Camille Jimenez Prof. Bobro Philosophy (MW 2:20-3:40) 1 October 2014
The year is 2054. Reproductive cloning technology has been perfected and clones are just a part of everyday life; the Smiths down the street are raising a clone. Though they held for awhile, Kass’ arguments have finally fallen through in the eyes of most of society and there is clear agreement with Pence. Leon Kass’ has many objections to reproductive cloning but the two strongest oppositions are the “unethical experimentation” and the “identity” arguments to which Gregory Pence has sound replies. The “unethical experimentation” argument points out the high chance for major disabilities, deformities, and deaths that have been caused by the reproductive cloning of nonhuman animals. It is not certain that clones, especially the first experiments, will turn out well and risk-free. In accordance with the argument, it is morally wrong to put someone at that much risk of serious disability unless there is some compelling reason to do so, which, in the opinion of Kass, there has not been. Any of the reasons people have for cloning are not valid enough to override the concern for possible disabilities. This is only one of the many reasons Kass describes reproductive cloning as unethical. Others include the possibility of mass-production of human beings, strange mother-daughter/father-son “twins”, the “bizarre” and “grotesqueness” of the whole concept, and numerous more reasons that are all clearly based in fear.
Gregory Pence counters Kass with the fact that not even natural conception and birth is risk-free. There is absolutely no way to create an organism that will guarantee zero health risks in its life. Pence responds to Kass’ fear of cloning with the point that many of his same arguments were made in regard to in vitro fertilization, a practice that is increasingly common now. The main response to Kass is that his arguments are ignorant and fearful. Kass brings up the importance...