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Is fire alive?
Yes 23%  23%  [ 7 ]
No 48%  48%  [ 15 ]
Depends 29%  29%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 31
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 Post subject: Who's the daddy? YOU DECIDE
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:36 pm 
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onion wrote:
Kestenvarn wrote:
Not you especially, she acts bitter in general.


And Kest, you may think I'm bitter. I just think I'm honest. Why don't we leave the character assasination for unrelated where it belongs and thrives as strong as it ever was.


Daddy stop hitting Mommy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:00 am 
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Vass wrote:
Rusty wrote:
It is only when we begin to attribute human qualities to it that it becomes alive. This is fallacious.

So is something alive if it can attribute its own qualities onto another object?


No, no. Anthropomorphization as an attempt to make something seem living is fallacious. It's like calling a ship "A hard worker". We can't reasonably attribute those qualities to a ship, because it cannot work in the common sense of the word.

Think of it like a fallacy of equivocation but with more oomph.

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 Post subject: Re: Who's the daddy? YOU DECIDE
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:07 am 
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Tossrock wrote:
onion wrote:
Kestenvarn wrote:
Not you especially, she acts bitter in general.


And Kest, you may think I'm bitter. I just think I'm honest. Why don't we leave the character assasination for unrelated where it belongs and thrives as strong as it ever was.


Daddy stop hitting Mommy

As a side note, 'acting' != 'is'.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:56 am 
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There is one important distinction between fire and (other?) living things.

Living things all have the possible mechanisms to become more complicated and better adapted to their environment via evolution.

Fire does not.

So it really depends on how you define life. If you define life as simply the ability to grow, reproduce and metabolize, then fire fits that characteristic.

Virii are not canonically considered living. They do evolve, and they also reproduce. (They do not, however, metabolize or grow outside of a host.)

However, if you consider life to be more of a stable sort than a fire, being self-correcting and self-sustaining, then fire falls short of the definition.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:21 am 
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Wikipedia wrote:
conventional definition
While there is no universal agreement on the definition of life, scientists generally accept that the biological manifestation of life exhibits the following phenomena:

Organization - Living things are composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
Metabolism - Metabolism produces energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (synthesis) and decomposing organic matter (catalysis). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth - Growth results from a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
Adaptation - Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
Response to stimuli - A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion: the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
Reproduction - The division of one cell to form two new cells is reproduction. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.


Now, let's run through that list.
Organization: Nope. Fire's a homogenous mass.
Metabolism: Sure...
Growth: Yes.
Adaptation: No.
Response to stimuli: Not really, no.
Reproduction: No.

Now, it should be blatently obvious that fire is not, in fact, alive. Further discussion is therefore largely pointless.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:46 am 
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nick012000 wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:
conventional definition
While there is no universal agreement on the definition of life, scientists generally accept that the biological manifestation of life exhibits the following phenomena:

Organization - Living things are composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
Metabolism - Metabolism produces energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (synthesis) and decomposing organic matter (catalysis). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth - Growth results from a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
Adaptation - Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
Response to stimuli - A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion: the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
Reproduction - The division of one cell to form two new cells is reproduction. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.


Now, let's run through that list.
Organization: Nope. Fire's a homogenous mass.
Metabolism: Sure...
Growth: Yes.
Adaptation: No.
Response to stimuli: Not really, no.
Reproduction: No.

Now, it should be blatently obvious that fire is not, in fact, alive. Further discussion is therefore largely pointless.


Fire can climb walls, fly to other areas (Both aforementioned are adaptability), and shrink from water as well as explode in growth from certain chemicals (Response to stimuli). It "reproduces" in a sense of the word, and typically doesn't stop unless put in check by an external force (This sounds a bit like bacteria). Also, ascribing to any sort of idea of fate, fire is organized; there's obviously a plan for the fire under this circumstance, and the fire is following it out to the letter. See your own post on God and free will to see where this is going.

Further discussion is valid, considering this is the first thread involving life that hasn't gone into your rehearsed statements on abortion.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:47 pm 
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nick012000 wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:
conventional definition
While there is no universal agreement on the definition of life, scientists generally accept that the biological manifestation of life exhibits the following phenomena:

Organization - Living things are composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
Metabolism - Metabolism produces energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (synthesis) and decomposing organic matter (catalysis). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth - Growth results from a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
Adaptation - Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
Response to stimuli - A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion: the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
Reproduction - The division of one cell to form two new cells is reproduction. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.


Now, let's run through that list.
Organization: Nope. Fire's a homogenous mass.
Metabolism: Sure...
Growth: Yes.
Adaptation: No.
Response to stimuli: Not really, no.
Reproduction: No.

Now, it should be blatently obvious that fire is not, in fact, alive. Further discussion is therefore largely pointless.


Organization - This rules out all forms of life that are not made up of cells. I nullify the flawed premise that all life must be made up of cells. However, the idea of organization as being central to life is probably valid. Fire does have this organization (it creates it's own weather. A wildfire burning does so in a predicatible manner. We even have names for various parts of a fire.)
Metabolism - Yes. It metabolizes the burnable stuff into the unburnable stuff.
Growth - Yes.
Adaptation - The one I had a beef about.
Response to stimuli - Probably just as much as your average unicellular organism. It reacts when you pour water on it. etc. etc.
Reproduction - Yes. Big fires can make smaller fires around it. Or send burning bits of material other places. This is a high risk in a forest fire.

It fullfils every requirement save Adaptation.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:45 pm 
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It'd be nice to clarify how we're using the word, "fire." Are we talking about <b>the light</b> emitted from particles that fuel the flame? Or are we talking about <b>the particles</b> (soot, gas, etc) that emit the light? And are we defining "particles" as all matter within the flame? Or are we even talking about <b>the chemical reaction</b>, inclusive of all of the above?

My big question:
What's considered metabolized cellular waste, and what's considered part of the organization of the fire?

I think it would be safe to define the waste a fire produces as smoke/ash.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:02 pm 
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Im going to chalk this up to the same problem in alot of debates about whether something "is" or "isn't" something.

What I dub "Magic Line Syndrome"

At some point people try to draw magic lines for categorizing things of phenomenoms. When we are young this starts off with arguements like "is a tomato a fruit or vegetable?" and if it doesn't fit neatly into one but not the other, new rules are created to ensure it does. When in reality, a tomato is just a tomato and the concepts of "fruit" and "vegetable" are just human ideas they try to force it into.

This comes up in most debates about anything, from "what is human?" to "how intelligent is sentience?". In this case the question of "is fire alive?" is a magic line of what "life" is. Whether or not fire is "Alive" doesn't change its nature. Alls that really changes is what we define as life, which is a completely subjective classification. If we decided that a classification of being alive is that you not be named Thomas..does that mean that someone named Thomas now falls over dead? If we state that Crystals and Fire are now alive..do they grow arms and legs and start dancing? Do people need to deal with it differently?

Old examples of this change would be the "kingdoms" there used to be only 2 (plants and animals) and so fungus was classified as a plant..now it is reclassified in a new kingdom of its own. This does not mean fungus ever changed..only how we artificially classified it.

So fire can be considered Alive or Not depending on where you set the goalposts for "alive" and if you decide to change them later on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:12 pm 
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Quote:
So fire can be considered Alive or Not depending on where you set the goalposts for "alive" and if you decide to change them later on.


So your point is "It either is or isn't."

This is a debate regarding whether people consider fire a living entity. You haven't said anything that everyone didn't already know, you just dressed it up in different words to make it sound deep.

Quote:
Im going to chalk this up to the same problem in alot of debates about whether something "is" or "isn't" something.


That's basically what a debate is. You're either trying to validate or invalidate an opinion, theory, mode of thought, etc..

Also, this is the "Is fire alive?" thread. Your post seems to be about debating in general.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:56 pm 
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And an option in the thread is "depends".

The question is akin to asking "Is fire snarfblat?"

The question you first have to answer is "What the hell is snarfblat?"

This debate is using "alive" as a literary trigger word. Words like "song", "courage", "evil", "heartless" etc, words which say nothing but are meant to bring up emotions , their sole purpose is to confuse logic and pluck at heart strings.

You can't really have a debate about how people "feel" since unless you are calling someone a liar and don't actually "feel" the way they say they do, they can "feel" however they like without rhyme or reason.

If you want a debate you have to have something to debate beyond peoples feelings. Otherwise this isn't the "Debate club" its the "Emotional Opinion club".


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Zzarchov wrote:
The question you first have to answer is "What the hell is snarfblat?"


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:57 am 
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Zzarchov wrote:
This debate is using "alive" as a literary trigger word. Words like "song", "courage", "evil", "heartless" etc, words which say nothing but are meant to bring up emotions , their sole purpose is to confuse logic and pluck at heart strings.


Well, we've already defined "alive" as seen here:

Wikipedia wrote:
conventional definition
While there is no universal agreement on the definition of life, scientists generally accept that the biological manifestation of life exhibits the following phenomena:

Organization - Living things are composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.
Metabolism - Metabolism produces energy by converting nonliving material into cellular components (synthesis) and decomposing organic matter (catalysis). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth - Growth results from a higher rate of synthesis than catalysis. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.
Adaptation - Adaptation is the accommodation of a living organism to its environment. It is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.
Response to stimuli - A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism when touched to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion: the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun or an animal chasing its prey.
Reproduction - The division of one cell to form two new cells is reproduction. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.


From my understanding, we had moved on from debating the definition of life to debating whether fire fit each generally agreed upon criteria. Now, the problem with fire is that many things can be considered fire, so my above post was a failed attempt to spur an agreement on what was considered fire (solely for this debate). Then it would be much simpler to match our definitions of fire to the criteria of "alive."

In this case, "alive," is no longer a trigger word. And pardon a singer, but song generally has a set definition.
song (sông, sŏng)
n.

1. Music.
a. A brief composition written or adapted for singing.
b. The act or art of singing: broke into song.
2. A distinctive or characteristic sound made by an animal, such as a bird or an insect.
3. a. Poetry; verse.
b. A lyric poem or ballad.

song, relatively brief, simple vocal composition, usually a setting of a poetic text, often strophic, for accompanied solo voice.


Zzarchov wrote:
You can't really have a debate about how people "feel" since unless you are calling someone a liar and don't actually "feel" the way they say they do, they can "feel" however they like without rhyme or reason.

Firstly, we're not debating about how people "feel." As this is a rather informal style of debate, we're fleshing out definitions to use for the debate. Or just plain attacking each other, because we don't like n00bs/trolls.

Secondly, please explain your connection between lying and feeling. If one felt that another person "felt" an incorrect "feeling," one would call them fucking retarded. If someone was using incorrect sources or stating facts that weren't actually facts (for example: "My doctor friend said I was right," when the person didn't actually have any friends and doesn't know a doctor...) then it would be proper to call them a liar. What does lying have to do with feeling?

Zzarchov wrote:
If you want a debate you have to have something to debate beyond peoples feelings. Otherwise this isn't the "Debate club" its the "Emotional Opinion club".

I do believe that if you want to debate, you have to read the arguments as well. Otherwise, this isn't the "Debate Club." It would just be a place for illiteracy and insults. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:07 pm 
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But why stop at saying that we haven't sufficiently defined the term "alive"! You could argue that we haven't sufficiently defined what Fire is. :bang:

You're probably thinking something to the effect of "An Exothermic chemical reaction involving a source of fuel and oxygen, where the energy within the fuel is released as heat and light." and maybe some qualifier about how much energy is released. That's one modern perception of "Fire".

Perception is not reality, and given multiple perceptions of reality it's difficult to prove who's reality is THE reality.

One alternate definition of fire would be "A physical incarnation of the Goddess Pele".

We can probably agree that humans are alive. A Goddess is superhuman - so by this set of definitions it's safe to say that Pele, and thus Fire, is at least as alive as we are.

Is today's definition of fire any better than yesterdays? One could argue that over time we've developed technology allowing us to study the chemical workings of fire. Maybe instead we've just lost the natural empathy allowing us to see Goddesses.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Ylis wrote:
But why stop at saying that we haven't sufficiently defined the term "alive"! You could argue that we haven't sufficiently defined what Fire is. :bang:

That was kind of my point - we haven't sufficiently defined Fire. At least, not to a point where you can argue whether it's alive or not (not well, at least).

Ylis wrote:
You're probably thinking something to the effect of "An Exothermic chemical reaction involving a source of fuel and oxygen, where the energy within the fuel is released as heat and light." and maybe some qualifier about how much energy is released. That's one modern perception of "Fire".

I like that definition. I would wholeheartedly agree with that.

Ylis wrote:
Perception is not reality, and given multiple perceptions of reality it's difficult to prove who's reality is THE reality.

I think most of us have figured out by now that the outcome of this debate is irrelivant. :roll:

We'd all be hard pressed to define THE reality (if there is one). By defining terms, we build a foundation for a debate. That's why debates are utterly pointless to participate in if there are no generally agreed upon terms/words/definitions.

Ylis wrote:
We can probably agree that humans are alive. A Goddess is superhuman - so by this set of definitions it's safe to say that Pele, and thus Fire, is at least as alive as we are.

Who says dieties are superhuman? Do they share our Family name at the very least? (Hominidae)

Ylis wrote:
Is today's definition of fire any better than yesterdays?

Does it even matter what time period out definition of "fire" is from?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:00 pm 
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Actually you haven't sufficiently defined alive, thats one definition of life. There is in fact no universal definition of life. After all, in that definition an AI would not be "alive", but many people would still classify an AI as alive under a different set of Criterium.

As for song, think again. 'Music' and 'Art' are completely subjective. At what point does something become a "song" and stop being "talking". Some people consider MC Hammer's 2 legit 2 quit a song, others say its just talking and lacks the basic criteria for Music. Thats why they are trigger words, they trigger emotional responses. If you like a piece of art and I claim "thats not art" it evokes an emotional response as you can't truly define art. A block of computer code could be considered art to me, but not to you.

These are the Type of Imaginary lines Im talking about, where something magically becomes something else. Ie, at what point does an animal become sentient? If something is marginally below this imaginary line of sentient is it fundementally different than if it managed to just squeek by into the category? Of course not.

Kali Ava : "Secondly, please explain your connection between lying and feeling. If one felt that another person "felt" an incorrect "feeling," one would call them fucking retarded. If someone was using incorrect sources or stating facts that weren't actually facts (for example: "My doctor friend said I was right," when the person didn't actually have any friends and doesn't know a doctor...) then it would be proper to call them a liar. What does lying have to do with feeling? "

Re-read my above post. I said you cannot have a debate about feelings unless you are claiming that is person is lying about their feelings. Not that they have incorrect feelings.

Ie.) If I say Im happy for an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and that I "Feel great" for them, but am showing obvious signs that its bothering me and I keep slamming doors and randomly screaming into the sky throwing things against walls. You could debate whether or not I was lying when I said "I feel great" and perhaps actually "feel terrible" but am just putting on a show.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:14 pm 
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Kali_Ava wrote:
I think most of us have figured out by now that the outcome of this debate is irrelevant. :roll:

Entertaining, though.

Zzarchov wrote:
Actually you haven't sufficiently defined alive, thats one definition of life. There is in fact no universal definition of life. After all, in that definition an AI would not be "alive", but many people would still classify an AI as alive under a different set of Criterium.

They have, you just don't accept their definition. If it bothers you that much, redefine it to something everyone can agree on yourself instead of demanding others to.


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 Post subject: A little less vicious this time. I was grumpy earlier. NOW WITH LINES
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:04 pm 
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Zzarchov wrote:
Actually you haven't sufficiently defined alive, thats one definition of life. There is in fact no universal definition of life.

Even the quote states that there is no universal definition.

In not so many words, the forumers debating have decided to use this one definition (as you can see from the resulting change in debate based upon the posted definition). An agreed upon definition in the thread does not have to be universally (meant literally) accepted.

<hr width="80%">

Zzarchov wrote:
After all, in that definition an AI would not be "alive", but many people would still classify an AI as alive under a different set of Criterium.

Sounds like an interesting debate. Go start a thread, if you're intent upon debating the meaning of the word "alive."

<hr width="80%">

Zzarchov wrote:
As for song, think again. 'Music' and 'Art' are completely subjective. At what point does something become a "song" and stop being "talking". Some people consider MC Hammer's 2 legit 2 quit a song, others say its just talking and lacks the basic criteria for Music. Thats why they are trigger words, they trigger emotional responses. If you like a piece of art and I claim "thats not art" it evokes an emotional response as you can't truly define art. A block of computer code could be considered art to me, but not to you.

Actaully, I'm going to conceed this point. It's hard to think of "art" as a word that connects with the irrational reputations of words like "evil" and "heartless." I can even see how that's stretched to this thread. We label a canvas with oil paint patterns as art. We label a dragon that destroys towns as evil. We label a serial killer as heartless. Thus, we label [insert 6 phenomena] as alive. We create subjective generalizations through this process.

So... does fire fit into our generalization of alive? Since generalizations are vulnerable to exceptions, our accepted definition of "alive" is also vulnerable to exceptions. So we arrive at this forum to debate whether fire is an exception to an ever-evolving, vulnerable generalization. Which seems silly. And it is. :D

But because we all have such master debator skills, it's necessary to put forth more limited, finite generalizations. Therefore, the six critieria.

<hr width="80%">

Zzarchov wrote:
These are the Type of Imaginary lines Im talking about, where something magically becomes something else. Ie, at what point does an animal become sentient? If something is marginally below this imaginary line of sentient is it fundementally different than if it managed to just squeek by into the category? Of course not.

I agree with your point about man-made classifications; classifications do not change the nature of the subject in question. The questions that you've raised throughout the thread are interesting, and you can make debate threads about each of them. Still, Reason has said exactly what needs to be said:
Reason wrote:
That's basically what a debate is. You're either trying to validate or invalidate an opinion, theory, mode of thought, etc..

Also, this is the "Is fire alive?" thread. Your post seems to be about debating in general.

Perhaps I'm still not understanding why you insist to post about the arbitrary nature of classifications/generalizations in this thread. ':-?'

<hr width="80%">

Zzarchov wrote:
Re-read my above post. I said you cannot have a debate about feelings unless you are claiming that is person is lying about their feelings. Not that they have incorrect feelings.

Makes more sense, now that you've rephrased it. But the point of limiting/generalizing a term is so that there is something to debate. >.>

<hr width="80%">

Kestenvarn wrote:
Kali_Ava wrote:
I think most of us have figured out by now that the outcome of this debate is irrelevant.
Entertaining, though.

And how!! :3nod:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:19 am 
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What came to my mind was the question of whether other things that are "alive" are simply a bunch of chemical, biological, physiological, etc. reactions also.

For example, What we consider thought may just be the reactions of the synapses in a human brain and how the body responds to this.
This could be a way to declare fire "alive" because it is similar to other live things in this way.

not too scientific, I apologize, but its early and I have alot to do and I wanted to get this thought out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:41 am
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The reason I post these things is because the debate poll has three options.

You have people arguing for "Yes"

You have people arguing for "No"

And I am arguing for "Depends".

Edit: I should also point out Depends is currently beating Yes, so I would definately consider it worthy of someone defending the position.


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