Fondazione Zoé

To speak about procreation from an ethical point of view, it’s necessary to speak about soul.

I think it is appropriate to begin my brief post from a point that is perhaps the most decisive, that is, a thesis which, however, is contrary to popular belief. It is usually considered that we all have a soul and we think that this soul is located within the body. However, I’d like to play devil’s advocate, arguing the opposite, which I deem to be true, that it is in fact the body in the soul. This is a truth of which we think very little, but is our daily reality.

I will cite a few examples. When we meet people awkward in body, but with spiritually enlightened souls, we quickly forget the fact that we are dealing with an awkward body. We forget it because what becomes important is the relation we forge with the soul through the body. Yet it also reflects the fact that the body itself is hand crafted by the soul. Each of us assumes, in effect as we grow older, especially in our faces, the aesthetic of our souls. There are some beautiful elderly people, who have had a beautiful life, and in fact bear witness to it in their faces. Then again, try to think about a moment when you have been in perfect health. The body does not feel this, the world does. For example when you walk barefoot on a lawn in spring, you feel the grass underneath your feet. You don’t think with the foot itself, the immediate relationship is forged with the green grass.  Say you were accidentally pricked by a thorn, you no longer feel the grass but only the pain. You feel the foot. In other words, the body is no longer the athematic medium of rapport with the world, but the immediate object of rapport. The intention of this post has now suffered a setback- we have passed from the ‘subject’ body (medium of rapport) to the ‘object’ body (term of rapport).
In fact, from inside we experience ‘corporality’ as “nothing specific”, if it is in good health; we only experience it as worldly rapport. When we see the body from the outside, then of course, there is something to see: a thing of specific weight, with eyes and so on, of a certain age etc. The massive visible effect of the body hides then in the invisible, that is the soul: but it is the invisible that governs the visible. And this is because at the height of our relationship with the world, from one perspective ‘the intentional term’ is the world (or even the body-world), from another ‘the intentional source’ is the soul. This means that every thing is for the soul and therefore the soul is in certain ways (that is intentionally) all things (Aristotle).  The soul is therefore the true universal ‘container’. I have already said that this is the crucial point that must be borne in mind in order to address the issue of procreation correctly from an ethical point of view. Even if procreation seems, at first, above all a question of embodiment.

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