Is a Machine Alive?

from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert A. HeinleinRating: 4.1     (74 ratings)

Am not going to argue whether a machine can "really" be alive, "really" be self-aware. Is a virus self-aware? Nyet. How about oyster? I doubt it. A cat? Almost certainly. A human? Don't know about you, tovarishch, but I am. Somewhere along evolutionary chain from macromolecule to human brain self-awareness crept in. Psychologists assert it happens automatically whenever a brain acquires certain very high number of associational paths. Can't se it matters whether paths are protein or platinum.
("Soul?" Does a dog have a soul? How about cockroach?)

- Manuel Garcia "Mannie" O'Kelly-Davis

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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress