Tinotopia (Logo)
TinotopiaLog → Bush Calls For Cloning Ban (11 Apr 2002)
Thursday 11 April 2002

Bush Calls For Cloning Ban

I cannot adequately express the incandescent stupidity of this. The BBC quotes Bush as saying:

“As we seek to preserve human life, we must also preserve human dignity - and therefore we must prevent human cloning by stopping it before it starts.”
The president said that anything short of a full ban would be unethical, and nearly impossible to enforce.

There are two problems with this line of thinking.

First, it’s restrictive of basic research based on nothing but the opinions of the powerful about the moral acceptability of that research. Once upon a time, research into the idea of a heliocentric solar system was seen in the same light.

For Bush et al.’s moral qualms to have any weight, we have to assume that an amorphous blob of cells with the capacity to become a human being has the same moral standing as an actual living, breathing, conscious being (but not a conscious being convicted of any of a number of crimes that carry the death penalty). That’s a real stretch, even for the GOP. You might be able to claim ‘humanity’ for a fetus, if only because it looks like a human. But an embryo?

Using that logic and moving backward just a few weeks or days in time, every woman in the United States should be prosecuted every time she fails to get pregnant and has her period, since this represents the death and destruction of a potentially-viable human egg. Actually, it occurs to me that there are factions withing the GOP that would probably welcome a move to force women to be pregnant all the time, but that’s another rant entirely.

Human culture does recognize that the mere potential for reproduction is important and to be protected. (Orson Scott Card touches on this potential as a reason for the value of life in Ender’s Game. The enemy, a race of space-bugs, does not even notice the death of millions of its sterile soldiers, but cannot even fathom the idea of the death of a single Queen Bee, who alone has a genetic future.) But recently we seem to have stepped off the deep end in attempting to justify the particular odd logic behind the GOP’s anti-abortion stance in the US.

And anyway, none of that matters, because

Second, the United States government cannot control the progress of science. As powerful as the United States is, politicians in Washington have not yet perfected the mind-control ray that is necessary to make the Thought Police a practical reality.

All this move will do is ensure that research takes place outside the United States, and that the opportunities, cures, and money are available to foreigners and not to Americans.

Posted by tino at 10:57 11.04.02
This entry's TrackBack URL::

Links to weblogs that reference 'Bush Calls For Cloning Ban' from Tinotopia.