In examining the benefits of human cloning, I will provide possible advantages that have serious ethical repercussions. Although they are “benefits” in a certain light, many people have objections for a variety of reasons, I will be considering anything can has been considered “beneficial” by one person or another.
Genetically speaking, traits like intelligence and physical strength are useful. On occasion, people are so brilliant that they progress society in amazing ways. Einstein is a classic example, and the idea of cloning these individuals is appealing to many. Although environmental influences can benefit intellectual development, the scientific advancements today would likely make Einstein the clone even more intellectually brilliant than the original, presuming he was raised with puzzles and games of a specific sort.
Additionally, some people advocate developing human clones that are in certain types of mental states. Essentially, they would develop with low or non-existent consciousness and mental function. The idea is that they would not have significant moral rights, but it should be noted a very small minority believes this, and an even smaller minority supports the process even if it means perfectly functioning clones are used to get organ transplants for their respective “original” should they fall ill.
The psychological implications are uncertain, but some have speculated about the possibility of cloning loved ones. In particularly, children. If a parent loses a child, they can receive a clone of a young age. This may be particularly comforting to parents who lose small children, but it also may trivialize human life. Theoretically, parents could clone a fetus to ensure their child will survive in one for of another. I don’t dismiss things automatically, but these perspectives are very unusual and I’d rather ignore them. Most people don’t support this idea, either.
One of the most significant controversies involves the possibility of cloned fetuses being used for stem cells. Many scientists do not recognize early-stage fetuses as human beings (no consciousness or ability to feel), and the use of stem cells has a lot of scientific potential. So while I don’t have a poll, I would suspect a significant but less than 50% of scientists would be sympathetic to the idea.
Furthermore, human cloning can potentially allow couples to have children. However, the process of combining the two genetics is not technically cloning, in any real sense. This method would involve raising a clone of one or both of the parents. While I am open-minded, I find this idea very creepy, and I suspect it would lead to problematic situations given the relationship compatibility of the parents could theoretically apply to the children. I am inclined to think this is a very bad idea (cloning yourself for a child).
A lot of potential things can be done with cloning, and it’s really a matter of imagination that determines what can be done. I think many issues have ethical concerns that will hopefully prevent certain uses. However, my views also depend greatly on what is classified as cloning. If cloning an individual organ is cloning, I am very supportive of that type. I am also somewhat sympathetic to using cloning to increase the presence of things like rare blood types (to prevent people from dying because of this). That said, that is likely possible without cloning, as would be many of the benefits suppose to be gained by cloning. Really, genetic engineering can accomplish many of the same results with less ethical conflicts by comparison.