I bet many of you have seen Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Multiplicity, or many of the other movies that describe cloning. Most of what you see in these movies is false. What you don't know if that cloning could be dangerous, to the clone and to our society as a whole. It's unethical to have a human clone.
What about identity? Humans are guaranteed the right to their own personality. What would happen if we overrode those rights by giving them someone else's genetic identity? True, personality is not bounded in someone's genes, but the clone would share any physical appearance or genetic defect of the cloned.
Also, there is a large power struggle here. Cloning involves a degree of power and control over another person's physical identity and that violates their rights and degrades their unique individuality. The person doing the cloning would have more power than any parent would have.
Cloning would also deal with killing embryos. You might not have known, but Dolly, the sheep that was cloned in 1996, was one of over 200 sheep embryos and hers was the only embryo that survived. The rest died or were thrown away. Imagine if the failure rate was that high when we started to clone humans. More than 200 embryos, the start of 200 human beings, would die for the sake of just one embryo that would have the same DNA as some one else.
Cloning someone, at this present time, would be extremely dangerous to the birth mother and the clone. In studies done on cows, 4 out of 12 birth mothers died. There is also a very high abnormality rate for the clone. There is a very high failure rate, which is showed in the cloning of Dolly. Even if you had a few good embryos, miscarriages have been prominent in animal tests.
So, should we forge ahead in the world of cloning? I say no. The risks outweigh the benefits. It's dangerous to the clone and to the birth mother. We would be killing innocent human lives in the process as well. It would also be a violation of the clones right to its own genetic identity and individuality.
Morals and Ethics of Cloning
Cloning is the process of taking cells from a donor, placing them in a culture dish where the nutrients are minimal, so the cells stop dividing and switch their "active genes". The cells are then put next to an unfertilized egg. The nucleus is sucked out of the egg leaving an empty egg cell containing all the cellular machinery necessary to produce an embryo. An electric shock is used to fuse the egg and cell together. A second shock is then used to mimic the act of fertilization and help begin cell division. After the egg has successfully moved to the stage of an embryo it is then placed in to the uterus of a surrogate mother. When born, all the genes are the same as the donor of the cell.


In 1997 Dr. Ian Wilmut, a British scientist successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly. This turned the scientific world upside-down. The success of the experiment is considered by all as an amazing achievement in science. However, ethics and morals must surface to regulate cloning. It is understood that individuality is the most important part of life. Individuality is given to a person at birth and considered a right they will have for rest of their life. There is also a fear that the clone may only be produced to live the life of the clone, thus causing severe emotional damage as well pain and suffering for the clone. The progression of the clone may be limited, the advance in idea development will slowly die off. Evolution could come to a halt, because with clones, diversity will be limited and there will not be as many advances in society. The cells, in all humans, will all be the same and there will not be a process of natural selection and diversity.

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Another controversial question facing the cloning process is: How will the clones be treated? The emotions of the clones need to be taken in to consideration, after all they are humans too. "What is common to these various views, however, is a shared understanding that being a 'person' is different from being the manipulated 'object' of other peoples desires and expectations"(Biomedical Ethics). People, as clones, will be studied, prodded, and poked which in turn will cause much unwanted anxiety and emotional distress. There will also be problems with relationships between parents and the clone for understandable reasons. It will bring up a lot of unwelcome stress for the clone when one "parent" is an anonymous donor of an egg and the other is Dr. Frankenstein. Some may argue that a child is a child and the parents should love their child unconditionally. However, the bond between the clone and the parents who care for the clone may have awkward encounters. The love and affection that is provided for most children will not be the same due to the fact that the clone is considered to be more of an experiment rather than a child. Another argument may be that artificial insemination has already took the step of engineering babies. However, artificial insemination is used for parents who can not have children but feel they could provide a loving environment for them.
Despite the abundant differences and backgrounds of the world today all most people agree that coitus (sex), is the naturally preferred way to conceive a child. With the cloning process the necessity to have coitus will not be needed. "Is there something about the individual that is lost when the mystical act of conceiving a person becomes standardized into a mere act of photocopying one" (Time)? The parent's will not have to conceive a child, just order one from a catalog and have it arrive next day air. It will take away the personal feeling and romance that having "a child of your own" creates. Part of the bliss of having a child is the mystery behind it. Is it a boy? A girl? Who does it look like? Cloning will take away from the pleasures that have been happening for countless years and the elements of surprise will fade in to mail order babies.


Another very touchy issue is the question of, is the medical world taking to much control? It is stated by scientists that if they are allowed to clone people, one won't have to worry about organ donations or blood drives in order for people to survive. The scientists will simply clone an organ and replace the faulty one in the human. As simple as this seems, the issue of who they can use to clone comes up. Finding the ideal person to clone is hard enough, now try to get one with the right blood type, size, and gender. The numbers decrease and it seems as if the scientists would have to clone someone for each person. If this is true, would the clones be stored somewhere, or able to roam around the world until they were needed to fill their role? Once again the rights of the clones come up and the thought of clone farms creates a sort of "yuck" factor for everyone.


According to Time Magazine, "Out of 277 tries, the researchers eventually produced only 29 embryos that survived longer than six days" out of the remaining 29 only one survived and was born. The percentage is very low leaving people wondering if it is even worth the time and effort put in. "Some clones may indeed be growing old before their time"(U.S. News). The research states that the clones will not live a whole life due to the one cell that has been cloned is older and effects the rest of the clones cells making them advance prematurely.Instead of using science to lengthen the life of a human cloning will decrease the length of life by half.


Scientists need to reconsider how they are manipulating the world. Based on the information provided through the research, doctors should step back and take a look at the morals and ethics of cloning humans and evaluate if it is really worth the risk doctors are taking.


Bibliography
Biomedical Ethics Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 1998
Cloning (1998). How to Clone a Human (Version 1.1). On-line Biofact November 8, 1999. Available: http://www.biofact.com/cloning/human.html
Cloning (1998). Human Cloning Plans. On-line NPRNovember 8, 1999 Available: http://www.npr.org/news/health/980106.cloning.html
"Dolly, Polly, Gene-send in the clones" Science News. January 23, 1997. pp.127
Cloning (1999). Should Cloning Be Banned? On-line ReasonsNovember 5, 1999 Available: http://www.reasons.com /biclone.html
Kluger, Jeffrey. "Goodbye, Dolly" TimeJune 7, 1999. pp.70
Nash, J. "The Age of Cloning" Time March 10, 19997. pp.60-75
Macklin, Ruth. "Human cloning? Don't just say no". U.S. News &World Report. March10, 1997. pp. 64
Couzin, Jennifer "What's Killing The Clones?" U.S. News & World Report. May24, 1999. pp.65
The Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy once said, "Where technology is used in ways that threaten the access of all human persons to these basic goods, where it undermines principle of the equal worth and dignity of persons, or where it creates the illusion of total human control over and responsibility for human destiny, we believe that it becomes a destructive and morally corrupting force." Because I agree with the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy I have to negate today's resolution which states Resolved: That Human Genetic Engineering is Morally Justified.
{I would like to challenge the affirmative on the following definitions taken from Webster's Dictionary and Webster's American College Dictionary:
*genetic engineering- the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of an organism.
*morally- to right conduct or duties
*justified- defensible; excusable}
For today's round I will support the value of individuality. Individuality is defined as the character or property peculiar to an individual, that quality which distinguishes one person from another. When we uphold the resolution we lose our individuality because cloning and the manipulation of genes will take away that distinctive existence by making people similar and totally changing that person's characteristics.
I will support my value through the criterian of cost benefit analysis. Cost benefit analysis is a theory based on the fact that something is if the benefits outweigh the costs. Genetic engineering is not moral because it leads to a loss of individuality and hurts society with no definite benefits.
I will negate the resolution with two contentions: Human Genetic Engineering would lead to the loss of individuality and the loss of individuality would hurt society.
Let's first direct our attention to Contention One: Human Genetic Engineering would lead to the loss of individuality.
It would do this by changing the individual drastically. Human genetic engineering would allow parents to choose the characteristics of their child. Already we can change the gender and eventually we could probably change even more. This is not moral when you take something and change it into something that is completely different. We should not be able to choose "options" in our children as if they were cars. According to Dr. Mark Palmer, "A human's genes actually control about 65% of a human's personality." We would not only change the physical aspects but also the physiological aspects. Every person is made of different characteristics that makes them unique or special. If they are so easily changed we lose this uniqueness. As the Mennonite Central Committee Canada once said, "When persons are the products of our technological interventions, we tend to view their "undesirable" characteristics as unfortunate human failures rather than as marks of their intrinsic worth as individuals." Not only would human genetic engineering lower individuality it would also hurt society which brings me to
Contention Two: The loss of individuality would hurt society.
Society would be hurt if we lose this individuality. Genetic engineering would allow for the choice of gender for their children. This could create a drastic difference in the boy-girl ratios in some countries. According to Michael D. Lemonick, "Sex selection will undoubtedly raise knotty issues as well. Societies that value boys more highly than girls, including China and India, are already out of balance; this could tip the scales even further." Also cloning could also hurt society. They would all have the same genes and very little individuality. If a clone were to commit a crime, it would be hard to punish anyone for the crime because the clones would look exactly alike and even have the same DNA. Unfortunately, the problems run deeper than uneven balances and unanswered to crimes. As David C. Reardon once said, "Some proponents of human engineering have proposed ideas that would drastically alter society in known and unknown ways. Among other proposals, proponents of human engineering have suggested the following: the cloning of organ donors that would be mutilated or destroyed for the benefit of others; the genetic creation of a half-human slave race to serve human kind; the genetic creation of specialized humans who would be designed to undertake dangerous environmental or combat situations; the design of a genetically "superior" super-race with the concurrent elimination of genetically distinct groups of human beings whom proponents of human engineering would classify as genetically inferior." Genetic engineering clearly would harm society by taking away our individuality.
I will now move on to my opponent's case.
In conclusion, I have given you two specific reasons and gone over my opponent's case to show why we must negate the resolution. {recap as time allows}. For all these reasons I must agree with Jeremy Rifkin when he said "Once we decide to begin the process of human genetic engineering, there is really no logical place to stop."
I am now open for cross examination.
A reply to a quote by a musician on the impact of technology. It kind of taints the argument when you realise that it was written on a computer to an imaginary audience in a lonely room on Christmas day :( For lack of a better conversationalist, it beat the hell out of wallowing in my own mind... it was interesting to debate the potential to use technology constructively.


I think technology went wrong somewhere. It just went into the wrong direction. Instead of helping us and freeing us, it seems to enslave us. That's what I talk about in "Grievance," about the dangers and what a lot of people don't see or don't want to see. There's the line. For every tool they lend us a loss of independence and it's true. Everything happens so fast. The technology is supposed to make everything simple, easy. It tries to make us believe that it's some sort of freedom we have. Of course, it's easy and comfortable if you can do all your shopping via the internet, if you don't need to leave the house to do anything. But, on the other hand, what is going to happen? You lose touch with people. You don't meet new people except on the internet and whatever you do can be traced. They know everything about you; they know what you buy; they know which papers you read, how long you stay on a page and they look at your statistics and they're going to offer you the products they think you might buy most of them you don't really need anyway. What is going to happen to individuality?
Individuality will survive as long as wills strive to be unique. The internet provides an immense opportunity for expression and contact, and the primary influence working against us is our desire for convenience. Granted the companies with strong brand loyalty and budgets have the power to abuse their status, but they do that anyway. Everytime you turn around it seems the world has been corrupted by commercialism. It is up to individuals to choose the option that is more useful, affordable, appealing or otherwise respectful.
The benefits of global communication turn a computer screen into a window to the world. You only have the information and alternatives of which you are aware. The internet puts great knowledge and entertainment at the fingertips of anyone with access to a connected computer. That requirement seriously limits the audience to a basic education and income level, but it helps level the playing field for anyone who can step up to the plate. Abilities and influence will grow as new generations have the chance to learn the technologies while they're young.
Yeah we know they're watching us out there. But they're watching us everywhere we go. Only those values held close to heart can can escape the influence of corporations and politicians. Even then society will attempt to abuse and pervert the privilege until it is conforms to their intentions. The web gives us the freedom to communicate with people that otherwise would be inaccessible. Both sides of that subject are open for misuse but the balance is rather pleasant.
A few minor flaws in an optimistic future of the little guys. People can band together when they find others that support their values, beliefs or goals. Sure the environment is rather seclusive sitting in front of an inanimate machine, but the potential for exposure is immeasurable. The ability to exchange ideas across the distances as though we were all neighbours. These tools can provide a luxurious opportunity to explore individuality. Although care needs to be given to combat the tendencies to take advantages for granted.
Then again, nothing is simple. To rationalize the impact of technology in a few mere words is a frustrating task. The exponential effects are not so subtle anymore. The ability to conceptualize linking the elements of music together would not have been possible without the advances of the internet. There will always be glory for the music, only now maybe it can reach more people more easily. Credit is deserved for a medium that can allow people to exercise their passions and comfort their concerns.
Another biased opinion of course.

Where there is will, there is hope.

A reply to a quote by a musician on the impact of technology. It kind of taints the argument when you realise that it was written on a computer to an imaginary audience in a lonely room on Christmas day :( For lack of a better conversationalist, it beat the hell out of wallowing in my own mind... it was interesting to debate the potential to use technology constructively.


I think technology went wrong somewhere. It just went into the wrong direction. Instead of helping us and freeing us, it seems to enslave us. That's what I talk about in "Grievance," about the dangers and what a lot of people don't see or don't want to see. There's the line. For every tool they lend us a loss of independence and it's true. Everything happens so fast. The technology is supposed to make everything simple, easy. It tries to make us believe that it's some sort of freedom we have. Of course, it's easy and comfortable if you can do all your shopping via the internet, if you don't need to leave the house to do anything. But, on the other hand, what is going to happen? You lose touch with people. You don't meet new people except on the internet and whatever you do can be traced. They know everything about you; they know what you buy; they know which papers you read, how long you stay on a page and they look at your statistics and they're going to offer you the products they think you might buy most of them you don't really need anyway. What is going to happen to individuality?
Individuality will survive as long as wills strive to be unique. The internet provides an immense opportunity for expression and contact, and the primary influence working against us is our desire for convenience. Granted the companies with strong brand loyalty and budgets have the power to abuse their status, but they do that anyway. Everytime you turn around it seems the world has been corrupted by commercialism. It is up to individuals to choose the option that is more useful, affordable, appealing or otherwise respectful.
The benefits of global communication turn a computer screen into a window to the world. You only have the information and alternatives of which you are aware. The internet puts great knowledge and entertainment at the fingertips of anyone with access to a connected computer. That requirement seriously limits the audience to a basic education and income level, but it helps level the playing field for anyone who can step up to the plate. Abilities and influence will grow as new generations have the chance to learn the technologies while they're young.
Yeah we know they're watching us out there. But they're watching us everywhere we go. Only those values held close to heart can can escape the influence of corporations and politicians. Even then society will attempt to abuse and pervert the privilege until it is conforms to their intentions. The web gives us the freedom to communicate with people that otherwise would be inaccessible. Both sides of that subject are open for misuse but the balance is rather pleasant.
A few minor flaws in an optimistic future of the little guys. People can band together when they find others that support their values, beliefs or goals. Sure the environment is rather seclusive sitting in front of an inanimate machine, but the potential for exposure is immeasurable. The ability to exchange ideas across the distances as though we were all neighbours. These tools can provide a luxurious opportunity to explore individuality. Although care needs to be given to combat the tendencies to take advantages for granted.
Then again, nothing is simple. To rationalize the impact of technology in a few mere words is a frustrating task. The exponential effects are not so subtle anymore. The ability to conceptualize linking the elements of music together would not have been possible without the advances of the internet. There will always be glory for the music, only now maybe it can reach more people more easily. Credit is deserved for a medium that can allow people to exercise their passions and comfort their concerns.
Another biased opinion of course.

Where there is will, there is hope.
Response Paper #5
Neuromancer
Why Neuromancer is Cyberpunk
Science fiction somehow manages to place human characters in situations where the ideas and the thoughts of science and morality are intertwined. Science fiction must have some idea components and some human components to be successful. This novel seems to be a contrast to the believers in technological progress as it presents a colorful, but depressing and desolate future. The loss of individuality due to technological advances becomes a major theme in cyberpunk. This presents a dismal view of the individual in society. The cyberpunk genre developed from a new kind of integration. The overlapping of worlds that were formerly separate: the realm of high tech, and the modern pop underground (p. 345) 1. Neuromancer not only falls into this category, it may be the first cyberpunk novel ever written.
Gibsons prose is too dense and tangled for casual readers, such as myself. His characters are shallow and stereotyped. The character Case has no purpose apart from existing in cyberspace and abusing drugs. Molly, his companion, is a mercenary with questionable morals. John Christie seems to agree with my analysis of this novel: Gibson constructs characters which are themselves flat images, beings of no psychological depth, but whose interest and significance derive from their semiotic lineage, in comic, film, pulp crime fiction, and other science fiction (p. 46) 2.(Gibson offers his readers a dystopian novel) (by presenting a cyberpunk world where things are generally bleak and they will become worse with time and technology.)
Cyberpunk is supposed to be the vision of a new technological world. However, the negative portrayal of the integration of technology and society is a fundamental tenet of the literature. This presents a pessimistic view of scientific advancement. The genres dark tones, seen repeatedly in Neuromancer, emphasize the bleak images throughout the futuristic fiction. The constant conflict between the individual and a technologically advanced society is a major theme as it stresses mans insignificance. These characteristics are interwoven into the fabric of cyberpunk and form a bleak image of science fiction and the future. Gibson is very vague when describing the specific architecture and nuances of technology used in the designs of the futuristic objects. This lack of definite details is due to the fact that cyberpunk literature resists the concepts of technology.
The basic precepts of the cyberpunk genre consists of technology as hindrance to man, stories that are saturated in dark and dreary themes, and a character, Case, that will either fail or conform to a structured society. Unlike the optimistic attitude that classical science fiction has toward technology, cyberpunk literature treats this issue as a major problem to the individual in society. Technology inhibits the development of Cases character. Case can be considered amoral with a tremendous disdain for authority. He is not above using drugs and alcohol, as this helps him avoid existing in the real world. Instead, he exists in cyberspace, A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding (p. 51) 3.
Dismalness and dreariness of the cyberpunk genre help emphasize the doomed attempt of the individual to succeed in a futuristic society. This society stresses conformity and power. Neuromancer 3 seems to present a world where technology and science fiction are closing in on each other. The opening image of the book, comparing nature to technology, sets the tone of the narrative. Cases body, which he treats as almost an alien entity with which he is not on friendly terms, is a kind of case for his mind and for the cyberspace with which it fuses. It presents the cyberpunk obsession with mixing flesh and machinery. Individuals are predestined to fail when immersed in technology. What does this mean for my future when I am already so dependent upon technology in my everyday life? Will this destruction occur at the much talked about Y2K problem? Only time will tell.
Questions:
1. Why is Molly a strong and well-developed character, while Linda Lee is essentially a damsel in distress?
2. If technology is developed by man, why cant we control it instead of it always controlling us?