakes. In conclusion, I strongly believe that there are many potential benefits for individuals and our society and we need to continue to develop cloning technology.
gabbykmiec

Con

I understand that there may be many benefits to cloning. But there are also many risk factors. Through reproductive cloning, we put lives of many animals at risk. We would also be spending more money than we can afford to spend. The gigantic investment is not worth the many risk factors including social issues with cloned humans, and disabilities found in the newly produced clones.
The bad things do go on. Most people believe we will benefit from the performance of therapeutic cloning. Through therapeutic cloning, you are able to cure diseases and heal organs. But on the contrary, therapeutic cloning is very risky and has not been perfected. Also, in order to perfect a process, you need subjects to test it on. Do we really want to test this dangerous process on our society? I would like to address the issue of killing a young embryo. You say you don"t consider an embryo at this young of an e a "potential piece of life" but I do! Think about it, an organism has to start somewhere, you can"t just assume its not an organism when it is beginning to develop!agIf we allow therapeutic cloning, that will influence others that reproductive cloning is ok. We all know that it is not. It may be an advancement in technology, but it is not necessary in society? Do we really need unhealthy animals roaming our farms? By the time we perfect the process, we will be in massive debt! Imagine the amounts of money being wasted away for this silly project. Also, I don"t think it is necessary for another human classification group to evolve. If we allow any of these processes, especially reproductive, then "clones" will become a group of human beings! We don"t need another reason for kids to get pushed around and bullied. This kind of classification could lead to school shootings, and suicide attempts like other cases. Kids who get bullied are likely to do so.
Many people state that therapeutic cloning cures diseases, and helps failing organs. Did you know that embryonic stem cells often cause tumors? This was shown in recent animal studies with cloning. Humans are extremely close to animals, so this is a huge problem. Curing diseases is not an exceptional argument if this likely causes another detriment.
Overall cloning is a big "no-go." It is financially similar to putting money in a paper shredder. Using billions of dollars on this project, there is no profit made with the expenses to perform the task. We shouldn"t be using our taxes to fund this risky and insane process. Cloning is illegal for a reason, so why change it?
Debate Round No. 4
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