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Argument: Cloned humans have a soul and are ordinary humans in every way

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Gregory Pence. "The Top Ten Myths About Human Cloning". Human Cloning.org - "4. People created by cloning would be less ensouled than normal humans, or would be sub-human. A human who had the same number of chromosomes as a child created sexually, who was gestated by a woman, and who talked, felt, and spoke as any other human, would ethically be human and a person. It is by now a principle of ethics that the origins of a person, be it from mixed-race parents, unmarried parents, in vitro fertilization, or a gay male couple hiring a surrogate mother, do not affect the personhood of the child born. The same would be true of a child created by cloning (who, of course, has to be gestated for nine months by a woman).

Every deviation from normal reproduction has always been faced with this fear. Children greeted by sperm donation, in vitro fertilization, and surrogate motherhood were predicted to be less-than-human, but were not.

A variation predicts that while, in fact, they will not be less-than-human, people will treat them this way and hence, such children will harmed. This objection reifies prejudice and makes it an ethical justification, which it is wrong to do. The correct response to prejudice is to expose it for what it is, combat it with reason and with evidence, not validate it as an ethical reason."


TOM STRACHAN and ANDREW P. READ, Human Molecular Genetics 2 (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1999): A form of animal cloning can also occur as a result of artificial manipulation to bring about a type of asexual reproduction. The genetic manipulation in this case uses nuclear transfer technology: a nucleus is removed from a donor cell then transplanted into an oocyte whose own nucleus has previously been removed. ... Nuclear transfer technology was first employed in embryo cloning, in which the donor cell is derived from an early embryo, and has been long established in the case of amphibia. ... Wilmut et al (1997) reported successful cloning of an adult sheep. For the first time, an adult nucleus had been reprogrammed to become totipotent once more, just like the genetic material in the fertilized oocyte from which the donor cell had ultimately developed.... Successful cloning of adult animals has forced us to accept that genome modifications once considered irreversible can be reversed and that the genomes of adult cells can be reprogrammed by factors in the oocyte to make them totipotent once again. (pp. 508-509)[1]


Ian Wilmut: "The majority of reconstructed embryos were cultured in ligated oviducts of sheep... Most embryos that developed to morula or blastocyst after 6 days of culture were transferred to recipients and allowed to develop to term," etc. [I. Wilmut et al., "Viable offspring derived from fetal and adult mammalian cells," 385 Nature 810-813 (Feb. 27, 1997)], and also, "One potential use for this technique would be to take cells -- skin cells, for example -- from a human patient who had a genetic disease... You take these and get them back to the beginning of their life by nuclear transfer into an oocyte to produce a new embryo. From that new embryo, you would be able to obtain relatively simple, undifferentiated cells, which would retain the ability to colonize the tissues of the patient." - Ian Wilmut, in 7 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 138 (Spring 1988).

On being asked in an interview: "Do you think that society should allow cloning of human embryos because of the great promise of medical benefit?"]: "Yes. Cloning at the embryo stage -- to achieve cell dedifferentiation -- could provide benefits that are wide ranging..." - Keith Campbell, head of embryology at PPL Therapeutics and co-author of Dr. Wilmut's landmark paper, in 7 Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 139 (Spring 1988).[2]


Lee M. Silver, professor of molecular biology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, "Yet there is nothing synthetic about the cells used in cloning... The newly created embryo can only develop inside the womb of a woman in the same way that all embryos and fetuses develop. Cloned children will be full-fledged human beings, indistinguishable in biological terms from all other members of the species. Thus, the notion of a soulless clone has no basis in reality.", in Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World (Avon Books 1997), p. 107.

"This experiment [producing Dolly] demonstrated that, when appropriately manipulated and placed in the correct environment, the genetic material of somatic cells can regain its full potential to direct embryonic, fetal, and subsequent development." - National Institutes of Health, Background Paper: Cloning: Present uses and Promises, Jan. 29, 1998, p. 3.

"The Commission began its discussions fully recognizing that any effort in humans to transfer a somatic cell nucleus into an enucleated egg involves the creation of an embryo, with the apparent potential to be implanted in utero and developed to term." - Cloning Human Beings: Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (Rockville, MD: June 1997), p. 3.

[Expressing disbelief that some deny that human cloning produces an embryo]: "If it's not an embryo, what is it?" - Jonathan Van Blerkom, human embryologist at University of Colorado, in American Medical News, Feb. 23, 1998, p. 32 (Dr. Van Blerkom said researchers' efforts to avoid the word "embryo" in this context are "self-serving.")[3]


"The case for cloning humans". The Age. January 1, 2003 - "But what of the souls? Can two people share the one soul? Is it not wrong to force two personalities on to one piece of divine substance? Again, the fact that there are identical twins counts against there being a problem. Twins seem to manage, and that seems to suggest that each person is able to be ensouled regardless of their genetic make-up. That is, assuming souls exist at all. These days theologians don't make a big thing of the soul. But even if there are souls, it seems unlikely to count against cloning. It's hard to imagine that God would have any difficulty telling the difference between one clone and another, or in ensuring that each person has a distinct soul - if that is how it works."


Pamela Schaeffer. "Special Section: Human Destiny. Many oppose human cloning". National Catholic Reporter - "The prospect of cloning humans has raised philosophical issues, questions about the nature of the human person. Some people have wondered, for instance, whether a cloned human being would have a soul, a concern that most theologians dismiss out of hand. If there were any doubt about that, they point out, the question should have been raised long ago, in cases of identical twins. A cloned human being, after all, would be nothing more genetically than a delayed twin."

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