What Human Cloning May Lead To

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ST-TPM-ASF-TNE, Apr 18, 2002.

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  1. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Jediflyer-

    Of course arguing is more fun :)...it's all good. I personally would like to believe that I am more than the sum of my parts, that one could not simply construct a complicated computer that could mimic learning and behavior. Despite all my yamming, I am somewhat uncomfortable with abortion-I support the right to choose, however I personally don't have anything to do with it. Perhaps it is the fact that stem cells, and the embryos that they come from, would be created in the lab-thus depersonalizing the process and making it easy to ignore-that makes cloning research more palatable to me and others.

    In less than a year I will become a physician. I have seen so much suffering, especially from cancer and degenerative neurological disorders, that when something like stem cell cloning comes along that offers hope, in my admittedly jaded opinion I feel that it should be pursued. Of course there are moral ambuiguities at work here, but I have always felt that the good in this sense outweighs the bad. The 'ball of cells' argument shouldn't be used (IMHO) to ban the research-and I don't think the healthy should take that choice away from the ill. It's a difficult issue, to be sure, but stop to consider that we will all one day be patients.

    As a doctor, I don't want to ever have to tell a patient that there was a chance, but the means to cure them was killed because of a religious sensibility. That's fine for the 1400s, but it really doesn't belong in the 21st century, especially not in the leading country of the free world.

    Let the debate continue..... :)

    Peace,

    V-03
  2. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    I see what your saying Vaderize, but where do you stop. When does a ball of cells turn into a human. Would you support the killing of a retarted child in order to salvage his organs for a person that needed them.

    I believe a person becomes a person at conception because, at that point, they have everything they need to survive. They have a seperate genome and are growing. Before that point, the cells are from one person already alive.

    I would still hold my belief that abortion is murder even if I did not believe in God. My belief isn't religiously founded, rather it is complemented by religious teaching.
    An embryo has as much right to live as you and me. The simpleness or potential survivability of a person do not give that person less of a right to life.


    P.S. Sorry for all the new words. My vocabulary has decided to take the weekend off.
  3. Darth Rayder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 1999
    star 4
    I am not jediflyer, Vaderize. [face_laugh]

    I'm the one who said arguing is more fun.

    I agree with jediflyer though. The question of where life begins is not one to merely be tossed aside. You say, for example, that the "healthy should not take that choice away from the ill." But, if life indeed begins at conception, and you're creating healthy cells (I assume that's the goal), aren't the ill then taking life from the healthy? Is that morally acceptable?
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    There is an alternative I just read about on MSNBC.com.

    "By punching holes in mature skin cells and soaking them in a solution made from immune system cells, they said they turned them into what look like T-cells---key immune system cells."
    "They start acting like T-cells. We are not working with embryos or dealing with stem cells at all. You get around these issues."

    "Advanced cancer patients often have low T-cell counts, if you took a skin cell from a patient and turned it into a T-cell in the presence of tumor antigens, you could expand a T-cell population that in theory would respond to the tumor."

    "Instead of harnessing an early stem cell whose genes have not yet been all turned on, the team completly changed the cells environment and thus changed the cells function."

    The title of the article is "Cells reprogrammed without cloning"
    This seems like an attractive alternative to me.
  5. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Rayder-

    Sorry :)....I guess I wasn't looking!

    Jediflyer and Rayder :)-

    Your arguments are both very convincing. I wasn't implying that one needed a religious background to be against abortion or cloning, just that many who appear in the media to discuss their qualms with it tend to cite a religious base. I firmly feel that one does not have to believe in God to feel abortion/cloning is wrong, it just doesn't 'appear' that way very often to the general public.

    As far as killing a retarded person goes to harvest organs, from a purely medical standpoint, the organs would not be used because of the extra chromosome. And I find the idea of such actions morally repugnant. A person who is retarded is no less special than one who isn't.

    The cornerstone of my argument is that an embryo is not equal to a full-blown person. I have to disagree with the statement that an embryo has all it needs to survive. If that were true, embryos would not need a womb, and the person around it. My argument has always been that the potential life of the embryo is trumped by the already grown, self-aware person around it. That person has more rights in my opinion, because the embryo does NOT have all that it needs to survive. The idea that at the moment of conception a zygote acquires equal status to a full-grown human is frightening. Where does it end, you ask? I can ask the same question.

    If life begins at conception, then should all women of childbearing age be locked up every time they have intercourse to ensure the best possible chance of sperm-meeting-egg?? Should women be forced to keep records of periods? Should men?? Should masturbation be outlawed since men are wasting the seed of potential life, each 'potential' union of sperm and egg being wasted in an ejaculation where a sperm is not seeking an egg?? Should birth control be outlawed?? Should women who miscarry be investigated as criminals, subject to medical examinations against their will to 'ascertain the facts', and if necessary, be charged with murder??

    I understand that cloning research opens a dangerous road. But stating that life begins at conception opens a far more destructive one. There are many in this country who would have no problem at enacting laws in support of the points I have just stated, and from a legal standpoint, the protection of the 'potential' life union of sperm and egg could be taken to such extremes as to make women virtual slaves of their childbearing ability and sex something regulated by the government, with horrendous oversight and intrusions into private life.

    I am far more worried about that than the destruction of an embryo. An embryo can't think, feel, reason, isn't self-aware in any way. To elevate an embryo to the level of a person who has all these things would be tragic, and fatal to our democracy.

    By the way, I would define legal equality as the time when a fetus can survive outside the womb, with or without life support.

    Again the debate rages on....

    Peace,

    V-03

    ps you guys but your tickets yet??
  6. Darth Rayder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 1999
    star 4
    There's a difference between preventing life (contraception, which I'm against for religious reasons,) and ending it once it has begun. Taking steps to prevent conception is a little different than taking steps to eliminate a life that has been concieved. So your argument about "locking women up" really doesn't stand.

    and no, I haven't gotten my tickets. Stupid theater here says they cannot sell them till the Monday before...that's all their computer can handle.
  7. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I don't think I was clear enough in re-reading my post....

    I was leaning more towards locking women up once they became pregnant, in defense of the unborn child within. The government prosecutes pregnant women who drink and use drugs as having committed a crime against a person (unborn child), and I think that is the first step in a dangerous precedent. However, the supreme court did rule that a virginia hospital could not test pregnant women for drugs against their will (they were doing this AND turning the results over to the police), so the line of how much legal status we grant embryos/fetuses is still quite a gray area.

    To get back on topic, it would be the best situation for everyone if science could figure out how to revert adult cells to the embryonic stem stage, thereby avoiding the moral quandry that this research brings.

    Hopefully that will happen....let's keep our fingers crossed.

    Peace,

    V-03

    ps got my tickets on the phone...amc theaters rock :)!...hopefully no-one was listening in and got my credit card numbers.
  8. Darth Rayder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 1999
    star 4
    People who are doing illegal drugs are supposed to go to jail. [face_plain] Not sure what the problem is there.

    As for locking up people who are pregnant, I certainly don't think THAT's necessary. But you need to educate people that if you're not able to care for a child, you damn well better not take risks that lead to pregnancy. That's the ONLY solution. Allowing people to have abortions says, in a sense, that our society doesn't want any consequences for our actions.

  9. MynDonos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2002
    star 3
    I still don't see what the dangers of cloning are.
  10. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    The dangers:

    1) Using cloning for research kills human beings (the embryos).

    2) Causes disrespect for human life (other humans are just a tool to be used).

    3) Cloning for babies is selfish and leaves love out of the equation.

    The first reason is, of course, the biggest one.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I guess the alternative I read about andposted above means nothing.

    Another one I just found today talked about using fat cells from liposuction procedures for the ADULT stem cells that are contained within.
  12. LongTimeFan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2002
    Gosh I'm so sorry, Administrators. I wasn't aware that a topic such as this in the JC Community is restricted. I fully understand that the issue surrounding Human Cloning is so delicate that it leads to endless arguments and debates. Cloning may seem like a waste of time now, but think of where it can lead the human race in a few years. The possibilities are endless. We have reached several mile stones already with genetics, by mapping the DNA strand, and extracting chromosomes (to name two examples). Think of the possibilities if these two are combined.

    Sure, people may think there will be super humans which I think thats undoubtedly going to happen... There will always be people which fear the technology. We must look past those few people, and realize what benifits lie ahead.
  13. ParanoidAni-droid Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2001
    star 4

    Gosh, what ever happened to this little thread? ;)

    ~PAd

  14. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Rayder, what's with the face?? The only point I was trying to make was that this hospital should not have been testing pregnant women for drugs against their will and then turning those results over to the police, which led to their immediate arrest. The philosophy here was that the "unborn child" usurped a woman's right to privacy-something I strongly disagree with. To do this is to reduce women to nothing more than receptacles who, taking the argument to it's conclusion, should be locked up during pregnancy for their own protection 'just in case' they don't provide the best care possible for their unborn child. That's what I was getting at, not that it was 'ok' to do drugs. Of course drug users should go to jail-you were taking one thing and calling it another.

    As far as abortion diminishing the consequences of our actions, I actually have to give you credit for that-it is a valid point. However, the alternative to choice is, at the moment of conception, the total loss of a woman's control over her body to a potential life that will parasitize her body for the better part of a year. That is also a valid point.

    Abortion is just another way for reactionary thinkers to exercise power over women, and drag our civilization backwards. The same people who vehemently oppose choice often times are the ones who feel women can't be ministers, or are meant to be barefoot and pregnant. It is a credit to our democracy that we have been able to advance our laws past such people-and a clear and present danger that they still get elected to office, sometimes the white house. It is a power issue, nothing more. It is the attempt by a religious group to force it's concept of sexuality on all through making pregnancy the potential outcome of every sex act, to force us back to the 'one partner' biblical sexuality. People who choose to do that, fine. Abortion allows a freedom of sexuality without consequence-but so do condoms. Should we ban them too? Some of the same people think so. John Aschroft supported a bill in congress that would have outlawed the birth control pill and condoms. It's pretext was that these things should not prevent the union of egg and sperm. Condoms were a JAILABLE OFFENSE in connecticut in the 70s, and it took the US supreme court to throw that law out.

    I have gotten way off point here, and I apologize. The point is, whether or not abortion is murder is a personal decision, whether or not one wishes to partake in a cure from embryonic cloning research is a personal decision, whether or not one wants to live their life as they believe a true christian should is a personal decision. It is not the church's, nor any one human being's in the name of God. Nor is it any one religious organizations right in the name of God, not in this republic. The beauty of america is that we have choice. Cloning for research should be done-just as abortion is done. If you find it abhorrent, stay away from it. That freedom is afforded to you-but you have no right to take it away from others.

    Whew!

    V-03
  15. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    "The point is, whether or not abortion is murder is a personal decision"

    Wow.








    I hope you don't really believe that. You can use that statement to justify anything. Murder is murder is murder and abortion is murder just like the Holocaust was murder.
    If a Nazi just said what you said about the Holocaust, he would be laughed at.


    I laugh at you and your statement proclaiming murder to be a personal view.
  16. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    "I laugh at you and your saying murder is a personal statement."

    And I laugh at you categorizing the removal of a ball of cells from a woman's uterus as equal to the holocaust or the world's current conflicts.

    Do you have a brain?? Does it function?? If it did, then perhaps you would not feel the need to take me out of context. Such misquoting denotes a lack of intelligence.

    Whether or not abortion is murder is a VERY subjective thing. Are you blind??? If abortion is so clearly murder to all, then why is it legal in every state in america?? And don't quote me the "slavery was legal but that doesn't make it right" argument. The fact that I or anyone else supports the right to choose does not me a murderer, just someone who feels that a woman's fundamental right to control her body takes precedence over a potential life that is nothing more than a ball of cells with no intelligence or self-awareness.

    Forgive me for being a little vituperative in this post, but your argument stinks and you really pissed me off. If abortion is murder so heinous, then why is it ok for anti-choicers to knock off ob/gyn's who provide abortion services as happy as you please??

    The answer is: it isn't. Perhaps you might recall a lawsuit filed by doctors against a group of people who posted their names on a website with barbed wire that dripped blood claiming them to be baby-killers and listed their names, addresses, and work and home phone numbers. They were shut-down by the courts and sued over $100 million dollars for their actions.

    Once again, I have strayed off point (and provided more fuel for debate), but this idea that abortion is in the same class as the holocaust is insulting and dangerous. As is the idea that whether or not you consider it murder can't be a personal decision. The nice thing about choice is that if you have a problem with abortion DON'T HAVE ONE. But you have no right to call me a murderer for supporting the right to choose. A conceptus gains equal status, IMHO, when it can survive outside the womb, assisted or unassisted, and not before. Until then, it is parasitic potential. You may not like this idea or the fact that I harbor it, but you can't do anything about it either. Just like I can't do anything about your narrow-minded determination that anything that doesn't fit into your worldview should be banned or killed, in true stunning religious fashion (referring to embryonic cloning here).

    Make me an argument against abortion that doesn't involve God/Jesus/Church/Bible/Soul, I mean an argument that I can't rip apart, then you can claim the moral high ground. But don't you dare think you stand there now with the church as your backup, not with the molestation scandal, and certainly not knowing that the church has killed more people throughout history than any doctor terminating pregnancies (and I am stretching there, since I don't consider abortion murder).

    The volley continues....

    V-03

    PS I apologize in advance for the many who are going to be offended by my categorization of the church as an institution, but if Jediflyer feels the need to classify me with mass murderers for being pro-choice, well, then turnaround is fair play.
  17. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    In case you didn't notice, none of my arguments involved religion.

    Either an embryo is human or it is not.

    I believe it becomes human at conception because it has its own genes and is a seperate life.

    It can't be human to one person and inhuman to the next.

    And it is my duty to make sure everyone thinks like this. Abortion (if you believe it is murder) is just as bad as the Holocaust, slavery, etc. It should be fought with just as much strength as previous evils and human rights violations have been.
  18. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Every cell in your body has the total genetic complement to become a full grown human being. Does that mean every time I get a haircut I am committing mass murder?

    If religion isn't the basis of your argument, either because the bible says so or because that is where your moral foundation comes from, then I want to come and state it clearly-I don't think that you can.

    "It is my duty to make sure that you think like I do"

    And you compare me to the Nazis. How hypocritical.

    V-03
  19. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    "Every cell in your body has the total genetic complement to become a full grown human being"

    You are just a bunch of cells. What makes you special. Your amount of cells? I don't think so.
  20. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    You've raised a very, very interesting point, Jediflyer. When you stop to think about it, it doesn't make much sense that we are simply the sum of our parts. All the atoms in our bodies turn over on a three-month basis, and supposedly we have one or two atoms from distant stars in our bodies.

    Pretty cool, huh? I would love to believe that I am more than just a random collection of matter, but for argument's sake, I wonder what it would mean if we could build a computer that became intelligent and self-aware, with the capacity for language and learning??

    Just a thought.

    V-03
  21. Darth Rayder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 1999
    star 4
    Well, I hate to say it, but I'm going to have to leave this debate, at least temporarily...its the end of the school year, and that means the end of reliable internet access for me for awhile... I'll be making my return to the Senate Floor in August, when I get back to school. Goodbye, all. I hope this debate is still ongoing when I return!!
  22. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Take care, Darth Rayder. Return to us soon :).
  23. JediLeiaSolo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 2
    Found this interview on CNN.com. I won't comment right now, but does anyone know if cloning is illegal in the US, or just in particular states (like CA)?

    (CNN) -- Bill and Kathy immediately set out to have a baby when they married in 1993. But after years of enduring fertility drugs, artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization -- with no success -- the couple are turning to a controversial alternative to get the baby they so desperately desire.

    They want to clone one, with the help of Kentucky-based embryologist Panos Zavos.

    The couple, identified only by their first names, shared their story Monday on CNN's "Connie Chung Tonight." Following are excerpts from their interview with contributing correspondent Michael Guillen.

    GUILLEN: Bill and Kathy want a baby so badly, they're going to have one cloned, using her DNA. It means flying in the face of huge public, political, religious and scientific opposition. But they don't care.

    BILL: It's a concern, absolutely.

    KATHY: And that's why we're in shadow, because we don't want to hurt that little life that comes into this world.
    GUILLEN: Why is it so important then to tell your story to the world, Bill?

    BILL: Education, so people slowly, slowly, or faster or faster, get to know what this is all about.

    GUILLEN: At [a] secret lab, a team of doctors will take a plug of Kathy's tissue and harvest her DNA. Also, they'll take the egg from a younger woman and then replace its DNA with Kathy's. They'll implant that egg into a surrogate mother. If the pregnancy holds, nine months later, out will come Kathy's nearly identical body double.

    GUILLEN: Why the decision to clone Kathy and not you, Bill?

    BILL: Kathy suffered far greater than I did. She went through 24 months of drugs, of injectable drugs which could possibly cause cancer, and also, I think I'd rather have a girl than a boy. As simple as that. And God willing, if this works, maybe two years from now, we'll clone me.

    KATHY: Why not? Instant family.

    GUILLEN: Why not just adopt?

    KATHY: Well, we have thought about that. You can adopt a baby overseas, and then in a lot of countries, what happens is by the time you get the baby, they've been so messed up in the orphanage where they are that you are taking on a health hazard.

    GUILLEN: But isn't that an argument for all the more wanting to adopt a child like that, to show them some love and kindness?

    KATHY: Yes, you're right. You're right about that.

    BILL: But there is also nothing wrong with wanting your own, and having that right.

    GUILLEN: But what about the medical risks involved?

    BILL: We're not going to give birth to a monster or an abnormal child. If there is serious abnormality, absolutely we will -- and Dr. Zavos concurs that we will abort.

    GUILLEN: When you said the word "abort," you know, lots of people are going think, oh my gosh, you're piling one abomination on top of another.

    KATHY: Well, at least they'll have stem cells to possibly help improve someone's life who is having a problem.

    GUILLEN: So you would harvest stem cells from the aborted fetus for purposes of research? But you know how controversial that is, too.

    KATHY: Well, I'm a controversial person. I'm not politically correct. I never have been. I never will be.

    GUILLEN: But there is yet another objection to this procedure. Even when animal clones seem to be born healthy, time-delayed defects often rear their heads. The famous cloned sheep Dolly, for example, appears to be developing premature arthritis. Dr. Zavos disputes the evidence, but he admits cloning is risky.

    ZAVOS: For me to say that there are no risks involved, that would be a pure lie. And for me to say I'm not willing to take the risks, that would be finding me as a chicken. I'm neither one of the two. I'm a risk-taker, but at the same time, I'm a very cautious individual.

    GUILLEN: As older parents, how are you going to cope with the child who may evidence some of these delayed birth defects?

    KATHY: We'll face it and we'll deal wit
  24. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Wow, haven't seen this thread in awhile!

    I'm all for cloning for research to help cure disease and end human suffering, but this is WAY over the line.

    The casual manner and inhumanity with which 'kathy' refers to the manufacture of her future child is so callous that it makes me question whether or not we really should develop this technology in the face of the potential abuses.

    "If it is a monster, we will abort"

    "At least there will be stem cells"

    What the hell are you referring too?? What if there are 30 'monsters'? Are you just going to keep trying?? How far along will you 'abort?' What if the fetus is fine until the eight month, and then develops some soon-to-be-fatal defect?

    Let me make one statement here: I am not for elective late-term abortion nor do I support 'baby-making cloning', but I strongly believe that the potential of cloning research on stem cells only holds great potential. One of my biggest fears however, is that the abuses will occur long before the technology is even close to being perfected or even adequately understood, and this will lead to a hysterical lynching of this knowledge and an all-out ban.
    We are nowhere near ready to try cloning a baby human. There are serious scientific, cultural, moral, and religious questions to be addressed and answered first, and on top of all this, we don't know how to do it yet. It is a shot in the dark, what they're doing, and it is going to hurt the cause of cloning worldwide.

    Just because of the selfish actions of a few. What a shame.

    V-03
  25. Ramius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 3
    What the hell are you referring too?? What if there are 30 'monsters'? Are you just going to keep trying?? How far along will you 'abort?' What if the fetus is fine until the eight month, and then develops some soon-to-be-fatal defect?

    Exactly. I think there was a few dozen misshaps with the sheep clone before they got it right, and as it was mentioned, it still has problems. You can also get stem cells from animals, not just humans.


    I don't see why that couple just doesn't adopt a kid. When the interviewer asked them, all they said was that if they adopted a baby from another country, it will be messed up. What about adopting a kid from here? They won't be emotionally scared from the orphanage if they're a baby. Their whole argument for not adopting is absurd. These people seem to be wanting a clone just to have one. It would be far easier to adopt.

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