Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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Of itself, cloning is certainly no more immoral than free sex.

In one way, cloning is similar to vitamin supplements: we are SUPPOSED to get our vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients naturally from food. But today, since the soil is depleted and we get our food from grocery stores (where it has first sat for days, etc.), it just does not work that way, so we often need supplements.

Likewise children are SUPPOSED to be conceived a certain way, and hopefully through marriage. But today, for one to get married there is a significant amount of risk as to whether the marriage will last compared to the days of our parents and/or grandparents. It just does not work the way it once did. Today, one has to first "screw around" in order to "nab" a partner -- initiating blinding bonding mechanisms meant for AFTER such a decision. And this does not work for someone who does not believe in sex outside of a marriage union, and who also does not want to join any of the fuddy religious sects.

THESE PEOPLE NEED TO BE CLONED, rather than sacrifice themselves for their beliefs, and for the fact that they do not want to get married because the risk that is involved in it not lasting today is so much greater than in our ancestors' times.

There are definitely possible scenarios where cloning could get out of hand and would be unethical, such as a corporation designing a generation of particular consumers and/or idiot slaves (with perhaps only an appearance of intelligence). But, they might be doing that ANYWAY, WITHOUT the aid of cloning, through conditioning sexual tastes and preferences in youth through media. AND: so long as the parents or carrying mother made the decisions (apart from coaching) as to the genetic make-up of the child -- any such evil corporate endeavors would be if not impossible, at least kept to a minimum.

The ones taking the responsibilities to bear and raise the child need to make these decisions, and that would be important in maintaining long-term ethics, or at least in keeping any such ethical problems to a minimum. In fact, that IS the natural way -- that the PARENTS SELECT the genetic make-up of their spouse, and before the easy mobility of today, this often had to do with long-known genetic propensities of the spouse's entire family, and even relatives and ancestors.

In maintaining ethics of cloning, it seems important that: 1) No one entity (such as a government or corporation) calls all the shots as to the genetic make-up of this entire next-generation sub-group, AND, 2) No one entity be able to clone any more than two or three of any one set of genes.

The points above can be easily protected and kept in hand so long as women are not paid to carry and bear specific sets of genes for any big brother type entity (or anything even potentially that), and, so long as monkeys or apes (or pigs or whatever) are not used to carry and bear the children.

Macro-scale ethical problems are foreseeable mainly if any one entity has the power to create an army-scale number of clones. And since one woman must bear each clone, the numbers would thus inevitably be kept down somewhat (unless she bears a clone a year for money, or some situation like that).

But the parents who will raise the child can make these decisions regarding the genetic make-up, and unless they are coached or placed under duress in this, I do not see a problem.

I for one would consider it an honor to my parents and their union, as well as to all my ancestors, to have myself cloned. The only possible disgrace I can think of would be the condition of the world to which the clone might be left to the mercy, and with proper parents to raise it, that should not be too much of a problem.