The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle

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MLA is blowing my mind.
The way it continuously tries to debate philosophy with me while only accepting a small number of prefabricated simple answers is a near flawless simulation of some of my relatives. If this was a turing test this thing would pass with flying colors.
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Merri Jan 12 @ 11:17am 
I really have to ask if the writers had ever taken a philosophy course, or are just (annoyingly) playing to the general misconceptions of what people think philosophy is. The question of what constitutes a person is profoundly common in philosophy where metaphysics is used to separate the physical characteristics of what constitutes something from its actual state of being.

For instance, the arguments of old were to claim that should one define a "dog" as being a four legged animal, that losing one or all of its legs would not change the fact that it were still a dog. And should one graft on additional legs, this physical change has not affected the metaphysical state of being a dog.

In todays time, the common folk would ignorantly argue genetics; the dog has a genetic pattern therefore it is a dog; but this type of argument is formed from misconceptions of what science can and cannot prove, and what it has and has not.

Ask yourself a simple question, if genetics is what makes a dog "a dog" then how does genetic variance come into play? Is the claim that what varies is inconsequetial, or that said genes that vary exist only in canines? But what of those genes, that in both instances, exist in other species; do we further remove those? Yet, should we not also ask that if it is some combination of these genes that truely make a dog a dog, that even though they can each be found individually in other species, dogs are a combination of genes...

But then why isn't adding in a new gene creating something that is not a dog? We have genetically engineered mice with human tissue, are they mice, are they human, are they something else?


Of course, it gets really fun once you go into bio-engineering. Lets say we genetically modify an organism with the DNA of a human such that it can provide organs that are genetically compatible with said human while still having the important "not human" label such that we can kill it and harvest the organs.

At what point would a person who replaces his/her organs with these "non-human" organs cease to be human? I know, I know "being human is in the brain" but we have funness there too!

See, bio-electrical-engineering is actually bringing us closer to creating synthetic neurons. Should we then begin to replace the neurons in a person with these "artificial neurons" that function identically and even form the same connections as the ones they're replacing; at what point does the person cease being a person?



Personhood is one of the biggest topics in philosophy and AI is one of the newest ways we're exploring the concept. In fact, if you would read Asimov's I, Robot you would find a "science fiction" book that really is all about what constitutes a person. Little lost robot is particularly telling, showing how we use slavery to strip personhood from an individual; that even though elaborate efforts of self-preservation we can still explain its actions 'rationally' thus it is only defective, but not alive.


Last edited by Merri; Jan 12 @ 11:37am
Isn't the term "dog" in itself already a branch term for many genetic variants? So then even though dog breed A has its particular sequence of DNA, dog breed B has differing DNA, yet is still a dog.

One could then argue that what makes a dog "a dog" is its behaviour. It's a four-legged animal with a certain *range of phenotypes that barks and howls and whatnot. But so does a wolf. And a wolf is not a dog. So then perhaps what makes a dog "a dog" cannot be found in any characteristic of the dog itself but is somehow related to those who label it a dog. A dog doesn't look at itself in the mirror and think "I'm a dog."

So, the extension of that would be that perhaps a person is only a person because it's perceived by other "persons" as a person. And others are only persons because that person perceives them as persons? I don't know, maybe I'm just rambling... It's 4AM, I should go to bed...
Last edited by VodKal-El; Jan 12 @ 6:53pm
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