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GateWorld Podcast: Are Replicators Alive?

Tuesday - March 17, 2009
Category: FEATURES | Tags: , ,

"Unnatural Selection"

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This week’s podcast is the first in a new series of “Stargate Metaphysics!” Darren and David talk about the age-old topic of whether an artificial life form can be considered “alive.” For the Stargate franchise, the question is about Replicators — particularly the Asurans and other human-form Replicators, some of which are portrayed as very sympathetic characters. Are they alive? Are they sentient? And do they have rights?

But first we’ll run down the latest Stargate news, and give you a preview of our upcoming interview with Stargate composer Neal Acree.

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    Interview with Neal Acree (Coming Soon!)

Discussion – Are Replicators Alive?

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COMMENTS (5):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • You mentioned that the Asurans are alive because they designed the beautiful architecture on Asuras. They did not. It is stated in Atlantis that they simply copied the designs of the most advanced beings they knew, the Ancients.

  • I loved most of Stargate’s baddies. From the first goa’ulds to some of Ori (ooooh, Adria baby) and even Replicators.

    They all was sooo cute ^_^

  • In my opinion they are very much alive and they have the same rights humans have. People come in different hair, skin, eye colors, they have different heights and weights, plus the Azgard don’t look a lot like us, but they’re still alive, so the fact that Replicators are made of nanites shouldn’t matter. What defines humans is rationality and feelings. Replicators are more rational than most humans, and they show most of the feelings of 10 year old human children:
    – they have a programming (destroy wraith, never harm ancients, replicate,…) just like we have genetically transmitted information ( we just know how to laugh, cry, scream, eat, sleep, walk, no one has to teach us);
    – small human children mimic the grown-ups around them, just like replicators mimicked the ancients, soon after they were created ( copied their appearance, built a exact replica of Atlantis, which the ancients never programmed them to do);
    – children have a strong desire to please adults, the replicators wanted to please the ancients; when children do what they’re told, but end up scolded anyway, and never manage to please their parents, they either get angry, or try even harder (and by any means), just like the replicators tried to destroy the wraith the best way they could, and were attacked by the ancients. They never understood why, and some wanted revenge, others wanted the ascend, to prove themselves.
    – Humans show a sense of self preservations, as do replicators, while machines don’t care whether they die or not;
    – Children can be cruel, selfish, uncaring, as do replicators most of the times, but that doesn’t mean they’re evil or that they’re not alive, only that they’re not emotionally mature enough to know the difference between right or wrong; people can be good or evil, too, but no one ever but both types are considered alive;
    – Some replicators can even show compassion, like the one impersonating Keller in this mortal coil. She was compassionate towards the people the other oberoth was killing, and she showed an ability to empathize with the copies of the Atlantis team, not wanting them them to be considering just a failed experiment, like the ancients considered her.
    – The replicator in new order had an obsession/was in love with for carter, he hated her for betraying him, he felt compassion when he saw her crying and he let her go, even if it wasn’t in his best interest

    Though the Atlantis expedition /earth have every right to defend themselves, there were a lot of times when the killed replicators not because they necessarily had to, but because they never gave them the same consideration they would have to other species. Not to mention ghost in the machine, which was terrible and out of character on so many levels, especially since they sent one of their own to her death for no real reason (Sheppard could have gone after her with a jumper afterwards, she already proved she was the same Elizabeth and could be trusted, and the fact that they didn’t was completely out of character considering stargate’s “leave no one behind” motto, and how close she was to the other members of the team)

  • I do not think replicators should be considered alive in the same sense that a human is alive.

    Is a radio alive because it can sing like a human?
    Is a doll alive because it can cry?

    Replicators in Human form are still replicators.
    Do they have sympathy?, if you imprint it into their database, then yes!.
    They are animated so I guess you could say they’re alive, but not in a biological Earth sense.
    And Sentient? In a metaphysical sense their astounding capabilities could command our respect.
    But in a purely human sense, are they sentient?.
    Yes, if you program them to be.
    They are not born, they are made.
    Most humans are born with ingrained ability to feel and some would say animals as well.
    We did not learn it, we have it from birth.
    Is a replicator born?

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