The science of the soul; Bahá’í scriptural understanding of suffering, theodicy, and the purpose of creation; definitions of life and death, as well as the purpose of human life; formulating a Bahá’í approach to bioethical dilemmas.
About: The recent unprecedented explosion of advances in the biological and medical sciences, especially in the arena of technology, has produced a plethora of new bioethical challenges with significant moral, economic, and public policy implications. Inherent in the Bahá’í Revelation is the claim that it contains a universal moral code. The rich field of Bahá’í bioethics has not been studied to date. This article attempts to establish a framework and to open a dialogue within which medical ethical dilemmas may be addressed and analyzed in light of the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’í psychology (science of the soul) is examined, as it is a prelude to ethical questions. The authors suggest a possible Bahá’í scriptural understanding of suffering, theodicy, and the purpose of creation. The definitions of life and death, as well as the purpose of human life, are also explored. Finally, a number of principles from the Bahá’í writings are examined for use in formulating a Bahá’í approach to bioethical dilemmas. It must be noted that this article does not represent the definitive Bahá’í stance on any of the issues discussed; rather, these preliminary observations are only intended to serve as a prelude to a Bahá’í bioethical dialogue.