I’ve had conversations with abortion-choice advocates for two decades, and they often deny the unborn are bona fide human beings. Instead, they refer to them as an “it,” a “fetus,” a “clump of cells,” an “unwanted pregnancy,” or—if they’re generous—a “potential human.” All their language, however, is the same. It’s dehumanizing. It’s also a lie. Maybe their intent isn’t to lie, but abortion clinics aren’t telling their clients the truth.
How does a culture accept a plan to create human clones and then kill them to harvest their body parts? They tell lies. That’s the story behind the movie The Island. I’ve been showing that film (or parts of it) when I teach on cloning for several years. Last week, my family watched it. I was eager to process some of its ideas with my kids.
On the surface, it’s a fun, sci-fi action movie starring several Hollywood A-listers. What makes it interesting, though, are some of the questions it raises:
- What does it mean to be human?
- Is it ethical to create human clones?
- Would a clone have a soul?
- Can we use the body parts of clones for our own benefit?
- Can we disqualify some humans from being valuable?
The movie is about a cloning facility that secretly manufactures clones for wealthy people who invest large sums of money to have “spare parts” available when they need them. When the clones are matured, they harvest their body parts, thereby also killing the clones.