Human Cloning and the Value of Human Life
To recognize the value of human life, from conception until its natural end, is an achievement of civilization to be safeguarded as a primary good of the person and of society. Today, however, in many societies it is not unusual to see a sort of regression of civilization, the result of an incomplete and sometimes distorted conception of human freedom, which often finds public legitimization in the State legal system. That is, it happens that the respect due to the inalienable right to life of every human being is opposed by a subjectivist conception of freedom, detached from the moral law. This conception, based on grave errors regarding the ...view middle of the document...
The demands of the natural law are indeed valid for every place and for every people, today and always, because they are the dictates of right reason, wherein lies the essence of natural law. Classical thought had already grasped this, as Cicero expressed it: 'True law is indeed right reason according to nature, imparted to all, constant, everlasting, calling to duty by commanding and deterring from crime by forbidding, however it neither commands nor forbids the upright without effect, nor does it move the wicked by its commands or prohibitions' (De re publica, 3, 33: Lact., Inst. VI, 8, 6-9)
The constitutive elements of the objective truth about man and his dignity are deeply rooted in right reason, in ethics and in natural law: these are values which precede every positive legal system and which the legislation of the constitutional State must always protect, removing them from the arbitrary will of individuals and the arrogance of the powerful.
In view of atheistic humanism, which regards or even denies the human being's essential relationship with his divine origin and his eternal destiny, it is the duty of every Christian to proclaim the Gospel of life: In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.
This urgent task is particularly incumbent on Christian jurists, spurring them to point out, in their field of competence, the intrinsic weakness of a law that excludes the transcendent dimension of the person. Indeed, the soundest foundation of every law safeguarding the inviolability, integrity and freedom of the person lies in the fact that he is created in God's image and likeness.
In this regard, a problem which directly concerns the discussion between biologists, moralists and jurists is that of the basic rights of the person, which must be recognized in every human subject throughout his life and, in particular, from his moment of origin.
The human being is to be treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.
This assertion is in full harmony with the essential rights of the individual recognized and protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 3).
While distinguishing between the sciences concerned, and recognizing that the attribution of the concept of person is a philosophical issue, we must assume, as our starting point, the biological status of the embryo, which is a human individual having the qualities and dignity proper to the person.
The human embryo has basic rights, that is, it possesses indispensable constituents for a being's connatural activity to be able to take place...