Is Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation alive? This has really been confusing me since Data is an android who sure as heck acts alive!
closed as primarily opinion-based by Politank-Z, amflare, J Doe, Buzz, Meat Trademark Jan 17 '18 at 21:07
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PHILLIPA: It sits there looking at me, and I don't know what it is. This case has dealt with metaphysics, with questions best left to saints and philosophers. I'm neither competent nor qualified to answer those. I've got to make a ruling, to try to speak to the future. Is Data a machine? Yes. Is he the property of Starfleet? No. We have all been dancing around the basic issue. Does Data have a soul? I don't know that he has. I don't know that I have. But I have got to give him the freedom to explore that question himself. It is the ruling of this court that Lieutenant Commander Data has the freedom to choose.
TORRES: I guess, you could say that the robots we use are servants in a manner of speaking. But they aren't sentient like you. In fact, we have only one sentient artificial life form in our society, and he is treated the same as any human.
3947: The same? He is equal to a Builder?
TORRES: That's right. He works on a ship just like you or I. He wears the same uniform I do.
For a wider view, I would strongly suggest you watch TNG: Measure of a Man since the entire episode is devoted to this question.