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Rachel----Hell is other people (or andriods).

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:55 pm
Do Andriod Dreams of Electric Sheep

In terms of what we've read so far, it seems that the boundaries of human and androids are getting more and more blurry. Especially in the case of Rachel, as an android, she was reaching out to Rick, a android killer, and offered him help to kill other androids. This action seems only to make sense if Rachel is a human. Thus, two fundamental questions arise-----1.Do Androids have life? 2. To what extent are androids human? Through the definition of life and theories of existentialism, androids can be defined as a life form, and to some of those androids themselves, they have become "human".
Firstly, androids would become life as long as they have the desire to live. "Biologically(if andriods are indeed a live form"), the androids function almost exactly like living beings----androids share instinctive reflexes with living beings, look exactly like living beings, and have a brain almost as sophisticated as a biological brain. In fact, the androids are almost identical to living beings "biologically" except that they don't have enough empathy. However, it's natural that human won't recognize androids as living beings since, after all, androids are just some sophisticated machines made by human to be used as tools. Yet, it's true that survival desire can be observed from those androids escaping from Mars and human before being retired. For instance, Polokov wouldn't have shot Dave if he didn't hope to "live". According to existentialistic theories, the essence comes after existence. That said, the desire to survive would become part of the android's essence. Then, according to some German philosophers, the essential essence of all lives is the desire to survive, which many escaped androids have. Thus, to some extent, those andriods have become actual life forms because of their struggle not to be retired (or should we say, their struggle to "live").
Secondly, to some andriods themselves, they have become human. The concept of essence, in essence, defines the nature, the function, and the purpose of something or someone. According to existentialistic theories, essence can be a subjective concept since the achievement of essence can be determined by subjective minds. In the case of Rachel Rosen, although she was aware that she's an android, she tried to convince herself that she's a human by repressing her true identity, and offering to assist Rick to "retire" other androids(since only human would offer to kill androids). By such efforts of convincing herself that she's a human, Rachel's essence is to become a human. This essence of hers triggers an interesting phenomenon, because only Rachel herself can decide her own essence and whether or not she's achieved it. Thus, as long as Rachel truly believes that killing androids can transform herself into human, she, in her own essence, would become a real human.
However, the conclusion doen't mean that Rachel Rosen would actually be defined as a human, because she was only a human to herself. This probably explains why the boundaries of humans and androids tend to become so blurry, since each character can only determine their own essence(but not others'). Therefore, when we switch from Rick's perspective to Rachel's perspective, Rachel has literally turned from a android to a human(in her own essence).
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Some Additions From Doctor himself

on Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:22 am
By the way, I have something to add about Rachel's essence. I also believe that Rachel's essence of "trying to become human by killing androids" are quite fragile since such essence would cease to exist as long as someone tells her that she would never actually be a human without empathy, and her life would again be pointless. Thus, I believe that Rachel's true essence is more of a lie to herself or an attempt to defend herself from the unacceptable truth.
Greg Xu
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A few additions (and a bit of compliment XD)

on Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:39 pm
Frankly I did not quite agree with what you said first, especially the saying that Rachel had become a human to herself. The tricky thing is, you did not specifically define the essence of human. However, your additions makes a lot of sense! You said that Rachel's ultimate essence (for now) is that she keeps telling herself that she is a human so that she can still have a thing to hold on to in life and not lose faith, which I totally agree. By the way, in my discussion prompt, I proposed an idea with a similar essence, that androids retain their essence for they keep fighting against humans. French philosopher Albert Camus said in his philosophy essay collection Myth of Sisyphus (mainly about deaths and absurdity) that a man's life has meaning for whatever keeps him from suicide. Our ideas can be essentially interpreted as a variant developed from his idea. Again, I agree to your thoughts!
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Re: Rachel----Hell is other people (or andriods).

on Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:56 pm
Discussion from two philosophers!What a belief clash emerging here!An unparalleled thought collision is always riveting to appreciate and savor!Overall,the controversy lies in the definition of essence of human.We cannot quantify it through one universal concept.Just like the means to judge a country's well-being ,GDP and alluring foreign investments are sole concerns of development of country back in 80s.But now we realize a single facet could not sketch the whole picture.Dispositions,characters,values.None of it could serve as a quantitative metric to measure exactly the essence of human.An algorithm is not formed due to the convoluted nature of this issue.Or say it in another aspect,we can't define ourselves because each of us has different essences and all of them are chased for after our existence.That's why we cannot explicitly set the margin of human and androids.
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Re: Rachel----Hell is other people (or andriods).

on Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:20 am
A very interesting perspective of considering the perspective of Rachel. But I want to further discuss this question. Does Rachel's perspective really matter? For example, Tom is a high school student generally considered as a poor one. His score and the reflects from teacher show that he is not among the top score students. But he still considers himself as a good student in the study, though no one agrees with him. Is his perspective really meaningful? Their prespectives are not even existed! In my opinion, you can not prove Rachel's perspective means anything or is an essence, this kind of division in prespective should only be further discussed follow the verification of whether androids are humans.
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Re: Rachel----Hell is other people (or andriods).

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