a reply to: network dude
First off, I'm so far out of my depth, I should never write this thread.
I wonder if it'd be politically correct to agree with you..
In any case, the question 'are viruses alive' is about as silly as 'would five Spidermen beat ten Batmans', but let's explore the question anyway.
You can think of viruses in many ways - here are a couple of examples.
'Biological programs'. They simply follow a programming, multiplying and infecting and doing their 'job'. I think most viruses are made in labratories
- why would nature create something that nasty? The purpose of illnesses and sicknesses is to weed out the weak so nature can thrive. Nature doesn't
tolerate weakness as much as people's 'societies' do. We try to care for and heal someone's body that has become ill or sick. Nature simply preys on
it and utilizes it for the good of the whole. In any case, animals don't have human sentience, as animals also follow programming called 'instinct',
and animal souls are too primitive and raw to be able to handle it - in fact, the whole animal soul system is very different, although human souls do
evolve from that (it's a long explanation, I think I once wrote it somewhere in ATS).
There are exceptions, of course, as when a two-souled animal's other side's body dies, and thus the soul becomes 'one' for the first time in an
incarnation, and it's the last incarnation as animal(s). That's why you sometimes (albeit rarely) see 'very humanlike dogs' and 'super intelligent
horses' and other bigger, usually two-souled (or more accurately, half-souled) animals.
When you think about 'biological robot', the first thing that comes (or should come) to one's mind is, of course, a soulless entity that isn't alive,
except in the most rudimentary sense of the word. A biological robot is exactly like any other robot, except instead of metal or plastic, its body
consists of biological matter. It has no soul, it isn't alive as a whole, although some sort of life can exist within and around its body, in a
similar way than any inanimate object can have an 'aura' around them.
The Universe is alive, so 'everything is alive', pretty much, but there are big differences between HOW something is alive. A laptop can be said to be
alive, a planet can be said to be alive, but neither is an individual entity with a soul, a mind, capability for feelings, emotions and the spiritual
experience. An animal is more alive than laptop or planet, but it can't be said to be having a human experience (usually) - I would never kill an
animal, but people on this planet routinely eat murdered animal bodies, so obviously a virus would have even less value or importance to them.
In any case, a virus isn't a sentient entity, it's not a lifeform capable of experiencing pain, emotions, feelings or spirituality. A virus doesn't
meditate and attempt to experience The Divine.
I hope this answers your question.