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What Does the Bible Say About..Human Cloning?

What does the Bible say about human cloning?


Since the technology for cloning is a very recent thing, the Bible says nothing directly about human cloning. The question then becomes whether there are any general principles that may allow or forbid cloning. Even then, there would be argument about how they apply. For instance, is it any worse to clone a human than a sheep? At what point do we say that a technology developed through the brains God gave us goes against a principle as opposed to a command?

One side of the argument is that God commanded us to “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) Cloning of animals could fall under the admonition to replenish and subdue the earth. Cloning of human beings could fall under the “be fruitful, and multiply” clause. God here doesn’t say how to do so.

On the other hand, after God created woman as a helper for man it says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God then limited the procreative act between men and women to marriage. Premarital sex and adultery are forbidden. One could argue from this that God is limiting reproduction in humans to the normal sexual activity between a man and a woman. Of course, that argument could eliminate “test tube” babies and surrogate mothers if taken to an extreme.

Others might argue that if God doesn’t want human cloning he would see to it that it was never successful. This is akin to the argument that man will never be able to create life in a laboratory because creating life is God’s right and not man’s.

My personal objection to human cloning, at this time, is that the technology is not sufficiently developed. How many “failed” attempts are required for each success? If you clone a human and get a deformed or retarded product, do you destroy it as you would a deformed sheep? If God gave life to this person, is it murder to destroy it even if it is not what you wanted? If not, then what is to prevent the killing of retarded or deformed babies and older people suffering from dementia, such as Alzheimers? I can’t imagine what it would have been like to make such a choice when my retarded son was young. If it is murder to kill these viable by-products of cloning, then do we do our utmost to keep them alive, knowing that they are likely to die shortly anyway? Is it moral to bring about a life, knowing the high probability that it will be deformed? There are just too many moral questions, regardless of whether one believes in the Bible or not, for my taste. If cloning reaches a point where the technology can eliminate the likelihood of failed attempts, then I will have to rethink my position. But even then, it will be based on biblical principles rather than clear biblical command.