What does it mean to be alive? Why do we say that rocks are not alive? Because they don’t move? Many types of plants don’t appear to move but we say they are alive. A seed can produce a living thing but is it alive? Robots move and make noise, but are they alive? Most biologists say something must be capable of reproduction to be alive. So far, no machine ever built was capable of reproducing itself. Fire jumps and dances and spreads. Is it alive?
When is an animal dead? When it stops breathing? When it’s heart stops beating? We are capable of keeping people “alive” on respirators. Are they dead when their brain stops producing brain waves. Has any revelation from any god addressed this issue? Even after brain activity stops activity continues for a period of time in some cells of the body. Certainly no one would disagree that a person is dead when it has decayed.
Is it immoral to declare someone “dead” prematurely? Is it immoral to keep someone on life-support machines long after they have “died”? Is there a clear right and wrong here?