“What Is Alive?” — Episode #47


What is alive, and what does it mean to be alive? In this episode we approach the question from different angles and talk about whether/how human consciousness has anything to do with being alive. We also explore the question of whether or not an android or a computer perfectly mimicking human behavior would mean it’s “alive”, and if that means it has the same dignity as a human person. Heavy philosophy here!



  1. Cal you vape? XD
    This might be the brainwashing talking (since this was taught to me at school), but I’ve heard in some respects vaping is more addictive than cigarettes even though they ‘claim’ that they have 0% alcohol/nicotine
    But moving on, nice debate guys ^^

  2. Tim Cal
    A good show with an interesting topic. The ironic circumstances for Lt Data was a preoccupation of becoming more human and I see so many humans behave like robots glued to cellphones.Brent Spiner was brilliant at the part for the record
    Cal the guy with locked in syndrome how did they verify his circumstances? Alive as a subject is a rather explosive topic with numerous variables. The cell is the basic unit of life either single or multicellular. Would you consider a virus as living/hibernation when not in an optimal growth environment? Consciousness give human beings a sense of awareness though the capacity of expressing experience will be unique to the individual in my view feeling is more than dendrite neurone interactions
    See you next week
    Keep up the good work

  3. Celtic barry  I think the poor guy just lay there for twenty something odd years, recovered and then simply told the people around him that he had been aware of his surroundings the whole time. As for your question on viruses, yes, I do consider them alive just not living in the same way that you and me are. If it turns out one day that they are in fact aware and able to feel things, which could happen, then they would be lives worth caring about.

  4. Cal when you hear the horror stories about abuse within the care system I’m surprised to use a euphemistic term that they didn’t pull the plug earlier consider the recent reports about hospital care in some areas of the UK
    The thought of life like that is incomprehensible.Some info from Wikipedia is unsourced so I would be careful in its usage

  5. CalKane AFlowerofStTherese Man? LOL. what kind of a man would like flowers and watch the dialogue? LOL That’s woman!

  6. A machine cannot because it does not have the neurology…the sense of feeling touch.  Tim, love the dog being fed nature of “love” for a person vs. a child’s love for a person.  Excellent.
    Cal, we are, “the crown of His creation…” and we are free to make choices.  Whoever “Data” is, can only make choices that have been entered into it.
    I know Tim hates it when I go this way, but plants have souls…all living things have souls.  Plants do not have choices, however.  Their growth will depend upon their environment.  Death in the case of any living thing, created by God, is the separation of the soul from the thing; so consciousness is not the determining factor of life or death.
    Finally, Tim, I’ve got some bad news from what I understand regarding donating our organs.  I have to find it though, so as soon as I do, I’ll add it here.
    GREAT SHOW Cal and Tim!  As I mentioned in my comments elsewhere, we were without internet for over a week, so I haven’t been able to catch you live or on demand until now.  Thanks for doing The Dialogue!

  7. Catholic child
    You now see the consequences of immortal law being enforced. Life is a business not a gift from God. Even if you have complied with the articles suggested I suspect paperwork may get misplaced and then you can be economically consumed. Cooperation is the only requirement for this to be maintained. If you want to oppose then check for pro life candidates in your elections
    Call the media out “There is no such thing as Planned Parenthood “call them slaughters inc.When they came for me there was no one left to complain
    Well presented Evil is still Evil

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