Home Fiqh - Laws The general attitude towards cloning

The general attitude towards cloning

By: Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)

Translated by: Manal Samhat

The issue of cloning has become a controversial one, not only among the scientists and religious authorities, but it extends to reach the states that are divided among themselves between those who oppose and those who support cloning.

At the time cloning is strongly opposed by most countries, it was met with great interest in Quebec; a Canadian province. His Eminence comments, saying: at the time that most countries have decided to prevent cloning of human beings, we observe that America has recently allowed it, under certain conditions. Accordingly, while I strongly insist that we prevent any abuse to this scientific event, I say that we must not consider it a catastrophe, or a disaster as some claim. When some negative consequences occur, we must confront them and either prevent, or alleviate their dangers.  

Furthermore, we observe how His Eminence assures the importance of science and its role in all fields of life calling for avoiding the disadvantages. He says: I do not think that the disadvantages of cloning allow us to ignore the main advantages we might, at the same time, obtain.

For example, the invention of dynamite, although it was damaging, it has benefited human beings a lot. Similarly, the atomic energy has allowed human beings to achieve most of their peaceful needs, in spite of its damaging effects, which man, up till now, is not allowed to use freely. It was used once; in Japan. However, later, it was not used in any other location, due to its catastrophic effects on human beings.

I want to highlight a vital point which is that the world we are living in is a limited world and any advantage we get from any invention is usually accompanied with a disadvantage, and the opposite is true. In the light of this, if we want to be concerned with the disadvantages of any phenomenon, or any scientific invention, we have to restrain ourselves from inventing anything, because this new invention stores disadvantages, just as it stores many advantages.

We have to allow science to move freely in the field of the advantages to serve the best interests of mankind. We have to try our best not only to educate people on how to benefit from the advantages of the development of science in serving humanity, but also to make such an education a part of the educational curriculum like any other course.

His Eminence draws the attention towards an important point. He says that science does not endanger the prevailing concepts that human beings believe in, as some might consider. He calls for a daring attempt to abandon what is familiar and follow the scientific and intellectual movement. His Eminence comments, saying: "I do not think that breaking out with the familiar represents a human disaster. Since the human intellect is in continuous development, the person with familiar thoughts should arm himself with all kinds of intellectual weapons to encounter this new movement of thinking, so as to discover its disadvantages or to discover that what he was thinking about is wrong.