Simple question: are the Borg actually considered to be 'alive' within the Star Trek universe (i.e. by characters in the show)?
Considering the following definition:
the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. (Wordnik)
(I think they are pretty good at the adapting part!)
The Borg are semi-organic and semi-inorganic and can't actually reproduce by themselves, but rather 'assimilate' others (AFAIK - I'm pretty sure that the idea of Borg reproducing posited in Q Who? was disregarded once UFOP learnt more about the Borg - that seems to be verified by 7/9's explanation of the Borg throughout VOY). Would they be considered to be in the same category as a virus, which is really more an unknown category? (just a guiding question)
I'm looking for in-universe opinions (as in the opinions of characters in Star Trek - not your speculation!), however a compilation of sources about this creating an argument for/against will certainly be accepted!