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Human cloning can simply be defined as the asexual reproduction of the nuclear material of a human somatic cell with another to produce a similar copy of human creature. The issue of human cloning began in the 1960’s and the debate still ranges. The debate revolves round the question of whether human cloning is ethical or not. The whole idea became a reality in 1997 when
There are two types of cloning which include therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. Therapeutic cloning is generally reproducing or creating human organs for research. These organs are used for replacement when a patient is in need and can also be used to produce cures for diseases. This technology can be employed to produce skin for victims of burn or other organ transplants. The process of making these cloned organs leads to controversy because it destroys the cell embryo and makes the resulting organism artificial.
Reproductive cloning involves getting the genes of an adult human being and transferring them into an egg whose genetic composition has been removed and placing it in a female womb. The egg then develops from the womb until it matures and then born.
The debate on human cloning has elicited a big debate with some people in support of the idea while others oppose it strongly especially the religious groups. Those in support of the idea argue that cloning especially therapeutic will enable scientists to reproduce organs to be used for replacement and manufacture cure for diseases. Opposers of the idea cite religious beliefs saying cloning human beings will be like “playing God”. The controversy on whether cloning should be legalized or not still ranges with governments torn between legalizing it or not. The religious views are diverse but they vary depending on the religion. But one thing that cuts across all religions is that most of them are against human cloning but some support cloning that benefits human development.
Many people across religions feel that cloning human beings is wrong because it will put the dignity of existing and potential human beings at risk. This is mostly connected to the notion of personal identity. Some people say that the person from whom the clone was derived will feel as if somebody is undermining their personal identity while the clone will find it hard to chart their own destiny in life without being influenced by the traits of the human being from whom the gene was removed.
Proponents of cloning cite the concept of twins and relate it with cloning. They argue that the cloned individual will be just like a twin to the other being. But religious people suggest that twins are born as two different people and there is no threat to their identity while cloning involves creating a different individual artificially therefore it interferes with the natural notion of procreation.
Christian view on cloning
Christians believe that procreation is a natural affair from God which arises as a result of love according to the bible. Man and woman come together to give rise to a third human being. The teachings of the bible teach that God directed human beings to multiply and fill the earth. Therefore procreation is a very holy task to be done artificially according to Christians. However some Christians support cloning if its aim is to save human life.
Orthodox Christian view
According to the orthodox Christian church, a cloned child is not a product of love but a scientific exploration of human beings. They also believe that cloning will challenge the institution of marriage greatly. This is because the parental role will not be important to the parents. They are likely to take their parental responsibilities lightly therefore weakening the institution of marriage. In this regard they are totally opposed to human cloning.
The Judaist’s views on cloning are that the clone would have a soul and it would also have its responsibilities as well as its own rights in life. They also claim that families that cannot have children due to some health or biological problems will have a chance to have babies from their own genes and therefore raise a family like any other. Judaists also consider the life of an individual to be very important. Therefore, Jews are allowed to break any Jewish law if it can help to save the life of an individual. Therefore if cloning can help produce a cure for a disease then it will be allowed for medical reasons to save lives even if it was illegal.
According to the Catholic Church human life should be regarded with the highest level of dignity from conception to natural death. Cloning according to the Catholics will lead to injuring human dignity. This is because cloned children will not have a chance to experience parental love.
Although some scientists claim that cloning should be legalized for research purposes like manufacturing cure for diseases, the Catholic Church teachings oppose cloning no mater the benefits it stands to bring forth. The Catholic Church has centralized authority from the
Mainline Protestant Christianity view
The mainline protestant churches in the
In this regard genetic cloning can be termed as creativity with the aim of improving and safeguarding human life. Therefore if it is done to fulfill divine purposes then everybody is free to engage in it. Although scientists have freedom of exploration according to mainline protestant churches, they should be held responsible for their actions according to Courtney (37)
Mainline Protestants hold the view that if human cloning can be done in such a way that it will bring tangible benefits to humankind while still upholding human dignity, then no obstacle real or assumed should be allowed to stand on its way. They also point out that care should be taken to prevent private entrepreneurs from abusing that freedom and in the long run demean human dignity.
The Hindus have a very different world view on how individuals relate with their creator as compared to western beliefs. The Hindus have not given a clear stand to object cloning but they have called for what they termed as a temporary pause. This means that they just need some time to reflect on the matter and state their stand later at their own appointed time.
But they hold a lot of concerns that scientists who are pushing and advocating for cloning could be driven by the desire for greed and power. That is the main reason why they have neither condemned nor supported cloning until they evaluate all factor relating to it. Their views were captured in an international journal called Hinduism today addressed to the president of
Hindu leaders applaud President Clinton’s call for a spiritual view on the human cloning predicament, noting that it shows his deep understanding of complex issues which cannot be resolved by science or politics alone. Hindu swamis appeal to the U.S. President, and indeed to all heads of state who will face this issue, for laws to restrain cloning of humans and emphatically urge him to engage spiritually minded people to guide and control the process. Good people are the best promise of a good outcome. It is our wish to inform the President that Hinduism neither condones nor condemns the march of science… (Hinduism Today).
This article serves to clearly illustrate the stand of the Hindu society on the issue of cloning and how they would wish to see the issue approached.
Muslims give differing views concerning cloning due to lack of a central authority like Catholics who have the pope as the overall head of the Catholic Church in the world. This has led to scholars who have studied Islam’s view on religion to study sections of Muslims differently and give separate views from particular groups.
The Qur’an describes people who reject the teaching of Islam which teach God’s ways and follow Satan as people who can change God’s creation (4:119).This scripture in the Qur’an has made Sunni leaders in
Religions world over have been known to play a critical role in shaping the events that take place on the world. The issue of cloning needs to be approached from various dimensions such as political, scientific and religious angles. This would ensure that all stakeholders are included and their views taken into consideration before the final verdict on whether to legalize cloning or not.
Although cloning is illegal in the
Various religions in the world seem to be against the idea of cloning but others approach it cautiously to oppose what is not beneficial and support what is beneficial. As time goes and scientific research advances religious views are also, likely to change.