Lecture 9 - Lecture 9 Human Cloning continued Thesis The...

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Lecture 9 Human Cloning, continued. Thesis: The prospect of human cloning is revolting . Yes, revulsion is a feeling, not a rational attitude, but in crucial cases, revulsion is “the emotional bearer of deep wisdom, beyond reasons power to fully articulate it.” The reason why we feel revulsion toward cloning is not because it’s a new and strange technology but because we intuit immediately and without an argument, the violation of things we consider important to us. This is a deontological position. Four objections to cloning: 1. The ethics of experimentation: cloning is an unethical experiment upon the child-to- be/clone. - It leads to deformities, as experiments have shown; - One cannot presume the future clone’s consent to exist. 2. Identity and individuality: cloning entails serious psychological issues concerning identity for the clone: - The clone may be disturbed by the fact that his/her twin will actually be his/her father/mother, son/daughter; - The clone will always be compared to the original both by the parents (why did they create him/her otherwise?) and by society; - Genetic distinctiveness symbolizes the uniqueness of each human life, the independence of the child from his/her parents, and the meaningfulness of one’s life; 3. Fabrication and Manufacture : cloning inadvertently turns begetting into making, procreating into manufacturing . What is the difference between begetting/procreating and making/manufacturing? When we procreate naturally, two human beings of opposite gender, come together to give existence to another being who is formed exactly as we were, by what we are finite (the subject is mortal) , and inherently erotic (the being has functional sexual organs, and will perceive itself as a sexual being) human beings. In cloning as well as any other form of manufacturing, we adopt a technocratic attitude: we create an artifact not by what we are but by what we intend and design. This way the creator/artificer (the created) is not equal but superior to the artifact. The technocratic attitude toward human nature turns it into raw material to be molded according to our desire, as well as disposed of when not needed any more.
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4. Despotism and the violation of parental prerogatives: cloning, just like any genetic engineering, will violate the child-parent trust and skew parental responsibility. When we decide to have children, we tacitly agree to love and support those children, whatever they may turn out to be. In other words, when we become parents, we agree to relinquish the total control over reality and life. The genetic distinctiveness of our children is the natural foreshadowing of the deep truth that these children are not our property, they are not within our control and that they have their own lives to live.
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