Star Trek has raised this issue several times, namely, what qualifies as “life”? In the case of Iden and these other holographic creations, is it really life if they are merely acting out their programming? Aren’t we biological creatures also programmed in our own way? Aren’t humans programmed from childhood to believe in certain things and act in certain ways?
An interesting facet of the character Iden is that he was programmed with the Bajoran belief in the Prophets. This begs the question, is his belief any less valid because it was programmed into him? Is religion something that many of us are programmed with? If a child is brought up in one church and knows only of the teachings of that one church, is that one child’s (now an adult) faith any less valid than someone that has discovered a religion as an adult?
So many questions, so few answers.