The Instigator
MaxLascombe
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
gordonjames
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Human Cloning

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
gordonjames
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,227 times Debate No: 34315
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

MaxLascombe

Pro

Many people think of cloning as a huge ethical and moral problem. I on the other hand, think of it as a may for the future. This is why I have started the debate. My opponent will be debating against human cloning.

My arguments for the first round are:

1. A Great Advance In Science
Cloning is about as far as anyone has ever gone in biological science. But for many years now, great advances have been cut down because Human Cloning has never been legalised. For example, it is know that certain genes are different in some people, which increases there chance of having cancer. Until Human Cloning is allowed, and scientists are allowed to 'play around' and experiment with DNA, it is highly possible we will never find a cure to cancer.

2. 'Perfect Humans'
This is the side of Human Cloning that creates the biggest polemic. But is it really a bad thing? Think of the legendary clones from Star Wars. If we took the DNA from the strongest man, and created an army of these, it would completely revolutionise modern society. But why just do this with strength? Cloning the most intelligent people to work on big scientific problems. Or maybe more basic even. Cloning women that are fertile for longer, so that more women can make more babies for longer. Although for some this could seem Unethical, I find it perfectly brilliant. It could change the whole idea of evolution!

3. 'Bringing back the dead'
Everyone has experienced the loss of a close one, and have wanted to find a way to bring him or her back. Cloning makes this possible. Say you had a son, the perfect son, that dies in a car crash at the age of 6. Why not bring him back, relive the life of the first son, but without the mistakes. Imagine being able to bring back the biggest of people from history. Einstein, Newton, ... Imagine the new things they could discover with today's discoveries. Cloning has many aspects that make it almost to ignore it.

These are all the arguments I wish to say for the first round.
gordonjames

Con

I want to thank Max for the great debate topic.

We will need to define some terms.
I have included these at the end of my opening argument.
Basically, WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

Human cloning has many opponents from many different backgrounds.

1. Legal problems with human cloning
A. Who owns the clone?
B. Who is responsible for them before they come to age of majority?
C. At what age does life begin? (Be prepared for strong backlash from "Pro Choice" activists)
D. Are these people citizens or property or pets?
E. Is the death of a clone in a lab an act of murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide?
F. What legal protection do researchers have from the "parents"
G. Are there legal protections for my cell line?
There are legal problems that we will not soon overcome.

2. Scientific problems with human cloning
A. Cloning of higher mammals has a high failure rate.
B. Attempts to clone complete human will result many deaths.
C. Do we need to regulate who we allow to donate tissues?
D. Human experimentation currently requires informed consent.- Who can give this?
E. Our goal should be to improve life. At what cost to the people who are failed experiments?
F. Cloned creatures have short life spans and many health and genetic problems.
We are not ready to move forward in human cloning until we have answered these questions.

3. Morality problems in human cloning.
A. There are too many to list - I assume we don"t want to spend too much time here.
B. If my opponent wants to discuss moral/ethical issues it will greatly expand the debate.

4. Social problems with human cloning
A. Children of divorce and single parent homes have a host of social problems.
B. Single parent families are a huge drain on our social welfare system
C. Children of divorce and single parent families fill our prison system.
We do not want to increase these numbers.

I want to define a few terms and see if Max will agree to use them.

Human Cloning - research and attempt to make a living human through cloning technology
Cell line cloning - Using cloning techniques to produce genetically identical cells.

There are two most effective techniques of cloning

Cell mass division - Splitting embryos into smaller cell masses in the earliest stages of growth.
- first used on human embryos in Oct 1993. Jerry Hall and Robert Stillman cloned human
embryos by splitting early two- to eight-cell embryos into single embryo cells.

Nuclear substitution - Removing the nucleus from an egg cell and replacing it with a cell from another individual
- Dolly the sheep - Feb 27, 1977 in the journal Nature

I also want to respond to Max"s opening thoughts.

1. A Great Advance In Science
Great advances in science are usually worked out in socially acceptable ways. It was socially acceptable to detonate nuclear bombs in the desert but not in cities. Boundaries keep popular support (and money) for science. At this point we need to perfect the science on animals.

Max says
"great advances have been cut down because Human Cloning has never been legalised."
This is not correct. Various governments made specific research on human cloning and human cell lines illegal because it would cause far more problems and produce few useful results. Funding is cut off for many types of research because we believe it will do harm.

2. 'Perfect Humans'
Improving the species by genetic manipulation is an interesting idea. The most effective way to do this (Eugenics) is by letting the inferior die (or at least keeping them from breeding). Current science does not do so well. Dolly was the one that lived out of 277 failed attempts. These failed attempts are not pretty. Clones tend to have short life spans and many problems. This is good fiction, bat bad science.
WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS

3. 'Bringing back the dead'
Human clones, at best, have the same genetic material. A clone would be a unique person. They might look the same, but would be completely different. This is not a real goal to serious researchers.
WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS

some good reading . . .

"Goodbye Dolly?" The ethics of human cloning
John Harris The Institute ofMedicine, Law and Bioethics, University ofManchester

Journal of Medical Ethics 1997; 23: 353-360
http://jme.bmj.com...

27 Hofstra L. Rev. 557 (1998-1999)
Human Cloning: Brave New Mistake; Kolehmainen, Sophia
http://heinonline.org...
Debate Round No. 1
MaxLascombe

Pro

I will first try to answer the questions my opponent asked. To do so, I will introduce a new reason why cloning could be done.

One of the reasons for cloning, which is actually one of the reasons why human cloning is even debatable, is for couples that are struggling with infertility. Although they could adopt, what if they want a child that actually looks like one of the two people? This is the reason for cloning I will use to answer most of your questions, as most of the other reasons are (for now) completely inconceivable with today's ethics and laws.

1. Legal problems with cloning

"A. Who owns the clone?"
Since owning a person is illegal, and clones are humans, I am guessing that you mean, "Who has legal responsibility for the clone?", which is basically the same question as question B:

"B. Who is responsible for them before they come to age of majority?"
In the case I was talking about, the people who are responsible for the clones would be the parents who asked for the to be made. In another case I previously talked about, in my "'Bringing back the dead'" section, it would again be the person who asked for the clone to be made who would have to take care of it. When I talked about creating "'Perfect Humans'", there could be many different scenarios. If a clone is made to have the perfect physical shape to be a soldier, for example, either they could be raised and taught in the army so they can then become the perfect soldier, either they could be raised like a normal child, adopted or treated like a normal orphan, and the scientists that created him could just keep an eye on him as he evolves throughout his life.

"C. At what age does life begin? (Be prepared for strong backlash from "Pro Choice" activists)"
This is an important question, but that can rather easily be answered. Like normal children, after about nine months, the new clone should be able to act like a normal newborn, so that is when his life would truly commence.

"D. Are these people citizens or property or pets?"
Out of the three options my opponent gave me, I think the idea of the clone being a citizen is the only one that could work. A clone has the exact same genes as normal people, which characterises it as a human. If slavery has been abolished, clones could not be treated like pets or property, as they are human.

"E. Is the death of a clone in a lab an act of murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide?"
This of course depends. Once an age for question C is chosen, I think anything that happens after that age should be resolved in the same manner it would on a normal human being.

"F. What legal protection do researchers have from the "parents""?
I do not really know where this is going. If the question had been, "What legal protection do the 'parents' have from the researcher?", then I might have understood, but in this way I do not. Could my opponent make that clear and I will try to answer in the next round.

"G. Are there legal protections for my cell line?"
This is a very interesting question. This is something that would have to be talked about if human cloning is legalized, but right now, all I can say is that if a human is alive, he has the right to give his cell line or keep it from researchers so they can clone that person or not. When the person is dead, this is a matter that would have to discussed more in detail.

2. Scientific problems with human cloning

"A. Cloning of higher mammals has a high failure rate."
Although this is true, the only way to ever make human cloning more successful is to legalize it so researchers can work on it and improve it.

"B. Attempts to clone complete human will result many deaths."
True. But this brings us back to question 1.C. If a death occurs before this age, than you can not really call it a death. Babies all around the world die while in their mother's stomach, so this can not really be counted as a death. Also, if a clone dies later on in life, it would be the death of life that we created. Nature would not have changed at all.

"C. Do we need to regulate who we allow to donate tissues?"
This is a good question. People that are more likely to pass on a disease through their genes, if it is to have a child, should be allowed to, like today. On the other hand, if it were for the other cases where we would want to create 'super humans', then it is less likely someone with this kind of problem would be chosen to donate tissues.

"D. Human experimentation currently requires informed consent.- Who can give this?"
You are probably talking about the experimenting done on a human clone. In that case, if the clone is older than 18, than he should be the one to give consent. But we are not talking about experimenting on clones, we are just debating on whether or not we should clone.

"E. Our goal should be to improve life. At what cost to the people who are failed experiments?"
That is just the way science goes. If there were never any failed experiments, there would be no problems to solve and great discoveries to be made.

"F. Cloned creatures have short life spans and many health and genetic problems."
Same answer as question 2.A.

3. Morality problems in human cloning.
The whole debate is pretty much about these, so if my opponent wants to talk about them in detail, we can, but I think the debate talks about these already.

4. Social problems with human cloning
I really did not understand how any of the questions in this section had anything to do with the subject, but if my opponent would like to explain, I would be glad to answer them.


I will now proceed to countering my opponents counter-arguments:

"Great advances in science are usually worked out in socially acceptable ways. It was socially acceptable to detonate nuclear bombs in the desert but not in cities"
Does this mean we should create and keep clones in the desert?

"This is not correct."
In fact, it is. If researchers can't clone humans, there is no way that they will ever perfect human cloning, and therefore the problems you were talking about will never be resolved.

"Current science does not do so well. Dolly was the one that lived out of 277 failed attempts."
From that sentence, I'd like everyone to remember the words, 'Dolly was the one that lived.' If there was a successful attempt, than scientists will be able to have more successes. Allowing human cloning would them let them perfect the process to reduce this number of 277 to 1.

"Clones tend to have short life spans and many problems."
Once again, the problems can't be solved if you are not allowed to look at them.


Once again, thanks to my opponent for providing such rich arguments.
gordonjames

Con

Pro states 4 reasons (below) we should allow research on human cloning.

1. A Great Advance In Science
2. 'Perfect Humans'
3. 'Bringing back the dead'
4. To help couples struggling with infertility.

In each case my opposition to human cloning is that
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

There are technical, legal, moral and social issues that must be resolved
before we allow experiments on human cloning.

Pro has not shown understanding of the depth of the issues,
and has not given adequate responses to the issues raised.

WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING
Let me add some detail to the issues that must be resolved before we are ready to allow human cloning.

1. Legal problems with human cloning
A. Who owns the clone?
When cloning research is being done there is no question that the cells belong to the lab. If human cloning experiments are successful there may be a living human produced.
1. At what point does this property of the lab become legally a person?

At what point must we abort (kill) this experiment before it has legal status.

How do these definitions of "when does life begin" fit with the abortion debate.

If embryo division and implantation is the technique, who is the guardian/parent/owner)
donors of sperm and egg - 2 "parents" (2 people contribute genes)
donor of the fertilized embryo - 1 "parent"
woman with the host womb - 1 parent not necessarily related.
If nuclear substitution is used, slightly different options.
donors of nucleus - 1 "parent" (identical genetics to donor)
donor of the egg - 1 "parent" not at all related to offspring
woman with the host womb - 1 parent not necessarily related.

2. Who receives compensation if the lab kills the child?
(Remember current techniques with mammals kill 250 or more experimental failures for every short life span an cancer prone "success")

B. Who is responsible for them before they come to age of majority?
1. If the children produced in this way are the responsibility of the genetic parents, we can have no more experimentation than we have people willing to parent the children.
2. If the children are the responsibility of the corporation or lab where they were produced, this leads to all manner of social and legal problems.
REMEMBER - we need a strong legal foundation in place before we allow cloning research.
3. Most of the clones will have genetic malfunctions, physical and mental problems, cancers and other medical and social issues. Do we simply kill the failed experiment, or do you keep them alive and in institutions. Who pays for this? Who is responsible morally and financially for their care.

C. At what age does life begin? (Be prepared for strong backlash from "Pro Choice" activists)
1. Many believe that life begins at conception. Others believe that life begins at birth. This question becomes even more important to define if we experiment with human cloning. For example, if I cause a car accident and a pregnant woman loses her child, I pay damages for the loss of that unborn child (Canadian law). If a girl wants an abortion right up to full term she can get one (Canadian law). Here we have confusion over the question "when does life begin?"
In Canada it seems if the desire of the parent to have a child is the only real difference between these two situations.
In the USA it would cause huge public outcry to open up the "when does life begin?" debate.

D. Are these people citizens or property or pets?
Assuming that a cloned human lives to birth without too many defects;
Assuming they actually live past age 18 or 19 to be an adult;
Can these people sue for damages and mental anguish for the likely problems.
Can the "parents" sue on behalf of their children?

E. Is the death of a clone in a lab an act of murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide?
What legal protections do clones have?

F. What legal protection do researchers have from the "parents"
How do you do research if your almost certain to run into legal action against you.

G. Are there legal protections for my cell line?
This is not just an issue for clone research, but transgenic (GMO) research as well.

There are legal problems that we will not soon overcome.
NOTE: These issues need to be worked into laws BEFORE human cloning is legally viable.

WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

2. Scientific problems with human cloning

There are technical and intellectual barriers to human cloning.
We need to learn so much in animal experiments.
There are so many techniques that need to be perfected.
We need to get a high level of success BEFORE we experiment with people.

A. Cloning of higher mammals has a high failure rate.
B. Attempts to clone complete human will result many deaths.
C. Do we need to regulate who we allow to donate tissues?
D. Human experimentation currently requires informed consent.- Who can give this?
E. Our goal should be to improve life. At what cost to the people who are failed experiments?
F. Cloned creatures have short life spans and many health and genetic problems.
We are not ready to move forward in human cloning until we have answered these questions.

3. Morality problems in human cloning.
Depending on your foundation for morals and ethics you will see different issues as most important. For theistic people there is the whole issue of "playing God". For those who say "unnecessary pain and suffering is morally wrong" there is the huge rate of failure and death this would cause. For those think of the morality of where we spend our research dollars, there is the issue that there are many more effective areas of research (more medical benefit and less human deaths)

4. Social problems with human cloning

Many of the social problems are more for the future when we have a reasonable chance at success. Right now there have ben ZERO successes at human cloning.

A. Children of divorce and single parent homes have a host of social problems.
B. Single parent families are a huge drain on our social welfare system
C. Children of divorce and single parent families fill our prison system.
We do not want to increase these numbers.

WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING
Legally - we need a legal framework before we allow it.
Scientifically - we need more work in cloning lower animals. We don"t know enough or have good enough techniques.
Morally - This is no compelling reason to allow it. There are a myriad of reasons to oppose it.
Socially - When we get our science to the place where successful human cloning is likely, then we have a host of social considerations that require legislation and programs to help usher in this new era.

WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

I want to address a few of PRO"s faulty assertions.

PRO"s answer to the legal question of ownership missed the issue.
:: Since owning a person is illegal, and clones are humans,
:: I am guessing that you mean, "Who has legal responsibility for the clone?"

Ownership issues change based on the age of the clone.
When it is simply an embryo, we act as if they are property.
If we presume life begins at birth, the parents / researchers / corporation can dispose of this embryo (abortion) up to birth. (I am morally opposed, but it is the law) After the clone is born we say he/she has certain rights based on birth.

PRO asks "Does this mean we should create and keep clones in the desert?"
Pro missed the point. There is no socially acceptable way to create a clone. We should not be trying to produce them. From a purely technical standpoint we need to perfect our research on animals without the moral, legal and social questions.
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING
Debate Round No. 2
MaxLascombe

Pro

MaxLascombe forfeited this round.
gordonjames

Con

Pro states 4 reasons (below) we should allow research on human cloning.

1. A Great Advance In Science
2. 'Perfect Humans'
3. 'Bringing back the dead'
4. To help couples struggling with infertility.

In each case my opposition to human cloning is that
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

In the absence of PRO's last round, I want to focus on point 4
>> 4. To help couples struggling with infertility.

My contention is that
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING

Picture a couple who has struggled with infertility or the loss of a child.
Tis couple has probably spent way too much time, money and worry on doctors.
In their desperation they are likely to grasp at any possibility that offers some hope.

I do not want to deny them that hope
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING
If they become donors and experimental lab rats in this type of experiment their chances of success are exceptionally low. Do we want to put them through the trauma of deformed, short life span children with such a low probability of success?

Remember Dolly the sheep?
She was the 1 of 277 who lived.
Her life was cut short by cancer after 4 years.
The normal life span of those sheep would be 7-12 years.

Dolly was in poor health most of her short life.
WE ARE NOT READY TO ALLOW HUMAN CLONING
Debate Round No. 3
MaxLascombe

Pro

MaxLascombe forfeited this round.
gordonjames

Con

Our society is not yet prepared to accept human cloning.
Before we allow research into human cloning we need to develop in the following areas:
Legal -
Researchers need legal protection from lawsuits and criminal charges.
Legal status of any cloned individuals needs to be clarified.
Political -
Governments need to clarify who is responsible to support cloned individuals.
Guidelines on appropriate use of clones (organ donors or full citizenship) are needed.
Scientific / Technical -
Techniques need to be improved - currently the success rate is 0%
Techniques must be improved on lower animals first. (for moral and ethical legal & political reasons)
Death rates are over 99%
Of those that live, lifespans are short, medical problems are common.

On top of all these objective and measurable problems with human cloning there are even more subjective issues on which good and wise people may differ in opinion.

1. Is a technical failure murder? (a person dies because of our actions or mistakes)
2. Is the suffering we cause in the course of our experiments immoral?
3. Do we have the right to "play God"?
4. Do we have the ability to "play God successfully"?
5. Ethical issues - (Who gets to "play God"?)
6. The list of moral, ethical and social issues seems endless.

In all

We are not ready for human cloning.
Debate Round No. 4
MaxLascombe

Pro

MaxLascombe forfeited this round.
gordonjames

Con

Hey Max - I wished you could show up.

Quick recap.

We are not ready for human cloning.
we have lots of work to do in sciance and society before we are ready.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
Regarding my own view on cloning research . . .
We can learn a great deal by cloning cell lines.
We can learn so much by producing identical (genetic) lab specimines.

I support the ban on cloning humans because we are in no way ready to do it well.
Posted by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
@copper29

you say "IMO, every human has the right to a unique set of genes"

Identical twins share the same genome, yet experience and epigenetic factors insure differences in expression. Identical twins are different people with identical genes.
Posted by utahjoker 3 years ago
utahjoker
The problem with human cloning is that is it ethical, I think the problems with cloning were all asked by Con like who owns the clone and if we clone someone for organs is that ethical.
Posted by copper29 3 years ago
copper29
IMO, every human has the right to a unique set of genes. As for rational argument, it would be possible for criminals to clone people for the purposes of committing crimes that would be untraceable by dna.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by utahjoker 3 years ago
utahjoker
MaxLascombegordonjamesTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by gt4o2007 3 years ago
gt4o2007
MaxLascombegordonjamesTied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded the last round so Con had better conduct, Con also had better grammar. Although I did not agree with his argument I also did not agree with Pros completely but I did in some instances so Pro gets that point. There were not many sources but Con provided a few.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
MaxLascombegordonjamesTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Max forfeited a lot. Also, he did not refer to reliable sources, unlike Con.