An Argument Against Cloning

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):539-566 (2010)
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It is technically possible to clone a human being. The result of the procedure would be a human being in its own right. Given the current level of cloning technology concerning other animals there is every reason to believe that early human clones will have shorter-than-average life-spans, and will be unusually prone to disease. In addition, they would be unusually at risk of genetic defects, though they would still, probably, have lives worth living. But with experimentation and experience, seriously unequal prospects between cloned and noncloned people should erode. We shall ignore arguments about cloning that focus on the potential for harm to the fetus or resultant human being, where harm is understood solely in terms of physical and mental health. Unless the resultant people would generally have lives worth living there is no positive case for cloning, or any other form of reproduction, for that matter. If the resultant beings will generally have lives worth living there is a prima facie case for allowing cloning. We imagine the case in which the resultant beings will have lives well worth living.
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