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human cloning from the perspective of Islamic philosophers and its ethical requirements
Simulation is one of the important issues as a sign of human scientific progress. On the other hand in the religion-oriented societies, especially religions like Islam who emphasize the social sphere in addition to the sphere of worship, new scientific findings, especially where human existence is the issue, require development of different levels of religious knowledge to obtain the proper understanding of religious attitude to these findings. relation of human cloning problem with Islamic teachings can be argued in several aspects. first what is the truth towards the creation of man ? Secondly, is there human or non-human and if human what jurisprudential rulings it emerges? And third, what moral sentences notice is about that human? In the sphere of moral debate we have two problems. First, what this new man has as moral imperative and conditions and second, Moral issue of cloning is in what position? In this paper, thanks to the comments of Islamic philosophers, especially comments of “Mulla Sadra”, after proving that this process is still divine creation of human, argue the situations of humanity of this new man. so we conclude that if this is human he has moral issues like other humans and we discuss this with regards to the existence of God and creation beings and divine grace. finally we will discuss the ethical situation of cloning and prove that if the cloning was perfect and proved that the result is human, this will have a kind of moral relativism based on the usage but in its essence is neither moral nor immoral.
keywords: Islamic philosophy, human cloning, bioethics, human creation
if we want to understand the concept of Human cloning and its implications we must consider the meaning of human and being a human. This is a philosophical problem that also has been considered in the religious texts.
There is nothing that we know more intimately than being and humanity of us, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. We know that we are humans but we don't know the factors of humanity. If we see a robot that is completely similar to a human and do what we did and understand like a real human and speak well, how can we know that it is a robot? You may answer that there is no robot invented like this and we can not make such system. Your answer may be true in this time but our argument is not based on the outside world but we question from a philosophical perspective. Suppose all of the people around you are robots and treat exactly like humans and you don't know. How can you test them and how can you be sured of humanity of such beings? True understanding of the factors of the humanity will help us to test the humanity of things that we are in doubt of their humanity. So this problem is directly related to our discussion about human cloning and simulation problem.
Many have tried to explain this problem but nearly all of them is based on a materialistic and empirical view. It means that they are ,like most of modern scientists and philosophers, using the empirical methods for investigating the main factors of humanity and they are using some kind of psychology that is based on the materialistic interpretation of the world.
I believe that this view is not perfect enough to truly describe the humanity because of the special nature of this problem. This problem is hard and unsolvable for those who stick their minds to material substances and see all of the world materially. Yes, I can not test the humanity of my friend by empirical experiment but there is another way for performing that and that is the intellectual method. my intellect can do it and can understand it. Although some premises is needed that we will mention later.
You will see in this article that the humanity is not based on the physical structure of our bodies and also is not completely isolated from it. According to main principles of Islamic philosophy we will see that preparing a substance in such way that it can accept the human soul and can be managed by this abstract soul , will make it eligible for being a real human.
The substantial motion and human Being development
there are three major theories in Islamic Philosophy concerning the human soul.
One of these theories is the Platonic theory of the spirit and the soul, suggesting that the existence of the soul was eternal, spiritual, and prior to the creation of the body. The second is Peripatetics theory, and Ibn-Sina that deal with the immaterial or non-corporeal origination of the soul, along with the corporeal origination and creation of the body. The last is Mulla Sadra's theory. he presented an innovative theory in this regard. He proved that although man’s soul ultimately becomes immaterial in its particular course of development, it is corporeal at the outset of creation. Mulla Sadra's theory is based on his theory of substantial motion.
Avicenna believed that the soul is immaterial and company the body when the body is created. He said: so appeared that the soul is in being before the body and attach to it based on the potency of body. (Avicenna, 54). he proved the immateriality of the soul and distinction of it from the body with the self perception issue and then conclude that appeared that the producer of perception is not tangible and nor similar to it. (Toosi, 296).
Mulla Sadra believed that the soul in the first steps is matter and next becomes immaterial. Soul, as long as it did not come out of the potency of physical presence to the real functional immaterial intellect ,is material form in different degrees that differe in closeness and distance from its intellectual worlds based on the weakness and intensity of its Being and prefectness and depletion of itself. Because the Being accepts the weakness and intensity as we have explained in the science section in the arguments of potency and functionality (Al-Shirazi, 1381, 13). he defines the soul context with the perfection word. the soul is the first perfection of natural object and not every body naturally because it is not perfection of the fire and not the Earth, but the soul in this world, is perfection of the natural object that can make second perfections with its tools in life actions like emotion and involuntary movement.(Al-Shirazi, 1381, 16). he believed that the human Being is continuely in a developmental journey. The human in his essence is to be promoted always there from one existence into another existence and from one world to another world and its stage is not fixed. (Al Shirazi, 1375, 361).
Substantial motion is the basis of main notions of Mulla Sadra's philosophy. In this discipline all of the substances in the world has an essential movement and develop continuously from the weakest degrees of their Being to the more strong degrees. One substance moves in its essence in order to leave potency and enter actuality. Each succeeding stage is a potency for the preceding one and this stages constructs the line of development of a real intellectual human.
human substantial motion starts from the matter and continue to the first degrees of spirituality and intellectuality and continue to reach such degree that they do not need to their bodies anymore. Mulla Sadra apprehended the human soul with fundamental principle of a substantial movement as the source of all power and timeless none-spatial reality that introduced into human body as a mark of divine bridge between matter and soul (Akbarian,87). this motion is essential factor of the universe and mankind as a part of this universe has a complete harmony with it. Sadra does not consider the developmental journey of the soul to be independent from the world of creation and other physical phenomena. Rather he sees it as harmonious with the universal motion of material substance (Akbarian, 85).
In the Mulla Sadra school the humanity starts from very primary steps of body and continue to reach the complete pure soul. So the human is not merely a material system that consists of some substances with complicated relations between its parts but a substance that its weak steps is in the matter and its head is in the spirituality and immortality. According to Mulla Sadra , the soul as a single reality first appears as the body and finally becomes human soul witch again traverses many more stages of its development and reaches to a stage witch is spiritual and immortal (Akbarian,87).
the soul begins his journey from a primitive state of human and advanced state of matter and continue to a degree that became absolute and immaterial. the human soul in the first inception is physical and material similar to other specieses then becomes an abstract in essence not in functionality , then it becomes immaterial and separated from matter in essence and action (Al Shirazi, 1375, 290). this movement is not something independent from the substance of the man itself but he itself is motion and motion is essential for it. Substantial motion in the exact interpretation is something that is really in his deep essence is in an essential motion. Mulla Sadra believed that, the soul is corporeal when it comes into being. Also it is not a stationary and motionless substance, but a substance which, like time, is essentially and outcome of motion, and has motion in itself (Akbarian, 86).
Mulla Sadra had divided the human life into some parts. In this division man has two puberties. The first is the formal puberty that the body of man gains some special functionalities and faces with some fundamental changes in its body. In this stage he acquires the ability of reproduction. The second puberty is the spiritual puberty that is the real puberty of man. Many of people can not reach this stage and stay in a minimal intellectuality and humanity all of their life. But some of them can reach this puberty and will become divine soul. The start of the real puberty is about the age of fourty. “when the child come out of his mother's womb he is already same like the other animals to premature formal puberty , then he become human soul after that, albeit he has potenciality to live up to become divine mind, so if reached end of forty ,and is the time to spiritual puberty, then he will Become a soul if he has helped by the sanctity of the divine. So as long as the embryo is in the womb he already grow, he has animality potency; and if it gets out of his mother's womb before puberty is indeed an animal, and human in potency; and if it reaches the end of formal puberty he is already a man and angel in potency. (Al Shirazi, 1375, 291).
so you may ask that what is the difference between the animal and human? The difference is in potency. Albeit human in its early stages is matterial and then becomes animal but he has the potency of becoming intellectual human and the animal lakes this power. So the human nature is different from the animal nature. human nature is distinct from the animal nature in some view, then the end of the animal nature perfection is the first human nature because of the difference of natures and worlds.(Al Shirazi, 1360, 202).
The next issue is the creation and relation of soul and the body. Body is potentiality of human being and pure spirit is the extreme functionality of It and the aim of the human substantial motion. In the early stages of the human there is a body with vegetative life. When It become more powerful and gains enough functionality such that this functionality becomes the potentiality for having animal soul the god give it an animal soul and enters it into the animality stage. Next he continue to its substantial motion to such degree that it became eligible to obtain the human soul. In this stage he recieves the human soul from the transcendental sources. So the creation of the human depends on two factors, one is the enough potentiality in the material body and second is the perfectness of the transcendent cause.
The first cause of the universe that is “The Unit God” is perfect. So the real originating cause is present and perfect and so creation of human will became dependent on the potentiality of the recipient.
In the Mulla Sadra's school the creation of human depends on a real originating cause and a recipient cause.If we can prepare the matter and complete the recipient cause even in unusual way such as cloning methods and so on because of the perfection of originating cause, the creation of human can occur and necessarily will take place.
Finally we conclude that from perspective of Mulla Sadra's philosophy, human creation is not merely by regular ways of child birth and we can have humans with special methods of human cloning and other ways in laboratory. Although if we can create a body that have enough potentiality for being a human the human soul will be invested from the God. So the preparation is the action of material and humanistic works and influences ,but the creation and emanation is divine.
Morality and human cloning
if we study the moral implications of human cloning we will encounter two different views of the issue. The first is about this new man's moral treatments and responsibilities and the other is our moral responsibilities in dealing with this technology and its uses.
Since we proved previously that the humanity of this newly created man is completely similar to the others so we can conclude that this is really human and so he has moral responsibilities like other humans and has no difference in this aspect from others. But in the field of our moral responsibilities we will see some ethical relativity. In more exact words I can say that if we know that this is a normal method and the results is not different from other methods, so we will understand that this method in its essence is not bad and could be treated as a safe and promising method and so we will not have any worry about it from this view.