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Cloning gives me the creeps. However, I do believe that clones are still life forms. Just because a being is a clone does not make it not alive. We are more than our genetics. One’s clone would not be exactly oneself.
How does one "leave out" an idea? We can disrespect an idea, ignore a principle or act without conscience, bu to leave out an idea of God assumes that we can control peopels thoughts. Now in the strictest sense of, can we create life outside of the natural, some believe God-given, ability to create life, sure we can. We already have. We have created test tube babies, we have cloned animals. Surely it is possible. That doesn't mean it's wise to do so. I think inevitably some sort of cloning will play a role in human life, as stem cell research already allows us to "grow" replacement organs and tissues to use in surgical procedures. As for full cloning of a human, that seems much more problematic practically, ethically and morally.
So here’s where my Christian perspective goes as a response to this. The scientists clone the cells (I don’t have a really clear understanding of cloning.), but God is in control. He controls the success or failure. When Dolly was cloned (from a Christian perspective) wasn’t it God that gave the sheep life?
God has been the repository of all that is unknown or unknowable. However, as humans, we seek knowledge, and as Genesis states, "have become like the gods.." Several hundred years ago it was appropriate for that which we did not know to be attributed to the workings of the divine. Plagues were acts of God, as we did not know what caused them to come about or why they went away, so it was explainable only by divine will. The greatest extension of human knowledge, the Scientific Process, has, over the last few centuries, increased the number of humans, raised their standard of living, and given us deep insights into the composition and workings of the Universe.
Mysticism is not so much overwhelmed by the Scientific Process, but rather proven wrong by it -- God did not create the Earth as the center of creation; astrophysics instructs us better, for example. As our understanding expands, as our incorporation of facts becomes increasingly comprehensive, ancient religious answers fail to describe what we know. What had been attributed to the province of the divine is now within the domain of the human. There are those who still struggle with the concept of Evolution; Human cloning will introduce a far steeper struggle contending with the nature of the soul. Nevertheless, the advent of the Scientific Process does not negate spirituality nor ethics; rather, it challenges them to be more comprehensive and exact. If human cloning is akin to God creating Man, so be it (amen!) To see such an advance cure metabolic diseases and curtail profound and pervasive human suffering can only be beneficial to the race. Concurrently, seeing the defeat of mysticism and triumph of reason can only bring us closer to the religious concept of Paradise. Certainly, there will be those who those who abuse knowledge, but that is as old as humanity. How long was it after the discovery of fire that opponents used it to burn each other? Whatever problems new technology brings us, reason should lead us to appropriate ethics.
This seems like a question which could be best served on a discussion board post. I think that the implication of humans assuming a God- like role does enter the calculation of cloning. One of the fundamental precepts in this debate is the limitations of human beings. Implied in this question is the idea of God, and thus, it is not left out of the debate. I think that at this point, some level of murkiness emerges. Whose God, which God, and how differing conceptions compete might be present, but the overall scope of divinity is embraced when examining the impact and implications of cloning. In terms of how cloning can play a role in human life, this might need a bit more clarification. The mere act of being able to debate it and conceive of doing it might be where cloning does play a role in human life.
Of course, this depends to some extent on how you define "the idea of God." Are you talking about the idea of a monotheistic God (the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims)? People are clearly capable of living without belief in this God and whole societies are capable of existing without this belief as well (China, Japan, India).
Can people live happily without belief in some forces greater than themselves? This is a more difficult question because there have not been any societies that lacked such a belief. There are individuals, of course, who live without such belief, but humans as a group seem to need this belief (or they are inspired by God or the gods to believe this).
Cloning can influence in a big way the way people and other living being are born. This activity lies at the core of human life, and weather or not we accept the idea of God, there is no doubt that cloning has potential of altering the human life in major ways.
All the possible consequences of free development and use of cloning in, say, next 100 years, cannot be assessed or even identified with any degree of accuracy or clarity now. However, there is no doubt about two things. First the effects will be major. Second, like nuclear power, depending on how it is used, it can lead to major benefits for humanity, or create major problems to it.
I have to say that many cultures and people around us have no belief in God as the Christians believe. This being said, other groups have their own beliefs that affect their ideas on cloning as a standard science practice. In the Jewish doctrine creating life should be left to God not man but there are stories of golems (mythical). Christians are also torn between who can create with a firm belief that God is the one and only creator.
The issue that you are addressing is a volatile issue not only among Christians but among people who have different worship systems. Cloning gives question to the idea of a soul's existence. It also has the concerns as to whether it should be used to create duplicate humans. Science has exhibited such a rapid growth that the ethical and spiritual belief systems are overwhelmed at determining where their views stand.
Humans have been studying the concept of creating mankind for a long time, but the most advancement in the field has been over the past twenty years. There is certainly reason for concern if cloning should be allowed to play a part in human life.
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