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A Paper Which Analyzes The Elements Of Individualism And Collectivism That Exist In The Controversial Topic Of Cloning.

1477 words - 6 pages

In many controversial topics around theworld, such as abortion, gun control, legalized drugs, the death penalty,and cloning (to name a few), we can find differing positions, andopinions. Many of these arguments, can be narrowed down to two differentviews, or constructs: individualistic and communitarian (an image ofcollectivism). An individualistic viewpoint "stresses the rights of theindividual as a unique being" (class review). A communitarian viewpoint ismore concerned with the good for the greatest number, "even if anindividual must suffer or sacrifice" (class review). These differentelements do not necessarily label the people as opposed to, or in favor ofthe topic here. They just show where your motivations lie, is yourinvolvement for self fulfillment or for the good of society? Within thecontents of this paper, I will analyze the elements of individualism andcollectivism that exist in the controversial topic of cloning.When Dr. Ian Wilmut, a 52-year-old embryologist at the RoslinInstitute in Edinburgh announced on that he had replaced the geneticmaterial of sheep's egg with the DNA from an adult sheep, and created alamb (Dolly), the topic of cloning "created" many new questions of itsown. None were as controversial as: Will they apply this to humans aswell? According to Dr. Wilmut, the answer was "there is no reason inprinciple why you couldn't do it"(clone humans), but he added, "All of uswould find that offensive."(Wilmut as quoted by NYTimes, Daniel Callahan,02/26/97). From an individualistic viewpoint, those infavor of cloning human beings, do not see it as morally, or ethicallywrong. Many see it as an opportunity to have children, or possibly to"re-create" a child who is dying from a terminal illness. Using adeterministic argument, many infertile couples are worried that any"government restrictions on human cloning might hurt their chances someday for bearing children through new medical technology" ( Newsday, ThomasMaier, 03/14/1997). In a form of expressive individualism, Tom Buckowski,from Studio City, California said, "It's my body, my choice, right? Butwhat if I want my body cloned and warehoused for spare parts? Upon whatbasis can government decide what I can or cannot do with my body?"(LosAngeles Times, 3/07/1997). In both examples, the predominant voice is thatof the first language of individualism. The first language refers to the"individualistic mode that is the dominant American form of discourseabout moral, social, and political matters" (Bellah et al, Habits of theHeart, pg.334). Anita Manning, a writer for USA TODAY revealedanother individualistic argument in favor of cloning. In her article"Pressing a "right" to clone humans," Manning interviews a group of gayactivists, who see "breakthroughs in animal cloning technology as a pathtoward same-sex reproduction." With their argument of genetic determinism,many individuals state that now that the technology is available, its useis inevitable. Randolfe Wicker, a New York...

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