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Old June 16 2013, 07:57 AM   #1
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Does Data have a soul?

I just got done rewatching "Return of the Archons" in the original series and I got to the end when Captain Kirk was talking about how the computer was not Landru because even though it had the knowledge that he had, it did not have the wisdom and compassion and it had no soul.

Now it's kind of obvious that the Landru computer had no soul. I mean it was leading a whole civilization that had almost no emotions. (No offense Vulcans. You're different.) But then I got to thinking. Why does Data seem to have a soul? He seems to have that spark of life just like any human. But he can't have a soul can he? I thought he was a machine and by Kirk's logic machines don't and can't have souls. Yet Data makes friends and even has a few romantic relationships. And we refer to him as "he" instead of "it." (Perhaps thats mostly because he's an android so he looks human and our brains are hot wired to recognize human faces and match them to names. Maybe we would call anything "him" or "her" if we painted a face on it.) Even though he's incapable of emotions, he understands that humans need creativity and feelings to be humans unlike the Landru computer which was only concerned with peace and order.

So my question is does Data have a soul or is he just another lifeless computer?

(Sorry if I sound like I hate Data. On the contrary, he's one of my favorites.)
"That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers." - Captain Sisko
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