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Cloning Essay

2593 words - 10 pages

For the first time the cloning of a whole human being seems really possible. It is absolutely necessary to consider the harm that can be done and move to curb abuses. Also, it is important to understand some of the theory underlying the desire to build a better human. The Ethical Downside of Cloning With recent developments in the cloning of the first whole mammal with Dolly the Sheep, for the first time the cloning a whole human being seems really possible. For years, clones have been the subject of popular fiction, but the technology was lacking. Now the ethics of doing so must be carefully considered.

While almost all world health and religious bodies are coming out in opposition to the idea, it must be accepted that someone somewhere will try it. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to consider the harm that can be done and move to curb abuses. What immediately springs to mind for most people with the possibility of cloning whole people is the ideas of creating supermen or a master race which dominated the Nazis. But the theories of eugenics from which they operated were also touted in America and the rest of the Western world. Thus, it is important to understand some of the theory underlying the desire to build a better human. Eugenics is concerned with the social direction of human evolution.

A distinction is made between positive and negative eugenics. Positive eugenics aims to increase reproduction of individuals who have traits, such as high intelligence and physical strength or fitness, which are considered to be valuable to society. Negative eugenics seeks to decrease reproduction among people believed to be inferior or below average mentally and physically (Glass). Cloning for better humanity, then, is normally associated with positive eugenics. Overall, since the Nazi experience, eugenics as a movement has been largely discredited, but the ideas still linger and many of the same arguments for cloning humans are used today, but with protests that they are not related to the abuses of the Eugenics proponents of the 1920s and 30s.

The goal of eugenics was to create a superior human being, and with this creation, to in time create a superior human race. The First International Congress for Eugenics was held in 1912 in London. Rather than being a fringe movement, it was hailed by a number of luminaries of the day. For example, Charles Darwin's son presided, while Winston Churchill led the British delegation. Among the Americans present were the presidents of Harvard and Stanford universities and Alexander Graham Bell.

The Germans present advocated "racial hygiene," which later became Nazi policy. According to historian Stefan Kuhl, German eugenecists enjoyed a special relationship with their counterparts from the United States ("Nazi Eugenic"). The beliefs of these groups contain elements that are still being brought up in discussions of cloning humans. They included trust that selective breeding and choice of...

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