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What if there is no soul?Ds Advocate ( 06/08/2005, 06:11:50 )
Much of the cloning issue pre-supposes that man has a soul, even though there is no physical evidence of this. What if man were no different than other mammals, other than being better at tool usage and communication? Suppose a man’s death has no more supernatural aspect to it than a squirrel’s death? Suppose God the creator didn’t make a heaven for us, in fact, suppose He doesn’t even care if we pray to Him or not? These are frightening thoughts, but unfortunately, there is no hard evidence to contradict them. Actually, being modest, what right do we have to expect more from God than our life as we perceive it? Everything beyond this “temporal” world is really wishful thinking on our part.If this is our starting point, I think the arguments against cloning become practical and debatable. Unlimited cloning leads to many undesirable implications: basketball teams composed of five Michael Jordans; genetic tinkering to create a new aristocracy of genetically perfect people; a loss of natural selection and human species evolution; and so on. But then limited regulated cloning (embryos for stem cell research, for example) become acceptable without controversy. In short, we can have a reasonable debate and develop wise policy for the betterment of our “temporal” world. (Personally, I would draw the line at creating anything that can form thoughts, but accept embryonic cells for stem cell research, organs for transplant, new organs grown within a donor, etc.)This, then, is my observation: the imposition of unverifiable religious beliefs is confusing the cloning issue. If the US government is truly secular, it should pass no laws relating to cloning based on the belief of a human soul. The religious can refrain from cloning, and argue against it as they argue against all perceived sin (such as the Catholic church argues against the sin of condoms but does not support the outlawing of condoms).
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