Join SDN on December 7th at 6:00 PM Eastern as we host Andrew Paulson of StudentLoanAdvice.com for an AMA webinar. He'll be answering your questions about how to best manage your student loans. Register now!
Do you not already have your own thoughts on these issues? I recommend that you start there...
But for every "ethical" question, you should try to provide some basic defense of each side and then, if you can, explain which side you think is stronger.
"A private company recently announced that it cloned a human being. There are no laws making this illegal. Should there be?"
"Yes - Technological and scientific advancements and discoveries often occur rapidly or serendipitously, without leaving us with the time necessary to consider what they really mean for our lives or our humanity. Human cloning has the potential to have tremendous impacts on both, so restricting it until we've had the opportunity to consider these impacts would be reasonable. In addition, creating these clones may have an impact on identity security and could be ill-used. Finally, many cultures and religions have strong objections to this type of practice. While it would be inappropriate to legislate religion, it would be equally inappropriate to allow the practice of human cloning to freely stimulate the ire of many significant groups without having understood the scientific and philosophical impact of the technique.
No - The technology fostered through human cloning is that very same technology that could have very important implications for our society. First, the ability to generate genetically identical tissues will help alleviate organ donations shortages, blood shortages, etc. Second, the technology necessary to maintain and develop these embryos may help couples who were previously infertile to become pregnant, bringing the hope and joy of children to millions. Finally, the limitation of science because it "scares us" or "just doesn't seem right" is a dangerous mindset. It opens a slippery slope to the restriction of other areas of research that are very important to the progression of our civilization.
That being said, a short term moratorium on the practice would allow us to consider more carefully the significance of human cloning while also avoiding the "clamp-down" that could have aftershocks in the scientific community."