In a couple of my classes students have been challenged to define life and then distinguish life from human. I honestly never really thought about it, I just took advantage that people would know the difference. But, it is important to know this distinction so that one can defend unborn babies and people who have severe disabilities.
My philosophy professor had us watch a video in class on Thursday. It was a silly Stark Trek episode. Sorry for all those Trekkies out there, I was never interested in the show. The cheesy dialogue and predictable events never caught my attention. Well, anyway, we watched this particular episode where this one scientist wanted to disembow and study a human-looking machine. Of course, the commander in charge has a close association with the machine and feels that "he" has rights. So, a court case is held to decide whether the robot should be respected as human or not.
The only thing that kept on popping into my head is how come people in this world have more affection and compassion toward robots compared to unborn babies? I don't understand, I never will, and I am certain this is a good thing. However, it is hard to define the delicate difference between life, human and inanimate objects. So, I challenge everyone, what do you think? How would you define and distinguish each of these things? While you all think about this, I am going to go and write a paper on it. Have fun.