What is life ?

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02 Feb 2020 21:56 #349249 by Malicious
What is life ? was created by Malicious
Life can be interpreted in many shapes and forms . Adapting to the surroundings , possible intelligence , growing , the ability to turn one source of material ( food water sunlight ect ) and more . So what is your concept of life and what fits in to your personal definition ? Also do you think any elements like fire , water , Earth ect fits into you definition ? So what are your opinions on the subjects ? Please keep this civil and on topic . There are no wrong answers and please for the love of the force if you think someone's answer is wrong that's okay but think before you post . Remember the Tos ( terms of service ) .



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02 Feb 2020 22:13 #349253 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic What is life ?
Life is utility, neither structure nor substance dependent
An analogy I've heard in philosophy of mind is that it's like a mouse trap. It doesn't matter if the mouse trap is made of wood and copper so long as it functions the way we desire. You can't say that wood or copper on their own are mouse traps. Also no one can seriously discuss the four elements as a holistic and literal ontology. There are also physical ways of duplicating the structure of a mouse trap that would fail to catch a mouse (if you used wax for example). A functional isomorph that's not organic is possible

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03 Feb 2020 03:25 #349281 by Fyxe
Replied by Fyxe on topic What is life ?
Life is awareness of environment.

A true teacher would never tell you what to do. But he would give you the knowledge with which you could decide what would be best for you to do
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03 Feb 2020 04:02 #349282 by Zero
Replied by Zero on topic What is life ?
To me this should be two separate questions. What is life? And what is intelligent life. Bacteria are alive but lack awareness or conscious thought. But I think the intent of this thread is asking more of what is sentient life. To add to Fyxe s response (kind of), life is awareness of ones self. To have the “I” thoughts. I want this, or I need this, or I like this. Just my thoughts.

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03 Feb 2020 05:15 #349286 by Fyxe
Replied by Fyxe on topic What is life ?
What about life that is not aware of itself? Ever seen a dog try to play with itself or fight itself in a mirror. It doesnt recognize itself like a monkey does. A monkey will see itself in the mirror but if you later put a red dot on its head it will look at that in the mirror and then try to wipe it off of its head. It knows that it is seeing itself In the mirror but the dog does not.

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03 Feb 2020 05:43 #349288 by Malicious
Replied by Malicious on topic What is life ?

Malicious wrote: Life can be interpreted in many shapes and forms . Adapting to the surroundings , possible intelligence , growing , the ability to turn one source of material ( food water sunlight ect ) and more . So what is your concept of life and what fits in to your personal definition ? Also do you think any elements like fire , water , Earth ect fits into you definition ? So what are your opinions on the subjects ? Please keep this civil and on topic . There are no wrong answers and please for the love of the force if you think someone's answer is wrong that's okay but think before you post . Remember the Tos ( terms of service ) .


It could have been wrote a little better . But my interpretations of life falls in 3 categories . 1 is it aware of it's surroundings ? . 2 Does it change through time ? 3 can it get and convert one form of energy into another ? Most basic "life" anywhere from microbial , plants , animals , humans can fall easily in these categories . There are some things that could fall within these 3 categories . Most people dismiss these and move on . As for the elements who knows maybe more research is required to answer this . Personally I think if it falls within these categories then yes it is alive . Just because something is organic doesn't mean it is not alive . Everything is made out of base subatomic particles whether it be me or a rock . So the difference is I'm arranged differently then the rock . Also I'm sentient . Sentience is very debatable in this concept in many forms . Like am I truly in control of my "life" ? There are things in my life and any life that It can't control . So I'm not in control of my surroundings . But I can react to my surroundings , that means I'm a sentient life form . Non-sentient life is what we really don't know about .

So the main questions is the title " what is life ? What is your description of life ? What "life" is sentient or not sentient ? As well as do you believe only life is sentient/ what is your personal perception of sentience in general ?

I am proud to be a part of a community that will openly discuss the things others dismiss so easily .



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03 Feb 2020 06:57 #349289 by CaesarEJW
Replied by CaesarEJW on topic What is life ?
Taking this question literally.

I know the function of the thing (to survive and replicate).

I know the many appearances it takes (plants, animals, fungi, microbes).

But what it is? I cannot answer that.

All I know is what it does, what forms it may take, and have a shrewd guess as to where it began.

(life on Earth supposedly began 4 billion years ago with self-replicating molecules (RNA, DNA) developing and proliferating in a primordial environment, read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins)

But I couldn't tell you what it IS.

I really don't know.

Unless we aren't addressing this literally or scientifically, but instead from a philosophical perspective.
And THAT is a whole different ballgame.

(Alan Watts might say Life is simply a way for the Universe to experience itself, which when you think about it, is surprisingly true, seeing as we are all made up of matter and energy that comes from the Universe (the closed system of matter and energy that is our physical reality), that is of it and from within it, therefore we ARE the Universe, and seeing as we are conscious of the Universe, we are in the sense of things a window through which the Universe sees itself - Just a thought)

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03 Feb 2020 07:10 #349291 by CaesarEJW

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03 Feb 2020 07:31 - 03 Feb 2020 07:34 #349297 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic What is life ?

Malicious wrote: So what is your concept of life and what fits in to your personal definition ? Also do you think any elements like fire , water , Earth ect fits into you definition ? So what are your opinions on the subjects ?


I see all things which consume, by taking action to survive within a temporal rate frame close to myself, as exhibiting the living aspect of the Force. Everything else I classify as more demonstrably of the unifying aspect of the Force by being on a wider or narrowor temporal frame then my own region. But, these 'living' things are of distinct different essences despite sharing patterns of interactions as nature... so I'm really only talking about engineering my own subjective view on my experience in objective reality. Again, Wu Xing and other systems of elements might relate usefully.

In terms of some objective threshold.... maybe something like what I wrote in the other thread this week about life;
"defined by conception, birth, and reproductive capacity by design, with related inception and cessation phases defining life as distinct from death, to give a base meaning to being alive and from whence to define good and bad health."

Obviously consciousness is a real distinct capabity but it's natural for us to think it's important to have or have the most of... other critters might see too much as a disadvantage or in the grand scheme of things it might be our undoing etc. Many living things have capabilites we do not have (yet).

So I tend all things as alive, at different rates of living, and demonstrating blends of living and unifying aspects of the Force... so do not view them as closed sets of capabities but open potentials... insofar as it doesn't conflict with objective reality.

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03 Feb 2020 12:54 #349309 by Alexandre Orion
Replied by Alexandre Orion on topic What is life ?
I'm inclined to follow the phenomenological route with this one. Life is ... Everything ever written, painted, acted, danced, played on a flute, by an orchestra or even by a synthesiser are expressions of it. All expression is about it (Life) regardless of the relative (to others) quality of that expression.

It is Dasein - a being in the world -, no matter the degree of consciousness that being may have or the levels of interpretation (hermeneutic) that being has access to. Life, living beings in general, are those things that take a central position of perceiving subjects to which objects present themselves or are revealed in some manner, often multifaceted, or multiperspectival, to that perceiving subject. The more complex the form of life, the more the potential ambivalence (feeling/thinking more than one way about the object perceived ; nota bene : "object" can be an event, circumstance, situation with many 'subjects' participating, each perceived as 'object' to one another). Hence, the importance of developing a keen intersubjectivity. This is not only regarding human beings, but with regard to our entire biosphere.

Human life is an interesting notion to ponder, first because we have evolved into Dasein which makes sense of the world around through narratives. Indeed, many other living things seem perhaps a bit more sensitively perceptive than we because they have more direct connexion to the presenting 'objects'. It isn't clear if humans are the only animals who do this - indeed there is evidence to suggest that there are other non-human animals with quite highly developed cognitive abilities. We seem to be the ones however, who take our narratives about Life most seriously.

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