Friday, January 13, 2012

Does the Bible Provide Guidance Regarding Human Cloning? By R. Albert Mohler Jr.

When Dolly the cloned sheep was born in 1997, few thoughtful persons could avoid wondering whether this stunning new technology would soon be used to clone a human being. Now human cloning has become an issue of immediate, urgent, and universal importance. The cloning of a human being represents a radical break with the human past and with the established patterns of human life. It also raises a host of ethical questions: Who would be the "parents" of a cloned child? In an age of patented forms of life, could a cloned being be "owned," at least in genetic pattern? Will parents seek to clone children in order to provide organs for transplant into another child?

These are but a few of the many pressing questions that will demand answers, and the worldview of secular humanism provides only tentative and provisional answers. The fact is that only the Christian worldview-revealed in God's Word-can provide us with an ethical context and authority adequate to address such questions.
biblical creation account presents the creation of human beings as the pinnacle of God's creative purpose. After creating the world and filling it with living creatures, God purposed to create human beings. The human creature-set apart from all other creatures-would bear the imago Dei, the image of God.

Though the image of God in human beings has been corrupted by sin, it has not been removed, and this image is an essential mark of true humanity. Each human being is a special creation of God, made in His own image. Each is unique by design of the Creator. The status of human beings as created beings, each unique but all bearing the image of God, establishes a foundation for theological understanding-and for answering the questions raised by human cloning.

This understanding also makes clear the decisive distinction between the biblical and secular conceptions of human nature and value. The nonbiblical understanding of humanity rejects any conception of divine purpose. Human beings are cosmic accidents-the incredible by-products of blind evolutionary process. Any value thus ascribed to human life is arbitrary, tentative, and self-centered.

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that human beings, like all of creation, were created in order to glorify God. But humans were created with a distinct and unique capacity to know, revere, worship, and glorify the Creator. He made human beings, male and female, of His own good pleasure, in His own image, and to His own sovereign purpose. Thus human beings are not mere biological artifacts nor accidental forms of life.

Human cloning represents an effort to redefine human identity and human reproduction by allowing individuals to replicate themselves. This reality cannot be separated from the related questions of "designer" children, human-enhancement technologies, eugenics, and sexuality. Furthermore, the use of cloning technology in human embryonic stem cell research undermines human dignity and will eventually lead to an expansion of human cloning for other purposes.

The artificiality of cloning technology undermines marriage by further separating sex and reproduction. Human cloning-whatever its form-violates the sanctity of human life as revealed in Scripture.

Extracted from the Apologetics Study Bible.

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