Life, thoughts, soul
Consider all the following “truths” that most people believe without much questioning.
Few people today would consider an oxygen atom, a water molecule, nor chains of molecules as being alive. All these “systems of small parts” are dynamic and orderly, but few would say there is any “true life” within them.
With this knowledge alone it is easy to see that ALL of your body is made of “nonliving parts”. Some of your body parts might be replaced with nonliving parts like metal hip “bones”, heart valves, tooth fillings, etc.
A favorite concept of science fiction writers is that a human body could eventually be entirely replaced by small manufactured parts, and the system of how the original parts interacted could be preserved and maintained by the replacements.
This might even be acceptable in the more “sacred areas”. For instance, if doctors commonly “cured” a migraine headache by replacing a single nerve cell inside the brain with a small electronic chip, in theory, most people would agree to the substitution, just as they might agree to a hip replacement.
Such systems can be described, quite faithfully, as a group of methods for messages to be conveyed. Yet no single message that is sent is considered to be a living entity.
Clearly your body is made of nonliving parts that follow rules of nonliving processes of interaction, and it is only the entire system of how they interact that is commonly called “alive”.
Ask yourself,Am I dead? Am I mostly dead? Why are these questions so absolutely silly to ask? Why am I so smug and merely entertain the questions as “goofy diversions?”
Are all my thoughts messages? If so, who sends them? To whom?
Are my thoughts “raw code?”
Or, are my thoughts more like the “noisy artifacts” that arise from my “parts keeping the system going?” Does my “wiring” “hum” with thought?
Where do I live in this machine?
Why do I live here?
Am I the sum total of all these interacting parts and the history of how they have interacted? Is that all?
Is God a robot maker?