Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I watched the Butterfly Effect and The Island last night.

The Butterfly Effect is about alternative destinies, the issue of if only I knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently.

It was flawed in its details of its premise, but the point of the story is that everything that happened, no matter how small, would have set off chains upon chains of other events that in effect changed a lot more things than one would expect.
Watching the movie made me reflect on the concept of predestination.
God being all powerful and all encompassing and timeless, had predetermined everything that has happened the way they did, everything that is happening the way it is, and everything that will happen the way it will happen.
People confuse this as fatalism, and saying that it leaves no room for free will.

I dont have a problem with that.
The need in us to believe that we have a power to effect change is, to me, a sign of our inability to accept - fully accept in our heart of hearts - the idea that God is indeed more All-Powerful than we are comfortable with.
The need to insert the element of free will in the big picture is to me no more than a reflection of our insistence that we are in control of our fate in some way.

To me, that is no more than our own little egos talking.
There can be no two wills - God's and ours - working at the same time.

The Island was a typically Hollywood film in its feel, although it bombed out at the box office.
The central idea gives food for spiritual thought, though.
With cloning developing as it is, it is a matter of time before we can clone full human beings.

The benefits of cloning would be too overwhelming to allow mere ethics to keep this genie in a bottle.
The question then would be - if the clones are human being womblessly "conceived", are they human?

I have been asked this poser before - at which point is the ruh breathed into the clone when it is never in a womb in the first place?
The answer thrown was that because the clone was never conceived in a womb, its ruh is never breathed into it, and as such it would not have a ruh.

I have the misfortune to find that reasoning absurd.
If something has life, intelligence and will, then it must have a ruh.
Whence it comes in is a second issue, not the first.
Anyway, I am quite confident that our ulama are not as simple minded as that.
It gives me great comfort to know that the truly learned people of our faith are better able to handle complex issues such as this.
The rest are the usual wannabees issuing fatwa without knowledge and wisdom.

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