As is usually the case, the pro-cloning blogosphere is all over Charles's Murtagh's deconstruction of Sen. Bronwback's piece arguing for a total ban on cloning.
Justin Katz has already taken this on, but there's a couple sections of it I want to address...
There are arguments against embryo cloning, all of which boil down to the pro-life claim that embryos deserve legal protection similar to newborns
I'll say this again, the only "legal protection" pro-lifers believe that embryos "deserve" is the right not to be killed. That's it. The most basic of human rights, upon which all others are based.
so is cloning bad because it creates life, or because it destroys it? This is the least of my objections, though, since this sort of contradiction is par for the course among pro-life anti-cloners.
Yes and yes, and there is no contradiction. We oppose thereaputic cloning because, like abortion or embryonic stem cell research, it destroys embryonic life.
But theraputic cloning takes an extra dimension in that it creates embryonic life for the very purpose of destroying it.
I will say that Brownback's arguments, that use reproductive cloning to argue against theraputic cloning aren't the best we can do either. Our argument isn't, "theraputic cloning is just like reproductive cloning, and reproductive cloning is icky." That may be tempting, given the public's discomfort with reproductive cloning, but it's won't hold up.
No, we oppose theraputic cloning because, like reproductive cloning, it creates a new life form, but then it destroys it. Thus, theraputic cloning is much more troubling to me than reproductive cloning.