We seem to have a bead on Osama, our war on terrorism is investing U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft with increasing police powers, and it appears we may soon be able to clone humans. The School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia -- famous for training the leaders of Latin American death squads -- is coming under increasing scrutiny. What's it all mean?
Colorado College professor
Do you see any ethical questions with human cloning? I see nothing but questions. It makes sense to clone organs for medical purposes, but do we do medical experiments on clones? Do we use them to harvest body parts?
Should you be cloned? My narcissistic side says yes, the more of me the better. My humanist side recognizes that would be a horrible thing. My humanistic side makes the better argument.
Are we drifting toward a police state? I'm uneasy about the power that Sept. 11 has given to Ashcroft, but I don't foresee a police state. The single area of common ground between the far right and far left is protection of individual liberties. I want to believe that, anyway. I might be completely nave.
When will we catch Osama? They have him isolated in a 30-mile geographic region, and the technology is too outrageous for him to escape. I'd say three to four months. It doesn't matter that much, though. It's mostly symbolic, something to make Americans feel good. Osama bin Laden is not the real issue in all this.
Does cloning humans raise ethical questions? Absolutely. Using human beings to harvest organs or genetic material presents serious ethical issues. This reminds me of the movie, Coma, where they kept people barely alive as a source for human organs.
Should you be cloned? No. The world has more than enough of me as it is.
What's your view of the School of the Americas? Like most other things, it depends on the use to which it is put. I have no problem with America training personnel to overthrow an oppressive regime, but I do with training personnel to squash legitimate rebellion -- which is the way it's been mostly used, unfortunately.
How broad should police powers be? Not much different from what they are now.
What's your read on human cloning? It begs all kinds of social, cultural, ethical and theological questions. God created us to procreate a certain way, and cloning tampers with that. It also raises certain questions about the soul. Just because science is able to progress in a certain way doesn't mean it's best for our society.
Should you be cloned? Anybody who knows me would give a resounding "No" to that question.
Are we becoming a police state? No. Recent developments are all part of a normal ebb and flow in the interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment. There has certainly been a drift to the right, though.
When will we catch Osama? It'll take a few more months. Getting Osama is not the answer, though. There are a lot of fractional groups out there that are bigger problems.
Hood: Chipita Park
Is human cloning a good idea? It'll be very difficult to stop it. It's a legitimate part of the scientific process.
Should you be cloned? Sure, why not?
Are we moving toward being a police state? I'm extremely concerned with Ashcroft's rulings that allow 2,100 people to be held without due process. That's an erosion of liberty that contradicts everything we stand for.
Will we catch Osama? I don't know, but he should be brought to trial, not executed.
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