At what level does life actually begin?

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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby lizbethrose » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:27 am

Lots of things are going on here. At what level of what does life actually begin? Fetal development? The ability to be responsive to or conscious of sense impressions? (Definition of sentient-Merriam-Webster Dictionary) That's also a part of fetal development. Does life begin because it's possibly potential life? That question has been asked in order to establish laws concerning abortion. It comes down to, once again, what a person feels life is.

In the meantime, JSS and suze are taking over the thread for their own, personal, discussion of their own, personal, points of view which may or may not have anything to do with the OP. Is there no other place for these discussions? They seem to take up time and space--sometimes with merit--but they don't seem to leave much room for anyone else to respond.

Only_Humean? tentative? Am I being overly critical?
"Be what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."
— Lewis Carroll
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:13 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:
James S Saint wrote:In my epistemology life isn't an issue of either life or non-life. Life is much like intelligence. Something doesn't either have intelligence or not. It comes in a multitude of degrees and variations in type.

The ultimate defining characteristic of life is that seeks its own survival or its "self-harmony". And by "seek", I mean that it, by whatever means, identifies harmful from helpful, avoids the harmful, and approaches the helpful. But this characteristic also comes in degrees of just "how alive" something is. Growth and reproduction are merely a couple of the varied methods used to more secure survival.


What an odd thing to post? Evolution has no care for harmony, it is a single thing that only seeks change if it wins.

What do you suppose the term, "self-harmony" means?


In terms of science absolutely nothing. In terms of people placing silly idealistic notions on the pure biological machinery of life, nothing substantial. Why what do you think it means, that life is some sort of wondrous candy factory, that produces marvels with no cost? Try telling that to the 99% of species that were annihilated by the process. There's nothing harmonious about nature, it just is. Unless you take harmony to mean in accordance with natural and environmental selection pressures and then what you are saying is better left discarded, your pointless emotional attachments to a motiveless mechanistic process say nothing worth while except in terms of human psychologies endless drive towards filling in gaps in understanding with magical thinking.

Personally I think the law strikes a good balance at the point I would say a living thinking individual exists. I don't find the idea that a collection of cells constitutes something that if destroyed will necessarily harm either. The religious arguments in particular are unconvincing, hence they tend to fail to drive legal and pragmatic concerns, as it should be.
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

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"He that cannot obey cannot command."

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"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:46 pm

Tralix wrote:
James S Saint wrote:What do you suppose the term, "self-harmony" means?


In terms of science absolutely nothing. In terms of people placing silly idealistic notions on the pure biological machinery of life, nothing substantial. Why what do you think it means

Interesting.
What I think it means is that survival of anything in the entire universe requires that it maintain whatever it is. Is that too difficult to figure out? Require any "magical thinking" on your part? I mean, seriously. Either something maintains what it is, or it becomes what it wasn't. If you do not maintain your life, you die. You really think that is "magical"? Interesting. Seems like just common sense to me.

What you (and anything else in the universe) is, is created and defined by the harmony of the contention within, "Self-Harmony". Science agrees completely as far as I can tell. It would take some pretty serious magical thinking on your part to believe otherwise.

But then..
"your pointless emotional attachments to a motiveless mechanistic process say nothing worth while except in terms of human psychologies endless drive towards filling in gaps in understanding with magical thinking."
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:01 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:
James S Saint wrote:What do you suppose the term, "self-harmony" means?


In terms of science absolutely nothing. In terms of people placing silly idealistic notions on the pure biological machinery of life, nothing substantial. Why what do you think it means

Interesting.
What I think it means is that survival of anything in the entire universe requires that it maintain whatever it is. Is that too difficult to figure out? Require any "magical thinking" on your part? I mean, seriously. Either something maintains what it is, or it becomes what it wasn't. If you do not maintain your life, you die. You really think that is "magical"? Interesting. Seems like just common sense to me.

What you (and anything else in the universe) is, is created and defined by the harmony of the contention within, "Self-Harmony". Science agrees completely as far as I can tell. It would take some pretty serious magical thinking on your part to believe otherwise.

But then..
"your pointless emotional attachments to a motiveless mechanistic process say nothing worth while except in terms of human psychologies endless drive towards filling in gaps in understanding with magical thinking."


What about evolution denotes a condition that seeks harmony, since evolution seems to run counter to the status quo, as environments change, anything in harmony is destroyed if it tries to remain in harmony with the system in which it lives. In fact harmony is counter productive, at all times any biological system that counts on harmony will ultimately be destroyed. No you don't need to maintain what you are in evolutionary terms of ability to survive, your ability to be in harmony with anything is a value term that will endlessly be a sliding variable by which you need to adapt. Maintaining what you are and losing your ability to adapt will get you killed by the thing we call evolution as environments change.

I'm not sure what you are saying, but what you are saying has nothing to do with what I said.
Last edited by Tralix on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

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"He that cannot obey cannot command."

Benjamin Franklin.

"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:06 pm

Tralix wrote:I'm not sure what you are saying

That has become pretty obvious. I suspect it is that "emotional attachment" thing you have going there.

Tralix wrote:but what you are saying has nothing to do with what I said.

Typically guilty of what you accuse.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:08 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:I'm not sure what you are saying

That has become pretty obvious. I suspect it is that "emotional attachment" thing you have going there.

Tralix wrote:but what you are saying has nothing to do with what I said.

Typically guilty of what you accuse.


Answer my questions please?

I am asking for an explanation, you are telling me that asking for one is a fault in my argument? Please explain...
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

James S Saint.

"He that cannot obey cannot command."

Benjamin Franklin.

"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

St James.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:12 pm

Tralix wrote:Answer my questions please?

I am asking for an explanation, you are telling me that asking for one is a fault in my argument? Please explain...

Wait...

If you actually want an answer (which I had thought that I already gave), then slow down and get serious without all of the attitude and accusations.

Exactly what question would you like answered?
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:16 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:Answer my questions please?

I am asking for an explanation, you are telling me that asking for one is a fault in my argument? Please explain...

Wait...

If you actually want an answer (which I had thought that I already gave), then slow down and get serious without all of the attitude and accusations.

Exactly what question would you like answered?


Why evolution needs or indeed harmony makes any sense to it?
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

James S Saint.

"He that cannot obey cannot command."

Benjamin Franklin.

"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

St James.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:20 pm

Tralix wrote:
Why evolution needs or indeed harmony makes any sense to it?

Well first what evolution might or might not need or want hasn't a goddamn thing to do with what I need or want.

Secondly, evolution can ONLY WORK if people resist it. When you actually try to evolve, evolution doesn't take place at all and dies. You merely get replaced by something that wasn't so damn stupid.

Thirdly, as I stated, you ARE the harmony of the contention within you. That is an adapting entity in itself. So you proclaiming that you must adapt is merely affirming what I already said.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:33 pm

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:
Why evolution needs or indeed harmony makes any sense to it?

Well first what evolution might or might not need or want hasn't a goddamn thing to do with what I need or want.



Thirdly, as I stated, you ARE the harmony of the contention within you. That is an adapting entity in itself. So you proclaiming that you must adapt is merely affirming what I already said.



You said:

"In my epistemology life isn't an issue of either life or non-life. Life is much like intelligence. Something doesn't either have intelligence or not. It comes in a multitude of degrees and variations in type.

The ultimate defining characteristic of life is that seeks its own survival or its "self-harmony". And by "seek", I mean that it, by whatever means, identifies harmful from helpful, avoids the harmful, and approaches the helpful. But this characteristic also comes in degrees of just "how alive" something is. Growth and reproduction are merely a couple of the varied methods used to more secure survival."

I disagree with seek, an organism is blind it seeks nothing, it adapts because of its genes or it does not, it does not look for anything: seek harmony or seek to be harmonious, it just is, it's environment determines which of it's adaptable solutions lend it to evolve by sexual reproduction and other mechanisms such as mutation. You are putting the cart before the horse here, using words like life seeks. Life reacts it is not proactive. There is no "searching for harmony", there is just living or going extinct. There are no things coupled to more secure survival either, it either does or it doesn't, it's mutations will either favour it in the face of adversity or not. It seems a rather mild point to argue about, but it is all: evolution is blind, non harmonious, and trial by error, with no purpose or drive it just iterates and reiterates, getting it wrong more often than not and right just enough to give it a small chance, always reacting never acting before the fact.

Secondly, evolution can ONLY WORK if people resist it. When you actually try to evolve, evolution doesn't take place at all and dies. You merely get replaced by something that wasn't so damn stupid.


This makes no sense at all, how can you resist evolution? If we could resist evolution it would place us outside of nature, and I am not sure such a thing exists, everything we do is nature, no matter what we do.
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

James S Saint.

"He that cannot obey cannot command."

Benjamin Franklin.

"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

St James.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:49 pm

Tralix wrote:I disagree with seek, an organism is blind it seeks nothing,

Are you serious?
You don't ever seek anything?
No job, no better opportunity, no food source, nothing?
Wow.. You are going to be replaced.

Tralix wrote: it adapts because of its genes or it does not

And it never occurred to you that its genes might be what is causing it to seek survival?
Then what do you think causes people to want to survive, misunderstanding of their great god Evolution?

Tralix wrote:
Secondly, evolution can ONLY WORK if people resist it. When you actually try to evolve, evolution doesn't take place at all and dies. You merely get replaced by something that wasn't so damn stupid.


This makes no sense at all, how can you resist evolution?

By not sacrificing yourself to the thought of it.
Get real.
If someone says, "gee, I want to evolve into something better. I think I will go off myself so that evolution will replace me with something better", what do you think takes place? Their gene pool dies... completely - does not evolve.

Those who actually evolve are the ones who tried to survive, but were not quite good enough. Their genes continue and perhaps (or not) get better at it. That is what evolution IS.

You are an adapting creature as is (dubiously assuming that you can actually learn), so to evolve from that can only mean that you change into something that DOESN'T learn and doesn't adapt. You can evolve into something that learns better.. but ONLY IF you try as hard as you can to learn as well as you can currently and NOT have to die out and be replaced by those who were not so damn stupid.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:05 am

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:I disagree with seek, an organism is blind it seeks nothing,

Are you serious?
You don't ever seek anything?
No job, no better opportunity, no food source, nothing?
Wow.. You are going to be replaced.

Tralix wrote: it adapts because of its genes or it does not

And it never occurred to you that its genes might be what is causing it to seek survival?
Then what do you think causes people to want to survive, misunderstanding of their great god Evolution?

Tralix wrote:
Secondly, evolution can ONLY WORK if people resist it. When you actually try to evolve, evolution doesn't take place at all and dies. You merely get replaced by something that wasn't so damn stupid.


This makes no sense at all, how can you resist evolution?

By not sacrificing yourself to the thought of it.
Get real.
If someone says, "gee, I want to evolve into something better. I think I will go off myself so that evolution will replace me with something better", what do you think takes place? Their gene pool dies... completely - does not evolve.

Those who actually evolve are the ones who tried to survive, but were not quite good enough. Their genes continue and perhaps (or not) get better at it. That is what evolution IS.

You are an adapting creature as is (dubiously assuming that you can actually learn), so to evolve from that can only mean that you change into something that DOESN'T learn and doesn't adapt. You can evolve into something that learns better.. but ONLY IF you try as hard as you can to learn as well as you can currently and NOT have to die out and be replaced by those who were not so damn stupid.


We're talking about evolution not me personally, in the grand scale of evolution I do not seek anything, That is the point, you are continuously placing values on what I might think or do, but to biological diversity and evolutionary fitness it means little unless it lends adaptability to "me", or more correctly "my" offspring and over a great deal of generations of potential adaptation.

Evolution is a massively complex process, based on all life on Earth, it does not have any interest in either one species or my personal opinion about it, what I as an iota of life might do in my life time alone. Harmony, the process is so complex that you might as well call it a chaotic solution to existence, the more diverse and non divergent a system is, the more it diverges from "harmony" the more likely a key part of that system will survive, the more adaptable solutions no matter how seemingly pointless it throws up, the more likely given the environment it is to adapt.
"Nothing is possible until something is impossible."

James S Saint.

"He that cannot obey cannot command."

Benjamin Franklin.

"If you ever actually ask a question about the topic itself, I'll be glad to give it consideration. But it is more than obvious that the topic is not your interest."

St James.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby James S Saint » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:53 am

Tralix wrote:We're talking about evolution not me personally, in the grand scale of evolution I do not seek anything,

Wait..
"We are not talking about me personally"... "I do not seek anything".
Are we talking about you or not?
Are you an "organism" or not?


Tralix wrote: That is the point, you are continuously placing values on what I might think or do, but to biological diversity and evolutionary fitness it means little unless it lends adaptability to "me"

Well how did you get here if it didn't lead to you?? :-?


Tralix wrote:, or more correctly "my" offspring and over a great deal of generations of potential adaptation.

So you are saying that people should sacrifice themselves for sake of future generations that might or might not include their own offspring? Guess what happens to those people.

Tralix wrote:Evolution is a massively complex process, based on all life on Earth, it does not have any interest in either one species or my personal opinion about it

Yet your personal opinion plays into it, because your personal opinion and the opinion that you convince anyone else to take, causes them to either struggle in this direction or that, which in turn plays into who actually evolved and who died out.

The smart people don't bother with the game and just do all they can to survive.

Tralix wrote:the more diverse and non divergent a system is, the more it diverges from "harmony" the more likely a key part of that system will survive, the more adaptable solutions no matter how seemingly pointless it throws up, the more likely given the environment it is to adapt.

If the thing "adapts" then it is still that thing and thus hasn't lost the harmony that it was in the first place.
The "harmony is the pistons actually doing their job in the engine. You take that out and the engine gets tossed into the trash.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
James S Saint
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Posts: 25976
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Peachy Nietzsche » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:47 am

The definition of "life" really only has the purpose of satisfying our desire to answer the philosophical question "what is life?", and doesn't really have a practical application. Although it could perhaps have moral implications, such as the morality behind abortions, euthanasia, animal cruelty and environmental conservation, etc.

My reply will be focusing more on the technical mechanisms behind what constitutes "life", since that is what the original post seems to be most about.

Rigdon1 wrote:I went and copied a definition of life from dictionary .com
Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

and I also grabbed metabolism because I hadn't thought of this part.

Metabolism: the sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism by which its material substance is produced, maintained, and destroyed, and by which energy is made available.

Yes, metabolism is a very vital part of the definition of "life" -- hypothetically imagine that metabolism wasn't a part of what constitutes life: life would have no purpose or direction; if our bodies never required to be sustained or repaired, we would be aimless in our existence - what goal would we have?
If you take this thought even further and think about what it must be like to be immortal (or if you had an eternal life in 'heaven', or if you were a god), what purpose would you have?

Although, if you consider this next thought, life still may hold meaning even without metabolism. Many spiritual figures throughout history have practiced "fasting" as a sort of spiritual meditation - some believed (and perhaps still do believe) that the act of "fasting" would make an individual feel closer to divinity. Perhaps that all originated from ancient people having the same thought experiment we are discussing! Hypothetical"immortal gods" that didn't have to eat, sustain any sort of physical body, or possess a metabolism may have been perceived by ancient people as having the same state of mind that an individual experiences while fasting (since neither are eating food to maintain themselves). However, this doesn't consider other innate differences between a human being and a hypothetical "immortal god" - such as the fact that a human being still suffers from physical exhaustion and needs resting time for its body to replenish itself, where as an immortal divine being would not.

Ok, so they are trying to say that life begins at an organic level to the exclusion of the building blocks of organic matter due to those three processes.

Something became apparent to me at some point that made me question the definition of life. What I had noticed is that at very basic levels, matter still has needs. I'm no scientist and haven't had any formal education pertaining to matter past high school and the occasional science program so I wont go any deeper than atoms. Still at the atomic level matter may be deficient in some way and in that it "needs" other atoms to be "content". This is represented by elemental instability and it reacting with something else to "satify" itself. That is basically how organic organisms work, just on a higher level. That would be growth through Metabolism.

What compels you to try and prove that atom's have some innate need to "satisfy" themselves with other atoms? Is it because you refuse to believe that after a certain point, matter becomes inorganic and "non-living"? Or are you perhaps trying to say that "life" itself may be innate to existence, because I may actually agree with that. Or are you saying that physically, they will actively pair up with other atoms, almost as if they were "looking for other atoms"?


Reproduction might be a hard one to swing tho. Maybe if you look at it as a chemical process that doesn't have to be contained within the matter itself such as a virus. Instead of the body being the piece of matter itself, the body encompasses what is usually defined as separate. Consider the universe itself as the body and with the right introduction of things it replicates itself. Even organic life has to have external inputs to replicate itself, it doesn't create matter.

For a while, scientists didn't know whether or not viruses should really even be considered "living".

I find what you said about the body's of bacteria interesting, are you making the distinction between viruses and other living creatures, that viruses have bodies with a very simple atomic make-up (there is no cell wall, no mitochondria, no metabolism at all really) and their only activity generally revolves around processes which take place at an atomic level, where as other types of 'living' organisms have much more physical activity in their actions and processes? All viruses really do is attach themselves to the body of a host cell through a chemical reaction, and very little kinetic 'movement' takes place; then, protein from the virus is sort of injected into the host cell, also through a chemical reaction; this protein then hijacks the host cell's RNA and causes it to essentially turn in to a virus factory; the cell dies and the reproduced viruses are released. This freshly born batch of viruses then bumps into new host cells merely by chance really, so there is no real major kinetic movement or physical activity taking place in a virus's "life".
With other living creatures, there is much more physical involvement in their "life".
Lateral Thinking - To think about something from an arbitrary angle; taking an unorthodox direction as a creative means of problem solving.
Metacognition - 'Thinking about thinking'; attaining an understanding of one's own mental processes by means of introspection.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:06 am

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:I disagree with seek, an organism is blind it seeks nothing,

Are you serious?
You don't ever seek anything?
No job, no better opportunity, no food source, nothing?
Wow.. You are going to be replaced.

Tralix wrote: it adapts because of its genes or it does not

And it never occurred to you that its genes might be what is causing it to seek survival?
Then what do you think causes people to want to survive, misunderstanding of their great god Evolution?

Tralix wrote:
Secondly, evolution can ONLY WORK if people resist it. When you actually try to evolve, evolution doesn't take place at all and dies. You merely get replaced by something that wasn't so damn stupid.


This makes no sense at all, how can you resist evolution?

By not sacrificing yourself to the thought of it.
Get real.
If someone says, "gee, I want to evolve into something better. I think I will go off myself so that evolution will replace me with something better", what do you think takes place? Their gene pool dies... completely - does not evolve.

Those who actually evolve are the ones who tried to survive, but were not quite good enough. Their genes continue and perhaps (or not) get better at it. That is what evolution IS.

You are an adapting creature as is (dubiously assuming that you can actually learn), so to evolve from that can only mean that you change into something that DOESN'T learn and doesn't adapt. You can evolve into something that learns better.. but ONLY IF you try as hard as you can to learn as well as you can currently and NOT have to die out and be replaced by those who were not so damn stupid.


Evolution is a long term process, it's not about what a single person decides in his life time. I really think you don't quite get what it is about. I decide to better my life, how will that make the species I am in evolve more, it's a process that involves a whole species not something that is about me personally or any person. I don't even think you understand the process, it takes thousands of years for something to evolve, a decision by one person in a species is an insignificant iteration in that time scale and virtually nothing, hell if a thousand or a million people do something other it's still a small scale. Eventually the way you behave might get encoded over a long time, but deciding not to do something isn't going to vary biological function over a time that means anything to your evolution.

No one can decide to avoid evolution anyway.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Moreno » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:09 am

Tralix wrote:Evolution is a long term process, it's not about what a single person decides in his life time. I really think you don't quite get what it is about. I decide to better my life, how will that make the species I am in evolve more, it's a process that involves a whole species not something that is about me personally or any person. I don't even think you understand the process, it takes thousands of years for something to evolve, a decision by one person in a species is an insignificant iteration in that time scale and virtually nothing, hell if a thousand or a million people do something other it's still a small scale. Eventually the way you behave might get encoded over a long time, but deciding not to do something isn't going to vary biological function over a time that means anything to your evolution.

No one can decide to avoid evolution anyway.
This used to be the case, but not anymore. Ideas and knowledge can radically affect even the near future. Individuals can perform acts or develop ideas that radically change the way people live quite soon.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Moreno wrote:
Tralix wrote:Evolution is a long term process, it's not about what a single person decides in his life time. I really think you don't quite get what it is about. I decide to better my life, how will that make the species I am in evolve more, it's a process that involves a whole species not something that is about me personally or any person. I don't even think you understand the process, it takes thousands of years for something to evolve, a decision by one person in a species is an insignificant iteration in that time scale and virtually nothing, hell if a thousand or a million people do something other it's still a small scale. Eventually the way you behave might get encoded over a long time, but deciding not to do something isn't going to vary biological function over a time that means anything to your evolution.

No one can decide to avoid evolution anyway.
This used to be the case, but not anymore. Ideas and knowledge can radically affect even the near future. Individuals can perform acts or develop ideas that radically change the way people live quite soon.


Does it change our genetic structure though? Does it make us evolve differently, what genes are changed by sociology?

You're talking about cultural changes not genetic changes.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Peachy Nietzsche » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:32 pm

The question "At what level does life actually begin?" can not be answered, because life is just a word; there is no objective definition outside of human language dictating when "life" begins or when it ends.

There are many pseudo-lifeforms (such as prions or viruses) that can't really be considered "living" (neither in the every day sense of the word 'living', nor the scientific sense). With these pseudo-lifeforms in mind, we can understand that nature has not set clear guidelines for determining "what is living".

Perhaps you might be interested to know that some believe that life is an inevitable occurrence, innate in the mathematics of existence. You might find it interesting to look up Fibonacci sequences and learn about their role in nature:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio#Nature

One piece of supporting evidence that "life" may be innate in existence are the results of the Miller–Urey experiment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2% ... experiment
They found that over 20 amino acids (otherwise known as "the building blocks of protein", or as some might say "the building blocks of life") were rather easily created by themselves out of some of Earth's most abundant compounds (Water, Methane, Ammonia, and Hydrogen) -- all they require is the application of electricity, and amino acids will form.
Lateral Thinking - To think about something from an arbitrary angle; taking an unorthodox direction as a creative means of problem solving.
Metacognition - 'Thinking about thinking'; attaining an understanding of one's own mental processes by means of introspection.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby finishedman » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:19 pm

Peachy Nietzsche wrote:The question "At what level does life actually begin?" can not be answered, because life is just a word; there is no objective definition outside of human language dictating when "life" begins or when it ends.


What tells you that you are alive now? The life being referred to here is the physical/biological life of the organism. Nothing in the life of the organism knows anything. Knowing is in intellect or what they call thought or mind. It’s funny that even though thought when it tries to say anything – when it tries to talk about, deal with, or experience the body -- it cannot, because living thought is something dead.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Moreno » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:09 am

Tralix wrote:Does it change our genetic structure though?
Sure, it has been doing this for thousands of years. We have made it possible for people to live who would not have otherwise. Ideas have made it possible for people to have babies who would not have. Ideas of common humanity have made interracial mating more common. These all affect the gene pool.
Does it make us evolve differently, what genes are changed by sociology?
I am not sure why you are limiting ideas and knowledge to sociology, though I am sure even in that discipline people have ended up affecting public policy and this affected the liklihood of certain people for example getting state funded help with getting pregnant. But science has radically affected our gene pool. Just think how much less successful certain males would be without glasses or contacts. Less success financially/educationally would likely have led to lower chances of procreating. And this is just the most blunt dead obvious kind of affects of knowledge on the gene pool

Also the testing of amniotic fluids for birth defects. and then lots of more indirect effects.

Soon we will directly affect the genes of humans. I would guess it has started already, but sooner or later it will become systematic.

You're talking about cultural changes not genetic changes.
[/quote]Well, no. Culture radically affects the way people procreate, what allows one to live long enough to procreate (and how many times), how many spouses one can have, how long people with disabilities live and potentially mate or if they get to live at all, what kinds of people end up being admired - which often correlates with how many children then can and do have and on and on.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Tralix » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:00 pm

Moreno wrote:Well, no. Culture radically affects the way people procreate, what allows one to live long enough to procreate (and how many times), how many spouses one can have, how long people with disabilities live and potentially mate or if they get to live at all, what kinds of people end up being admired - which often correlates with how many children then can and do have and on and on.


See this I like better it is talking about a long term or at least progressive thing, where society eventually leads to evolutionary change and in turn this will actually lead to genetic change over time where such thoughts prevail. What I was arguing about before was an individual attitude to change, a small short term social reasoning. James was talking about harmony in a system, I think a lack of harmony as you are demonstrating is more key to evolution: we have changed by our technology: how things happen, hence who survives is a lack of harmony with the norm that leads to evolution over time. Being in harmony with nature is detrimental as the environment changes, being able to adapt is key.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Peachy Nietzsche » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:45 pm

finishedman wrote:
Peachy Nietzsche wrote:The question "At what level does life actually begin?" can not be answered, because life is just a word; there is no objective definition outside of human language dictating when "life" begins or when it ends.


What tells you that you are alive now? The life being referred to here is the physical/biological life of the organism. Nothing in the life of the organism knows anything. Knowing is in intellect or what they call thought or mind. It’s funny that even though thought when it tries to say anything – when it tries to talk about, deal with, or experience the body -- it cannot, because living thought is something dead.

I know that. I was saying that "physical/biological life of the organism" (as you put it) has no exact definition in nature. There are many "half-living" organisms out there, such as prions (which are essentially just strands of protein and nothing more).

Would you consider prions as living? If so, do you consider all miscellaneous strands of protein as "living" (since a prion is essentially just a randomly coded strand of protein that happens to be infectious)? Then if random strands of protein are "living", would you consider amino acids themselves(the building blocks of protein) living?
Amino acids are abundant in nature and can be created from raw elements with the mere application of electricity.

Do you see what I mean now? "Life" is just a word. No where in nature does something officially become "living". Nature doesn't distinguish between organic and inorganic matter.

However, if you want to know when we human beings consider something to be living or not, then it is the subject of debate, but we typically consider something "living" when it begins to demonstrate either reproduction or metabolism.
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The Real James S Saint

Postby Fixed Cross » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:19 am

James S Saint wrote:
Tralix wrote:
James S Saint wrote:What do you suppose the term, "self-harmony" means?

In terms of science absolutely nothing. In terms of people placing silly idealistic notions on the pure biological machinery of life, nothing substantial. Why what do you think it means

Interesting.
What I think it means is that survival of anything in the entire universe requires that it maintain whatever it is. Is that too difficult to figure out? Require any "magical thinking" on your part? I mean, seriously. Either something maintains what it is, or it becomes what it wasn't. If you do not maintain your life, you die. You really think that is "magical"? Interesting. Seems like just common sense to me.

What you (and anything else in the universe) is, is created and defined by the harmony of the contention within, "Self-Harmony". Science agrees completely as far as I can tell. It would take some pretty serious magical thinking on your part to believe otherwise.

But then..
"your pointless emotional attachments to a motiveless mechanistic process say nothing worth while except in terms of human psychologies endless drive towards filling in gaps in understanding with magical thinking."

I contend that Affectance Ontology actual derives from the notion of self-harmony, not the other way around; that the means for verification of affiance are the verifiable difference between self-harmonies. What defines a self-harmony, which relates to a self-valuing, is the same notion seen from the outside rather than only from the inside, is its "an entropic shell". This has never been defined in real terms. It is because this an entropic shell is not comprehensible to a human other than at once as and in the full extent of the experience of value-bias. Thus, the naive thinker concludes that "all is love". What really true is that in the most turbulent raptures of the heart alone can we grasp anything of the meaning of physical law.

We can not see beyond our value-bias and precisely for the reason that this bias is the substance that we are made of.
The anentropic shell is the heart of the self-harmony and it is what causes affectance.

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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Mithus » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:29 am

Fixed Cross wrote:The anentropic shell is the heart of the self-harmony and it is what causes affectance.

I don't think James would agree to that.
He changed the term "anentropic shell" later into "anentropic shelter", the cause, why the particle remains a particle, reluctant to ever be anything different than it is – an Affectance pile-up.

Last edited by Mithus on Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: At what level does life actually begin?

Postby Mithus » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:42 pm

...
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