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The case against human cloning

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Even the most humble among us carry a little vanity picturing themselves as visionaries. So here's my little slice of personal prediction. I make the claim lightly with no presupposition of having delusional premonitions. It is just something I believe in.

The case for human cloning has been a hot subject for a while now. Conservatives are dead set against it, having a narrow definition of it known as procreation. Most liberals, on the other hand, are welcoming of the latest trends in cloning and embrace the possibilities of human cloning down the line. Most people wouldn't mind a shot at immortality. After all, if we are fundamentally happy with who we are, why not extend ourselves to infinity? I know all debates about death being an extension of life and God's will, but the next time you visit the doctor's office for some unexplained symptom, ask yourself why it has you so worried? The point is that most of us would rather extend our lives as long as possible, rather than face death.

Human body is a marvel of biology or a testament to the wisdom of God, if that definition works for you. But human body is essentially flawed. From the moment we are born, the forces of nature conspire against every cell in our bodies and there is no escaping the ultimate fate. Cloning could alleviate the condition, perhaps giving us a shot at longer lives. But why should we replace one buggy system with another one?

Enter technology. I know it sounds absurd, but technology has made giant leaps in unraveling the secrets of what makes us tick. Parallel to that is the exponential strides made in computer and robotic science. There is little doubt that in a not too distant future machines might equal or surpass our intelligence. Artificial intelligence is no longer the stuff of Hollywood. It is happening today, and it is improving at a rapid speed.

So, consider for a moment that at some point in time science and technology might give us the ability to transfer the essence of a human into a robot. I am talking about the wisdom, the consciousness, the very stuff that makes us sentient beings. If a machine can replicate all electrochemical activities that goes on within our skull cavities, then it might just be possible to transfer one's soul into a machine, replacing electrochemical reactions with electromechanical impulses. At such time there will no longer be a need for cloning, or the long shot at revival through cryogenics. People can continue life as robots or even self-deterministic programs running inside an elaborate machine, virtual reality plus.

It is perhaps with some uneasiness that I find myself on the side of conservatives with the cloning issue. Let God continue to dictate the biological definition of life. Perhaps the time will come when others might decide to diverge from the sacred dogma and chart a path to a parallel and co-existing definition of other forms of existence.

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