Such as? Logic? Emotions? Sense of humour? The ability to create shelter? The ability to create music?
These are all abstract and intangible. I'm saying that there is no measurable physical trait which could be possessed by a living thing that a lifeless thing could not also possess.
straight from my old uni lectures:
living things can be recognised by what they do-
1/ have order
2/ adapt to their environment
3/ respond to their enviroment
4/ regulate their cellular and body processes
5/ grow and develop
plants, animals... everything thats living has these characteristics. thats the scientific thought behind inanimate/living things. and yes, single celled organisms are living... being self aware doesnt really have anything to do with living, though most do. most single celled organisms just react to stimuli... they dont need to 'know' that they're alive to be considered alive- thats silly.
Again, I'm not arguing that you can't define what a living thing is, just like I wouldn't argue that you can't define what a chocolate bar is.
I'm saying that if Plato's Forms did exist, then why would they make the distinction between living things and lifeless things so boldly?
If you look at the world objectively, you'd see physical things, the absence of physical things, and possibly non-physical things (such as thought, but we'll forget about all that crap for now). You wouldn't split physical things into a category of living and non-living, especially when you take into account that biological life on another planet might work differently from the life on our own, so from a universal and objective standpoint, the universe would be seen as "physical things and the space which they aren't occupying" rather than "physical things, the space which they aren't occupying, and things that are alive on Earth". This is why I think it is absurd that Plato's Forms are ordered in the way that they are, and even weirder that nobody could see how biased this is towards our way of thinking - it suggests that the categorization of the Forms is subjective. Note: I don't believe in Plato's realm of the Forms (just as a disclaimer so people don't start spouting crap about how philosophy students are all gullible or something...).
and concerning the whole AI thing, we're not even close to fully understanding how our brain works... we're not going to be able to MAKE an artificial brain any time soon. i know philosophy students love the phrase, "HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING" but even if we do design a AI brain with the capacity of a human, its impossible for it to do have all 6 characteristics up there imo.
just read your thing about nano bots- they cant reproduce on their own if such things exist. they need materials/matter which form the nanobots- they cannot reproduce without outside materials. 'end of the world' scenario involving nanobots such as the Grey Goo derives from this fact that they need to consume surrounding matter to 'reproduce'.
You're missing the point. Even if it would never be achievable, it is plausible. I'm just using this as a hypothesis to make a point. "Hypothetically speaking" doesn't mean "omg, this is gonna happen any minute". A hypothesis in this sense is just a technique to get someone to think differently.
For the sake of the point I'm trying to make, just assume that these imaginary robots do
conform with every rule of a living thing. Forget that this will probably never happen - just imagine it. The only reason I'm getting people to imagine this is to make them realise that there is nothing tangible or measurable that separates living things from non-living things. Well, of course, there is; but nothing which separates them so boldly that you could say "the universe consists of living things and non-living things" without it being in the same vein as "the universe consists of warmly coloured things and coldly coloured things" (i.e. the fact that life exists is ultimately as inconsequential as the fact that certain things have different colours).