1. Standard memberKepler
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    04 May '13 09:43
    There is great deal of wrangling and squabbling over whether or not life is created or just happened, whether it evolves or all its various forms were there from the start. There is one thing missing from those discussions, a definition of life.

    What is life?

    Before we can say much about a thing we have to know what it is. So, what is it that distinguishes a rock from a living organism? Is a virus alive and how do you know?
  2. Standard membersonshiponline
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    04 May '13 09:521 edit
    Originally posted by Kepler
    There is great deal of wrangling and squabbling over whether or not life is created or just happened, whether it evolves or all its various forms were there from the start. There is one thing missing from those discussions, a definition of life.

    [b]What is life?


    Before we can say much about a thing we have to know what it is. So, what is it that distinguishes a rock from a living organism? Is a virus alive and how do you know?[/b]
    Some of us may get tired of atheists putting up OPs and sitting back to wait for the wrangling, while they just resort to pointing out this and that problem. The tactic seems to always leave all the heavy lifting to theists while you atheists just spot errors.

    Why don't you do some of the heavy lifting and tell us?

    This time I think we should wait for you to tell us what life is.
    So Kepler - What IS Life ?
  3. Standard memberKepler
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    04 May '13 10:17
    Originally posted by sonship
    Some of us may get tired of atheists putting up OPs and sitting back to wait for the wrangling, while they just resort to pointing out this and that problem. The tactic seems to always leave all the heavy lifting to theists while you atheists just spot errors.

    Why don't you do some of the heavy lifting and tell us?

    This time I think we should wait for you to tell us what life is.
    So Kepler - What IS Life ?
    Buggered if I know what it is. I asked some biologists of my acquaintance and they couldn't come up with one definition at all. In the end they just had to say "We can't define it but we know it when we see it" which then deteriorated into an argument over the status of viruses and stromatolites. So they know it when they see it but still can't agree on what they are seeing. I was hoping that those who believe god created life etc. might have a better handle on what life is. After all, they blather on endlessly about how it couldn't happen without god.

    Oh, by the way, I'm not an atheist. I don't say there is no possibility of a god existing, I just haven't found any evidence for such a thing yet. Note the "yet". I don't know yet. I might do one day. I'd like to know how I'd know a god if one turned up but you lot couldn't even answer that.

    I suspect this will turn out the same way as the god question. There will be a good deal of arsing about but the believers' message will be "Just believe and everything will be OK. Oh why can't you just BELIEVE????" and none of us will know just what it is their god is supposed to have created.

    I don't expect the atheists to be able to provide an answer either and if I wanted the scientific view I'd ask in the science forum. I suspect that would less informative than the group of biologists though.
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    04 May '13 10:401 edit
    Originally posted by Kepler
    There is great deal of wrangling and squabbling over whether or not life is created or just happened, whether it evolves or all its various forms were there from the start. There is one thing missing from those discussions, a definition of life.

    [b]What is life?


    Before we can say much about a thing we have to know what it is. So, what is it that distinguishes a rock from a living organism? Is a virus alive and how do you know?[/b]
    One can attempt to define it as you have through comparison, a rock from a living organism, animate as opposed to inanimate, however merely possessing the quality of being animate does not really encompass the human experience, otherwise we would be no different from a squirrel or a jellyfish. It appears to me that what differentiates humans from other life forms is that we are wholly conscious. We are conscious that we can inflict pain on other forms of life, we are conscious of our past, present and have some little inkling about what may transpire in the future. We are able to reflect, draw conclusions from those reflections, store them in our subconscious realm and draw on the experience at a later time. This consciousness we can term, spirituality, as it encompasses our human experience, All in all, what makes us different from other forms of life is spirituality. Life is spirituality.
  5. Standard memberKepler
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    04 May '13 10:54
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    One can attempt to define it as you have through comparison, a rock from a living organism, animate as opposed to inanimate, however merely possessing the quality of being animate does not really encompass the human experience, otherwise we would be no different from a squirrel or a jellyfish. It appears to me that what differentiates humans from ot ...[text shortened]... in all, what makes us different from other forms of life is spirituality. Life is spirituality.
    OK, that's us sorted. Thanks Robbie. How about life itself rather than just one special form of life? I get the "This is alive, it's a squirrel, this isn't because it's a rock" business but there are some things that aren't so easy. Is a stromatolite alive? It looks just like a rock. How about a virus? Is there something special that distinguishes living from non-living?
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    04 May '13 11:06
    Originally posted by Kepler
    OK, that's us sorted. Thanks Robbie. How about life itself rather than just one special form of life? I get the "This is alive, it's a squirrel, this isn't because it's a rock" business but there are some things that aren't so easy. Is a stromatolite alive? It looks just like a rock. How about a virus? Is there something special that distinguishes living from non-living?
    I have already stated that its essentially useless for us to think of life in terms like those which you suggest for the quality of being animate is inadequate to describe the full human life experience. Whether you deem the quality of being animate as special, i cannot say.
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    04 May '13 11:45
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I have already stated that its essentially useless for us to think of life in terms like those which you suggest for the quality of being animate is inadequate to describe the full human life experience. Whether you deem the quality of being animate as special, i cannot say.
    Why do you keep bringing up religion?
    He asked you a very simple question.

    What is life?

    Spirituality doesn't come into it and it is all fantasy anyway.


    Supposing I asked you, What is Yellow? Describe Yellow as you
    might do to one who is blind and has never seen yellow.

    Can you describe yellow without making reference to the sun
    or to lemons or daffodils? To a blind man who has never seen
    the sun or lemons or daffodils?

    Describe life in such a manner and leave out your fairy tales.
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    04 May '13 11:543 edits
    Originally posted by johnnylongwoody
    Why do you keep bringing up religion?
    He asked you a very simple question.

    What is life?

    Spirituality doesn't come into it and it is all fantasy anyway.


    Supposing I asked you, What is Yellow? Describe Yellow as you
    might do to one who is blind and has never seen yellow.

    Can you describe yellow without making reference to the su ...[text shortened]... e sun or lemons or daffodils?

    Describe life in such a manner and leave out your fairy tales.
    He got a simple answer based upon reason and please note Long Johhny, it was you who introduced religion, not me, i said spirituality and have not mentioned religion at all in my text, now suck it up and take your medicine. These atheistic rantings are becoming tedious, please read and try to understand what has been written rather than project your prejudices.

    Robbie his most illustrious Holy eminence 1
    Long Johnny the atheist one legged pirate 0
  9. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 May '13 12:03
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    One can attempt to define it as you have through comparison, a rock from a living organism, animate as opposed to inanimate, however merely possessing the quality of being animate does not really encompass the human experience, otherwise we would be no different from a squirrel or a jellyfish. It appears to me that what differentiates humans from ot ...[text shortened]... in all, what makes us different from other forms of life is spirituality. Life is spirituality.
    That does not answer the basic question. You have come up with your definition of HUMAN life which may or may not be true, but the actual question does not limit itself to humans but the general term LIFE, which can be corals in the ocean, diatoms, bacteria, viruses (maybe), trees, insects, dinosaurs, whales, lions, seals, krill, and so forth.
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    04 May '13 12:093 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That does not answer the basic question. You have come up with your definition of HUMAN life which may or may not be true, but the actual question does not limit itself to humans but the general term LIFE, which can be corals in the ocean, diatoms, bacteria, viruses (maybe), trees, insects, dinosaurs, whales, lions, seals, krill, and so forth.
    well then lets see if you can do any better, I answered it to the best of my ability, stated why the quality of being animate was not sufficient to describe life in any meaningful way for humans, so go ahead, see if you can do any better. Clearly the proposition that life is the state or quality of being animate is insufficient, even those who say to others, 'get a life', recognise this fact.
  11. Dublin Ireland
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    04 May '13 12:15
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    He got a simple answer based upon reason and please note Long Johhny, it was you who introduced religion, not me, i said spirituality and have not mentioned religion at all in my text, now suck it up and take your medicine. These atheistic rantings are becoming tedious, please read and try to understand what has been written rather than project your ...[text shortened]... ces.

    Robbie his most illustrious Holy eminence 1
    Long Johnny the atheist one legged pirate 0
    I am looking for facts Robbie.
    Not religion, spirituality or any other fantasies.
    I deal in facts and hard evidence.
    Evidence which when presented is absolutely
    incontrovertible and cannot be overturned.

    Religion and spirituality are fantasy not fact.

    That is why I asked you to try and describe the colour yellow
    to a blind man. You cannot talk of daffodils or lemons or the
    sun because the blind man has never seen any of them.

    Trying to define life in like manner is as difficult.
    But it may be done in a factual manner.


    Hard Evidence and incontrovertible facts..................1

    Robbie the spiritual unicorn.....................................0
  12. Standard memberRBHILL
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    04 May '13 12:211 edit
    Originally posted by Kepler
    There is great deal of wrangling and squabbling over whether or not life is created or just happened, whether it evolves or all its various forms were there from the start. There is one thing missing from those discussions, a definition of life.

    [b]What is life?


    Before we can say much about a thing we have to know what it is. So, what is it that distinguishes a rock from a living organism? Is a virus alive and how do you know?[/b]
    How about anything that can breath air. Or beat yet anything that can think.
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    04 May '13 12:451 edit
    Originally posted by johnnylongwoody
    I am looking for facts Robbie.
    Not religion, spirituality or any other fantasies.
    I deal in facts and hard evidence.
    Evidence which when presented is absolutely
    incontrovertible and cannot be overturned.

    Religion and spirituality are fantasy not fact.

    That is why I asked you to try and describe the colour yellow
    to a blind man. You cann ...[text shortened]... e facts..................1

    Robbie the spiritual unicorn.....................................0
    Again, i have not mentioned religion, you introduced it Johnny, not me. Spirituality is a fantasy Johnny, are you sure? You mean the quality or state of being conscious, having the ability to reflect, to exercise the faculty of conscience, to store experience in the sub conscience and to retrieve later is a fantasy? What are you Johnny some kind of semi organic borg?

    let us take the case of squiggly the red squirrel, his mother nurtures him, he grows up, leaves the nest, builds his own nest, finds a lady squirrel, has children, gathers nuts, watches his children grow up, teaches them how to gather nuts and avoid bad ol putty cats and eventually dies. When we reflect upon the life of squiggly the red squirrel, what is it that defined his life, the fact that he was animate? hardly, it was the events and experiences which happened throughout his lifetime that gave definition ( I wont say meaning) to his life. Wasn't it Johnny.

    It appears to me Johnny that you are committing the great folly of the materialist in refusing to recognise realities that are immaterial, oh well.

    Captain Robbie Kirk of the SS Enterprise 1
    Johnny the semi organic Borg queen 0
  14. Standard memberKepler
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    04 May '13 14:04
    Originally posted by RBHILL
    How about anything that can breath air. Or beat yet anything that can think.
    So bacteria, fish and many humans aren't alive? I don't think I'll be going with that one thanks.
  15. Standard memberKepler
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    04 May '13 14:06
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Again, i have not mentioned religion, you introduced it Johnny, not me. Spirituality is a fantasy Johnny, are you sure? You mean the quality or state of being conscious, having the ability to reflect, to exercise the faculty of conscience, to store experience in the sub conscience and to retrieve later is a fantasy? What are you Johnny some kind o ...[text shortened]... l, oh well.

    Captain Robbie Kirk of the SS Enterprise 1
    Johnny the semi organic Borg queen 0
    I think we are at cross purposes here. I am not asking about the quality of life, I am asking what makes something alive rather than not alive. A rock is not a living thing, a squirrel is a living thing. What is the difference, what makes one alive and the other not.
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