Cloning Ethics - A Cultural Issue
Cloning ethics have recently moved to the forefront of 21st century culture. Although the medical, philosophical, scientific and political sectors have been active in voicing their views, it's always a good idea to look at what the Bible says about these issues. Even when the issues are modern, like cloning, and aren't specifically mentioned in the Bible, we can look at principles in the Bible and apply them to these issues and understand how God wants us to respond.
Cloning Ethics - The Biblical Principles
In regards to cloning ethics, the Bible is clear that God is the Author of all life. One verse in particular is applicable to the cloning issue. In Psalm 100:3 it says, "Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves."
Many other passages tell how God has created us. Here are a few:
In Psalm 139:13-16, the psalmist says, "For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."
In Isaiah 44:2, 21, 24 the prophet Isaiah says, "Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, … I have formed you, …Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone."
Psalm 119:73 says, "Your hands made me and fashioned me."
Cloning Ethics - The Biblical Values
As you can see from these verses, the Bible declares two primary truths related to cloning ethics: (i) life begins early in the womb and (ii) God forms life. Because we are God's creation and are created in His image (according to Genesis 1:26), life is precious. Much of the desire in the scientific community is to create clones for "spare parts," to use their stem cells, organs, and so on. Clearly, this is not biblical because one life, the clone's, is less valued than the other, non-clone, life.
Cloning Ethics - The Biblical Conclusion
A recent issue of cloning ethics in the news has been around couples cloning from their own DNA to produce a child. One could argue that this is just another scientific method for producing pregnancy like in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. We would ask why it is necessary to have a child who's DNA is a replica of one's own? Do we love ourselves so much that we want to reproduce ourselves exactly? In that case, we would argue that cloning falls into the category of making ourselves God and is really a form of self-worship. The first commandment is to worship no other gods, and that includes ourselves.