Let's Make Robots!

Could an artificial lifeform have a soul? A philosophical / logical debate

To begin with, I am not trying to start a religous war here but after reading merser's comment I decided that maybe it's time for a good philosophical debate. Really this debate has 3 parts.

  1. Do souls exist?
  2. If a soul exist, what is it?
  3. Could an artifical lifeform have a soul?

I'm not a religous person so I don't believe in a soul in the traditional sense. If a soul does exist then it would somehow be created by our sentience so how does self awareness persist after the death of the body?

All matter is energy so it would seem that we are a complex energy pattern which, last I knew was theorised to exist in at least 11 dimensions.

Perhaps self awareness allows the energy pattern to adapt when the body dies rather than dissipating. If this were true then I think an artificial life form could just as easily have a soul.

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What if...

It does not matter if you are looking at bacteria under a microscope or at the universe through the largest telescope. No matter where you look you will see creation and destruction.

In the petrie dish, bacteria might attack another bacteria or living cell but the energy and nutrients they gain from this destruction allow them to procreate and form new life.

In the universe we can see stars being formed and we know that stars provide life giving energy to worlds like the earth. However there are also singularities and pulsars that give off deadly burts of gamma radiation that will sterilize a planet like the earth if they get too close.

The universe at all levels is constantly going through cycles of creation (the scientific type) and destruction. If we do have a soul and it persist after death then would it be something that was created but not destroyed and thus defy the unceasing change or would it continue to change as well?

If you stop and think about the molecules in your body, how many of them are the same molecules you were born with? Over time, all the cells in your body die and get replaced. Where did these new molecules come from? Your food?

Where did the molecules that make up your food come from? If you stop and think about it, some of the molecules that make up your body now must have once been part of another person or an animal or a tree.

Perhaps in this sense we are all truely one? In the distant future, molecules from your body will be part of hundreds of other people, animals and plants.

Although an artificial life form made from metal and silicon may retain it's molecules for longer, they all came from somewhere and oneday will end up somewhere else.

In this sense all life, artifical or otherwise would be the same so perhaps a machine could have a soul as well.

I asked our cats, (we have 5 all indoors) and they explained I only exist to open cans of catfood and clean their litter box.  Once they explained it to me, it was really obvious, I don't know why I didn't realize this before.

So you are just a souless minion owned by 5 cats. They just let you go out side to work to make money to feed them to give you the illusion that you are free.

Yes that sums up my life pretty accurately.  It's all logical once you understand ...LOL.

Rene Descartes can go fornicate himself with a pointed stick!

Never forget it.  Every atom in your body was forged in a sun.

Speak for yourself, mine were forged in a particle accelerator!

We were all forged in the largest particle accelerator of all- The big bang... :P

And I have a small reason to believe that big bang was a local phenomenon nothing like what people here describe and is related to multiple universes and black holes but its an entirely different topic I'd like to keep away from here...

For me a soul is thought. The human body is comprised of two components, the physical body and the mind. The two work in harmony but cannot exist without each other, without no physical body there is no mind. The two component theory is proven by a simple experiement, you are able to imagine you have no body, having no physical being, almost like a supernatural being, however, you cannot imagine having no mind. 

These two components work together, the body gives us information and our mind turns this information into our reality. In essence isn't this the same as any other machine? An obstacle avoidance robot for example recieves inputs, whether it be touch or ultrasonic, and the brain turns this into usable information, or alternatively, the robots reality. After all, both our minds and body follow the laws of physics, as do the robots we create, so how are we that different? Arent humans just really complicated machines? Maybe as our skills in programming increase and we begin to learn more about ourselves the robots we create will begin to dream.

My two cents