Post by default
No one would argue that a cloned animal isn't alive. Cloning is
manipulating yucky slimy stuff scientifically to produce life, or
actually to reproduce a particular life.
For the sake of discussion let's assume we are making human clones.
In reproductive cloning the nucleus of the person to be cloned is
implanted in an egg that has had its nucleus removed and discarded. Is
that human life? or does it become life after implanted in a womb?
Is it human? Does it have a soul?
Take it one further- create the DNA in the lab, make it mostly human,
but tweak it for high intelligence, remove congenital hereditary
faults, and just generally tinker with it a bit. "new and improved"
Is it still human? Does it still have a soul?
Would the religious say it has a god?
If it were to be aborted before going to term, is that still murder or
sin? what if something goes horribly wrong and it is aborted for
Inquiring minds want to know.... Exactly how are the religious folks
out there going to deal with these questions? Doubtless they'd want
to make it illegal, but equally doubtless someone, somewhere will do
I gather that according to Roman Catholicism, each soul is
separately created by God and then installed in the embryo.
Therefore it's God's problem to settle. (To be clear,
I'm an atheist and I don't believe in souls.)
This supposedly occurs at the instant of fertilisation,
or possibly insemination (which may be whole days before
sperm meets egg and then fertilised egg finds its way
to stick to the lady's inside: it seems that they often
So the soul of an in vitro embryo might arrive at
fertilisation, or when and if the embryo is put inside
a lady. I don't remember whether Rome has decided
whether embryos in test tubes have souls, apart from
saying that in vitro fertilisation is wrong anyway.
Other religions teach that a soul is your self and it
continues to exist when you die, but they may not be
specific about where it came from in the first place.
In some religions, after you die, your soul gets
reincarnated into another body, which may be a human
or an animal; this accounts for where most souls come
from, they are pre-owned. It may also imply that either
souls wait between lives for a conception to happen,
or else conception depends on a soul being available
for the embryo. Good luck testing that in the laboratory.
If you don't think about it, you may suppose that a soul
just sort of grows out of you.