Moral arguments against the cloning of humans

Poiesis and Praxis 1 (1):35-46 (2001)
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Since the cloned sheep Dolly was born, reproductive cloning of humans (i.e. the cloning of complete human individuals) has seemed to be – at least in principle – achievable. The technical possibility of reproductive cloning leaves the question unanswered of whether the actual production of a clone would be morally acceptable. Considering several arguments against reproductive cloning – which claim that the moral status of a cloned individual and its clone respectively renders it morally objectionable to carry out cloning – we defend the thesis that these arguments are not apodictic (i.e. relative to all ends and means of cloning humans) but are only hypothetical (i.e. relative to some ends and means of cloning humans). Although at present we think it is difficult to find a plausible aim of cloning that is not an instrumentalisation of the cloned (and, therefore, morally objectionable), it could, nevertheless, be that in the future there might be ends and means that justify reproductive cloning. We conclude by criticising the apodictic ban on reproductive cloning declared by most international resolutions and much national legislation



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