jfkaua
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What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:04 pm

This is a question I have always asked myself... What exactly makes something living... Obviously you think you and I are living... Most likely you think a dog and cat are... What makes us really have our own body of thought and not just a bunch of atoms stuck together? If I have my entire body transplanted one piece at a time... At what point am I no longer myself? If we make a perfect replicate human from scratch.. Is it real? Is it really thinking? At what point does something that's just a bunch of molecules become something that can think, love and feel? Just remember there is no answer.. Just opinions...

[Edited 2004-12-27 04:06:02]
 
aloges
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:31 pm

Biologically, I'd say it lives if it shits. That is, if it has a metabolism.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
theCoz
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:34 pm

Well, how about if it is capable of dying, then it is living.
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:37 pm

so if mankind makes a humanoid robot that charges itself and can live automonotsly .. its it alive? is it thinking like you and me?
 
aloges
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:42 pm

That's whern we'd get into serious ethical trouble - would this "Data" be a form of life? Biologically yes, if it fed on things growing around it and left behind nothing but degradable, well, "stuff". Ethically? No way to tell (yet), we don't really know if plants have a conscience, but we do consider them to be forms of life.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:46 pm

exactly.. when does something have a consceince... what in your body makes you something that thinks?
 
aerobalance
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:32 pm

The ability to fog a mirror or maintain a pulse.
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
theCoz
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:41 pm

I think the presence of a central nervous system is mutually exclusive for consciousness to be present as well.

What about plants? They may not be conscious, but most people would say they are alive.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:49 pm

Well if I remember correctly from Biology 101, something's alive if it demonstrates the following characteristics:

Growth
Metabolism
Motion (either external or internal)
Reproduction
Response to stimuli
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:25 pm

yea I know what catagorizes something as living.. but what about when does something actually become a thinking body? If one created a human robot.. that eats food like us... breathes like us has a pulse like us... Is it something that can feel? Would you feel bad throwing it off a building.. or was it just a machine? What I am basically getting at is do you believe that there is something that has not yet been discovered that makes something actually exsist... Because if you break it down.. all you are is a bunch of molecules that interact in different ways with hormones and other things in your body... I honestly think its a question that is impossible to answer..
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:35 pm

The ability to function in some capacity...whether it be a plant doing photosynthesis, or a baby kicking in it's mother's womb....both those have the ability to die as well....you can't die if you were dead from the getgo.

I think it's rather simple really....plants don't have heartbeats/brainwaves, but you find people protecting their rights more than you have people protecting unborn children's rights.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:07 pm

so is a robot a concious thing? would you feel bad pushing it off a building?
 
Espion007
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:08 pm

but you find people protecting their rights more than you have people protecting unborn children's rights.

better quit now before we turn this thread into a political war.
Snakes on a Plane!
 
KyleLosAngeles
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:11 pm

" ... plants don't have heartbeats/brainwaves, but you find people protecting their rights more than you have people protecting unborn children's rights ... "


Ah, and there we have it. Someone took the bait, and this becomes a soapbox for unrelated conservatism.
Happy 2006
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:27 pm

HOORAH

I have officially managed to highjack a thread  Big grin

And no, I don't feel one bit bad when I disable robots...it won't hate me whenever we decide to give it back it's motherboard  Laugh out loud

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:29 pm

now what if that robot runs of a human brain... would you feel bad then?
 
KyleLosAngeles
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:38 pm

DeltaGuy - your hijack has been hijacked.

instead of discussing what makes something "living", we are now discussing what makes something "human", thanks to you and Jfkaua.  Smile
Happy 2006
 
jfkaua
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:43 pm

Hey I started this thread ... no this is what I am getting at.. he stated as most people would that no they wouldn't feel bad killing a robot.. its just a machine... now what If the robot uses a human heart to pump blood... would you feel bad yet? what about if the nerves are all those just like a human.. what if it has a brain thats an exact model of a humans brain... Would you feel bad yet? At what point is something not just a bunch of matter... but its something that actually feels?
 
xjramper
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:51 pm

your original question was not about AI, but what makes something living. to that i say nutrients. everything needs nutrients to survive, if not...drum roll please...it dies. there are no man made parts involved. sorry robot poster.

At what point is something not just a bunch of matter

everything is matter, to our human brains do we assign value.

xjr
Look ma' no hands!
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:55 pm

ok maybe I worded the initial question wrong... when does something have a soul... when would you feel bad killing something... what gives it its soul, and not just a body of matter that does a bunch of computations..

this quote kind of shows what I am talking about..


------
There’s little doubt that by the year 2035, you’ll be able to buy the compute power of a human brain for the price of a lunch. That’s right: a chip with the processing power of that gray CPU in your skull will cost no more than a single bill out of the ATM machine.

Now admittedly, there are some who believe that, despite such capability, machines will never be capable of human-style intelligence. But that suggests that there is some sort of unfathomable miracle going on between our ears.
-------

[Edited 2004-12-27 07:58:13]
 
xjramper
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:01 pm

But that suggests that there is some sort of unfathomable miracle going on between our ears.

Nope...just some gray matter.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:02 pm

oh screw this I give up lol.. i think i'll have better luck posting this at deepphilosophers.com or something

Isn't there anyone out there that understand what I am saying??? Your brain does computations and so does my computer... But for some reason i feel bad throwing you off a building but i couldn't give a sh*t about my computer.. What is it inside us that makes us able to decipher things that even the most powerful computers and best programmers cannot, even though computers can handle so much more raw information then us.

[Edited 2004-12-27 08:04:33]
 
xjramper
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:06 pm

We are only as smart as the computers we build...when they start thinking for themselves we are screwed.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:42 am

RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:09 pm

well obiously a computer can see if you add a camera lense... hear with a microphone and i'm sure you could make a computer that has all the senses a human does.. but no matter what you do.. it just won't have the same "common sense" if you will, that a human does..
 
xjramper
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:16 pm

Well then I am safe, I do not have a mic nor do I have a webcam.

And have you seen I, Robot...If you have then the computer will have the three laws.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
jfkaua
Posts: 972
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 4:17 pm

uh oh.. i got a mic /webcam.. I see the 3 laws are
# A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

# A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

# A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

lets keep in mind this is a movie... I got to go to bed... but I'll end on basically saying that I think there is something else going on between our ears that we have not yet discovered, any may never discover. Something much more complicated then mathmatical equations or chemical hormones..

[Edited 2004-12-27 08:19:57]
 
User avatar
BNE
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:37 pm

What Makes Something Living?


WHEN ITS NOT DEAD

Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
diamond
Posts: 3000
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:46 pm

Jfkaua,

Hey, don't get frustrated if your point is being missed. You are asking your own question on several different levels.

If you type "define:alive" into google, you won't find your answer among the many hits it returns.


Single-cell creatures are alive as long as they receive nourishment and process energy. That should be the simplest answer to your first question.

But you also asked why we CARE about something if it dies. So that is more about "feeling" and "caring", not about life itself.

An amoeba doesn't care if another amoeba dies. But it was alive to begin with.

Blank.
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
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RE: What Makes Something Living?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 4:38 am

Jfkaua, I think you'll never get a definite answer to that question, when ethics are concerned. Why? Because there is no definite answer. As for me, I think what defines life is that a living being has a will to survive. We can do anything we want to the most "intelligent" robot, and if it doesn't have any kind of "I will survive!" programme, it will simply not defend itself. That brings us to "And if it does have that kind of software?" Well, then it's still not living because it needed to get that software written on its harddrive. However, that's my point of view.

You could also say that if "something" is able to feel emotions, it lives; I'm sure that you can find some kind of emotion in any plant. Again, there is no definite answer.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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