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Is anything really alive?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 574 times Debate No: 79882
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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Technically, no. Let's take a look at what we are mainly made of; cells. Cells technically are not alive and I can back this up.
-They are made out of dead things
-They only move because of the laws of physics
-They don't have central nervous systems
If we are made out of things that are "dead" then wouldn't we be considered not "alive". Yes, they may react and they respire but that doesn't classify them under "alive". Is there actually a class that is "alive". We are made up of millions and millions of cells but cells are made of something right? Yes atoms. Atoms, well are atoms. According to scientists atoms aren't alive which makes us made of more "dead" things. To me, life is the consciousness of remembering and reacting with the use of our brain. Cells technically have a central system of course, the nucleus. The nucleus encompasses DNA and RNA and so on but its not like a brain, it's not made up of cells and if your saying then its cells would be the atoms then your wrong because atoms to scientists are not alive, but to some scientists cells are alive so that wouldn't make sense. It's either atoms are "alive" or cells are "dead". Cells are considered organisms and the definition of an organism is:

a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes.

a form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus etc.

any organized body or system conceived of as analogous to a living being

Again cells are made of atoms, atoms are not alive they are not considered organisms! I would like to see my contender put forth a good debate!


I wish my opponent a good debate.

So my opponent's argument seems to hinge on the fact that we are not alive because we are made of things that aren't alive. First, they start off by stating that cells are not alive. Their proof is cells are made of dead things, only move because of the laws of physics, and they do not have central nervous systems.

First, I'd like to raise a small semantic issue. Cells are not made up of dead things, they are made up of nonliving things. To be dead one must have first been alive, and as they duly note, atoms aren't living organism. Now for the refutation of the point. Even though cells are made up of nonliving things, this does not mean that cells aren't living. For example, a brick is not a pyramid, but bricks can be used to make them. To say that a pyramid cannot be a pyramid because the things that make it up aren't pyramids is false.

I don't really understand the argument you are making with the second point. What does it matter that cells only move because of the laws of physics? What does that statement even mean? Everything must conform to the laws of the universe, and our existence is solely dependent upon them.

Again, I don't see the argument with the third point. Sponges, for instance, don't have a nervous system and yet they are alive. Also, unicellular organisms don't have a nervous system either.

At the end you list the qualifications of an organism and again make the point that cells are made of atoms, presumably in reference to "a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes". However, cells meet this requirement due to the various organelles inside cells, not their atoms.

For my argument I would like to give the seven characteristics of life (1)

  • respond to their environment
  • grow and change
  • reproduce and have offspring
  • have a complex chemistry
  • maintain homeostasis
  • are built of structures called cells
  • pass their traits onto their offspring
Humans, obviously match each of these characteristics. Potty training is an example of responding to stimuli or environment. I don't think it can be disputed we grow, reproduce, have complex chemistry, are made of cells, or that we pass traits to our offspring. Homeostasis is the ability for the body to maintain its health, such as temperature.
Debate Round No. 1


Blueml2411 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry I forfeited that last round I couldn't get my computer to work no joke.

Really I don't have anything else to say supporting this. When you said that "a brick is not a pyramid, but bricks can be used to make them" i agree but when we are talking about non-living and living that's two different states, when your talking about bricks to make a pyramid that analogy doesn't really work. What your saying is its possible for non-living things( almost the complete opposite of living) can make living things. How does that work? That's pretty much like saying rocks can make a living thing. End of round.


How about this, then? Neither Hydrogen, nor Oxygen, have the properties of water and yet, when combined, they make water. A proton does not have the characteristics of an element and yet, when combined with other protons, neutrons, and electrons, they form all the elements. Just like how a brick is

Life isn't really all that special. It isn't something separate from the chemical or atomic world, it is a direct product of it. Life, itself, is just a series of chemical reactions. Being alive is just what we call organisms that undergo a similar set of these reactions. It is kind of silly for you, an alive being, to ponder if anything is in fact alive. Even if this is just a simulation or we are in a dream, something must be alive to create the simulation or have the dream. What other explanation do you have for the seven characteristics I listed other than life?
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by YaHey 2 years ago
@Vi_spex What does that have to do with this debate?
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
science is just like any other religion..
Posted by NorrisMorris 2 years ago
This is too hilarious! If you actually believe that cells are not alive. Does that me you are not alive? Yeah you may not be living.
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