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WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 10:30

Just gotta love this here.

I mean, isn't it a great idea? And I'll bet the religious right is in a turmoil...hehe...they are against using stem cells...and against cloning...hehe...but it's a pretty good use of cloning, getting rid of the need to harvest more stem cells...

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 11:17

Unfortunately, there's a pretty reasonable argument...

if (cloned fetus : original fetus :: cloned stem cells : original stem cells) then they can just say "hey, cloned stem cells have souls too!"

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 12:14



WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 12:37

Hehe...cloned souls...that's good. In fact, that's real good. Why, I bet Satan is busy...hehe...

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 12:58

It's a logical comparison, Rams.

Basically, if the relationship between cloned fetus and original fetus is equivalent to the relationship between cloned stem cells and original stem cells, then logically "cloned stem cells have souls too".

Not that I agree, just explaining it for ya'.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 13:15

Okay, then carry that a bit further...does a cloned human then have a soul? Is a cloned human a real person?

silence
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: soon to be "the land down under"
Insane since: Jan 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 13:45

Well, that depends. If we consider the soul indivisible from the body, then a clone would indeed have a cloned soul.

However, if you consider a soul a separate entity, then a clone would have a different soul.

Now, taking the second supposition and running with it, I would propose that each soul is unique in and of itself, but it is also molded by its container, much like water.

So, although the cloned being has a different soul, it is very similar to the original becuase of the genetic similarity.

~sigh~ At times like this, I really miss my Theology professor. He was one of those rare breeds who has a doctorate in Theology and Physics. I almost became a Theology minor becuase of him. Word to the wise, good teachers are hard to find, treasure them when you do.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 15:35

So...let's consider the following scenario...if, indeed, a cloned 'soul' is indeed a different soul, wouldn't our theoretical Satan be cloning those things like there is no tomorrow? I mean, that would rapidly then 'use up' the available souls in Heaven, right?

Actually, the question is intriguing, isn't it? Would a cloned human really have a soul? And under the current laws, would it be considered to be a real person, with all rights? I mean, would a priest do a confession for a cloned human? Anybody know the stance of the Church towards cloned humans? Hey Bugs, what do you think?

The reason I'm asking this (apart from the legal aspect), is that about the soul. Isn't that supposed to be God's domain, the assigning of the soul? So...if one can clone, and, in that sense, 'capture' a soul, what then? Have we then taken soul assignment away from God?

Further more, I'm not very well versed in where the soul comes from, according to Christianity (or any of the other religions, for that matter). Anyone care to take a shot at it?



[This message has been edited by WebShaman (edited 12-11-2002).]

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-11-2002 22:13

If God dishes out souls from a limited stockpile, then we can safely assume he either a) knows how many will be needed, whether cloned or not, or b) can make more. But who really says that souls come from a "place"? My theological education is lacking here.

Or maybe cloned people don't have souls? I think any religious leader who tried to say that would get shouted down in short order -- it's a pretty cold thing to say -- but for the purpose of theological discussion we have to accept the possibility. On the bright side, it would mean that we could turn clones into a handy slave race! Whee!

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 12-11-2002 22:35

I've always viewed the "soul" as a font of energy that replenishes itself. So that children of our bodies are actually also of our energy. We are half of the font that makes the wellspring of life. Our partners provide the other half. In that basis we aren't losing anything. It just grows back. I do like the implications of the cloning stem cells though. I would say, "What a great way to fix the conflict over this issue." but I think people are going to argue over it because they are blind to the solutions that this effort represents. The fact that this is taken from willing adult members helps out a great deal though.

My only question with this is: Were a blastocyst allowed to continue in its development would it continue to grow into a full baby? I mean would it actually clone or are they ONLY making more stem cells?

GrythusDraconis
I admire a man who can budget his life around his pint of Guinness and I envy a man who's wife will let him. ME, inspired by Suho1004 here.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 12-11-2002 23:04

Theoretically, if the blastocyst is the earliest stage of the embryo, it should have all the genetic information available to become a full grown human if allowed to develop. That may be the point of contention. Even though the process of harvesting the stem cells kills the blastocyst - it is still a potential human.

hmm... I can see the pro-lifers running wild with this one...

But if they're just inserting diseased cells into the egg, does the egg then contain all the information necessary to develop into a human? I would think yes, just because our basic genetic makeup is contained in every cell in our body, but the article doesn't really say...

I'm not even gonna get into the soul question...

Bodhi - Cell 617

[This message has been edited by bodhi23 (edited 12-11-2002).]

Quade
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: Hell
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 12-11-2002 23:14

Well, a clone is not an exact duplicate of the original, no matter how close it can be made to be.

But assuming that there is indeed a soul in naturally-born people, it stands to reason that the same "place" we get our souls from, the clone would get theirs in turn also. IMHO, a soul is just a by-product of being alive and/or sentient. Therefore, I'd think that a clone would have a unique soul as well.

I like Evil, yes I do! I like Evil, how 'bout you?

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-12-2002 12:32

Well, that didn't take long, now, did it? Anybody else care to comment?

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-12-2002 19:25

That article doesn't seem to explicitly say that anyone is blasting these guys for their work. It just says that they say it's not cloning, and "many other researchers" would disagree. Until the U.S. "religious right" gets involved, we're probably safe. The area is fuzzy enough that fellow scientists probably aren't going to sabotage it on the basis of ethics.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 12-16-2002 03:30

Oh boy. There is no clear understanding of where souls come from other than that God has created each of us with them. I tend to agree with some of the comments here that each human has a soul... it's just part of what being a human is.

I don't think there is even a remote possibility that *anything* we do here on this Earth can catch God of His guard or somehow "mess up" His perfect plans. WS, I believe that a cloned human is *no* different than any other, save the fact of how he/she was conceived.

Now you asked about whether the Church (capital C) has an official stance. I don't know the exact document but I believe Humanae Vitae covers it. I don't know if it mentions cloning specifically or not. It's been a little while since I've read it.

[edit] I just added the link above and it doesn't mention cloning but I'm almost positive the Church is against it. I break with the Magisterium when it comes to not messing with God's natural processes. I think we have every right and in fact a duty to mess with them to make life better for all. But where I completely agree is that we must do everything we can to protect and nurture life and not to throw it away or sacrifice others for convenience. [/edit]

As far as the rest of the church is concerned, well the liberal wing will most likely side with you but the moderate to conservative will most likely have a serious problem with this. I think that most of that really comes from the lingering distrust between the two cultures, i.e. those who see science as a threat to religion and visa versa.

I must say that the very fact that each and everyone of you here is not absolutely clear that clones will have every right to exist as the rest of us scares the living CRAP out of me!!! This is the same kind of discussion some of our less than benevolent brothers have had in years past. So the Africans weren't really human so it's ok to use them as slaves or Jews and Slavs are subhuman so we can use them as slaves and then use their skins for lampshades and such. Consider this paragraph a rant and one closely associated with that other thread about forgetting the atrocities of history and repeating them.

Anyway, I'm really glad to see that we do have some people in this effort being consulted about bio-ethics. This technology is going to happen no matter what and I believe people of good conscience need to be right there in the forefront making sure we don't have another holocaust on our hands and don't even get me started on how many fetuses we're flushing every year as we speak.

. . : slicePuzzle

[This message has been edited by Bugimus (edited 12-16-2002).]

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-16-2002 07:57

Hey hey hey, my line about a "slave race" was pure satire. Whether or not souls even exist, cloned humans are still humans, period.

And as for bioengineering, cybernetic enhancement, and all that other post-humanity stuff: I say that science has advanced a little bit since the Bible was written; we're dealing with ethical issues the desert patriarchs could not possibly have imagined, and which God apparently didn't feel like mentioning to them; so if God doesn't want us to improve our lot by any means possible, it's high time for him to grant us a new revelation. As it is, I don't see why I shouldn't get my brain replaced by high-performance quantum computers, mulch my body, and live in a splendid virtual reality of pure thought and imagination for all eternity. Sounds like heaven on earth to me.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 12-16-2002 08:26

PT, I understood your satire as such. My rant was a bit more general because it does not seem clear to me that everyone agrees clones should enjoy every right each of us does now. I'm not just talking about people here in the Asylum because I have heard others outside of this forum actually considering using clones for spare parts and/or slaves.

I think the desert patriarchs understood the importance of human life quite well. There were laws regarding murder and manslaughter back then, just as now. If anything, we understand much more about human life today and science has shown us just how human we really are at all stages of our existence.

I want this technology to develop but I want us to do it in the most ethical way possible and since we are breaking new ground, that requires people who have a genuine regard for each individual involved. I hope I'm not talking out of two sides of my mouth, perhaps I am. Perhaps I don't understand this tech well enough to know if we have to sacrifice human life to do these experiments. This century is going to be the bio-tech century and it is going to be a wild ride as it starts to dominate our efforts as a species.

. . : slicePuzzle

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-16-2002 09:45

Ok, then let's, once again, take this one step further...and clone a human without a brain...to use as spare parts...how is that different than donating organs after death?

I think the real question is, from which point is a soul present? When is it not present?

It must be clear by now, that with the medical technology that we now have, a human body can be kept alive, long after the brain is dead...is the soul then gone? And what about then in the future, when someone could be, I don't know, regenerated (or revived) in such a state? Would the soul then be the same?

Though I do think that a cloned human has a soul, at what point is this so?

Why isn't this covered in the Bible? Surely, God must have known that this would come to be...there should be very...plain rules, etc. for this...but there doesn't seem to be...



[This message has been edited by WebShaman (edited 12-16-2002).]

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-16-2002 14:03

Disorganized opinion: I'm going to say that without thought, and without the possibility of thought, there is no soul and no human being, just, well, meat. Say my brain is irreparably destroyed in a car crash, to the point where no rehabilitation could restore my ability to think or function on any level other than the medullar; as far as I'm concerned, I'm dead at that point, and if the soul hasn't left my body, it had better start packing its things.

If you create a human body that has no brain, then it's not a human per se... just a human body.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 12-16-2002 18:53

I've been extremely tempted to come to that same conclusion (without our congnitive abilities we're not human) HOWEVER I have a very deep seated suspicion there is something missing in that view. I am not willing to make that judgement right now, it needs a lot more thought and prayer to get a better handle on it.

Why isn't cloning specifically mentioned in the Bible? Well, why stop with that? Abortion, lesbianism, mustard gas, internal combustion engines, etc. are not mentioned either. What is mentioned is the foundation of ethics and thought that can provide us with the tools and means to discern between good choices and bad choices when presented with anything this world and its prince can throw at us. How did Confucius put it? Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 12-17-2002 06:46

Good. Yes, Bugs, I agree...however, knowing when the soul is present...and when it is not, would be a great help here...don't you think?

One of the Commandments says 'Thou shall not kill.' So, when is that true, in this case? Is a cloned human without a brain then killing? Is donating organs killing? That is one of the things that I meant...there are no guidelines for when the soul is present, and when it is not...and in the modern world, where science has come so far, it is important to have such...

Wouldn't it have been much easier, if one of the Commandments said 'Thou shall not clone.' (or something to this effect...)?

It would also have been nice, if where and how souls came to be was entirely explained...

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