A Person: Thoughts, Emotions and a Single Entity Body

A Person

A Corporation
The word "person" is distinct from the word "human" and implies a generality where "humans" are a specific species of person. Therefore, I am defining "person" in my own way. There are legal arguments that corporations are persons, legally. But in fact a corporation does not meet all three of the requirements to be a person.

The first requirement to be a person is conscious thought. The second requirement to be a person is to have emotions, those feelings which we experience and live by for the entirety of our individual lives. And third, a person must have a single entity body, biological or non-biological. I mention non-biological to include any artificial intelligence whether it is human made or not.

One of the interesting characteristics of a person, is that only a person can define a person. For the most part, humans are extremely arbitrary concerning how they individually and as groups define what a person is. Lawyers who argue for corporations to legally define a person have little real interest in the philosophical and logical reasoning that defines a person with the intent to be as truthful as is possible. Lawyers do not argue for the truth. They argue for the law. And they care not whether the law serves people or not. They serve only their clients, as the law dictates they must.

There is a fourth requirement to be a person many would argue for. A person is a soul, a spirit, or whatever you want to call it. A person is not merely a collection of chemicals and constituent parts functioning as a biological machine. A person is a spiritual being with a body for the duration of the life of the body. This a corporation can never be.

I mentioned artificial intelligence, because I do not rule out the possibility that a sufficiently sophisticated machine could be possessed by a spirit, which would make it a person if it met all of the requirements. The ramifications of this potential possibility would likely be profound.

Daemon Bernstein

2017-03-08


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