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What are your opinions on reproductive human cloning?

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Durius
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What are your opinions on reproductive human cloning?

Postby Durius » Mon Nov 13, 2023 3:12 am

There are several ethical and philosophical objections to human cloning. Some based on medical arguments, such as the possible occurrence of unpredictable of health hazards, some are social or political, such as fears that people born from cloning would either be considered second class citizens or instrumentalized by the government or authority that were birthing the clones, and some are religious (mostly Christian) in nature, arguing that it violates the sanctity of life or it challenges the concept of nuclear family.

Two decades ago, this debate was at its peak, with several (mostly Christian) nations banning human cloning and the United Nations deeming it illegal in some instances and reaching a non-binding statement in 2005 against it, though the voting was very split. The reason I bring back this debate is because the science and society have changed a lot in the past two decades, some of the arguments feel now outdated. There are also other points in favor of human cloning, in case that the main objections can be addressed, such as reversing population decline or providing means for parents who cannot procreate to have children. So I would like to see what is NS' opinion on the matter.

Going in order, although the medical argument makes sense, medical science is evolving very fast. I fully agree that when performing human cloning, ethically we should be very careful to monitoring the process to avoid unintended consequences, but I do think that we might reach the point where genetically assisted pregnancies can become safe if not safer than natural pregnancies. However, the argument that in order to reach functional human cloning we would need to engage in likely unethical experiments remains a strong point against the practice, in my view.

Regarding the second objection, I'm going to assume that strong laws are put in place in order to ensure the rights of people born by cloning. In fact, I would even argue that governments who seek to instrumentalize human cloning are more likely to not care about the ethical concerns around it and pursue the practice anyway. That being the case, I would rather have governments who are ethically conscious enough to ban it to set the law (which might even become an international standard) about the rights of cloned people.

And then we reached the third, which is, in my opinion, the one that is the most outdated. Some users in NS will certainly screech at this, but the fact is that Christian viewpoints, despite still influential, have lost a lot of ground in majority-Christian societies. The morality of those societies have changed and increasingly see many of the Christian dogmas obsolete. And it were exactly the Christian world that drove the main opposition to human cloning (in fact to any type of cloning or genetic manipulation) decades ago. But nowadays, it's simply a fact that ideas like sanctity of life or what constitutes a nuclear family differ from what the Christian dogma preaches. Thus, I do think that this opens the debate to whether the religious arguments against human cloning still hold in today's societies.

Note, I'm not making a case in favor of human cloning. I feel I still have to read some more pros and cons before taking a definite positions. But I do think it is an interesting debate to be held and that it should be held without being considered a taboo. So, what are your opinions on human cloning?

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Technoscience Leftwing
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Postby Technoscience Leftwing » Mon Nov 13, 2023 3:38 am

* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.
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* Pro: technicalism, social equality, cosmopolitanism, scientific atheism, revolutionism, emancipation.
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Tangatarehua
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Postby Tangatarehua » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:07 am

I feel like the last thing the world needs is for humans to find even more ways to self-replicate. It's hard enough trying to convince people to take the pill/use a little rubber thingy/keep your legs closed and now your, I mean, "our" species might develop the ability to replicate like bacteria?

But I mean apart from that, it's fine. I like seeing technology march ahead, even if I can't think of any practical use for human cloning.
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Durius
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Postby Durius » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:19 am

Technoscience Leftwing wrote:* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.

I think the ruling elite would be rather happy that protestors chose not to reproduce, ensuring that their ideals die with them instead of being passed on to newer generations. Furthermore, if they exist in a society that is capable of ignoring popular demands, then they can decide, without any popular input, whether to implement human cloning, so saying that it should be banned in such a society is a meaningless statement.
Last edited by Durius on Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Terra Magnifica Gloria
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Postby Terra Magnifica Gloria » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:27 am

I don’t see a difference between human cloning and regular birth
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Technoscience Leftwing
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Postby Technoscience Leftwing » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:35 am

Durius wrote:
Technoscience Leftwing wrote:* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.

I think the ruling elite would be rather happy that protestors chose not to reproduce, ensuring that their ideals die with them instead of being passed on to newer generations.


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Postby Fractalnavel » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:16 am

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Pale Dawn
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Postby Pale Dawn » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:38 am

There are plenty of good reasons not to clone. In particular I feel Tang explained why it just isn't helpful and we dont have a good reason for it. So let me be the one who decries it as immoral warping of life and the sanctity of human life.

It is an attempt to usurpate Godliness and should remain illegal in all cases.
Last edited by Pale Dawn on Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Entropan
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Postby Entropan » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:42 am

the only real ethical problem with reproductive human cloning would be the idea of who controls the cloning. three scenarios evolve from this question, bearing similar ethical problems in their own manner, despite some being better than others.

option 1: private control of cloning

in this option, corporate entities are allowed to clone humans, with, naturally, a regulatory oversight committee on such practices. even if there is a ban placed on using cloning for industrial purposes, e.g to fill employment or work factory lines, there is no level of regulation that could warrant trust being placed on such private entities to act in the public purpose. corporations cannot be trusted. the public good that would come from human cloning (simply as an alternate means of birth, maybe to boost birth rates when birth rates falter and to halt general increases in the average age) is directly counter to the corporate motives for doing so (maximising the output of clones). this is most likely the worst option.

option 2.1: government control of cloning

in this option, private cloning is banned, and the government, through a subsidiary program of a universal healthcare service, directly controls cloning. despite the government being a more benevolent actor than private corporations, there are similar ethical problems with this. the government does not act purely in the public purpose. the government acts with its own public policy agendas in mind. it does not have the full information required to make decisions, at the swipe of a keyboard, to add more people. the machinations of governance, those halls of bureaucracy, don't have the actual experience, despite the good intentions those at the helm may have.

option 2.2: public control of cloning

however, from the previous option, a better option could arise. we could devolve responsibilities for such cloning policy to local councils, in which the actual effects of this population increase would take hold. the central government would promise to these devolved authorities all the resources to provide for burgeoning clone population, including housing, healthcare resources, food, water, electricity, public transportation links, etc, and local authorities could decide on their policy regarding clones, and where these clones are sent. perhaps, when combined with some form of direct/participatory democratic decision making over this matter, this could arise to be the least-bad option, utilising cloning technologies to their best extent.

this is a very very tricky matter, and all steps should be incremental to avoid problems of overpopulation, prejudice, and industrialised production. clones need to have the same legal status as other humans, programs need to be incremental, policy needs to be tight and not fall to common myths of private sector infallibility that would cause major humanitarian disaster. a very interesting policy area, that needs to be tightly controlled and managed from the start, as it could go wrong very easily.

so a conclusion would be that cloning should be legal, but heavily regulated and devolved to the control of local governmental authorities.
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Entropan
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Postby Entropan » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:44 am

Technoscience Leftwing wrote:* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.


very warped argumentation here, basing policy off of possible scenarios should popular protest take the form of an insignificant amount of people doing something that would take decades to see the effect of
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The Sovereign Republic of Sol
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Postby The Sovereign Republic of Sol » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:44 am

Pale Dawn wrote:There are plenty of good reasons not to clone. In particular I feel Tang explained why it just isn't helpful and we dont have a good reason for it. So let me be the one who decries it as immoral warping of life and the sanctity of human life.

Human life has no sanctity, though I do agree that we don't yet have a use case for humans, endangered species though, that could be very useful if we want to buy the species more time to get a mating pair.
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Postby The Sovereign Republic of Sol » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:48 am

Pale Dawn wrote:It is an attempt to usurpate Godliness and should remain illegal in all cases.

You mean the big sky narcissist?
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Last edited by The Sovereign Republic of Sol on Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Saarenmaa » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:48 am

I'd like a clone to do everything for me and to be completely trustworthy and safe for me.
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Pale Dawn
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Postby Pale Dawn » Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:48 am

The Sovereign Republic of Sol wrote:
Pale Dawn wrote:There are plenty of good reasons not to clone. In particular I feel Tang explained why it just isn't helpful and we dont have a good reason for it. So let me be the one who decries it as immoral warping of life and the sanctity of human life.

Human life has no sanctity, though I do agree that we don't yet have a use case for humans, endangered species though, that could be very useful if we want to buy the species more time to get a mating pair.


I believe life is sacred. I understand you do not share that beleif. I will not try to convince you otherwise but you expected this stance against cloning and I represent it.
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Durius
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Postby Durius » Mon Nov 13, 2023 7:30 am

Pale Dawn wrote:There are plenty of good reasons not to clone. In particular I feel Tang explained why it just isn't helpful and we dont have a good reason for it. So let me be the one who decries it as immoral warping of life and the sanctity of human life.

It is an attempt to usurpate Godliness and should remain illegal in all cases.

Thank you for being the one taking that stance. Now we can all move on to discuss the more interesting ones.

Entropan wrote:-- snip --

That's a beautiful exposition. Yeah, the complexity of regulation needed to prevent abuse or ensure an ethical treatment of clones might be one indeed main reasons counterarguments about attempting widespread human cloning. I might have hand-waved the answers to those concerns a bit too much.
Last edited by Durius on Mon Nov 13, 2023 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Floofybit » Mon Nov 13, 2023 9:00 am

It shouldn't exist


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Postby Technoscience Leftwing » Mon Nov 13, 2023 9:20 am

Entropan wrote:
Technoscience Leftwing wrote:* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.


very warped argumentation here, basing policy off of possible scenarios should popular protest take the form of an insignificant amount of people doing something that would take decades to see the effect of


Protest not only “can take this form,” but... in tyrannical countries it only takes this form, because all other forms are suppressed. :( But to the best of their ability they are trying to suppress even this form, through restrictions on abortion and contraception.
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Rusozak
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Postby Rusozak » Mon Nov 13, 2023 9:21 am

You want the overpopulated species that can't stop breeding to reproduce even faster with an artificial method that leaves a lot of room for complications? No thanks.
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Edush
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Postby Edush » Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:00 am

I have nothing against it in theory, if medically everything is alright and sociopolitically we make sure those cloned humans would be treated equally to their non-cloned human counterparts and be protected from abuse. I don't really care about the religious argument that much so, if the mentioned factors are checked, then I can say I support reproductive human cloning.
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Postby Sannyamathland » Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:35 am

Technoscience Leftwing wrote:* I am a socialist, a materialist, but I am against human cloning.
* The fact is that refusal to bear children is a tool of class struggle in the hands of ordinary people.
* If the ruling elite (oligarchy, bureaucracy) cruelly treats the people, then a form of popular protest can be childlessness, a conscious refusal to bear children under the slogan “descendants should not live worse than their ancestors”, “provide us with material well-being, and only then will we give birth” .
* When cloning is used, the people are deprived of this leverage over the rulers. And in addition, rulers can depreciate the cost of labor by creating huge armies of slaves, soldiers and the unemployed (“reserve labor army”), as a result of which the life of the people will deteriorate sharply, because there will be pittance wages and fierce competition for jobs.
* To avoid such a scenario, human cloning should be banned.

What is it with you tankies trying to connect literally everything in this world to class struggle?

"So you are saying that guy is unable to reproduce because he has erectile disfunction? Nah, you don't get it, he is waging a class struggle by refusing to have children."
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Fractalnavel
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Postby Fractalnavel » Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:47 am

This looks like it is missing a definition of "cloning" etc. Some (most?) arguments here appear to be referring to the topic of artificial wombs / birth, not clones. (or maybe animal wombs?)

With today's tech, 'cloning' would use techniques nearly identical to IVF to bring to term. The only difference is the origin of the embryo. It would merely be another path to treating infertility.

- It is not something that governments or corporations could 'control' to create separate populations.
- It does not address demographics issues (unless you were to forcibly impregnate people, totally separate issue).

It's just genetic material used to conceive, that's all. Sure, the result might resemble the parent more than the usual child, but so what?

One new possibility does arise, however: women could conceive without contribution of male genetic material. That's where the discussion could get interesting (and maybe the only interesting part). A world without males is technically possible.

ets: It occurs to me that a cloning process may run afoul of some surrogacy laws. That might be an interesting legal angle.
Last edited by Fractalnavel on Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rosiania
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Postby Rosiania » Mon Nov 13, 2023 10:49 am

I'm all for human cloning
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Postby Stellar Colonies » Mon Nov 13, 2023 11:11 am

Fractalnavel wrote:...
One new possibility does arise, however: women could conceive without contribution of male genetic material. That's where the discussion could get interesting (and maybe the only interesting part). A world without males is technically possible.
...

Contemplating deliberate genocide is not a legitimate discussion though, so I think it is something we can safely disregard.
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Durius
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Postby Durius » Mon Nov 13, 2023 11:14 am

Fractalnavel wrote:This looks like it is missing a definition of "cloning" etc. Some (most?) arguments here appear to be referring to the topic of artificial wombs / birth, not clones. (or maybe animal wombs?)

I don't see any arguments that are referring to artificial wombs or birth.

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Khoikhoia
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Postby Khoikhoia » Mon Nov 13, 2023 11:15 am

No, it would lead to less variation in the human species, and eventually lead to its premature extinction. There's a reason we reproduce sexually.
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