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Is cloning ethical?

  1. Feb 2, 2004 #1
    After reading the synopsis of Robert DeNiro's upcoming film, Godsend, I am very curious as to how people feel about cloning. In the movie a couple loses their 8 yr old son and they want him cloned. Is this ethical/moral? Under what circumstances? Any thoughts/feelings/opinions on cloning?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2004 #2
    I can't see how it's inherently unethical.
  4. Feb 2, 2004 #3
    It is only unethical b/c we have not perfected it yet. It is not any different then in vitro fertilization or things of that nature.

    Even in cloing, it will not be and "exact" copy of the person. For example twins are cloned, but still very different.

  5. Feb 2, 2004 #4
    I see what you are saying. But, what if you were in the position of the couple in the movie? Would you want your child cloned? Or would you let it be?
  6. Feb 2, 2004 #5
    Here's my thoughts on the matter.

    Unless we kidnap, trick, force, or otherwise clone someone unwillingly, it don't see how it is wrong. If it CAN be done for the good of man, then can we not clone someone? I really don't see any harm in a more than willing subject.


    (20000 Leagues, great book. read an excert from it.)
    \/ \/
    also, Nautica has a valid point. No one will be an exact copy of another (unless you [somehow] incorporate their memories and personality as well). However, psychological development, as well as physical treatment, DO NOT factor into cloning. If you kick a baby (never have), they might have a scar there for the rest of their life. Just because you clone someone DOES NOT mean that they will, inevitably, grow up, maybe not even go through the same developmental patterns, the same way.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2004
  7. Feb 2, 2004 #6
    I did'nt watch the movie, so I will not comment.

    But "cloning" is not what it seems. It is NOT duplicating a person. It is merely using that persons genes and not combining them with another's. This will be subject to many gene replications and environmental factors and the person will be very different. Much like that of identical twins, they have the same genes but can be very different. The only problem with cloning now, is not advanced enough to create a person without risk. If you take a 50 year olds cells and clone them, then you are cloing a cell that is 50 years old, so the clone will start off from a cell that is 50 years old. This is the reason dolly had her problems. However, it would be very possible to clone a new born.

  8. Feb 3, 2004 #7


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    I think that there is a clearly evident ethical problem with the type of cloning described in this post. Under this type of cloning, the parents wish to clone a new child to replace an old one. As if the clone of deceased 8 year old Billy is going to spring out of the womb and say "golly ma and pa, I sure missed ya!" Cloning a child to be a replacement of a lost one would place an unfair burden on the cloned child. The child would be made to exist for the main purpose of being someone who he or she is not, and could very conceivably be held to aritificial and impossible-to-meet standards.
  9. Feb 3, 2004 #8
    Like I said, I didnt' watch the movie, nor does it sound like I want to.

  10. Feb 3, 2004 #9
    Discussing the "ethics" of cloning in such a case is utterly pointless.

    The only thing which is relevant are the long-term effects of any decision.

    In the case of a single couple using cloning to 'get their son back', there really aren't any remarkable long-term effects, so the only wasted effort is that of those parents and anyone who discusses the aforementioned ethics of such a procedure.

    However, if tens of thousands or more people (not necessarily couples) were to use cloning for reproductive purposes, the surge in the human population we observed during the 20th century might very well look like a minor increase.

    Hence the scientifically acceptable answer: reproductive cloning is a big no, unless the 'natural' way somehow doesn't work anymore for the entire human population (very unlikely).
    Therapeutic cloning, however, is worth every single effort, as its long-term effects are more than likely to be overwhelmingly positive.
  11. Feb 3, 2004 #10


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    Positive for the people are receiving 'replacements'? Possibly. Positive for the clones whose only purpose to exist is to emulate someone else? Not a chance.
  12. Feb 3, 2004 #11
    In the movie (Godsend) the couple end up cloning their deceased son but he is not the same person at all. He is different in every way, except physically.
  13. Feb 5, 2004 #12
    I had read that while they take out the nucleus of the ovum when cloning, that the inherent mitochondrial DNA in the ovum will affect the overall genetic material of the organism, so wouldn't clonging as it is now being done be more like a "very close" genetic copy?
  14. Feb 6, 2004 #13
    That is exactly like it is just like identical twins.

  15. Mar 23, 2004 #14
    Remember how I mentioned the movie Godsend at the beginning of this thread? Well, check out this site I found while researching cloning...
    So crazy! I wonder if the movie is based on this or what. I called the number, but got their voicemail. What do you think?
  16. Mar 24, 2004 #15
  17. Mar 24, 2004 #16
    I am not sure that anybody here has posted against cloning. I only feel that we are not ready "scientifically speaking"

    We must, also, differientiate between the cloning of human beings and the merely growing a particular organ through cloning.

    If your child had kidney failure, would you like to be able to clone his own cells and provide him with a kidney or would you feel better if he passed.

  18. Mar 25, 2004 #17
    I agree, but if you check out the Godsend Institute web site, you will know exactly what I am getting at. It's crazy!
  19. Apr 21, 2009 #18
    İ think that cloning isn't ethical, because lets say you cloned someone tight after that in the future they're probably going to use the clone for organ transplants and stuff. but the thing they aren't going to know is if the clone reachs a certain stage of developement its going to start thinking in other directions that they tell him to think and he will always have a unique personality just a common image and because of that he is an intependent person too and people won't be able to dump them so easily
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