Opps crap, I think I may have accidently deleted my post when editing it. Thank goodness I have a second window open.
Some Definition are first necessary since while cloning is about always about replication it is never always about reproduction.
A) Therapeutic Cloning:
Creation of cloned embryos as a source of human cells that would be used to regenerate or replace diseased tissue. This is where stem cell research comes in.
B) Reproductive Cloning:
This is creation of a human being. And this is distinct from therapeutic cloning.
1) Harvesting Organs Myth
About the point on harvesting organs from a cloned human, that has NEVER been the means to get organs through cloning. When people mention about organ regeneration they are referring to therapeutic cloning not reproductive cloning.
2) Cloning as means of reproduction
Check out this book:
(Barones) Mary Warnock: Making Babies, Is There a Right to Have Children?http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/gen...03344&view=usa
Artificial insemination by husband or donor, in vitro fertilization and its related technology such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection for severe male infertility or gamete intra-fallopian transfer does not resolve all forms of infertility. And in certain instances infertility is not the main issue since the desire is to not pass on certain defective characteristic traits onto their child.
Another side point of course is what is the definition of infertility. The traditional definition refers to a hetrosexual couple but there is a movement away from such definition but that is another topic altogether.
3) Cloning technology not perfect
This is the current best argument against reproductive cloning at the moment. Until we can be sure about the safety of the technology it is best not to clone humans.
What then is the definition of safe? Well one would have to look to other fields in health and medical research for comparable answers. There are many procedures which are unnecessary for the health of the patient but not 100% safe yet are still being carried out. That is similar for phamaceuticals and such. The question is whether is it reasonably safe. After all reproducing the natural and I would say more enjoyable way is not 100% safe too. In fact the courts are often not willing to allow damages being claimed against a doctor who fail to inform the parents about minor defect in the foetus so that they can abort them because of the defect.
What of the child who falls outside and is born with a serious defect. I believe the answer would be the same as those cases relating to wrongful birth/life. The first point is that it is not possible to determine whether the child suffers any injury as that would require comparing the child's current disabled existence with a state of "non-existence." But recovery based on medical cost to treat or to help alleviate the disability is allowed.
Of course it is possible that 'people might be replicated (sic)against their will' although I cannot really see why would people go round reproducing people at random against their will. This is not attack of the clones. It is possible to go round abducting people and forcing them to undergo in vitro fertilization but the law does not prevent in vitro fertilization.
But even if there are people being replicated against their will I do not see why the current laws cannot deal with it. It all boils down to consent and we have a whole range of laws relating to consent. Consent needed to draw one's blood, do any medical treatment, etc. The only current problem which is being patched is with regards to donated human tissues, embryos and such. Now when such tissue, blood, embryos are donated the form tells the donor about its intended uses.
As for the point about the consent of the 'clone,' I again refer to my earlier point relating to wrong birth/life specifically how it is not possible to compare a person/clone from one a situation of non existence.
5) Religious Argument
I never really understood the phrase 'playing God.' Does it mean controlling life and death? Doctors when saving people do affect death and fertility treatment affects life/birth. In fact it can be reconciled. The spark of life is still started by God but cloning is an example of free will. Or another analogy God and evolution is not incompatible since it is God which started the spark and evolution or even God directed evolution that lead the way. What is to say that it is not God who is working through the hands of the cloning scientist to offer infertile people the gift of a precious child from God? After all God is suppose to be omnipotent. Maybe he first made the couple infertile so that after they go through the trials (like Job?) they would greatly treasure their precious gift of the child even more. After all, remember the phrase it is all part of the plan?
6) Unique individuals / Genetic diversity
Identical twins are already genetically similar. Furthermore as pointed out earlier genes only play a part in determining the character of a person, environment plays another part.
There is on possible danger of a fall in genetic diversity. But it is not probable as cloning even if it becomes as accepted as in vitro fertilization would play a small role. The bulk of reproduction would be done through natural means simply because it is cheaper and more enjoyable. And besides if the infertile person could not have a child then cloning would not destroy diversity but allow that particular set of gene to carry on.
7) Some other stuff which I cannot lump into any category
Article 11: Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights 1997: Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings shall not be permitted.
The question is of course is such a definition on human dignity based on a Judeo-Christian / Western analysis. Note that while I mention Judeo-Christian I am not referring specifically to religion per se since there are many people in the West who subsribe to Judeo Christian thought because of the way they are brought up and the society they live in. Population based polls have shown that people from the West or those whose religion is Christianity/Catholic based are more likely than people from the East to be against all form of cloning. Further studies are needed but the question is whether if it is indeed based on a Judeo-Christian belief, would a world ban on cloning be seen as another form of imperialism?
Currently you are seeing lots of research money and jobs being moved to Asia. So you have to wonder whether the rejection of cloning (therapeutic) is a notion that is more prevalent in the West than the East?
Bush approved a group of stem-cells 60 that can be used if one seeks federal funding. These stem-cells were the initial few created. One possible problem could be lack of diversity. 48 of those lines are harvested from society where the population is predominantly white and the remaining 12 from Singapore. The fear is that if one develops useful medical advances from the stem cell, would their utility be limited to certain racial groups?
One must be cautious and not throw out the baby with the dirty water so as to speak and reject all form of cloning because one thinks that cloning always refers to reproductive cloning. And secondly just because it is a clone human does not mean that all current laws do not apply to them.