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Cloning

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Andrew Carrell

on 3 April 2014

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Transcript of Cloning

Indirect Application
As seen from the verses already referenced, many of these can be indirectly applied through implication or inference.

Implication: Jer. 1:5, Gen. 30:22, Is. 49:1, Is. 29:16, John 1:3, etc.

Inference: Proverbs 6:16-17 - “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and
hands that shed innocent blood
…”

One could say therapeutic cloning kills innocent embryos, inferring that it would be wrong to do biblically.

Rom. 3:8
Degree of Transfer
The “Degree of Transfer” from Biblical times to today is also very tricky because, again, there was no cloning thousands of years ago.

Technically, there would be no “degree of transfer”

Only implications and inferences can be made from the text


There are repeated themes in Scripture, however, regarding human life. Life is precious in the eyes of God as seen all throughout Scripture (Is. 43:4, Ps. 116:15)
Voices on Therapeutic and Human cloning
Breakdown of Sub-issues

Sanctity of Human Life
Sovereignty of God
Love for Others
Biblical Family Structure
Proper Means
Other Options

Therapeutic Cloning
Use for strictly medical purposes
Egg nucleus is removed and replaced with nucleus of another person's cell
Blastocyst forms and stem cells are harvested
List of Texts - Sanctity of Life
Psalms 139:1-18 - “For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in
my mother’s womb...Your eyes have seen my unformed substance…” (v. 13, 16)

Galatians 1:15-16 - “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace…”

Isaiah 49:1 - “Listen to me, O islands, and pay attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb…”

Jeremiah 1:5 - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”

Exodus 21:22-25 - Striking a woman in the OT: Fine for causing premature birth, possible death if the baby is injured (life for
life, eye for eye…)



Job 31:15, Judges 16:17, Luke 1:36, 44, Psalms 127:3

Sovereignty of God continued...

Isaiah 29:16 - “Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

John 1:3 - “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Ethical Implications
of Human Cloning

Pros
Pros
Stage 1
Multiplicity (1996)
Reproductive Cloning
Done with the intent to create human life
Simulates how twins separate in the womb
In-vitro fertilization occurs then the embryos are split but preserved
Andrew Carrell, Gregory Conner, Mitch Birti, Witness Barnett, William Coates, Matt Cheney
List of Texts - Love for Others
John 13:34-35 - Love one another as I have loved you.

Galatians 5:13-14 - Through love serve one another, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Romans 12:9-13 - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Give preference to one another, serving the Lord. Practice Hospitality.


Just from these few verses, we can see that God values loving others very highly. “Others” does not just mean people we come in contact with, but also humans who cannot speak up for themselves like embryos and potentially cloned individuals. We are to love every life.

List of Texts - Biblical Family Structure

Genesis 2:24 - Man and woman shall be joined as one flesh.

Psalms 127:5 - Blessed is the man who has children.


There are verses in Scripture for this sub-issue like Ephesians 6, but this is a weaker argument. The main idea is that individuals would be able to asexually reproduce and have a clone of themselves to raise. There is no need for two parents or even parents of the same gender as the Bible commands.


List of Texts - Sovereignty of God

1 Samuel 1:5-6, 19-20 - The Lord closed Hannah’s womb in verses 5-6, but He remembered her and she gave birth to a son in verses 19-20. This demonstrates the sovereignty of God and how everything happens in His timing.

Genesis 30:22 - God opened Rachel’s womb

Overlap with the Sanctity of Life verses
as well - God chose His people from the
very moment of conception. He values
life and is sovereign in all circumstances.






List of Texts - Proper Means
Romans 3:8 - “And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say) “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.
The ends do not justify the means.

Romans 12:9 - Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Is killing embryo after embryo really worth producing one clone?

Sovereignty of God
Over both a person’s health and reproductive ability
Sacredness of life
People are important to God
Life begins in the womb
Safest to assume at conception
Give preference to others out of love
Consideration of child’s Psychological well-being
Biblical family and context of having children
Two parents in loving relationship
Improper means do not justify desirable ends

Relevant Lessons & Principles
Blastocyst is not
a person
Personhood - some blending of the following
Autonomous: self-regulating
Sentient: able to perceive
Self-conscious: aware of itself as itself
Memory
Memory is key
When sleeping, only autonomy and memory exist
When on life support, autonomy is gone
Determines legal death
Blastocyst has none of the above
Autonomous: relies on mother
Sentient: cannot perceive
No neurons: cannot be conscious or remember
No cognitive functions
Blastocyst is still human
Must be respected as such
Does not have full moral standing as
a person

Research is respectful of embryos
Similar to dead people
Don’t have full rights of personhood
Still respected
You wouldn’t dump your deceased grandfather in the trash
Cadavers are used for medical research
The research done with them helps others
Respectful of their humanity
Embryos given new meaning through research
Counterargument
True respect would mean not destroying them
Hinges on embryos not being persons
Consent not required because they are not persons

Many embryos naturally miscarried

Many embryos naturally miscarried
Studies cite 50-80% are miscarried before anyone notices the pregnancy
Jewish law
First 40 days: embryo is “like water”
Until birth: considered as an appendage would be
Couldn’t find rationale behind this
40 days seems arbitrary
Appeal to nature
Nature isn’t necessarily good due to the fall
“On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
Still, it seems strange to argue that more than half of everyone who has ever lived died in the womb due to natural causes

Arguing from the Bible
Potential arguments for cloning
Reproductive
Asexual (somatic cell, etc.)
Creation mandate
Allows parents to have genetically related child (in a sense)
IVF Cloning (Artificial Twinning)
Essentially the same as identical twins
Allows parents to have genetic offspring
Therapeutic
Could lead to cures for otherwise fatal or incurable diseases
Requires the view that personhood is acquired after conception



Therapeutic Cloning
Blastocyst is not a person
Great potential for healing
Research is respectful of embryos
Many embryos are naturally miscarried
Great potential for healing

Highly plastic stem cells
More versatile than adult stem cells
Could grow perfect-match replacement organs
Doesn’t devalue life
Analogous to organ transplants
Transplants are a good thing
Trafficking in organs is a different issue
Hinges on moral status of embryo
If embryo is a person, it must consent
Adult stem cells are already viable

Success cases
Parkinson's
Spinal cord injury
Issues
Not dependable - could hold mutated DNA
Not plastic
Only grow into similar tissues
Unable to source for some types of tissues
Limited supply

Loss of future life

Do not interfere if a blastocyst would go on to future life unaided
Utilitarianism: maximize future life

Arguments Against

Adult stem cells are already viable
Loss of Future Life

Embryos in question are IVF embryos
Conceived in a lab
Have no possibility of future life unless they are implanted in a host
Failure to create life is not morally problematic
Those who were not created cannot object, because they do not exist

Loss of Future Life: Counterpoint
Cloning is Natural

Identical twins
Identical twins have the same DNA
Cloning produces results equivalent to an identical twin but do not rely on chance
A clone is born the same way as a baby
The egg with donor DNA is implanted and then born the natural way

Helps infertile parents
Reproductive cloning can produce children asexually
The mother or father would contribute their own DNA
This also applies to lesbian and gay couples
Their children would be identical to one of the parents

Perfect Tissue Matches
Same DNA
Produces the same tissue and organs

Useful when there is an already sick family member
My Sister’s Keeper

Redress
Reproductive Cloning
Cloning is natural
Helps infertile parents
Perfect tissue matches
Redress for lost children

Stage 4
75-80% of embryos are naturally miscarried in women

Life doesn't begin at conception

NIH says 50%

Birth is when person hood is granted
Children who have died
Parents might want to clone as a remedy
Child would be identical physically

Arguments Against
1. Violates ethics of human research
2. Mortality rate
3. Psychological issues
Mitchell S Gilbert
List of Texts - Other Options
Violates ethics of human research

Rights - Unborn infant
not able to give consent
not able to end participation at any time
absence protection from physical, mental or emotional harm

Mortality rate
Unsafe
At least 95% of mammalian cloning experiments have resulted in failures - miscarriages, stillbirths, and life-threatening anomalies.

Psychological issues

Childhood of clones
Clones would be likely to be raised “in the shadow” of their nuclear donor
This would constrain the development of the clone (psychologically and socially)

List of Texts - Other Options
Adoption

Instead of cloning another person, why not adopt a child who needs help?

The Bible uses the word "adoption" over and over



Rom. 8:14-16, Gal. 4:4-6
As seen from the verses already referenced, many of these can be indirectly applied through implication or inference.
Relevance and Application
DIRECT APPLICATION

Since there was no such thing as cloning back in Biblical times, the Bible does not address this topic directly. There are no direct passages telling Christians not to clone other humans. This makes the issue very tricky when thinking through from a Christian worldview.

What do we do with the issue of cloning?


Recognizing this fact, the best thing Christians can do is look at verses that lead to implications and inferences.
Kristen Renwick Monroe
"Fundamentals of the Stem Cell Debate"

Blastocyst is not a person

Embryo is human, not a human person

Loss of Future Life argument

Stem cell research respects embryos as potential human beings


Michael Ruse

Cloning is a natural process

Arguments against cloning
Reproductive
Asexual
Sovereignty: God opens and closes wombs… it is not sin to be unable to have children
Love: Does not seem to consider psychological problems of cloned child (“belated twin” of parent, child of one parent, etc.)
Sanctity of life: Potentially devalues/cheapens human life (viewed as products)
Family Structure: Possibly goes against intentions God put in place with sexual reproduction in context of marriage



Arguments against cloning
Reproductive
IVF Twinning
Sovereignty: God opens and closes wombs… it is not sin to be unable to have children
Love: Might have some psychological effects on child (test tube baby, viewed as a “spare child”, etc.)
Sanctity of life: Potentially devalues/cheapens human life (viewed as products)
Family Structure: Possibly goes against intentions God put in place with sexual reproduction in context of marriage


Arguments against cloning
Therapeutic
Sovereignty: God is able to heal and take life. Nothing slips by His sight.
Sanctity of life: If life begins at conception, which seems safest to say, it values the life of the diseased/injured over the life of the unborn baby.
Love: Helping people with diseases is loving, but killing the innocent is not.
THE ENDS DON'T JUSTIFY THE MEANS

Cons
Robin K Sterns, Ph.D.

Decreases genetic variability

All types of cloning are not creations of life but transfers
The development of cloning requires a lot of testing

There isn't any way to understand the possible future effects of cloning

No mystery in childbirth
Could lead to eugenics
The purpose of sexual reproduction is creating genetic variability
Allocating resources takes resources from somewhere else
Cloning could make humans just tools (organ/marrow donor)


Cons
Tamara L Roleff

It would be immoral to ban a technology with so much healing potential (therapeutic cloning)

Reduces clones to status of manufactured products

Identity issues for cloned children

We can already use adult stem cells to cure diseases without embryonic stem cells

Any line we draw will be arbitrary
Bible is not explicit in saying when life begins

Reproductive Cloning
Likely psychological problems
We're doing God's job by replicating life and customizing it
Higher Mortality Rate
Violates Ethics of Human Research
NO
Therapeutic Cloning
Ehhh...?
During blastocyst stage, opinions differ on whether or not that stage is considered a human being when compared to the aspects of personhood.
Weigh In on Therapeutic Cloning
For

The blastocyst does not exhibit signs of personhood:
Autonomy
Self-consciousness
Self-awareness
Lacking a memory

Great potential for healing
Research is respectful of embryos


Against
Life begins in the womb, but we do not know the exact point.

Scripture is silent on this issue, so using blastocysts in this way is risky business.
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