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The Problems of Cloning -- How Can It Change the World

Updated: May 10

A group of people moving together.

Cloning may seem like something out of science fiction, but it has been done before and may be done again in the future. In fact, scientists have successfully cloned a sheep, Dolly, in 1996.

While cloning may have some potential benefits, it also raises a number of ethical concerns.

For example, some people worry that clones may be treated as property or tools, rather than as individuals with their own rights and freedoms. Additionally, cloning could be used to create "designer babies," which could lead to a society where people are valued for their genetic makeup rather than their individual qualities.

Despite these concerns, some people believe that cloning could have a number of potential benefits. For example, cloning could be used to create organs or tissues for transplantation, or to create clones of endangered species. Additionally, cloning could be used to create clones of people who have died, which could provide comfort to their loved ones.

The clone in question does not have to be an adult human being; just use an embryo or even a few human cells and you will save yourself from having to look for other people to be your test subjects. Whether or not cloning is moral, I suppose we can agree that it can significantly help advance science in the fields of genetics, biological engineering, and even social studies and psychology. But whether or not it is ethical to experiment in the name of science on clones, is up for serious debate.

This raises the philosophical question of whether or not clones will have the same rights as "regular" humans have if they become more commonplace. After all, the premise is that the purpose of cloning is for scientific research. However, this does not have to mean that clones cannot exist among us and act just like us. After all, a clone is supposed to be a "perfect" copy, and thus, a human. The only difference is that the clone's "parents" are their engineers.

If clones will have the same rights as "normal" people, then it will be very difficult to agree that they (the clones) should be used for research purposes without their consent. Will you experiment on a human, as a scientist, that does not want to be experimented on? That applies to clones as well, because clones are humans too, and the fact that they were engineered does not change that fact.

There is also another problem with cloning that some might even find it relieving. If cloning will become commonplace, then there will be less of a need to biologically reproduce.

If you, for instance, can clone an adult human and teach them that they are distinct beings and show them how to operate in the world, then what need is there to spend 18 years of your life raising one or more children? In other words, cloning is far more efficient in creating the next generations of people than the orthodox way of reproducing, becoming pregnant for 9 months and then raising them.

In addition, when you clone someone, you can also enhance them or change some of their traits, and thus you have the power to not only create, but design. If militaries will have the ability to clone, they can create the next line of far-superior, genetically-engineered soldiers, putting away the need for fresh recruits and for teaching them the art of warfare. After all, when you can save time and resources by cloning a soldier that is already experienced in combat, why bother with fresh recruits in the first place?

That's not only exclusive to the military. If countries will have the power to clone, us "biologicals" might as well be put in the corner, while far superior clone versions of ourselves will be better clerks, doctors, teachers, and what not. Thus, should cloning become commonplace, there will be little to no need for sex beyond mere pleasure.

And according to the nature of this capitalist world, the better product or service will get the upper hand. It means that being a biological would be a liability, should we'll be able to engineer better workers than ourselves.

Cloning, while an effective method of creating people with far-more desired attributes, raises the question of whether or not they are equal to "actual" human beings. Will clones become slaves, all because they were engineered and not biologically-reproduced? But that will encourage slavery in the name of profit! Should clones be granted equal rights as the rest of humanity?

It's something that should be desired, but in the end clones wouldn't be created for naught, as they will be used as tools for certain purposes, just like artificial intelligence. You wouldn't see a robot drinking coffee in a coffee shop, would you? They were created to work, not for acting like "regular" people. So is the case, I'm afraid, with clones... Otherwise, there would not be a need to create them.

In other words, clones are some sort of "hybrids" between man and machine, but only metaphorically as they aren't necessarily cyborgs. This "hybrid" is expressed by the fact that they are indeed humans, but their purpose is "robotic" -- they were created for one or few purposes, and that's their "goal" in their existence. Beyond these goals, I'm afraid, they are practically meaningless, that is unless you wish to replace the need for biological reproduction completely.

Also, remember the following: a clone does not have to be an exact copy of someone. That copy can even be enhanced or have some of its flaws changed permanently, thus making them a far superior version of yourself. If clones become the next generations of employees, to the point of making them difficult to compete against, what will that say to us "biologicals"?

We, who were only designed by nature, ancestral genetics, and by socialization? Will we find ourselves unemployed because clones have dominated the workforce?

The answer, I'm afraid, is yes. Are you afraid that a robot would do a better job than you? Wait until you see a clone version of yourself doing the exact things you do -- but only far better.

Nature is a very flawed system. You have animals like cheetahs who are only good for running, praying mantises that are eaten during intercourse, and even a special kind of moths, called lunar moths, who have no mouth and are thus condemned to die by starvation. In nature, if you are a certain animal, you have less chance of survival, simply because you're that animal, or a specific gender of that specific animal.

What's awesome about science is that, with enough progress and development, it can enhance biology, and one of the ways it could do so is by cloning people, while removing their undesired traits and adding far-preferable characteristics instead. Ideal, indeed, but it will put the original biological beings at a significant disadvantage.

2023 afterthought: Clones won't necessarily be reliable for their purposes, because the engineers that make them might not be reliable themselves. They can be programmed to behave good and competently, only to show their true colors after a certain trigger.

(Like the clone army in Star Wars. The "Order 66" scene shows a good example for this point).

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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