In 1996, cloning of the sheep Dolly evoked a controversial debate concerning science and morality in the 21st century. The controversy is further fueled by the technological possibilities in science, and the dilemma concerning what is right or wrong in the natural world. Since the success of Dolly, many cloning experiments have been attempted for both animals and humans. Cloning reveals critical ethical issues concerning violation of human rights, compromise to the individuality of humanity, and disruption of the natural order of the world, hence it is immoral.

Cloning is an asexual reproduction of an organism.[1] Also, it is the artificial process for generating a copy of an organism. As with the sheep Dolly, it is done through somatic cell transfer. Harris explains that a nuclear is obtained from an adult species to be cloned, then transferred into a fertilized egg, whose nucleus has been removed.[2] The fundamental reason is to switch the genetic structure of the fertilized egg into that of the donor. The egg is then put into an electric pulse to begin cell division, or transferred into a surrogate mother who carries the pregnancy to birth.  The following are the associated ethical issues that depict the immorality of cloning.

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Violation of Human Rights and Dignity

Cloning is a technological frame that compromises the free will and individuality of human species. From a somatic cell transfer perspective, a clone has unique personhood from that of the donor. However, both the clone and the donor are forced to recognize their relationship, against their free will to individual existence.[3] That is, every person is entitled to their canonical self-designation of control over their actions. Notably, free will is in humanity entails the control one has in their life as critiqued through the causation theory, or by reflection on the relationship between ontological reduction and emergence. Precisely, people experience the outcomes of their actions as predisposed by the natural order. However, clones and donors are forced into an artificial relationship, and the outcomes of the cloning process are not natural or caused by their choices. It is majorly a consequence of the scientific process of decisions of a bystander. In a way, that is a denial of moral responsibility, violation of human rights, and denial of the free existence and individuality – a violation of human dignity.

Cloning is a frame for using people as a tool for breeding. In the natural order of reproduction, sperm and ovum fuses and develop in a segregated adult. Secondly, as Harris puts it, God or nature is the serial cloners of all time, since 270 per thousand births are identical twins.[4] Therefore, the right way to reproduce, or to obtain a clone in this context would be that which is natural. In cloning, the surrogated adult and the donor are synonymous to breeding machines. In the same context, cloning has the potential to create human beings with or without a specific trait for a particular purpose. Some cloning advocates say that the clones would be mass-produced to perform some dirty tasks such as in military or space explorations. Other reasons for cloning have been for experimental purpose, in which most clones are killed.[5] Notably, cloning humans with certain traits for a purpose is against their free will and violation of rights. It also makes the donors for both the nucleus and the ovum as objects for mass production of clones. Human rights are ascribed naturally, and that restrains cloning people with certain traits as to control them. Hence, cloning disrespects the dignity of human nature and the purpose of breeding.

Disruption of The Natural Order

Firstly, Harris explains that the natural order of reproduction is through the fusion of the sperm and the ovum. However, a deeper probe for the cloning reveals that the process interferes with the moral image of the world, which is the fundamental reference frame of nature.[6] Both human social realism and the cosmic realm are intertwined despite the personal individuality exhibited by the human species. According to the creation accounts, God fashioned the intertwine, and humans are to maintain the natural interconnectedness through human moral order. In that light, disruption of the moral order is wrong and thus immoral. Nevertheless, cloning is in contrast with the natural reproduction process and the cosmic-human interconnection.

Secondly, clones do not have moral responsibility; therefore, they are not liable to the moral order. Technically, clones are artificial human beings and have unique individuality.[7] From the creation perspective, clones do not have a soul and thus are not subject to the moral order. According to Burley, clones are out of the moral image.[8] Therefore, regardless of their inclusion in the general human society, they are an anomaly to the moral order. Besides, the cloning process compromises the natural reproduction process.[9]

Also, cloning disrupts the natural order of human society. Since the morals and the value of human life do not apply to clones, it may be difficult for them to follow the rules and laws that govern the order. For instance, the concept of “harm” may not be significant to clones. In a way, they are inhuman since they do not have the soul, which is provisioned by nature. In that view, some moral order concepts such as not harming others may not be significant to clones. Silverman explains that some concepts such as ren and self-actualization may not apply to clones.[10] Unlike a clone, a biological human being is compelled by the moral order to carry out the process of self-actualization through social context and fulfilment of purpose.[11] However, depending on the purpose for which clones are made, they may find such concepts compromising, as they are not liable to them. In the worst-case scenarios, the clones may rebel and fight against the moral order. For instance, unlike considering that harming one another is wrong, they may consider it as normal since themselves are harmed through cloning and development. That would form a human society which is partly consistent and liable to moral. Crimes would increase, or violation of rights escalates, leading to undesirable chaos for human society. Therefore, cloning is a disruption to the natural order, and increase of chaos to the world as known to humans.



Cloning is immoral since it reveals critical ethical issues concerning violation of human rights, compromise to the individuality of humanity, and disruption of the natural order of the world. The process entails the transfer of DNA a donor through somatic nucleolus into another person’s ovum. It violates human rights and compromise human dignity by denying clones the free will and considering people to be breeding tools. It disrupts natural order since clones are nor liable to the moral order and may compromise the moral image to increase chaos in human society.


Burley, Justine. Genetic Revolution and Human Rights (Oxford Amnesty Lectures; 1998). Oxford University Press, 1999.

Harris, John. On Cloning. Londres: Routledge, 2004.

Silverman, Renee M. Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010.

[1] John Harris, On Cloning Londres: Routledge, 2004. Pp 3.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Renee M Silverman, Cross-Cultural Issues In Bioethics Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010. Pp 2.

[4] John Harris, On Cloning Londres. Pp 35.

[5] Ibid. pp 4.

[6] Justine Burley, Genetic Revolution And Human Rights (Oxford Amnesty Lectures ; 1998) Oxford University Press, 1999. Pp 3.

[7] Renee M Silverman, Cross-Cultural Issues In Bioethics Amsterdam. Pp 2.

[8] Justine Burley, Genetic Revolution And Human Rights. Pp 7.

[9] Cf. Violation of Human Rights and Dignity

[10] Renee M Silverman, Cross-Cultural Issues In Bioethics Amsterdam. Pp 53-54.

[11] Ibid. pp 54.