Monday, 4 August 2014

When does the soul arrive?

In my initial assessment of a recent article on the use of stem cells in Jordan, I was mildly surprised and then confused. I was surprised to realize that Islam has such liberal views on stem cell research in stark contrast to that other big Abrahamic religion of Christianity. In fact I think Islam should be applauded for this view although this is also where it starts to go slightly awry. It seems the only reason for this view on stem cell research in Islam is due to an interpretation of the scripture on when a soul enters the body. As such they are not holding this view just because they believe it is a benefit to mankind to do research on cells that could solve multiple problems.

Turns out that in Islam the belief that the soul enters the body either on the 6th day (according to the article) or the fortieth day according to old Muhammad. As such in Islam it is not killing  a human as is the commonly held belief of Christian organizations. However, if this was true then women would often be able to easily get abortions in Islamic Arabic countries. This is clearly not the truth though as in Jordan a women is not allowed to terminate a pregnancy. In fact Islam is against abortion in general just like Christians.

So this leaves a conundrum. What does Islam really want? It seems that somewhere someone relaized the benefits of stem cell research and thus want it to be allowed. However, they also dont want abortions going on as they respect the sanctity of life.

This is a great example of why atheists reject theistic views, they just make no sense. Then again this should come as no surprise considering Islamic views on human embryonic development.