If you want a classic example of how something formally considered immoral is gently pushed towards acceptance in society, you need look no further than this article from the British newspaper The Independent. It profiles a doctor who is attempting to clone human beings and portrays him in such a way to actually make him appear heroic and cutting-edge without explicitly condoning his actions. There is no discussion of the morality of the act, just that it is “controversial.” Here are some excerpts, with my comments in red.
Fertility expert: ‘I can clone a human being’
Controversial doctor filmed creating embryos before injecting them into wombs of women wanting cloned babies [Note the term "controversial" - this has become a positive term in our age for exalting rebels and those who go against the establishment]
A controversial fertility doctor claimed yesterday to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women who had been prepared to give birth to cloned babies.
The cloning was recorded by an independent documentary film-maker who has testified to The Independent that the cloning had taken place and that the women were genuinely hoping to become pregnant with the first cloned embryos specifically created for the purposes of human reproduction. ["genuinely hoping" - this poor doctor is just trying to help woman who want nothing more than to have a baby - a potentially Frankenstein baby, but we'll deal with that later]
Panayiotis Zavos has broken the ultimate taboo of transferring cloned embryos into the human womb, a procedure that is a criminal offence in Britain and illegal in many other countries.["Ultimate taboo" - he has not broken any eternal law, natural or divine, but just a "taboo." And we all know taboos are just cultural norms which are usually there for no reason, right?] He carried out the work at a secret lab-oratory, probably located in the Middle East where there is no cloning ban. ["secret laboratory" - now he sounds like Batman - fighting the evil of the world from his batcave]…
“There is absolutely no doubt about it, and I may not be the one that does it, but the cloned child is coming. There is absolutely no way that it will not happen,” Dr Zavos said in an interview yesterday with The Independent. [See? It's inevitable, so it must be okay. You can't stop science, you religious zealots!]
“If we intensify our efforts we can have a cloned baby within a year or two, but I don’t know whether we can intensify our efforts to that extent. We’re not really under pressure to deliver a cloned baby to this world. What we are under pressure to do is to deliver a cloned baby that is a healthy one,” he said. [And what happens to the all the clones which are NOT healthy?]
His claims are certain to be denounced by mainstream fertility scientists who in 2004 tried to gag Dr Zavos by imploring the British media not to give him the oxygen of publicity without him providing evidence to back up his statements. ["mainstream fertitility scientists" - note the use of the term "mainstream." These are not necessarily reputable, moral or qualified scientists, they are just the mainstream. And we all know how boring and stiff the mainstream is, don't we?]…
“We are not interested in cloning the Michael Jordans and the Michael Jacksons of this world. The rich and the famous don’t participate in this.” [We want to help the poor! Even though each treatment, according to this article, costs between $45,000 and $75,000]
It took 277 attempts to create Dolly but since then the cloning procedure in animals has been refined and it has now become more efficient, although most experts in the field believe that it is still too dangerous to be allowed as a form of human fertility treatment. Dr Zavos dismissed these fears saying that many of the problems related to animal cloning – such as congenital defects and oversized offspring – have been minimised. ["minimised" - what does that mean? It only happens in perhaps 10% of the babies created?]…
“In the future, when we get serious about executing things correctly, this thing will be very easy to do,” he said. “If we find out that this technique does not work, I don’t intend to step on dead bodies to achieve something because I don’t have that kind of ambition. My ambition is to help people.” [cue super-hero music]…
Q. Why is this such a controversial thing to do?
A. Studies on animal cloning have shown time and time again that it is unsafe. The cloned animals suffer a higher-than-normal risk of severe developmental problems and the pregnancies often end in miscarriage. Mainstream scientists believe cloning is too dangerous to be used on humans. [No mention of the potential immorality of it, just the impracticality of it. Which of course sets up the conclusion that when it is practical to perform, there will be no argument against it and it will no longer be "controversial"]