Intended versus Unintended Consequences…

Whew! We’ve been waiting quite a long time for this moment to present itself. Not that it takes any one kind of moment to do – I think it is far more time for critical thinking and literally mulling various social issues over and over until SPARK! That time comes when one is about ready to put some concerns on paper and definitely share them with friends.

One such example I am referring to is the notion of cloning. Cloning is producing an organism that is genetically identical to its parent (we say ‘host’) or the process of creating an animal or plant in a laboratory that is an exact copy of another using the original animal’s or plant’s DNA.

I suppose it sounds great to a person who wanted to live on and on; albeit, I have no idea if memories transfer when using dna from one host to another. However, recently I’ve been engaged in a debate regarding the ethics of cloning. In addition my team members have been engaged in a heavy sidebar examining the intended consequences (what we know will happen) and the unintended consequences of cloning.

Therefore let’s examine first the ethics of cloning. Ethics for this purpose is defined as the study of moral standards and how they affect conduct. Using the “Code of Morality” ethics is defined as a system of moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or for groups. Some very quick buzzwords that come immediately to mind are principles, morals, beliefs, values, and mores.

Just like cloning partners – or those unchartered differences in marriage, harvesting, sexual preference, or what seems like lately just about anything that two or more people can dream up and get some legislation for it.

Perhaps our most famous clone, “Dolly” a sheep cloned from the DNA of her host should be the most exulted challenge ever commissioned by science. Yet if memory serves me correctly what about the 3.600 other Dolly’s that had to be put down because of anomalies, disfiguration, death, and just a reminder those things that were related to Dolly.

One thing that is for certain is that we didn’t hear a lot coming from the environmentalists or maybe changing the habitat, the eco-system, and all other primary markets for wool, milk, lamb, mutton, transportation and all the other issues that go around sheep.

Is it ethically responsible to eat, drink, or consume any part of the clone? This would definitely bring up theological matters and ecclesiastical issues as well. And then we need to examine the intentional consequences versus unintentional consequences which are what this particular article is about: How much change to the existing Moral Code of Ethics or standards, beliefs, and values are we prepared to make? 

In the United States, the human consumption of meat and other products from cloned animals was approved by the FDA on December 28, 2006, with no special labeling required. Cloned beef and other products have since been regularly consumed in the US without distinction. Such practice has met strong resistance in other regions, such as Europe, particularly over the labeling issue.

Finally these are the questions that should be asked before bills get passed or any other legislation is propped up for a lunatic to sign into law.

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