Saturday, 6 October 2012

Daughter's Questions: Frankenstein's Monster?

Our daughter continues to ask difficult questions. One recent query was whether (in principle) if you assembled all the atoms and molecules correctly, you could make a person. Would they be a real person? Would they be alive?

I think this is an awkward question for those of us who, like me, don't believe that we are merely material machines. Does my view commit me to saying that such a thing wouldn't be alive? That if it was alive, it wouldn't be a person? Or are there other ways for non-materialists to go here? I think so, but I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.

For the record, my basic answer was "I don't know ... and I'm not sure anyone else knows for sure either."