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  1. #1
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Default What is the definition of life?

    I guess we can go into the 'meaning of life', but, I'm trying to gauge a more basic question (thus, applicable to all living things, not just humans). What is an universal definition of life? When is life, life? What properties should be inherent to classify X as being alive?

    {there is no one agreed-upon definition as of yet, btw}

    PS - I think this was posted in the wrong section, more applicable to the Science & Tech, or Philosophy? I'll let the admins decide.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Philosophy.

    I tend to see a difference between things that have experience, and things that don't. A creature does, a chair does not.

  3. #3
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    How to Define Life

    The above article defines it to the best of my comprehension.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mr. Gentle-wet-drops-on-a-bamboo-stick. So many dirty jokes (must refrain).

    It begs the question then: what constitutes experience? Should the experience be experienced (consciously logged)?

  5. #5
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Thanks, Mr. Gentle-wet-drops-on-a-bamboo-stick. So many dirty jokes (must refrain).

    It begs the question then: what constitutes experience? Should the experience be experienced (consciously logged)?
    That's getting more into sentience as a characteristic of life, isn't it..?
    Plants cannot, to our knowledge, perceive or feel things subjectively.. however we acknowledge them as life forms...
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    How to Define Life

    The above article defines it to the best of my comprehension.
    Using the above list, a question: Are viruses alive?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    That's getting more into sentience as a characteristic of life, isn't it..?
    Plants cannot, to our knowledge, perceive or feel things subjectively.. however we acknowledge them as life forms...
    Yeah, sentience have been a big issue in this debate. Esp. when applied to fetus and the definiton of life. I agree though that sentience is not necessary to define life.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Thanks, Mr. Gentle-wet-drops-on-a-bamboo-stick. So many dirty jokes (must refrain).

    It begs the question then: what constitutes experience? Should the experience be experienced (consciously logged)?
    I've never been a bacteria (thought women have called me a parasite at times) but I imagine they don't have experience. Experience/consciousness is a magical thing that happens with the help of a brain. It's the picture you're looking at right now, and the sound of sounds you hear.

    Your second question is really about convention, since you're asking about what a word means. You can say consciousness is a requirement, but I think the way the concept of "life" is usually understood, awareness of experience is not a requirement. If it was, you would end up saying that a dog does not qualify as being alive (possessing life) and that sounds strange.

  9. #9
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Using the above list, a question: Are viruses alive?
    I'm not sure. Generally they aren't classed as organisms because they lack cell membranes.. don't metabolize, etc... it's debated in the world of microbiology as far as I know. I'm outta my element, here. <---Not a science major..
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Esp. when applied to fetus and the definiton of life.
    It's interesting. I think the people who get engrossed in the "when does life begin" debate are really missing the point. Definitions are created by convention, so you can never beat another person. The question is really how to treat a creature that is at a certain age, not how to define it. It's kinda funny, actually, that people need to categorize things into a protectable class before saying it has rights and values.

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