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Old June 16 2013, 05:46 PM   #31
Charles Phipps
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Re: Does Data have a soul?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
The alien cultures that believe in afterlives and souls are often shown to be more primitive and backward in several other ways.
Except, ironically, we have no evidence the Federation's worlds don't believe in these.
Klingons may have warp drive, but they've barely mastered hygiene and walking upright otherwise.
Klingons are jerkasses, that doesn't mean they're wrong about everything.
Bajorans have been shown to be incredibly stubborn and heavily indoctrinated, their religious class more or less ruling the masses and running their schools as current advocates of "intelligent design" would drool at the thought of being able to.
Bajorans are kind of the odd man out for discussing religion, despite existing primarily to discuss questions of faith. Their gods are literally real. It's not "science versus religion" when you can scientifically measure Heaven's presence less than a light year away.
When someone even demonstrates the soul exists, we can wait for Data to be built, then debate whether that "life form" has one. But if such a thing exists, we should be able to just measure it and see anyway.
The soul, in this respect, is Data's sapience. We can measure our sapience since Descartes.

And as Asimov said (and quoted by SF debris),
"There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state." But science is all about dealing with unknowns and observing the effects of things on people. Strict materialism is an odd stance since, increasingly, science is about understanding the material is a reflection of a larger more energy-based universe.

(Which has nothing to do with religion other than to state we're in a ****y position to observe all of the universe's mysteries)

Hell, I can claim I have magic purple tentacles in place of a soul, but just as invisible and made of the same "stuff", prove I don't.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a useful rebuttal to religious claims. However, it's not related to what the episode is about.
Check out the United Federation of Charles:
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