Cloning is a no-brainer

Is cloning humans and animals moral?

The debate about cloning is in the news now more than ever before due to legislation introduced to ban it.  This is really an old debate with a new face.  The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians because they were considered an inferior race.  Early Americans enslaved African people because they were not considered real people.  Even today millions of unborn people are sucked up, cut up and thrown away with abortion.  The issue in debate is human dignity. 

Perhaps the good news about cloning is that it proves scientifically that life begins at conception.  A fertilized human egg, even if produced by cloning is a human individual.  Thus, there is a widespread consensus, even among pro-choice advocates that "reproductive" cloning is wrong.  Reproductive cloning means implanting an embryo in a woman and carried to birth.  The cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996 took 277 tries to "get it right."  Cloning humans would inevitably cause the intentional destruction of human life.  Intentionally killing a human life is wrong by virtually all ethical standards except, of course, with abortion. 

"Therapeutic" cloning, however, is gaining widespread acceptance.  These embryos are produced by the same procedure as reproductive clones and allowed to live up to 14 days.  The goal is to produce embryonic stem cells for research in hopes of curing serious injuries and disease.  President George W. Bush condemned this by saying, "We should not, as a society, grow life to destroy it, and that's exactly what's taking place…we recoil at the idea of growing human beings for spare body parts or creating life for our convenience."

The Bible obviously condemns purposely destroying human life. (Exodus 20:13, Matthew 19:18, Romans 13:9)  But we live in a culture that has widely accepted the lie that the nature of human life and animal life is no different.  The Bible clearly identifies human beings as separate because we are "made in the image of God." (Genesis 1:27)  Thus, this is the point where the lines between right and wrong become blurred.  If we do not accept the truthfulness of the Word of God then we have no moral standard to condemn things like therapeutic cloning.  If we can accept cloning animals like sheep and cattle why is it wrong to clone humans destroying some along the way?

There seems to be no biblical reason why we should not clone animals.  We were given the duty by our Creator to rule over "every living thing that moves on the earth."(Genesis 1:28)  God also gave permission for humans to kill animals in Genesis 9:2-3.  If humans can benefit from cloning animals then that seems within the realm of dominion over the animals.  So the Bible gives clearly different ethical standards for humans and animals. 

In addition, cloning humans would also be outside of God's plan for the human family.  A cloned individual without a mother or father would be produced outside the divine institution of the family. 

Many fear that cloning humans could produce a race of Adolf Hitlers.  This fear is unfounded.  Each cloned individual would be genetically the same but would be a different personality and soul.  Identical twins, for example, are essentially clones of one another. 

Finally, it must be recognized that those who have cloned animals have not succeeded in producing life or "playing God."  They have merely taken what God has put in place and with genetic manipulations produce essentially genetically identical animals.

The Christian must vigorously oppose cloning human beings in any way.  Understanding that we are made in the "image of God" we cannot sacrifice human dignity for the cause of science.  Nigel M. de S. Cameron summed it up best, "Human dignity must frame the development of biotech--not the other way around."

4/06/02
Page106

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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen