This node used to be entitled: Does a Cloned Human have a Soul? This caused some confusion in the interpretation of my node and so I requested the present title change.
Some people have asked me whether or not there has been any consideration of whether a clone
would actually be a human person
as the Church
) currently defines a person? If the cloned human is, in fact, an exact "replica" of an existing person, what is the moral
status and the actual status of that cloned individual's soul
? Would they be a human person in their own right?
Perhaps it might first help to explain exactly how cloning
would work. The nucleus
of a mature
would be removed (by micosurgery
or by irradiation
) and replaced with a nucleus obtained from a specialized somatic cell
of an adult
(an intestinal cell or a skin cell). Since almost all the hereditary material (DNA
) of a cell is contained within its nucleus, the renucleated egg and the individual person into whom it develops would be gene
tically identical to the adult that was the source of the transferred nucleus. Thus, the origin
of the new individual human person would not be the Providential union
of egg and sperm, with the generation of a new and unique genetic arrangement or genotype, but rather the contrived perpetuation into another human person of an already existing genotype.
From this description, one can see that the origins of the cloned human person are thoroughly human: the mature but unfertilized human egg and the specialized somatic cell of another human person. The cloned human person would indeed be human and, therefore, would have a human soul.
However, this person's human dignity
is fundamentally violated because he/she was deprived of his/her own unique genetic makeup. The natural occurrence of identical twins - both of whom one would regard as fully human - in no way weakens the argument against the artificial production of identical humans: there are many things that occur accidentally that ought not to be done deliberately.
Under the theology of the RCC, cloning is indeed seriously evil for this reason, in addition to the reason that cloning dismisses both the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act
. In fact, the marital act is itself dismissed. And this is a violation of the natural moral order
. Beyond these wrongs, even if cloned human persons have human souls, the haunting possible, probably inevitable, consequence is that they would be TREATED
as less than human.
It bothers me when people misinterpret a factual node for an opinion node. This node is based on the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, not my personal opinion. Since the RCC teaches that in fact, the natural order is to be born of a male and a female, via a proper conjugal act, creating a wholely individual person genetically, then this node accurately depicts the reasoning behind it. The stance is made clear. Whether natural twins, triplets etc., is warranting equality with cloned individuals, or vice versa, is not for me to decide. The node is based on the Holy See
, if you don't like what they preach take it up with them. Don't down vote me because you don't agree with the content of the node; I noded what the RCC preaches, to inform people of that particular faith.
: point well taken about posting here. I edited the node, the fourth paragraph precisely (as recommended by Torque
to read: "Under RCC theology", rather than, "This is a serious evil"
. I hope this clears this up. My intention was simply to node this topic and link it to my What Catholics Really Believe
node, to shed some light on the subject. The Catholic Church would not judge clones any less than human (this applies to m_turner as he/she states) but the Church does worry that instead of viewing a clone as an autonomous individual with absolute rights such as a non-cloned individual, people will look at clones as transplant factories, body-part shopping centers, created to be owned and used among other things, or simply less-than-human.