Steve Furber
University of Northumbria at Newcastle
We survey the meta-ethical tools and institutional processes that traditional Islamic ethicists apply when deliberating on bioethical issues. We present a typology of these methodological elements, giving particular attention to the meta-ethical techniques and devices that traditional Islamic ethicists employ in the absence of decisive or univocal authoritative texts or in the absence of established transmitted cases. In describing how traditional Islamic ethicists work, we demonstrate that these experts possess a variety of discursive tools. We find that the ethical responsa—i.e., the products of the application of the tools that we describe—are generally characterized by internal consistency. We also conclude that Islamic ethical reasoning on bioethical issues, while clearly scripture-based, is also characterized by strong consequentialist elements and possesses clear principles-based characteristics. The paper contributes to the study of bioethics by familiarizing non-specialists in Islamic ethics with the role, scope, and applicability of key Islamic ethical concepts, such as “aims” (maqāṣid), “universals” (kulliyyāt), “interest” (maṣlaḥa), “maxims” (qawā`id), “controls” (ḍawābit), “differentiators” (furūq), “preponderization” (tarjīḥ), and “extension” (tafrī`)
Keywords Islamic moral reasoning  Muslim bioethics  Islamic law
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-013-9251-7
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Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.

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