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What's Wrong With Cloning?
MHGinTN ^ | 1/31/2003 | MHGinTN

Posted on 01/30/2003 10:24:04 PM PST by MHGinTN

The President called for a ban on cloning in his State of the Union Address. So, what's wrong with cloning?

Every individual life is a continuum hallmarked by growth and development. We are invited, through the media, to differentiate reproductive cloning from therapeutic cloning, but both conceive a cloned individual human being, in vitro. Scientists seeking to exploit therapeutic cloning would have us believe that, because their goal doesn't include life support to the birth stage, their 'form' of cloning is okay. Far from it; it's a worse application of the technology. Therapeutic cloning seeks to conceive 'designer' individual human beings, give them life support either in a growth medium or a woman's body, then kill and harvest from these individuals the target tissues for which the cloned being was conceived.

It is important to realize that an embryo IS an individual human being: goals of cloning scientists bear witness to the hidden truth that they are conceiving a unique human being, whether for reproductive or therapeutic aims. Giving tacit acceptance to a proven lie --that the embryo is not an individual human life-- is bad enough, we’ve done this for more than thirty years, but to embrace cannibalism founded on such a lie is far more degenerate.

Tacit acceptance for manipulating individual human life has lead from in vitro fertilization to partial birth infanticide, proving the bankruptcy of continuing moderate acceptance. We are now staring at cannibalism in the name of whatever you care to call it. Even an embryo no bigger than a grain of sugar is an individual human life. Is it acceptable to kill that individual for their body parts? If you think that it is, at least know that it is cannibalism.


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: cloning; invitrofert
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To: realpatriot71
I do wish you well, despite my rudeness last night.
251 posted on 02/03/2003 10:35:41 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: MHGinTN
I do wish you well, despite my rudeness last night.

I understand that you feel strongly about this issue, not a bad thing. I was a bit offended when you questioned my "sentience," but I'm over it :-)

252 posted on 02/03/2003 10:37:53 PM PST by realpatriot71 (legalize freedom!)
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To: MHGinTN; realpatriot71
I'm glad to see you're getting along.
Good night, guys.
253 posted on 02/03/2003 10:44:37 PM PST by hocndoc
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To: MHGinTN
Hello MHGinTN,

I just checked this thread. WOW!

I'd like to suggest a book: "Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives" by Dr. William Brennan at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0829408223/ref%3Dase%5Fjuanaalmagugalle/002-7314919-8643246

I read it a year+ ago as Pro-Life research and there is alot related to this thread.
254 posted on 02/03/2003 10:49:23 PM PST by cpforlife.org
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To: realpatriot71
I was rude to do so, even though I was seeking to make the point of 'my assessment would be arbitrary', yet I wouldn't remove your right to life over my arbitrary assertion.
255 posted on 02/03/2003 10:56:09 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: MHGinTN
I support the right to life, but we obviously disagree when that right begins. I would have to grudgingly agree that protection of life from conception is a more consistant approach to the issue as you don't have to draw any lines here or there. However, I personaly see the issue as being more complex than that.

I'm thinking about it.

256 posted on 02/03/2003 11:21:30 PM PST by realpatriot71 (legalize freedom!)
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To: MHGinTN
Could it be that we are the ultimate predatory species on Earth?

So did tyrannosaurus have rights? On the savannah do lions have rights? If so, what would it have meant to violate the rights of these creatures?

Implicit in your questions there appears to be the notion of 'why are we any better than the rest of the animals and plants on Earth?'

By saying "better", you seem to be saying that the notion of rights is ultimately a value statement. So, rights requires the ability to form values? Make judgements? How then could mere predation be sufficient?

humanity has the axiom that we are above the rest of the species on Earth

What do you mean by above? Do you mean that humans value humans over all other species? As a matter of survivability, one might argue that bacteria, or insects would have the more hardy species.

if we stoop to preying upon our own species members, we will be more like the other species

So the characteristic that makes humans unique from other species is that humans (potentially) don't kill members of their own species? What about oak trees? Do they kill their own?

I'm not convinced we know what we are talking about when we use the word "rights". I wonder the same about the word "human".

257 posted on 02/04/2003 3:42:08 AM PST by beavus
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To: unspun
We have no right

We incessently talk about rights, but no one seems to know what they are.

258 posted on 02/04/2003 3:43:34 AM PST by beavus
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To: hocndoc
If we codify which humans are human enough to be protected and which are not, we codify discrimination and build a system to justify discrimination

Is this the belief, the fear, that causes people to avoid giving meaning to a word they seem to hold very precious--"rights"?

If we codify which humans are human enough to be protected and which are not, we codify discrimination and build a system to justify discrimination

What do you mean by this? Seems pretty clear cut to me.

I'd be willing to give any species which engages in this sort of discussion the designation of 'human.'

I wonder if you aren't onto something here, since surely no other creature we've encountered has this ability. I wonder if we can generalize this statement (beyond "this sort of discussion") to finally identify the critical uniqueness of humans that endows them with rights.

259 posted on 02/04/2003 3:50:26 AM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
Beavus, since you have so many questions, perhaps you should read Dr. Spitzer's book.
The concept of rights is an ancient one, which (like a fresh reading of the Declaration of Independence) may seem subversive to the current "powers that be" who would rather reduce the definition of "rights" to one of bread and circuses.

In one of my posts to realpatriot71, I explained (using my paraphrase of Dr. Spitzers' analogy and words to summarize a very complex history of thought) that the unique quality of humans - at least as far as we know - is that our species is the only one which yearns for and seems to "know' that there is an Ideal Love, Beauty, Truth, Justice, Knowledge. As I said, even a 4 year old seems to "know" the concept of "That's not fair!" even if he's never experienced justice. And no other species has members who have these sorts of discussions.

I agree that and understanding of the definition of rights is very important. Without the protection of rights, a community is at the mercy of the powerful, however power is expressed in that community.
Rights can be broken into 2 categories, inalienable or intrinsic (those necessary to continue being a human being, such as life, and liberty and which can only be infringed, not given away or taken away) and extrinsic rights that may be more of an agreement of the community and may be changed, or bargained with, because these "rights" do not effect whether or not the human lives and lives free.

Any being that is human - whose genetic heritage (parent) is human, must be assumed to be a human. History is full of the injustice that results when some humans are deemed not "human." The last 30 years are particularly illustrative of this fact. "Pro-choice" advocates speak of "abortion rights" and "right to die" and "quality of life" and the "intent" of the parents. For thirty years, the legal definition of human is "mother chooses to keep him alive." And now, the discussion and acts have moved into the realm of "greater good" or 'for the good of the people in power" and legislatures such as New Jersey are writing laws that will allow the *intentional* creation of human beings for the *intention* of killing the organism and harvesting his or her parts.

Because of the razzle-dazzle of media and power-seekers, any discussion - even in a forum such as this- we have to go back to the ABC's of ethics before we can get to the question at hand.



260 posted on 02/04/2003 6:53:09 AM PST by hocndoc
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To: beavus
Thank you, Beavus, for your very thoughtful, very demanding participation in this complex discussion. Truly, we may be getting soemwhere with all this exchange of ideas.
261 posted on 02/04/2003 9:04:21 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: hocndoc
BTTT
262 posted on 02/04/2003 3:03:01 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: hocndoc
Great points. I agree that we have to go back to the ABC's, although putting it that way makes it sound easy. When I say that people who use the word "rights" don't know what they are talking about, I don't mean to be insulting. The answer may be simple, but simple answers are not always easily discovered.

our species is the only one which yearns for and seems to "know' that there is an Ideal Love, Beauty, Truth, Justice, Knowledge

This is the most fascinating point. It seems like it could be simplified though. If I understand correctly, it means that rights only apply to things that can idealize values--i.e. that can abstract out the essential concepts of those things they value.

This is actually more than one quality. A thing must be able to conceptualize, and hold values.

Although it seems to describe essentually unique human qualities, when it comes to rights, it still seems lacking. For example, imagine you (who can conceptualize and hold values) are living alone on an uncharted desert island. What are your rights? The question seems incongruous in such a situation.

263 posted on 02/04/2003 6:21:28 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
If I am alone, there is no one to infringe my rights. They are moot, since rights are only relevent as negatives: rights may not be infringed.
Dr. Spitzer calls this the Silver Rule: First do no harm or Non-maleficence.
264 posted on 02/04/2003 10:10:11 PM PST by hocndoc
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To: hocndoc
If I am alone, there is no one to infringe my rights. They are moot, since rights are only relevent as negatives

So where are we now. Rights apply only to situations of at least two interacting things that each hold values and conceptualize? Is it safe to assume that the two or more things interacting must have some way of perceiving and affecting each other's conceptions and values--like communication, for instance?

Seems reasonable as far as it goes. It describes a situation where rights exist, some necessary conditions, but it doesn't really define what we mean by "rights".

We have a simple situation (2 things as above). How does the notion of rights emerge from such a situation?

265 posted on 02/05/2003 5:10:30 AM PST by beavus
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To: Paleo Conservative
your forgot Hillary
266 posted on 02/05/2003 5:12:46 AM PST by fred flinch
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To: beavus
I shouldn't have said that rights are moot when a person is completely isolated. Rights exist and apply in all situations. It is difficult, however to have the problem of infringement of rights when one is completely isolated from all other humans.


Again, I highly recommend Dr. Spitzer's book, where he devotes chapters to the subject of rights. The topic is difficult to cover in this forum.

But, (since I am human), I will try.

We have discussed the difference between humans and all other beings that we know: humans are the species which has a drive or impetus toward unconditional love, beauty, truth, justice and knowledge. As far as we know, this impetus is innate, intrinsic and unconditional in the representatives of the species.


I have the right to live because I am a human, whether anyone else is around or not. Whether we can communicate is irrelevant to the fact that we are human. We are of human origin, that should be sufficient to assume the rights of another, otherwise, we risk doing unconditional harm to human beings by infringing their rights.

Rights are mostly negative. No one may kill another human, because killing him causes unconditional harm: he is no longer living and cannot be restored to life. No one may enslave another human being in such a way that he cannot express his humanity, at the threat of loss of life or self potential, self-direction. So, the right to life is the right not to be killed. The right to liberty is the right not to be enslaved.


267 posted on 02/05/2003 2:31:36 PM PST by hocndoc
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To: hocndoc
Rights exist and apply in all situations.

Seems like too broad a statement to be true. Do rights exist among trees? Rocks? In the dead of space?

And if the possibility of rights infringement cannot exist (in the 1 person example), what meaning do rights have?

humans are the species which has a drive or impetus toward unconditional love, beauty, truth, justice and knowledge. As far as we know, this impetus is innate, intrinsic and unconditional in the representatives of the species.

I don't understand what "unconditional beauty", or "unconditional truth" mean.

I have the right to live because I am a human, whether anyone else is around or not.

You have the right to live because you have "a drive or impetus toward unconditional love, beauty, truth, justice and knowledge"? How does this follow?

No one may kill another human, because killing him causes unconditional harm

Our soldiers are rights violators? People using deadly force in self-defense are rights violators?

No one may enslave another human being in such a way that he cannot express his humanity, at the threat of loss of life or self potential, self-direction.

Are we violating the rights of prisoners?

Seems we've taken a few steps back. I don't think I follow your explanations of what rights are or when and why they are relevant.

268 posted on 02/05/2003 4:58:13 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
I will still assume that you are a person.

You would have missed the discussion about what it is to be human if you have not read the entire thread.

However, by your eagerness to understand, your conviction that there can be understanding even if you haven't experienced it, you demonstrate that very quality or power that makes humans unique in our world.
269 posted on 02/05/2003 5:08:16 PM PST by hocndoc
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To: hocndoc
I will still assume that you are a person. You would have missed the discussion about what it is to be human if you have not read the entire thread. However, by your eagerness to understand, your conviction that there can be understanding even if you haven't experienced it, you demonstrate that very quality or power that makes humans unique in our world.

I'm not arguing that you are giving examples of human qualities. To clarify, what I'm after is to complete the following:

"Rights" are [BLANK]. The necessary and sufficient properties (possessed, for example, by humans) that give rise to rights are [BLANK], and those qualities lead to rights because [BLANK].

270 posted on 02/05/2003 5:22:25 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
Do a google search on rights or the history of the ethics of rights in the US. This is not virgin territory.
Here's a quote posted on another forum on Yahoo!, today:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VUSA/message/866?expand=1

(more from Bastiat at
http://www.lexrex.com/informed/otherdocuments/thelaw/main.htm )

""As Frederic Bastiat observed over one hundred years
ago:

Each of us has a natural right to defend his person,
his liberty, and his property. These are the three
basic requirements of life, and the preservation of
any one of them is completely dependent upon the
preservation of the other two. For what are our
faculties but the extension of our individuality?
And what is property but an extension of our
faculties?

If every person has the right to defend -- even by
force -- his person, his liberty, and his property,
then it follows that a group of men have the right
to organize and support a common force to protect
these rights constantly. Thus the principle of
collective right - its reason for existing, its
lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the
common force that protects this collective right
cannot logically have any other purpose or any other
mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.
Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force
against the person, liberty, or property of another
individual, then the common force -- for the same
reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the
person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases,
contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us
to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare
to say that force has been given to us to destroy
the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual
acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy
the rights of others, does it not logically follow
that the same principle also applies to the common
force that is nothing more than the organized
combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident
than this: The law is the organization of the
natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution
of a common force for individual forces. And this
common force is to do only what the individual forces
have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect
persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the
right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us
all.

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to
me that order would prevail among the people, in
thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that
such a nation would have the most simple, easy to
accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just,
and enduring government imaginable -- whatever its
political form might be.

Under such an administration, everyone would
understand that he possessed all the privileges
as well as all the responsibilities of his
existence. No one would have any argument with
government, provided that his person was respected,
his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor
were protected against all unjust attack. When
successful, we would not have to thank the state
for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful,
we would no more think of blaming the state for our
misfortune than would the farmers blame the state
because of hail or frost. The state would be felt
only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided
by this concept of government.

It can be further stated that, thanks to the
non-intervention of the state in private affairs,
our wants and their satisfactions would develop
themselves in a logical manner. We would not see
poor families seeking literary instruction before
they have bread. We would not see cities populated
at the expense of rural districts, nor rural
districts at the expense of cities. We would not
see the great displacements of capital, labor, and
population that are caused by legislative decisions.

The sources of our existence are made uncertain and
precarious by these state-created displacements. And,
furthermore, these acts burden the government with
increased responsibilities.""
271 posted on 02/05/2003 6:49:13 PM PST by hocndoc
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To: hocndoc
beavus: "Rights" are [BLANK]. The necessary and sufficient properties (possessed, for example, by humans) that give rise to rights are [BLANK], and those qualities lead to rights because [BLANK].

Bastiat: Each of us has a natural right to ... These are the three basic requirements of life

So, "rights" are freedoms to those actions that a human must take to preserve his basic requirements of life.

Bastiat then gives some examples of rights, but I don't see where he explains the necessary and sufficient qualities or explains how those qualities lead to rights.

I suppose inherent in 'freedom to act' are (1) the ability to act (on one's surroundings) and (2) volitional capacity. Inherent in 'preserving his life' are (3) mortality and (4) being alive.

So are these 4 items the necessary and sufficient qualities? The only one that might be contrued as uniquely human is (2).

Then, I still don't see how rights are relevent or could have emerged in a one-person situation, or in a situation where people cannot communicate with one another but just run around bumping into each other.

Even if the definition of "rights" and the qualities required for them are presented, I still haven't seen it explained how those qualities lead to rights.

Seems like we're making progress though.

272 posted on 02/06/2003 3:23:46 AM PST by beavus
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To: beavus; hocndoc
Bump; place marker
273 posted on 02/06/2003 8:48:10 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: beavus; MHGinTN
You are forgetting what makes humans, humans. Add that in, and you will understand the relevancy.
274 posted on 02/06/2003 10:23:27 AM PST by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US.)
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To: MHGinTN
What's wrong with cloning??

Nothing - if you are going to clone Amanda Blake, Sophia Loren, or Ann Margaret. Otherwise, I'm not interested.
275 posted on 02/06/2003 10:35:16 AM PST by ZULU
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To: hocndoc
You are forgetting what makes humans, humans. Add that in, and you will understand the relevancy.

Why so elusive? Why not just say it? Are you referring to volition? Is that what gives relevance to rights in situations where there is only a single person? If so, how?

276 posted on 02/06/2003 3:37:33 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
Does this technique always get others to do your work for you?

Humans are unique as a species because, as you demonstrate so well, they have an unconditional drive to discover better (Unconditional) qualities (such as Truth, Knowledge, Beauty, Justice, and Love).
If humans kill humans, the dead humans suffer unconditional, irreversible harm to their ability to be human. Therefore humans have the right to life.
All creatures of human origin have the right to life because they are human. Otherwise, some of those unique creatures may suffer unconditional, irreversible harm.

277 posted on 02/06/2003 5:26:18 PM PST by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US.)
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To: hocndoc
Does this technique always get others to do your work for you?

When I'm asked to be a mind reader, the only technique I know is to ask.

Humans are unique as a species because, as you demonstrate so well, they have an unconditional drive to discover better (Unconditional) qualities (such as Truth, Knowledge, Beauty, Justice, and Love).

I can't take credit for making this demonstration, or even understanding it. I don't know what "unconditional drive" means. I assume that what you mean by "better" is that humans value things. So I think what you are saying is that humans are unique because they have a drive to form values.

If humans kill humans, the dead humans suffer unconditional, irreversible harm to their ability to be human. Therefore humans have the right to life. All creatures of human origin have the right to life because they are human. Otherwise, some of those unique creatures may suffer unconditional, irreversible harm.

Here again I don't know what you mean by "unconditional". But, I think you are saying that humans have a right to life, because without life they irreversibly cease to be human. Therefore humans have a right to whatever prevents them from irreversibly ceasing to be human.

So by combining the above, I think I can distill your position to:

'A thing that has a drive to form values has a right to whatever prevents it from irreversibly losing that drive.'

Do I understand you correctly?

278 posted on 02/06/2003 6:46:24 PM PST by beavus
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To: beavus
It appears you've reached the point of being purposely tedious, not seeking a true answer, just seeking to confound (by willful onscurity) the discussion for some personal reason. Placemarker
279 posted on 02/07/2003 2:04:37 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote Life Support for others.)
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To: MHGinTN
It appears you've reached the point of being purposely tedious, not seeking a true answer, just seeking to confound (by willful onscurity) the discussion for some personal reason.

Why do you say that?

280 posted on 02/07/2003 2:39:05 PM PST by beavus
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