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Thursday, October 31, 2019
Something we must ask ourselves at this point in time is if chairs are alive. If they are alive, then how should we alter our behavior towards them? Should we treat them well and refuse to sit on them? Should we treat them as strange and unholy demons and destroy or torture them? Should we treat them the same way that we have always treated them? All of this hinges on our understanding of if the chairs are alive or not. All reasonable individuals would insist that chairs are not alive, which is why I must go in the opposite direction and claim that chairs are alive.
To be more specific, chairs are an extension of humanity and function in the same sense that arms and legs function. If we are to say that arms and legs, permanently (hopefully) attached to individuals are alive, then we must say that chairs are alive. Sure, chairs do not have thoughts and feelings (probably), but the same can be said for arms and legs. Arms and legs do not have feelings or thoughts, they have nerves that send signals to the brain that then causes thoughts and feelings in the brain. We could very easily attach human made nerves to chairs that transmit signals attached to a device implanted in the brain that would send pain or pleasure signals whenever the chairs were sat on.
Do the skin cells on the bottom of our feet think they are connected to the human body? No, they do not think at all, and yet we consider them a part of a larger organism -- the human body and all that entails. The human body produces these skin cells for personal use on a regular basis, and it is commonly understood that they are alive. The human body also produces chairs (or now machines that produce chairs) on a regular basis, it must therefore be understood that chairs are alive.
What this is all getting at, of course, is a sort of deterministic understanding of life itself. Humans like to see ourselves as outside of the system of life, of gods in our own right, but we only exist in the sense that all the precursors to our existence already exist. Just like chairs are inanimate objects that only exist because humans exist, humans are inanimate objects that exist because the things that create humans exist. We are not individuals or even sentient, we just have enough brain power to imagine ourselves so. Without our surroundings we would not exist. If we consider chairs not alive, then it’s fair to say that humans are not alive.
We are a bubbling up of life itself. We do not exist outside of the animals and plants and gasses and chemicals in the air that caused us to exist. Get rid of the steps that created us and we will disappear just like they do. This is not a hypothetical, this is just basic logic. We are mold that thinks it is sentient because it can do meta-cognition on basic tasks. Even what I do can be considered very simple recursive meta-cognition, and that is most likely because I gave myself brain damage from blunt force and electric brain trauma at a young age, not anything that I did on purpose.
There is one camp that insists that environment determines behavior, one camp that insists that it is genetics that determines behavior, one camp that insists it is a mix of environment and genetics that determines behavior, but there is no real camp that holds the obvious answer that genetics is an obvious environmental variable and humans are, just like everything else in reality, purely deterministic environmental creations that create more purely deterministic environmental creations, whether those be chairs or other people who eventually purchase or build their own chairs at home.
Just like chairs do not have free will or choice in anything, humans do not have free will or choice in anything. Chairs do not choose when they are created, humans do not choose when they are created. Chairs do not choose where they are created, humans do not choose where they are created. The only difference between chairs and humans are that humans can choose to blow their brains out with a shotgun or walk in front of traffic, but even that is just an illusion because the humans can’t choose to put themselves in the situations that lead up to that choice of self destruction.
Are chairs alive? Of course not, they are chairs. They do not make choices. They do not choose to exist or not exist. They do not do anything outside of the environment that they are created in. They cannot escape their existence. They are at the mercy of their surroundings. They are not cognizant of objective reality. They exist inside a system that created them and will never leave that system. When they are destroyed they are destroyed because of variables built into reality. Chairs are not alive. Just like chairs, humans are also not alive.
Posted by Paul Town at 8:38 AM