New Republic article advocates a ban on human cloning

from the gene-blues dept.
In an extensive article in The New Republic ("Preventing a Brave New World", May 2001), Leon R. Kass considers some of the moral, ethical, philosophical and legal issues surrounding the possibility of human cloning, and argues that it should be banned. "Human nature itself lies on the operating table," Kass asserts, ìready for alteration, for eugenic and psychic 'enhancement,' for wholesale re-design . . . evangelists are zealously prophesying a post-human future."

Kass, a professor at the University of Chicago and co-author of a book on the ethics of cloning, appears to assume that a "post-human future" implies a future without humans (or at least, human values — as he defines them) when he writes, "No friend of humanity cheers for a post-human future." A ban on human cloning, Kass concludes, is necessary because "Now may be as good a chance as we will ever have to get our hands on the wheel of the runaway train now headed for a post-human world and to steer it toward a more dignified human future."

While focused on human cloning and biological procreation, the article provides a possible insight into how some segments of society may react to the development of non-biological enhancements to human beings, as well as entities with artificial intelligence.

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