Instigator / Con
Points: 14

Ethics of cloning and genetic engineering in humans

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 2 votes the winner is ...
nmvarco
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Society
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 8
Description
1st round: Con waives, Pro presents opening arguments
2nd round: Con presents opening arguments, Pro presents rebuttals and any new arguments
3rd round: Con presents rebuttals and any new arguments, Pro presents rebuttals, no new arguments
4th round: Con presents rebuttals, no new arguments, Pro waives
Round 1
Published:
I waive per the rules and wish my opponent good luck.
Published:
This debate is to argue the ethics of cloning, with the added challenge of that cloning achieved by genetic engineering of human traits. I will presume that extends beyond seemingly harmless traits such as eye and hair color, even skin color; none of which mean anything significant. Such trait arguments are bigotry, boring in the extreme as just another reason to discriminate when, beneath the skin, other than by the very detailed demands of DNA, we are over 99.9% identical.[1] Clearly, by manipulative cloning, we can expand on our differentiation.
 
I Argument: Human Cloning: an historic and future look
 
I.a So, taking the Contender position, I will present my case in favor of human cloning with genetic manipulation of physical traits, and explain a valid purpose and ethic for the practice. In my arguments, I will present a human future, a fiction, as an example since it not currently our lot in life, but a fiction with real potential of being our future. I will present three different classifications of Home sapiensthat I will call Naturals, Creatures, and Immortals.
 
One of the sources for my argument is anecdotal, and, as such, has no scholastic reference possible; you will have to take my word for it. Having no real dependence on the reference as a source, I expect it will not be judged harshly. When I was a senior in high school in 1967, I attended a lecture at UCLA, near my home, given by Dr. James Watson, KBE, one of the discoverers and recipients of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule. He was also the first human to have his entire genome collected and mapped.
 
As a 17-year old interested in the science of DNA, my mind was literally blown by the lecture. In one part of his lecture, Dr. Watson presaged this entire potential of human cloning, and what that might look like as a societal norm, and what ethic ought to be, in his view, applied. He was opposed to the idea. Much of my presentation will be based on the information he covered, although the idea of a three-phased human population is mine, alone. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that this fiction of 3-type humans is in the 23rdcentury, as I believe by then, the cloning practice could be fully in bloom.
 
I.b Homo sapiens naturalisis a species identical to us. They are naturally conceived, gestated and born without pre-natal manipulation of any kind. Literally, “what-you-see-is-what-you-get.” They represent the lowest caste of humans, taking the ordinary, mundane jobs that are mostly 21stcentury minimum-wage type jobs. They live a normal lifespan; 0 to 100 years. They are limited to production of one child. Should the couple produce a second pregnancy, they will be instantly zapped [eliminated] by sensor pick-up of the three DNA types [mother, father, and embryo] whenever mother passes through a commercial or residential exterior doorway; all of which are equipped with such sensor/eliminators. This is to keep the natural population numbers controlled, and, eventually, by design, terminated. 
 
I.c Homo sapiens creaturais the second-caste humanoid; a creature of 100% manipulative “cloning,” that is, conceived by artificial means in a test tube/petri dish, implanted in a suitable, artificial egg-like glass “womb,” fed by an artificial umbilical with nutrients, but also with a pre-designed body of knowledge and skill set for a specific purpose to fill in society, then manipulated with virtually every physical characteristic in the DNA molecule by a pre-determined design and intent to present the ultimate in physical characteristics. “Delivered” as adults, Creatures occupy the mid-range to upper management roles in industry, government, scholastics, research, science, medicine, the law, politics, etc. Their lifespan is limited to 10 years, lest they become too intelligent and begin to manipulate the cloning science themselves. Creatures are also under the ultimate control of the third caste.
 
I.d Homo sapiens immortalemis the third caste, the ultimate caste of humans. They began to exist before the invention of creatures, and are the masterminds of creatures as well as the overlords of naturals. Immortals’ genetic purity is in excess of 95%, therefore, they are relatively few in number, numbering less than 3,000 worldwide. A century ago, they learned that by virtue of their genetic purity, they could, by minor genetic manipulation, always be in a prime condition, 30 years of age, by modification of their DNA to resist aging. The current model in the 23rdcentury is an “immortality” of roughly 1,000 years, but the science is advancing exponentially on that limitation, already pushing the science to double that duration. Theirs is, primarily, a leisure class but for those involved in the development of creatures.
 
Immortals’ “purity” is determined by test which indicates a particularly high level of quality and endurance of telomeres; the protein structures at both ends of a DNA helix that protect the strand itself from attack and mutation, retaining the purity of the molecule more successfully than less-than-95%-pure individuals. This is the age factor protecting the cells of the body from typical aging results. The manipulative tests, and its results, qualify the endowed natural with an infusion of organic “jump-start” material to enhance the telomeres’ effect, thus lengthening life. The mantra of the immortals is: “The last enemy is death.”[2]
 
II The purpose of cloning, and the ethics behind it
 
II.a A typical argument against cloning is [and my opponent may use it before we’re done]: Just because we can[we have the science, we have the technology, and we have the materials] does not mean that we should.It’s an old argument. A similar argument may be made, for example, against vaccines, although, curiously, the tide seems to be turning in relevance considering the current attempt with Covid-19 virus prevention, so, how valid is the argument in general? What, if we’re trying to prevent polio, no dice, but Covid-19, where’s the craps table? Why don’t we have a vaccine, yet, so we can just get back to “normal;” whatever that is? That is ingenuous. So, I’ll rest my case on the just-because-we-can argument until my conclusion in round 3.
 
II.a.1 The purpose of cloning: As seen in my arguments I.b, I.c, I.d, cloning can become a sure method of distinction, or, discrimination, if you will, since Homo sapiensexhibits that particular trait, similar to what relative monetary wealth accomplishes today [21stcentury]. That particular discrimination has been around since Adam and Eve had kids, and we are very good at it today [23stcentury], let alone then.
 
II.b The ethics of cloning:Science has come to accept the general intent of evolution by natural selection to be selective of traits that are likely, on an evolutionary scale, to enhance the biosphere and all organisms within it, and not to detract from it. Of course, variance in the entire model of natural selection, and extreme environmental effects, do cause unbeneficial mutation that may lead to incidental to extreme extinction, but, in species whose survival has extended on a geologic scale do seem adept at improving adaptations, and not the reverse.
 
II.b.1 With the same effort involved in manipulated selection, at least in human forms, the effort would be classified as an improvement effort. For example, cloning with the intent of improvement of the human condition and ability would be ethical by the arguments that: 
1.    Because we can improve the human condition, we should improve it.
2.    By emphasis of, and selection of improving traits, even if traits such as deficient purity of traits as discussed in argument I.d result in the gradual decrease in population of naturals, the overall human condition is improved, and, therefore, ethical.
 
 
III The effect of cloning, and its ethics
 
III.a The two arguments of II.b.1 are really the ethical results of cloning by simply determining that a percentage of the population, naturals, for example, would not be cloned, even if allowed to continue a legal and obedient natural lifetime. The imposition of immediate elimination by virtue of excess procreation, discussed above in argument I.b, while not considered a crime against society in the 23rdcentury, is merely considered a natural violation of manipulated selection: the effort to improve the purity of the human genome, which is not necessarily improved only by natural selection. It is no more cruel to society than is the 21stcentury allowance of living a poor-health lifestyle that makes heart disease, or cancer, more easily acquired lethal diseases. It is the same argument that exists for ethical cloning: because we can, we should. In this instance, because we can live poor-health lifestyles, we can die prematurely of a variety of diseases.
 
Further, one must realize the ethical difference of cloning a human to harvest its organs, and to derive a fully functional adult human at “birth.”[3]
 
 
 





[2]The “fiction” described in I.b, I.c, Id is actually the basis of a science fiction novel I am in process of editing, so I declare copyright of the material as of October 2018. The mantra identified in argument I.d is the novel’s title, taken from I Corinthians 15: 26.




 





Round 2
Published:
CON = nmvarco = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL
PRO = fauxlaw = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is ETHICAL

THBT: CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL

DEFINITIONS
  • CLONED is past participle of [1]
    • CLONE [transitive verb] is “to create a clone of.[2]
  • GENETIC ENGINEERING [noun] is “the practice or science of genetic modification.[3]
  • HUMANS is plural of [4]
    • a HUMAN [noun] is “a human being, whether man, woman or child.[5]
  • UNETHICAL [adjective] means “not morally approvable; morally bad; not ethical.[6]
OPENING STATEMENTS
I thank PRO for a productive debate so far. In this round, I hope to prove that cloning and genetic engineering will cause a potpourri of harmful effects. I have split this argument into 3 parts. The first one will deal with what we know already about cloning and genetic engineering, while the latter two will deal with hypothetical likely situations that would happen if cloning and genetic engineering was allowe that detail the unethicality of cloning and genetic engineering.
  • ARG 1.1
    • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would HARM HUMANS more than HELP HUMANS
  • ARG 1.2
    • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE the ESTABLISHMENT of a SECURITY STATE
  • ARG 1.3
    • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE ALL HUMANS to BECOME the SAME
BURDEN of PROOF
WIKIPEDIA advises:
  • When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo.
CON interprets this resolution to mean the BURDEN of PROOF is on PRO.
  • WHY?
    • Cloning and genetic engineering on humans is a relatively new concept only introduced in the past few decades.
    • Cloning and genetic engineering could have consequences that should be seriously considered, and this should mean that PRO should have to prove cloning and genetic engineering would be beneficial.
ARG 1.1: HARM MORE THAN HELP
  • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would HARM HUMANS more than HELP HUMANS
    • ARG 1.1A: THE PHYSICAL EFFECTS of CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING
      • In 1990, a cloned cow died from from blood and heart problems [7].
        • The cloning process seemed to have interfered with the normal genetic functioning of the developing calf...Cloned sheep, cows, and mice have been known to die before or shortly after birth…rapid depletion of its red and white blood cells caused its condition to deteriorate. The calf was treated with iron supplements but it died from severe anaemia at the age of 7 weeks. At necropsy researchers found that the calf’s lymphoid tissues—the thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes—had failed to develop normally.
      • A paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Science states that the “repercussions” of cloning and genetic engineering “are still unknown.” [9]
        • the repercussions are still unknown. There are no clues as to where functional genes are being placed. They may even replace the important genes, instead of mutated genes. Thus, this may lead to another health condition or disease to humans...as defective genes are replaced with functional gene, then it is expected that there will be a reduction in genetic diversity and if human beings will have identical genomes, the population as a whole will be susceptible to virus or any form of diseases.
      • There are many other unknowns to take into account when considering this process, which I shall not list since it would be childish to guess.
      • My question for PRO: How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering if it would have these horrible effects?
    • ARG 1.1B: THE SOCIETAL EFFECTS of CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING
      • As CON has presented his fiction in his argument, I shall now present mine, which is a description of what I think would happen if cloning and genetic engineering were legal and common procedures. For the sake of my argument, let us ignore any previous consequences I have mentioned, to show that even without the consequences, society would be negatively impacted.
      • Let us fast forward to the future, where some of the population was genetically engineered at birth. Of course, this is an expensive process, and would only be reserved for the rich few. Desirable traits, such as resistance against diseases, strength, height, even eye color or skin color, which PRO dismisses as unimportant, would be engineered into rich peoples’ children. Not only would this cause the rich to live longer, be more successful, etc., this would also cause discrimination against the poorer people who were not genetically engineered at birth. This would cause a flawed system of government with the genetically engineered at the top and the non-genetically engineered at the bottom.
      • My question for PRO: How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering when it could have dire consequences on society?
  • CONCLUSION: THE EFFECTS CAUSED by CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE DIRE PHYSICAL and SOCIETAL CONSEQUENCES.
  • THEREFORE, CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING is UNETHICAL.
ARG 1.2: THE SECURITY STATE
  • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE the ESTABLISHMENT of a SECURITY STATE
    • ARG 1.2A: THE DIGITAL FOOTPRINT LEFT by a PERSON who has BEEN GENETICALLY ENGINEERED and/or CLONED
      • Let us imagine a child has been genetically engineered before birth. This would cause the hospital to have to store their genetic information, which would in turn allow the government to have access to the child’s genetic information.
      • Now, let us imagine this on a national or even global scale, where a large amount of the population has been genetically engineered or has descended from people who have been genetically engineered. What would the governments do with all this information? Maybe not instantly turn the nation in question into a closely monitored state like the one described in 1984, but I can assure you the government would certainly use it for something, as the genetic data is too large an asset to go unnoticed. It could be used in harmless things like the census, or other, more serious things like finding the race of a person.
      • Let us take that last example, finding the race of a person. What if Hitler had this technology in Nazi Germany in the 30s and 40s and genetic engineering has began generations earlier? I can assure you the entire Jewish population would have been decimated.
      • This same logic applies to cloning.
      • My question for PRO: How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering if it would lead to fatal overreach by the government?
  • CONCLUSION: THE EFFECTS CAUSED by CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE FATAL OVERREACH of the GOVERNMENT’S POWERS.
  • THEREFORE, CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING is UNETHICAL.
ARG 1.3: ALL THE SAME
  • CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE ALL HUMANS to BECOME the SAME
    • ARG 1.3A: CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING and DESIRABLE TRAITS
      • For the sake of debate, let’s ignore the consequences I laid out in ARG 1.1B, and assume that in the future, all humans have access to genetic engineering procedures. Wouldn’t this cause all humans to choose desirable traits for their children or even themselves? This would mean less genetic diversity and hand in hand less natural selection of desirable traits and a greater chance of a population being decimated by a illness.
      • This would also mean everyone would, quite literally, become the same. Same thought patterns, traits, everything else. Humanity would almost become a civilization from a sci-fi movie.
      • My question for PRO: How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering if it would cause everyone to become the same?
  • CONCLUSION: THE EFFECTS CAUSED by CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING would CAUSE HUMANS to all BECOME the SAME.
  • THEREFORE, CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING is UNETHICAL.
SOURCES


CON passes the talking feather to PRO.
Published:
I Rebuttal: Con round 2, BoP
 
I.a My opponent declares that I have the burden of proof only because I am Pro, and uses Wikipedia as his source for definition of BoP? One problem with Wiki’s definition: What if my opponent makes an argument that I oppose? Am I supposed to provide his BoP? I don’t think so. To wit:Cloning and genetic engineering on humans is a relatively new concept only introduced in the past few decades.” A declaration that is unsourced, by the way. 
 
I.a.1 That is, the 19thcentury Charles Darwin; the one who wrote On the Origin of Species [1859],  just in case my opponent happens to be living next door to a botanist of the same name who may have been the origin of his quote. Not a very good botanist, because his ancestor wrote and published a volume in 1862 [not a few decades ago] titled, On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised [sic]by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing. While not “cloning” in the traditional sense, it is genetic engineering though Darwin did not call it that. 
 
I.a.2 Yes, I hear my opponent crying “Foul!”Yes, he did say,“human cloning,”didn’t he? Let’s refer to the President’s Council on Bioethics: “…consider the emerging interest in cloningfor biomedical research, a prospect connected to the recent isolation of embryonic stem cells…”[1] This report was published in 2002, but it further speaks to earlier “emerging interest,” and experimentation in cloning of animals by embryologist, Hans Spemann in his 1938 book, Embryonic Development and Induction.In it, he discussed the possibility of what actually came to pass in 1952,[2] nearly 70 years ago, not a“few decades;”a procedure now calledinvitro fertilization,to which I referred in my round 1. Not to ignore Darwin’s follow-on volume, Descent of Man[1871]. That is the last research for BoP I will perform for my opponent.
 
I.b My opponent also declares [also unsourced] Cloning and genetic engineering could have consequences that should be seriously considered, and this should mean that [I]should have to prove cloning and genetic engineering would be beneficial.”  As above in I.a, and for the same justification, I declare that my opponent has the BoP of this claim. Not to mention that I am charged with suddenly justifying “beneficial” when the subject of the debate is “ethical.” The two terms are not synonymous.  Ethics is not bound by benefit; only that it meets conditions of proper behavior. I’ll add a comment where my opponent failed to make one in definition of the debate: On this site, BoP is typically shared.
 
1.c My opponent  declared “A paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Biomedical Science states that the “repercussions” of cloning and genetic engineering ‘are still unknown.’” [9]  The first problem is that, while the reference is given as [9], that reference number, nor citation appears at the bottom of his list of references. Provide it, please. It is a challengeable declaration, to wit:being unknown, how is an unknown declared as harmful? 
 
I.c.1 The Journal of Biomedical Science [the source of [9]] began in 1999. The advent of successful human cloning as we understand the basic term as duplicating a single, separate organism, of which invitrois merely a sub-set using the genetic material of two individuals, has not yet occurred, which is why my round 1 argument placed it in the 23rdcentury, as a fiction. I should say the practice’s potential for harm is as unknown as can be, and declaring it so before the transit from unknown to known is accomplished, all predictions, even those of probability [of which science I happen to be a professional Six Sigma Black Belt, retired] is scientifically irresponsible. The harm is pure theory. 
 
My opponent asked: How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering if it would have these horrible effects?”
 
Even my opponent concludes his argument 1.1A, There are many other unknowns to take into account when considering this process, which I shall not list since it would be childish to guess.” I take my opponent at his word.
 
II Rebuttal removed for brevity.

III Rebuttal: Con Round 2, Arg 1.1“Of course, [cloning] is an expensive process”
 
III.a Of course it is, if you are attempting it now, 21stcentury. But my argument is in the 23rdcentury. What is, and is not expensive is defined by a term that Con introduced in his round 2, through the Journal of Biomedical Science: unknown.  It is a direct quote from [9], what ever that is, but, fortunately, Con quoted it, so it is known to be unknown. Is that clear enough? Then what follows in my opponent’s argument on the matter of this unknown-expense claim, including the claim of a flawed government system, and discrimination [as if we don’t have the latter today without cloning and genetic engineering] is also… you get the point. And so much for the conclusion of my opponent’s round 2, Argument 1.1B “The effects caused by cloning and genetic engineering would cause dire physical and Societal consequences.”
 
III.a.1 Leaving the argument at “unknown” would have been a far more sustainable argument. Prediction is such a difficult prospect to prove, which is why even current polling, as scientifically based as it is [it is, if done correctly], has too many variables in a subject that that has not one successful human trial [at least that has scientific peer review] to conclude anything of the sort Con suggests in his 1.1B conclusion, which is unsourced.
 
IV Rebuttal: Con Round 2, Arg 1.2 The [unsourced] Security State
 
IV.a This entire rebuttal would be a repeat of my round 2, I, II, and III rebuttals, so, I’ll leave IV as a re-read request to readers, since the previous rebuttals have the only arguments I need, except for a singular example Con raised as a singular path his “security State would have: Let us imagine a child has been genetically engineered before birth. This would cause the hospital to have to store their genetic information, which would in turn allow the government to have access to the child’s genetic information.”Rebuttal: the hospital can dump the genetic information, since we are imagining. 
 
IV.a.1 As for Con’s Arg 1.2 question to me: “How can you endorse cloning and genetic engineering if it would lead to fatal overreach by the government?” I reply: If is the least utilitarian word because it acknowledges only that which is currently not true.[3] Therefore, the ethics, except for successfully rebutted arguments by Pro, are unknown [see my round 3, Rebuttals I, II, III, IV].
 
V Rebuttal: Con Round 2, Arg 1.3 “All the same”
 
V.1 My opponent declares [unsourced]: “Cloning and genetic engineering would cause all humans to become the same.” Let me recall a source from my round 1:
https://www.genome.gov/about-genomics/fact-sheets/Genetics-vs-Genomics
which stipulates, by my interpretation [the source was used for the percentage factor noted] that Such trait arguments [as Con proposes in his Arg 1.3]are bigotry, boring in the extreme as just another reason to discriminate when, beneath the skin, other than by the very detailed demands of DNA, we are over 99.9% identical” anyway. And yet, even with that narrow diversity, look at what natural selection accomplishes in variety. Why would cloning and genetic engineering [I infer both processes are involved in my argument, not one or the other] want to limit the diversity? Clone 7 billion people [our current approximate world population], what do you have? Only 7 billion duplicates. Only. Hint: we’re not all the same, are we? Yet Con’s argument conclusion says we are. Are you, dear readers, convinced by Con’s unsourced argument, or Pro’s rebuttal, a justified source merely by trying to find your duplicates in the wide world? You are your source for my argument. Are you and your proposed duplicate unethical? Particularly since youmay be the clone.
 
VI Argument: What if…?
 
VI.a I will challenge my opponent on two principles: Only for argument’s sake, violating my comments, post #4, not as a justification of my argument, but as a presentation of ethical behavior relative to the debate subject, but not as you might think:
1.    Show me the verse and surrounding context from the Holy Bible, in either Testament, that declares, by God’s decree, that we must not clone ourselves.
2.    Show me the verse and surrounding context from the Holy Bible, in either Testament, that declares, by God’s decree, that a clone is any less a child of God[4] than a human born of natural means by two parents, male and female [the only combination capable of naturally producing a child, in spite of our “enlightenment” of an alphabet of genders]. 
 
In fact, considering just the M & F of that alphabet, we know that for some would-be parents, the only possibility of conception is by the perfectly acceptable ethic of in vitrofertilization, resulting, often, in multiple simultaneous divisions of the original zygote. Do these divisions entirely exist outside the definition of cloning?
 
 
 

Round 3
Published:
CON = nmvarco = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL
PRO = fauxlaw = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is ETHICAL

THBT: CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL

OPENING STATEMENTS
I thank PRO for a productive debate so far. In this round, I hope to rebut his arguments. CORRECTION:
  • Source number 9 in my R2 argument is supposed to be source number 8.
REB 2.1: BURDEN OF PROOF
  • PRO says:
    • “To wit:’Cloning and genetic engineering on humans is a relatively new concept only introduced in the past few decades.’ A declaration that is unsourced, by the way.
  • Dolly the sheep was created in 1996 [1]. Human genetic engineering was endorsed by the American National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine in 2017 [2]. A decade [noun] is defined as “a group, set, or series of ten,” in this case, it represents a set of 10 years [3]. Therefore I think it is safe to say that cloning and genetic engineering is a relatively new concept only introduced in the past few decades.
  • PRO says:
    • The advent of successful human cloning as we understand the basic term as duplicating a single, separate organism, of which invitrois merely a sub-set using the genetic material of two individuals, has not yet occurred, which is why my round 1 argument placed it in the 23rdcentury, as a fiction. I should say the practice’s potential for harm is as unknown as can be, and declaring it so before the transit from unknown to known is accomplished, all predictions, even those of probability [of which science I happen to be a professional Six Sigma Black Belt, retired] is scientifically irresponsible. The harm is pure theory.
  • My opponent’s argument seems to be that even though it is harmful now, it won’t be in the future [unsourced, for the record]. Under that logic, let’s start nuking cities (Yay!), because by the 23rd century we’ll have power shields that can protect us from nukes.
  • PRO says:
    • Not a very good botanist, because his ancestor wrote and published a volume in 1862 [not a few decades ago] titled, On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised [sic]by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing. While not “cloning” in the traditional sense, it is genetic engineering though Darwin did not call it that.
  • This is like calling children of interracial marriages products of genetic engineering. The crossbreeding of plants was caused by a natural process, not a modified one using the tools of science.
  • PRO says:
    • “to wit:being unknown, how is an unknown declared as harmful?
  • If you were having open-heart surgery, and the doctor said that the implications were an unknown, how would you feel?
  • PRO says:
    • Let’s refer to the President’s Council on Bioethics: “…consider the emerging interest in cloning for biomedical research, a prospect connected to the recent isolation of embryonic stem cells…[1] This report was published in 2002, but it further speaks to earlier “emerging interest,” and experimentation in cloning of animals by embryologist, Hans Spemann in his 1938 book, Embryonic Development and Induction.”
  • I don’t understand how “emerging interest” correlates to legalizing the process. Using our example for before, let’s say 65% of people respond to a poll saying that they want to nuke cities. A paper on the subject classifies this as “emerging interest,” so therefore we start nuking cities (again).
  • Therefore, because there are so many unknowns, as PRO admits:
    • “‘There are many other unknowns to take into account when considering this process, which I shall not list since it would be childish to guess. I take my opponent at his word.
  • and cloning and genetic engineering are such new processes, I believe PRO must have the Burden of Proof.
REB 2.2: CLONING AS AN EXPENSIVE PROCESS
  • PRO says:
    • But my argument is in the 23rdcentury...Then what follows in my opponent’s argument on the matter of this unknown-expense claim, including the claim of a flawed government system, and discrimination...
  • I fail to see how PRO’s argument (or better phrased, prediction) is somehow valid but mine is not. I presented my prediction as a counter to PRO’s and I was inclined to believe that he would accept it as he had presented his own prediction, but it seems as there is a double standard.
  • PRO says:
    • Prediction is such a difficult prospect to prove
  • I would like voters to read this comment and afterwards read the entirety of PRO’s R1 argument.
  • NOTE: PREDICTIONS ARE HARD TO PROVE
    • WHY?
      • Because no one is a time traveler.
  • CONCLUSION: I request that from this point onwards, both sides refrain from presenting a predicted future.
I dismiss PRO’s Rebuttal IV for reasons mentioned above, as the entirety of this argument was based on an unproven, possible future.

REB 2.3: ALL THE SAME
  • PRO says:
    • by my interpretation [the source was used for the percentage factor noted] that “Such trait arguments [as Con proposes in his Arg 1.3]are bigotry, boring in the extreme as just another reason to discriminate when, beneath the skin, other than by the very detailed demands of DNA, we are over 99.9% identical.
  • I fail to see how these traits can be dismissed. If you can engineer the traits of your child, I can assure you that some parents would wish for their child to be tall, Norwegian, and strong, or other traits supposedly desirable. This is a prediction, although I hope PRO can agree with me on this.
  • PRO says:
    • “Hint: we’re not all the same, are we? Yet Con’s argument conclusion says we are. Are you, dear readers, convinced by Con’s unsourced argument, or Pro’s rebuttal, a justified source merely by trying to find your duplicates in the wide world?”
  • It seems PRO has contradicted himself in merely a few sentences. He says that my argument says we all are the same (which, in fact, was not what I said, instead, I proposed a possible future where all humans could all become the same) but just a few sentences earlier, quoted himself saying that “we are over 99.9% identical” and the other parts of us that are not identical don’t matter and “are bigotry.”
REB 2.4: WHAT IF?
  • PRO says:
    • I will challenge my opponent on two principles: Only for argument’s sake, violating my comments, post #4, not as a justification of my argument, but as a presentation of ethical behavior relative to the debate subject, but not as you might think: 1. Show me the verse and surrounding context from the Holy Bible, in either Testament, that declares, by God’s decree, that we must not clone ourselves. 2. Show me the verse and surrounding context from the Holy Bible, in either Testament, that declares, by God’s decree, that a clone is any less a child of God than a human born of natural means by two parents, male and female [the only combination capable of naturally producing a child, in spite of our “enlightenment” of an alphabet of genders].
  • I will not do that, as the section I have placed this debate in is “Society” (as noted by PRO in comment #4) and I am not going to use a “religious morality” (also said by PRO in comment #4).
  • PRO says:
    • In fact, considering just the M & F of that alphabet, we know that for some would-be parents, the only possibility of conception is by the perfectly acceptable ethic of in vitro fertilization, resulting, often, in multiple simultaneous divisions of the original zygote. Do these divisions entirely exist outside the definition of cloning?
  • Yes, as noted by my definition of cloning, “to create a clone of.” The purpose of IVF is not to create twins or triplets even though these are relatively common. If PRO believes it is, then women pregnant with twins have cloned a human being.
SOURCES

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_(sheep)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_therapy#Human_genetic_engineering
[3] https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/decade#Noun

CON passes the talking feather to PRO.

Published:
I Rebuttal: [Con round 3]: 2.1 Burdon of Proof of humancloning ethics
 
I.a Con’s rebuttal 2.1 Burden of Proof declared that Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1966, and that is just a few decades ago. Granted, but Dolly is not human; she is, therefore, off-topic. Off-topic is not a legitimate argument or rebuttal. 
 
I.b Arguing that “human genetic engineering was endorsed by the American National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine” as my opponent generously offered in round 3, 2.1, is an argument for the ethics of human genetic engineering. Thank you. I agree. 
 
I.d My opponent is certainly arguing for the potential of harm, when I claim it is unknown. And, I repeat: the debate is about ethics, not benefit. Let’s stay on point. 
 
II Rebuttal:[Con round 3]: 2.2 Expense of cloning
 
II.a Who said anything about expense? Con. Who said cloning was expensive? Con. So why is Con rebutting a subject I did not raise? No relevance; no need to counter Con’s argument. So it may be expensive. That has naught to do with ethics. Let’s stay on point.
 
II.b Con entered an argument from his round 2, Arg 1.2 regarding the Security State. Revised in round 3, Pro stated, “Conclusion: The effects caused by cloning and genetic engineering would cause fatal overreach of the government’s powers. Therefore, cloning and genetic engineering is unethical.” Pro even bolded this entire statement, so it must be an important argument. However, as I noted in my round 2 rebuttal, the entire claim was and still is unsourced. Sorry, I do not accept Pro’s credentials, which, with regard to creds, are listed as “unknown.” A prevailing condition in this debate.
 
 
III Rebuttal: [Con round 3]: 2.3 All the same

III.a I am acknowledging the 99.9% sameness of humans, but I am also saying that in the 0.01% there is grand diversity, not sameness. That is not a contradiction; it is an augmentation.
 
IV Rebuttal: [Con round 3]: 2.4 What if?
 
IV.1 Con says, in the end, “…pregnant women with twins have cloned a human being.”  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. First, the woman has done nothing of the sort. She did not “cause” the twins; it was a natural, relatively infrequent act of nature over which the woman had zero, zip, zappo control. However, second, and thus my quandary, if my opponent wishes to hold on to his argument, he has, once again, argued for the ethics of cloning in acknowledging that twinning occurs, and he did not rebut it. Thank you, I gratefully accept the endorsement.
 
V Rebuttal: [Con round 2] Playing God
 
V.a My opponent offered an argument, using the source, Journal of Biomedical Science [his source [8] of round 2], that cloning and genetic engineering are “playing God.” As the referenced source used the argument, it is fair game in rebuttal. We are responsible for knowing our sources.
 
V.a.1 This is the ultimate of the argument “just-because-we-can-does-not-mean-we-should.” As I predicted in my round 1, Con would play this card. It is, perhaps contrary to Pro’s intent, an argument for ethics. But, since I’m certain this was not Pro’s intent, time to put the argument itself to bed. Blaming God for our misfortunes is a common approach used by many, including our current pandemic crisis of Covid-19. Following close behind is the argument, “If God is omnipotent, why doesn’t He fix it?” As if He was the cause in either argument. Is He? Well, it surely wasn’t us, so it must be His fault, they claim. He is the total cause of everything, they claim. Is He? 
 
V.a.2 Since Con has broached the subject by his referenced source [the God issue], let’s analyze a brief experience in Genesis 2 in rebuttal of the argument that God makes everything happen. The fruit of the poisonous tree, so to speak, using the legal precedent description is the subject. We are talking law, after all. Well, the law in this instance was, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[1] “Freely eat” is an offer of free agency, and that agency extended to all trees [“every tree”] in the Garden, no exclusions. People will often point to the poisonous tree and say, but God forbade eating of that tree. Did He?  Really? One must take the comment “thou shalt not eat of it” in the context of allowance to eat of “every tree” as a precedent to not eating of one tree. God did not even say that all the trees but the poisonous tree had benefit [and Pro suggested the need of benefit, though the debate parameters do not!], but God did say that the poisonous tree would bring death. That’s a consequence, not even necessarily a strict punishment. Did God say death was a bad thing? Nope. Death is merely a door. We use them all the time. Death is but another one. And did Adam and Eve really know what “death” meant? Perhaps not. They had no experience with it. Just another of many unknown consequences Adam and Eve would encounter outside the Garden. Free agency means God is not to blame for our choices; we are.
 
So, “playing God” is an assignment of blame, but it is ours because we do have knowledge of good and evil as the poisonous tree represented. Is that a bad thing? Is that harmful knowledge? I’ll let that question hang; the answer should be obvious, like knowing there are snakes with which we should not play. Free agency is a wonderfully liberating policy. It is playing ourselves with our most ethical considerations. Ethical because our decisions have consequences and the unknown is sometimes just an unknown until we play it.
 
I rest my case
 
 
 
 



[1] Holy Bible, Genesis 2: 16, 17

Round 4
Published:
CON = nmvarco = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL
PRO = fauxlaw = CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is ETHICAL

THBT: CLONING and GENETIC ENGINEERING in HUMANS is UNETHICAL

OPENING STATEMENTS
I thank PRO for a productive debate that has concluded. In this round, I hope to rebut his arguments effectively.

REB 3.1: BURDEN OF PROOF ON HUMAN CLONING ETHICS
  • PRO says:
    • I.a Con’s rebuttal 2.1 Burden of Proof declared that Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1966, and that is just a few decades ago. Granted, but Dolly is not human; she is, therefore, off-topic. Off-topic is not a legitimate argument or rebuttal.
  • This is not off-topic, rather quite on-topic. Sheep are quite similar to humans and have been used as human replacements in brain and throat research [1][2], as well as other things.
  • NOTE: Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996, not 1966.
  • PRO says:
    • I.b Arguing that “human genetic engineering was endorsed by the American National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine” as my opponent generously offered in round 3, 2.1, is an argument for the ethics of human genetic engineering. Thank you. I agree.
  • The American National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine are not ethic committees. Therefore they have endorsed genetic engineering for medical reasons rather than ethical ones. Yet PRO says in the next sentence (in wrongly-named rebuttal d):
    • I.d My opponent is certainly arguing for the potential of harm, when I claim it is unknown. And, I repeat: the debate is about ethics, not benefit. Let’s stay on point.
  • Therefore the fact that the American National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine have endorsed genetic engineering can not be used as a valid argument on PRO’s side.
  • PRO has failed to rebut any other parts of my REB 2.1, excepting these discrepancies on Dolly the Sheep.
REB 3.2: EXPENSE OF CLONING
  • PRO says:
    • II.a Who said anything about expense? Con. Who said cloning was expensive? Con. So why is Con rebutting a subject I did not raise? No relevance; no need to counter Con’s argument. So it may be expensive. That has naught to do with ethics. Let’s stay on point.
  • As PRO pointed out, I brought up the topic of expense (which, if cloning and genetic engineering were legal and expensive, would cause a significant disparity in rates of cloning and genetic engineering and income and possibly a new form of discrimination, and I was simply defending my own argument after you had rebutted it. If everything in a debate was rebuttals, then there could be no opening arguments and therefore no debate.
  • PRO says:
    • II.b Con entered an argument from his round 2, Arg 1.2 regarding the Security State. Revised in round 3, Pro stated, “Conclusion: The effects caused by cloning and genetic engineering would cause fatal overreach of the government’s powers. Therefore, cloning and genetic engineering is unethical.” Pro even bolded this entire statement, so it must be an important argument. However, as I noted in my round 2 rebuttal, the entire claim was and still is unsourced. Sorry, I do not accept Pro’s credentials, which, with regard to creds, are listed as “unknown.” A prevailing condition in this debate.
  • As I said in REB 2.2, I still do not understand why my unsourced claim/prediction is somehow inferior to PRO’s unsourced claim/prediction that was a large part of his R1 argument. If PRO would wish to explain this in the comments, I would be delighted.
  • PRO has failed to rebut the entirety of REB 2.2, instead bringing up old arguments.
REB 3.3: ALL THE SAME
  • PRO says:
    • III.a I am acknowledging the 99.9% sameness of humans, but I am also saying that in the 0.01% there is grand diversity, not sameness. That is not a contradiction; it is an augmentation.
  • That still does not satisfy my question as PRO said in his R1 that considering the 0.01% of us that is not similar is “bigotry.”
REB 3.4: WHAT IF?
  • PRO says:
    • IV.1 Con says, in the end, “…pregnant women with twins have cloned a human being.”  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. First, the woman has done nothing of the sort. She did not “cause” the twins; it was a natural, relatively infrequent act of nature over which the woman had zero, zip, zappo control. However, second, and thus my quandary, if my opponent wishes to hold on to his argument, he has, once again, argued for the ethics of cloning in acknowledging that twinning occurs, and he did not rebut it. Thank you, I gratefully accept the endorsement.
  • This is grossly taken out of context. Let us read the original comment written by myself:
    • Yes, as noted by my definition of cloning, “to create a clone of.” The purpose of IVF is not to create twins or triplets even though these are relatively common. If PRO believes it is, then women pregnant with twins have cloned a human being.
  • I had used this example to demonstrate the absurdity of PRO’s argument. I was simply saying that twins and triplets are relatively common for women who have received IVF treatment and this is not considered cloning, as PRO had asked me if I believed IVF was cloning technology, which it obviously is not, and if PRO thinks that I would believe that then he must all think that I believe that women pregnant with twins have cloned someone.
  • PRO has failed to rebut the first section of my REB 2.4 concerning religious morality.
REB 3.5: PLAYING GOD
  • When PRO was accepted this debate, he had two conditions, one of which was that “Con cannot use a religious morality [playing God, for example] to argue against the premise, since "society" is the section you've placed the debate.
  • I accepted this and have stayed free from any religious content during this argument, although I believe that it is very one-sided to tell your opponent they cannot use a religious morality because it is irrelevant but then use your own religious morality.
  • Religion has no place in the public circle of ethics. The decision to allow or not allow cloning and genetic engineering should not be decided by a simple book and a couple myths.
  • Furthermore, PRO has written an entire rebuttal (the longest rebuttal in his R3 argument), about something I had never brought up or mentioned. The only way for him to be able to write a rebuttal about a God argument is for me to write one, as it is fairly unlikely that he would bring it up, but somehow he has written an entire rebuttal about something completely off-topic, and as PRO says in his own words: “Off-topic is not a legitimate argument or rebuttal.
  • For these reasons I shall not rebut anything PRO has said in his 5th rebuttal.
SOURCES
[1] https://animals.mom.me/differences-between-human-and-sheep-brains-3500869.html
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3341156/

THE DEBATE HAS CONCLUDED.
VOTE CON.
Published:
As agreed, I waive my 4th round.
Mnvarco, a very stimulating debate. Thank you. Let's do this again sometime. hint hint.

Added:
I plan to bust out an RFD tonight. Not an easy debate to decide.
#17
Added:
--> @blamonkey
Thanks for voting. I liked your summary, but will talk about it in PM
Contender
#16
Added:
Looks like a good in depth debate, however I am too busy to be likely to vote on it.
#15
Added:
bumping this for anyone who wants to vote
Instigator
#14
Added:
With all due respect to my opponent, he has concluded his rounds of argument in the debate, and comments is not where the debate is extended until after voting is concluded, per the site policy indicated below, Under [debates/how it works]
"The post voting
The debate is considered finished and the users are encouraged to discuss it in the comments section."
Not before.
Contender
#13
Added:
With all due respect to my opponent, the line about the “pregnant woman cloning a human being” was taken horribly out of context and his summary of it is quite misleading.
Instigator
#12
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Amazing that you met Mr Watson. Must have been a great experience.
Instigator
#11
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Regarding the waiving of arguments, I don’t believe you can set it so your opponent goes first.
Instigator
#10
Added:
--> @nmvarco
Before a debate is accepted, the initiator can edit anything they want. Once accepted, as whiteflame said, it can no longer be edited. I decided to take the debate as is
Contender
#9
Added:
--> @nmvarco
A debate that has been accepted as this one has cannot be edited.
#8
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
How do you edit debates?
Instigator
#7
Added:
I’ll be watching this one. Good luck to both of you!
#6
Added:
I am considering possibly taking this. Is your position that cloning is inherently unethical or is your position that cloning technology could potentially be used in unethical ways?
#5
Added:
Like Whitflame, I'm intrigued with this subject, but I have two conditions:
1. Con [you] cannot use a religious morality [playing God, for example] to argue against the premise, since "society" is the section you've placed the debate.
2. I fail to see the sense of waiving arguments. If you only want 3 rounds of debate, declare 3 rounds. I believe instigator, pro or con, should make the first argument, and the respondent has the last word.
Contender
#4
Added:
I'm super tempted to take this. Any chance we could extend the posting period to 1 week? I don't plan on taking a week, but I'd like to ensure that I can make time if something comes up.
#3
#2
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Not an easy decision. Let me know if you have trouble accessing the RFD.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y0NfTGWDYrw4n2F4XHjmrpC9wCzZ4QtFhFpk4-l6cJU/edit?usp=sharing
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Close debate folks. I give the RFD here:
https://shrib.com/#nmvarco%20v.%20fauxlaw%20Genetic%20Engineering%20and%20Human%20Cloning
If it doesn't work, let me know.