HUMAN CLONING AND THE MYTH OF DISENCHANTMENT

This study has a twofold objective: firstly, it aims to examine the main types of argument that have been formulated against human cloning, to identify their presuppositions and to evaluate their strength; secondly, it aims to argue that the most important objections against human cloning are philosophical and religious, in particular the objection that human cloning represents a radical form of disenchantment or an abuse of rationality. The birth of a cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly, which was announced on 23 February 23 1997, began a wide public debate on the morality of human cloning. I shall try to show that this debate should not be limited only to ethical and legal considerations, since it has more profound ramifications. The science of cloning is rooted in a certain metaphysical background, which, discreetly, but firmly, accompanies its spectacular promises, and which has profound consequences on our metaphysical and religious beliefs. This background needs to be openly discussed and evaluated. Moreover, it warrants the special attention of philosophers and religious thinkers alike. Key Words: cloning, ethics, human nature, God commandments, natural science, religion, scientific worldview, metaphysics, scientific ethics.

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