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Cloning -- individualistic and communitarian view

Uploaded by hwlady on Jul 23, 2002

In many controversial topics around the world, such as abortion, gun control, legalized drugs, the death penalty, and cloning (to name a few), we can find differing positions, and opinions. Many of these arguments, can be narrowed down to two different views, or constructs: individualistic and communitarian (an image of collectivism). An individualistic viewpoint "stresses the rights of the individual as a unique being" (class review). A communitarian viewpoint is more concerned with the good for the greatest number, "even if an individual must suffer or sacrifice" (class review). These different elements do not necessarily label the people as opposed to, or in favor of the topic here. They just show where your motivations lie, is your involvement for self fulfillment or for the good of society? Within the contents of this paper, I will analyze the elements of individualism and collectivism that exist in the controversial topic of cloning.

When Dr. Ian Wilmut, a 52-year-old embryologist at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh announced on that he had replaced the genetic material of sheep's egg with the DNA from an adult sheep, and created a lamb (Dolly), the topic of cloning "created" many new questions of its own. None were as controversial as: Will they apply this to humans as well? According to Dr. Wilmut, the answer was "there is no reason in principle why you couldn't do it"(clone humans), but he added, "All of us would find that offensive."(Wilmut as quoted by NYTimes, Daniel Callahan, 02/26/97).

From an individualistic viewpoint, those in favor of cloning human beings, do not see it as morally, or ethically wrong. Many see it as an opportunity to have children, or possibly to "re-create" a child who is dying from a terminal illness. Using a deterministic argument, many infertile couples are worried that any "government restrictions on human cloning might hurt their chances some day for bearing children through new medical technology" ( Newsday, Thomas Maier, 03/14/1997). In a form of expressive individualism, Tom Buckowski, from Studio City, California said, "It's my body, my choice, right? But what if I want my body cloned and warehoused for spare parts? Upon what basis can government decide what I can or cannot do with my body?"(Los Angeles Times, 3/07/1997). In both examples, the predominant voice is that of the first language of individualism. The first language refers to the "individualistic mode that is the dominant American form of...

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Uploaded by:   hwlady

Date:   07/23/2002

Category:   Cloning

Length:   7 pages (1,587 words)

Views:   2035

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