?Hinduism has a fulcrum of pragmatism,??according to Lalitha Khanna, a researcher with a Delhi-based think tank. ?What is good for making a better world is condoned, even eagerly embraced. Stem cell research, therefore, doesn?t bring out the fierce opposition that Christians in the West probably experience and evince,??she added. Religious mandates would be out of place here. ?Every sect and subsect has a guru of its own and will not follow the religious directions of another,??said Khanna.
Cloning is also not a dirty word in India. ?Hinduism will not have any major conflicts with engineered life forms of any kind because the tradition has always had multiple life forms and considers any and all of them as co-travelers on the MĂ¶bius strip,??said Venkatraman.
?We are culturally desensitized to the possibility of the existence of such things,??added Sharma. Case in point: The Hindu god of good beginnings, Ganesha, is human with an elephant?s head; the god Vishnu came to earth as a narasimha ??half man, half lion.
Most Indian children learn these stories growing up, regardless of religion. ?At the level of practice, I think Indian Christians are pretty pragmatic in their use of technologies,??said Rowena Robinson, an associate professor of sociology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. ?I am not sure if the ideological implications cause much wringing of hands,??she said.
It is wrong to think science and religion are in conflict in India, added Victor Ferrao, a doctoral student at the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth seminary in Pune. In his hometown of Goa, Ferrao leads a community science-and-religion dialogue group. ?Developments in science make the dialogue urgent,??he said, ?but science and religion are correlational.??/P>