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04/2017 What is Human Nature? Ethical Reflections on Human Genes and the Soul

What role do our genes, and the whole genome in general, play in our material and non-material makeup as humans? What can these genes do and what can they not do? Do they have anything to do with our spirituality and ethical behavior? Is there really such a thing as a “God Gene”, a hypothesis postulated by the American geneticist, Dean Hamer? 

Alternatively, what is the function of the soul and how does it relate to the human body and its genetic makeup? What are the key questions that arise from cutting-edge advancements in the fields of genetics and genomics with relevance to our religious understanding of human nature and the place of the soul therein? Is the genome the secular equivalent of the soul, a question posed by the Swiss bioethicist, Alex Mauron?    

A group of renowned scholars and academics will deliberate on this type of ethical questions and perplexities from various perspectives including Islamic Sharia, Philosophy, Bioethics and Genetics.

The panelists are:                                                                                              

  • Dr. Fowzan Alkuraya (King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Saudi Arabia)
  • Dr. Hub Zwart (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)
  • Dr. Saadia Bendenia (University of Mostaganem, Algeria)
  • Dr. Mohammad Naim Yasin (Faculty of Sharia, The University of Jordan, Jordan)

Moderator

  • Dr. Mohammed Ghaly (Research Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics, College of Islamic Studies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar)

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