Těla bez duše

Přední světový vzdělanec v oboru umělé inteligence kdysi popsal lidi jako stroje z masa. To dobře vystihuje konsenzus v oblasti psychologie a neurovědy, který nám říká, že náš mentální život je produktem fyzického mozku a že naše mozky neformuje božský stvořitel, nýbrž slepý proces přirozené selekce.

S výjimkou nevelké minority filozofů a vědců však nikdo tento názor nebere vážně. Je urážlivý. Boří principy všech náboženství a je v rozporu se selským rozumem. Ostatně necítíme se jako pouhá fyzická těla z masa a kostí. Místo toho svá těla obýváme. Vlastníme je. Spontánně jsme přitahováni ke stanovisku, jež obhajoval René Descartes: jsme od přírody dualisté, takže těla a duše považujeme za oddělené.

Tento dualismus má závažné důsledky pro to, jak myslíme, jednáme a jak se cítíme. Filozof Peter Singer rozebírá pojem morálního okruhu – okruhu věcí, které jsou nám blízké a mají pro nás mravní význam. Okruh může být velice malý a zahrnovat pouze naše příbuzné a ty, s nimiž jsme v každodenním styku, nebo může být nesmírně široký a zahrnovat nejen všechny lidi, ale také zárodky, zvířata, rostliny, ba i Zemi samotnou. Pro většinu z nás je tento okruh středně velký a přesné stanovování jeho hranic – zahrnuje například kmenové buňky? – může být zdrojem soužení a střetů.

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