If you could clone yourself, how would you split up your responsibilities?
I don’t have to think twice about this; no, I would not consider cloning myself under any circumstances.
I learned that lesson from Multiplicity starring Michael Keaton! Each clone of him was different than the original and deficient in some way. They all got along, which was handy since they all represented parts of the whole and seemed to need one another for support, but none was able to “be” the original. It was pretty humorous, but also rang the warning bells about the possibilities of cloning.
Comedy aside, the thimble-full of information I know about cloning suggests that this is true. Cloning is not easy, and it has taken hundred of attempts to succeed when cloning has actually been successful. Even then, some clones die before maturing, and other seem to be weaker in some way than their “parent”.
In humans, theoretically the clone would be the same as the original because it has the same DNA, but that’s all. It may have the same potential as the “parent”, but without the same life experiences and building up of knowledge and skills, it could never be the same, unless we find a way to transfer knowledge from one brain to another. This does not necessarily apply to animals since they don’t have to make decisions or operate intelligently, ethically, or morally. But then there’s the question of whether or not cruelty to animals in involved.
Ultimately though, there is the ethical and philosophical considerations. “Therapeutic cloning, while offering the potential for treating humans suffering from disease or injury, would require the destruction of human embryos in the test tube.” This may turn out to be a personal decision, but the ethics of killing a human embryo, are to me, untenable. My view is that conception is the basis of new human life, the coming together of a egg and a sperm, with God infusing the soul at the moment the embryo begins to form. Life is precious, but not worth breaking the rules of religious and philosophical principles to create or lengthen it.