I have written many philosophical blog posts motivated by the idea of existence of reason for everything.  So far I have written (and revised) my point of view regarding topics like Being Alive, Loving MathematicsBecoming Mathematician and Dreaming Big.

A more fundamental and more disturbing question is:

Since each and everything is made up of atoms, what is the borderline between a living organism and non-living object.

Clearly, mathematics will fail to answer this question since there are no absolute quantifiers involved. But still we can try deducing an answer from logical arguments. Following video by Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell illustrates my question:

We generally describe living organism as something capable of reproduction, growth and consciousness. So, can we convert anything into living organism by somehow adding artificial intelligence to it? Is internet itself a living organism?

Once you call yourself a living organism, the immediate question is about the purpose of your existence (since we believe that there is reason for everything). So we can use this as a quantifier to classify something as living and non-living. Many people have tried (and failed) to answer this question. I came across a possible answer for this question in the film Kubo and the two strings:

We live to write a story and then become immortal in memories of others in form of our stories.


Kubo and the two strings (© 2016, Focus Features)

I really liked this point of view. Being alive is all about being able to create memories. But this view point is very much human centred since we don’t know how other organisms (like other animals, plants, cells, organelles…) interact. Moreover, non-living objects also have stories associated with them (like monuments, paintings,…). So this view point also fails to capture the central idea for classification of something as living or non-living.

I will be happy to know your viewpoint of being able to classify something as living or non-living.


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