The prospect of human cloning is very real, and is no longer the subject of science fiction. The truth of the matter is that human cloning is on the horizon, and regardless of whether it is right or wrong, it will happen. However, if the world could unite and adopt an international stance on human cloning, then the moral imperative is to align against cloning. The ethical implications of cloning are simply too great of an infraction on human dignity to permit the cloning of humans. Ethical sacrifices will be made if/when human cloning occurs.
These ethical compromises would include infringement on autonomy; random genetics and natural selection being annihilated; the principle of equality is violated; basic human dignity is compromised; humans are used as means to an end, and the list continues. Human cloning is an assault on the basic natural selection that creates the human experience. There is no substitute for chance in the genetic lottery of life. There is no other procedure that humans could create that would be any more egregious than (literally!) stamping out our own creations.
As of now, the stance internationally is against human cloning. The United States, however has not regulated human cloning specifically. There are laws in the United Satates that disallow the use of federal money to research on an embryo, but someone with private funds is permitted to create an embryo, (NPR). The European parliament takes a strong stance against the cloning of humans for the ethical violations are too much: “It is a serious violation of fundamental human rights and is contrary to the principle of equality of human beings…” (Harris 354). This is a strong statement, and it makes sense if one considers that the initial “lottery” in life is birth. At this point, we have the creator, or God, or chance that creates our perfections and our imperfections.
If we are able to point at our creator after birth as a laboratory, then what happens to the human being when things go wrong? And, if nothing goes wrong, then humans have lost an element of the human experience: Unpredictable fragility. There is no autonomy in the genetic lottery if we are able to design the genetics of our children, then we offend the natural selection that has determined the human race: “…it permits a eugenic and racist selection of the human race, it offends against human dignity and it requires experimentation on humans…each individual has a right to his or her own genetic identity and that human cloning is, and must continue to be, prohibited…” [italics](Harris 354). The moral imperative to preserve human dignity, and the basis of the biology of humanity itself, screams out against human cloning.
Of course, advocates of human cloning research exist at various levels. Some advocates support stem cell research, but not full human clones. While others believe that there is more good performed, than harm done if we permit human cloning. These advocates suggest that human cloning research is a moral imperative to carry out because it benefits the sick, and insures the healthy that if they get sick they can be made well again. Possibly, these advocates support cloning in order to improve health and happiness. The utilitarian argument for cloning is that it would help more people than it would harm because the research on human cloning contributes to medical advancements. Again, advocates will interject that there are a few benefits to cloning and that it is better to do some good if some good is possible. This makes sense, however, the good has much too much collateral ethical damage to be morally valuable. Therefore, no matter what good can come from human cloning, or human cloning research, there ought not be any further research or dabbling in this area because it is a slippery slope towards full human clones. Advocates also argue that human cloning will happen, and that there is no way that science can be stopped, (Wilson and Kass 63). Moreover, since science cannot be stopped, these advocates will argue that people will travel to where cloning is legal, (Wilson and Kass 63).
Science needs to be stopped, this author argues, because at the very basis of human cloning is the future promotion of inequality amongst men, at the genetic level. A moral imperative is to promote equality, not destroy it. Cloning will be expensive, and only rich parents will afford designer children. How in the world can naturally born “poor” children compete with these new breeds? The answer is that they will not compete. We will essentially be creating a race out of the wealthy. This ethical argument should persuade the reader to agree that cloning is unethical. Human cloning is unethical in that it violates basic human dignity, removes natural selection, promotes inequality, and challenges human individual autonomy. Animals, such as the infamous Dolly the Sheep, make it a real ethical threat on humanity worldwide.
The opposition to human cloning has been able to stave off the threats for scientific advancements, but this author concedes that, although it is wrong, it is only a short time before it may become a reality. Our moral imperative is to disallow it in our nation. We must prevent the inequality that cloning will promote for our future generations. Genetic purchasing power is a morally scary proposition. Human cloning strikes at the heart of the human experience by removing dignity, natural selection, autonomy, and human cloning promotes inequality.