I think it would be good to explore what type of effect a successful human cloning experiment might have on making people question their religion. If we were to successfully clone a human being, could it have the effect of making people question that only their religious Gods are capable of creating human life? What would it say about the religious notion of a human soul, when it was created by scientists in a laboratory?
Actually, this is a good topic that does not have to go as far as a human being, and not as far as cloning.
It occurs to me that at the current exponential progress in microbiology and related fields it is just a matter of time before we can create life, albeit in very simple forms. This would obviously be immensely important for understanding abiogenesis. I know that experiments have been done in which scientists have managed to cause an imitation of earths early atmosphere to create amino acids when given the necessary energy.
What does it make of god, the day when we can create a simple organism in a laboratory, what about the day when we can accelerate the reproduction and mutation and recreate evolution in an artificial ecosystem.
What about the day when we can blueprint a creatures genetics and create it completely artificially in a lab. Although we are far from some of these things, there is nothing that puts a theoretical stop to it, given that development continues, the day will come.
I wrote an article on this very topic for a paper some time ago. Not just creating life per say, but how human technology affects the image of, primarily the god of Abraham.
Half of the miracles of Jesus are really not miracles the day we can replicate it trough very mortal means. We can easily treat sickness, lots more sickness than Jesus ever did. We are just at the present day seeing an explosion in advances of actually giving sight back to people who have been blind since birth. What kind of a divine god is it, if we mere mortals, at the dawn of our youth can accomplish the same thing.
Let the clock spin for another hundred years or more, lets go to the day when we can essentially stop aging. What happens to immortal life in heaven, if you are immortal in this world? (unless you are blown to pieces or something), in which case we can wind the tape even further forward, to the day when we can replicate every single biochemical and electrical impulse in the brain and basically copy a personality and consciousness. You go out and get run over by a truck, the doctors just recreate your brain from a datafile and you are essentially the same person as when the brain scan was taken.
I know religious people hate this, because they fear this. Whenever I argue like this they blow up in my face like an angry beard of bees.
I get the “You are implying that man is god! HERETIC!” The violent reaction is due to a commandment, and its due to fear. Fear of this notion. There is nothing appalling about man acquiring these abilities, such technological power will undoubtedly put great demands on morality and responsibility, but if we can spend the next 100 years developing our philosophy and our morality without ignorance, the future generations of humans will be enlightened enough to view the best rationalists of today as backwards.
The fear, simply comes from the realization that man is quickly matching the supposed creator, and if technological advancement continues, the only barriers that sets limits to what we can do, are the barriers set by the laws of physics. In which case one day the human race (if smart enough to survive its brilliance), will outmatch this supposed creator with ease. Religion knows, that it will die, eventually. If science goes on, religion will not survive.
And this is why they seek to dismantle it, this is why the people of the cloth wish us to remain in this society. Because in hundreds of years from now, no level of ignorance will be able to retain the belief in the christian or muslim god.
The only question, is if these people will abandon their superstition now, and help us develop human thinking enough so that we do not kill ourselves with our future technology. Or if they will fight the inevitable and try to unmake our world.