Philosophy: Thread I -- Living v. Non-Living (triggers, discretion advised)

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, Dec 11, 2009.

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Living v. Non-Living: The Machine

    How do we define what's living, and what's not living?

    Typically, the definition has basically involved an organism that ingests, responds to stimuli, is able to reproduce, and expels waste. Is this all that life is? Why, yes. It is. This has major implications in our understanding that our lives are significant in the scheme of all things.

    What is the significance of life under the set definition of the functions of the living?

    None. You eat, you expel, you likely reproduce, and you die, and then become deteriorated non-living mulch for other organisms to feed and sustain their, equally insignificant, lives. And we do so mechanically. We're programmed, designed this way and never will change. It's impossible.

    What's the purpose of life?

    Eat, shit, multiply, and die. Nothing more. Our bodies were designed for only these reasons. Our brain is complexly designed to facilitate these functions, thereby ensuring our survival so that we may multiply, keep eating, and therefore keep shitting. Think of a machine that can do the same things we do. Let's say such machine exists. A light on it blinks when it's in need of nourishment, which the machine then hunts for and finds food, and ingests it. Once the food is ingested it breaks down, distributing nutrients from the machine's food to other parts of the machine that allow it to function. Shortly after digestion, the machine then defecates the solid matter through one tube, and releases liquid remains through a separate tube.

    Let's say this machine has a sexual opposite in its vicinity; another 'Eve' counterpart machine similar to it. These machines contain mechanisms that enable them to identify other machines with which to mate. They mate, and another machine is developed and becomes an offspring of the two originals, with all the same mechanisms and functions.

    Eventually, let's say, the machines wear down, their unable to ingest anymore, to waste anymore, to produce the mechanisms that allow them to reproduce anymore. Their central unit is losing its memory capacity, and its chips are melting away at a gradual pace. It's losing the alertness and ability to continue responding to stimuli. So the machine gradually but surely deteriorates, and inevitably, and by design, becomes non-living.

    These are the exact same qualities a human has. The machine is, in fact, the man, and the woman. Man is machine.

    Could every ability we proclaim to belong only to us and be unique and make us special, simply be the same as machines responding to stimuli, much in the same way a touch pad responds to touch?

    Yes. The illusion of importance to a being's existence is overwhelmingly attributed entirely to a functioning central unit's design in favor of survival. The same as it is with animals and insects.

    Because once you learn to get around that design, and figure out that our continued existence is merely a combination of responses to stimuli, you realize that living, and non-living, both have the overall same quality -- None.

    More stimuli to come, for your programmed brain to predictably respond. What an unfortunate reality. Or...fortunate.
  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    That's rudimentary life. We can add significance to our own lives... Unless robots develop morality (like in BSG) they'll never be equivalent.
  3. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I agree. You can add significance to your life, that doesn't mean the self-proclaimed significance is valid. It's simply a thought conjured up to justify a naturally mechanical life. This thought usually aids in ensuring your survival process continues.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2009
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    You make this sound like a bad thing. A Buddhist monk was once asked "What has led to you living such a happy life?" His response was he ate good meals, followed by having a good shit. What more does one need?
  5. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter


    What a great quote! The Buddhists got it right IMO
  6. Aquarius123

    Aquarius123 Well-Known Member

    Who are the truly dead ones?

    The way I understand this life that we are in it so that in the fullness of time we once again become aware of our true nature as spirits and souls, temporarily encased in matter, whose true home is the world of spirit. This knowledge helps us to develop into builder of bridges, not only between all the kingdoms of the Earth, but also between all other worlds and existences.

    Our two worlds, the one in physicality, and the other in the world of spirit, where we come from and return to, at the beginning and end of each lifetime, are waiting to be reconciled and fused into one. To this day, many still believe that getting in touch with the world of spirit means communicating with the dead. Such a view could not be further from the truth. Looking at our world, whilst bearing in mind everybody’s true nature and home, one cannot help coming to the conclusion that many on this side of life are the dead ones, i.e. unaware of who and what they really are.


    With love and light,
  7. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    I live my life to have fun. I eat when I am hungry, drink when I am dry, get drunk when I am ready and get sober by the by.

    Although the shit quote was in one way their beleifs most people would misconstrue how he meant it.
  8. jackanator

    jackanator Member

    What separates us from being machines is that we can decide whether we wish to end our life or not. We also like to fill ourselves with drugs to escape the very boring, monotone, gloomy feelings that we feel from being sober.
  9. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I can understand the idea that life is simple mechanical processing, but I don't understand how that idea can thrive. The purpose of living is much more than to just facilitate bodily functions, and to say that we are only here to eat, shit, procreate and die is proposterous IMO.

    Think about creativity. We have designed many things to help us with our crucial funtions, but plenty of things just for entertainment as well. Books, Movies, Video Games etc. Art. Literature. We don't need entertainment to survive, and one could even argue that entertainment is detrimental to fulfilling our bodily functions. Think of all the couples in the world who would choose to watch television rather than sleep with each other. Think of all the teenagers who skip breakfast or lunch so they can get enough gametime in Modern Warfare to be satisfied. Think up something, and realize how it isn't necessary for a living being.

    If it isn't necessary, and can even be worse for us (biologically speaking), why would we have it? We didn't discover these things, we invented them. Sure, Ancient Human could have been referred to as a machine, as they only needed to eat, hunt, and procreate. Modern Human is far, far from that way of life. We have careers, families, societies. Why would humans set up a system of marriage when it limits our procreating possibilities? Would a machine ignore it's capabilities and restrict itself like that?

    Can a machine laugh? Can a machine have a sense of humour, and understand that just because something is a joke, and contains everything needed to make it funny, it doesn't necessarily make it so?

    Can a machine know that cigarettes are harmful, and then willingly decide to go against it's mechanical design and start smoking?

    Could a type of machine, made of the same basic functions, produce both a serial killer and a poet laureate?

    Could a machine decide to ignore or directly go against the very things it needs to survive?

    I don't care if scientists tell us that every thought and every decision comes down to simple neuron to neuron activity, life is more than simple mechanical processing. Life is not structured like it is for an electrical appliance, life is not simple decision making like it is for a computer, and life does not have a set or standard lifespan like that of a battery.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2010
  10. Aquarius123

    Aquarius123 Well-Known Member

    Each one of us is a special and unique being

    The way I understand this life and our existence within it is that each one of us in their own way is a special and unique being. Just imagine in the entire history of the whole of Creation there has never been and never will be another being quite like you and me! Our eyes, hands, hair, handwriting, smile, voice and mind are unique to us. No-one walks, talks, thinks, acts or even meditates exactly the way we do. Nobody can paint our brush strokes or has exactly the same taste as we have for food, music, dance and other artistic endeavours. Nobody can perceive things quite the way we do; and no-one can feel our feelings. There has never been someone who laughs exactly the way we do, and what makes us laugh or cry, can have quite a different effect on someone else.

    I believe that we are all different from everybody else who ever walked the Earth, and we are all specially gifted in some way. Even if others pursue the same creative activities as we do, everybody has their own special and unique way of expressing themselves. In the course of our evolution as individuals and through many lifetimes, we all have developed our own set of abilities. There always will be someone who is better than we are, at one thing or another; and everyone is likely to be our superior at least in one way. But do not overlook that this is valid for each one of us.

    Furthermore, I believe that every human soul has been provided by our Creator with a different set of gifts and talents. They have taken many lifetimes to develop and it is important to be grateful for them, to take good care of them and further develop them, to the best of our ability. The whole range of that which has been bestowed upon us produces a vibration and a sound that is uniquely our own. The entire human race is like a room that is filled with billions of musical instruments. Listening to the symphony they are producing together, it may seem to us as if some of the instruments in some way sounded better than ours. Don’t be disturbed by this, because it’s due to the fact that every instruments is a unique creation, to ensure that no-one matches exactly anyone else’s sound. No matter how hard they may try, it’s impossible!

    I see us all as tiny particles of a vast whole, and the functioning of one is as important as that of all the others for the wellbeing of the whole. Every single one is rare and precious in the eyes of the One who created us. And whatever we imagine this being to be, even the greatest sceptic is bound to admit that we and our world cannot have appeared out of nowhere. Our Creator holds the Great Plan of life in His/Her loving hands and designed us to be exactly the way we are.

    I do not believe that we are some kind of a machine, maybe a random and haphazard appearance or some kind of a cosmic joke. We are in this life so that we may learn to love, appreciate and accept ourselves, just the way we are, because that is the way the Great White Spirit, who is our true Father/Mother, loves us and wants us to be. We all contain the seed of perfection and all we have to do is give of their best in all situations. This gradually brings forth ever more of our Divine qualities from within the very core of our own being.

    From ‘You Are Special’

    With love and light,
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