With the whole spark concept can we still consider transformers as robots

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by K2flygurl, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. K2flygurl

    K2flygurl Banned

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    Ever since they had introduce the whole spark idea, transformers no longer feel like robots. They seem like energy beings possessing robots. I love and hate the idea of a spark.
     
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  2. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely consider them robots.

    I mean, look at the concept of souls. The idea that humans have a "soul" is an extremely common belief in many cultures, but as far as science is concerned we're essentially just animals, there's nothing mystical or supernatural about us. Same with "heart". People use the word heart in relation to concepts like love and feeling. But the heart is technically just an organ, and stuff like love is felt in the brain. And even that is just chemicals and whatnot, according to science. Yet a lot of people believe there's something more to it than just biology. No one has a definite answer, and there will likely never be a consensus.

    I've always seen Transformers the same way. Is a spark comparable to a soul, or is it just a power source? Or maybe a computer core? Characters frequently say a spark is a soul, but what characters say isn't always true. If the Transformers don't fully understand their own technology, they might assume it's mystical. The concept of sparks can have different interpretations.
     
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  3. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    Spark is a tangible object composed of electricity. You can see it, you can touch it. At worst you could call them full body cyborgs, but in continuities where spark is manufactured by either Vector Sigma or Allspark... They're robots with atypical data storage in them.
     
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  4. Amadeus Novilium

    Amadeus Novilium Well-Known Member

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    There is no good answer.
    But if you blow up a spark, you can tell it'd be on the lines of a organ.
     
  5. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    The concept of the Spark flat out ruined the franchise. We have yet to have fiction come out since BW that didn't include it.

    And you're right, it essentially turns EVERYTHING into "Ghost in the Machine" without the writers being intelligent enough to roll with it.
     
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  6. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    Nice insight, i pretty much agree
     
  7. Murasame

    Murasame

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    I like that point of view, I'll go with this one :) 
     
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  8. protohuman

    protohuman Science is a fantastic illusion

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    I don't even think twice about the idiosyncrasies of TF lore. Sure the writers take enormous liberty when it comes to direction and background but consider the fact that G1 robots had personalities. These personalities are typically limited to living beings, without getting into the deconstruction of Descartes ignorance. The spark is basically the antithesis of SW "midichlorians." Try finding a scientific explanation for biomedical "placebo," this is one example of how scientific explanations fall short of describing the human experience. Part of this experience is embellishing our human emotions unto other living and non-living objects, unfortunately this experience is not a universal, empirical or even uniformly cultural. For me the spark concept provides a fantasy "face slap" to the neo-faithful scientific and biomedical society.
     
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  9. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    No, they still always just feel like robots.

    They actually felt less like robots before the concept of sparks... cause Starscream had a ghost...

    Animals also have souls in most cultures so what you're saying doesn't really make any sense. You're presenting it like science contradicts the idea that souls exists but it really doesn't. At least no in the way you're presenting it.

    I would argue there's nothing mystical or supernatural about souls. A soul is just the energy that exists inside of living things. The brain generates a small amount of electricity, the body generates heat. This is energy. When you die this energy is no longer produced, there is no brain activity and the body becomes cold. Energy can not be destroyed only contained or converted into other forms of energy. Sounds a lot like a soul. So essentially science actually proves souls to exist as a natural part of life. Nothing magical about it. It's only magical when you leap to the conclusion that there must be some form of afterlife where that energy goes after it leaves the body. Except there's no reason to think it actually goes anywhere... I mean look at how a battery works.

    Um... there is a definite answer... you literally just said it. It doesn't matter if everyone agrees with that answer or not. It's still the answer regardless. Facts don't care about your feelings. Science is only refuted by better science. It will never be refuted by anyone's personal opinions.

    Considering they're both essentially the same thing I'm going to say YES.

    What the heck is a computer core? I'm going to assume you mean either hard drive or motherboard. Computer core sounds like something out of an old Sci-Fi movie that didn't really understand how computers worked.

    They also say it's the closet human comparison they can come up with to help the human they're explaining it to understand what it actually is. So it's not entirely true but there is some truth to it.

    Which seems to be the case in most fiction just like in the real world humans keep mistaking their own biology for something mystical. Like it's a common phrase to hear "the miracle of birth" even though we understand the science behind how reproduction works and there's really nothing miraculous about something that happens literally every second of every day. No to the same mother obviously but at any given moment someone somewhere in the world is having a baby.

    A miracle would be something that can't be explained, can't be replicated by anyone else, shouldn't even be possible, yet is some how still happening anyway. The thing is though real miracles don't happen. They've never happened. We only attribute miracles to things we don't understand, want to make feel special some how, and/or are common totally natural events explainable by science non of which actually qualify as miracles.
     
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  10. protohuman

    protohuman Science is a fantastic illusion

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    Another thing to consider is that our societies definition and understanding of life is changing. We used to think trees didn't communicate with each other and soils were just dirt without explaining cypto/micro-biological function. The mass of the moon had no correlation to the Precambrian explosion, musk and wheelchairman were/are actively deceiving the last principle. The only thing that does not qualify Earth as a living object is it's inability to reproduce (who are we).
    The human species is special because of our ability to manipulate the seemingly natural world, similar to TFs our society falls into the category of materialization. Domesticated species of both fauna and plant both begin to reflect the human value and behavior, hopefully we begin domestication & genetic manipulation of fungal species for energy. The Tfs were/are seeking energon and are not afraid to tread cosmological grounds to obtain it. In this regard our present society is analogous to this practice to the point were we intentionally separate ourselves from the "natural world," by depleting our own habitats. We are special in that regard, no other species actively destroys biodiversity at it's source.
     
  11. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Well-Known Member

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    @SaberPrime, but the concept of an afterlife is closely tied to the idea of a soul. Not just in real cultures, but in some Transformers fiction too. It's certainly possible to reconcile the idea of souls with science, if (like you said) you believe a soul isn't mystical or supernatural. But many cultures and individuals believe a soul is mystical, and is what makes a human (and maybe animals, depending on the culture) 'more than biology'.

    And Transformers fiction takes inspiration from this belief, and occasionally implies this is even the case in the Transformers universe (or at least in some continuities). Like Optimus being in an afterlife in RID2015, and occasional ghosts. But then you also have something like TLK which basically says "magic and science are the same".

    There seem to be two definitions of 'soul': the traditional belief which is more supernatural, and the metaphysical definition that's related to the mind.

    Soul.jpg

    This is exactly what I was getting at. A viewer/reader who only believes in science might see the Transformers as purely scientific begins. Someone who believes in the supernatural or mystical will probably say the Transformers' Sparks make them "more than a computer on legs". And some people will say it depends on the continuity, that some continuities have more magic than others. It's up to the individual viewer/reader to interpret the stories, since the idea of a Spark is always kept somewhat vague.
     
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  12. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime System Pride

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    Not really. Almost every culture has the same idea about what a soul is but have completely different ideas for what the after life is if they even believe there is an after life at all. There are many cultures that believe in the soul but not an after life.

    And by after life I'm talking about a spiritual plane of existence beyond the physical world we're currently in right now. If your soul just wanders the Earth, that's not really an after life. You haven't moved on anywhere, you're still right here. Some people think that means the soul hasn't yet moved onto the after life yet, that they're in limbo between this life and the next. But if the after life doesn't exist that means there's no place for the soul to move on to, this is all there is. Essentially what most people would call limbo, is actually the after life.

    Also if you believe in reincarnation then again there technically is no after life, your soul just becomes reborn again in a new body. And this is also where the idea that animals have souls too comes in as well. You know why cows are sacred in India? Because according to their religion cows use to be humans. Every cow is thought to be the reincarnation of a human who passed away. In their minds people who eat hamburgers are essentially the same as cannibals. And there are many religions that believe we come back as animals and when animals die they come back as people or other animals so yeah every living thing has a soul... except plants because they have no brain, no nervous system, nothing that anyone would considering a consciousness/soul.

    Except in Transformers there is a literal after life that is known to be an actual place. And it's not so much an after life as it is more of a limbo because Sparks only seem to go their till they're spit back out into a new body. Reincarnation style. One of the Earliest examples of this is Optimus Primal dying and being brought back by Rhinox.

    Also in the Covenant of Primus one of the 13 sacrifices his life to create the well of the All Sparks in the first place and is also one of the first sparks born from it as Orion Pax and having no memory of his previous life as one of the original Primes.

    I don't know why we need to be more than biology. I mean aren't we special enough being the only life on Earth that's able to create things and think beyond just basic survival. Everything else on Earth even gorillas which are the closest human-like animals, they don't write stories, they don't build houses, they do have simple tools and basic intelligence that they can learn to communicate with us. But they can't understand complex concepts like humans. Even the earliest human civilizations were far more advanced than animals building complex structures and doing things simply for entertainment not just survival. Transformers for example doesn't help us survive better... it's just there for entertainment... And domesticated animals do play with toys and stuff but they can't make the toys. They're great at destroying the toys though because only humans seem to have that spark of creativity... At least until we come into contact with aliens for real... But still that's what separates the dominate life forms from the animals. No reason to bring magic into it.

    You know the Last Knight didn't come up with that right? A lot of fiction has used that exact same concept. And it applies in real life too. I mean magicians like Harry Houdini, Pen and Teller, Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, and many more, their entire careers depend on that being the case. Magic is just science you don't understand.

    This also applies in Marvel by the way though some times this is a belief held by Tony Stark and other scientists in a world that actually has magic and some times we're suppose to believe there is no magic depending on which continuity you're looking at. Like the movies really wanted us to believe in the first Thor movie that the Asguardians were aliens using advanced technology. Except what the heck is "worthyness"? This isn't really a problem when magic is involved but when you're trying to convince the audience that it's scientific it kinda falls flat when you have a device that functions based on a subjective concept that can't be scientifically measured.

    They also seemingly gave up in Doctor Strange when they literally just call everything magic and don't even try to explain away how anything works. I don't really mind magic in fiction. It is fiction after all, it doesn't have to follow any real world laws of physics that would make magic impossible. I'm only really critical of it when the fiction itself tries to say no this is actually science/advanced technology that only looks like magic to the untrained eye at which point then I'm going to point out flaws like how worthyness is not a real thing. Or if the story sets up it's own set of rules and then doesn't follow those rules. It kinda ruins the whole story if the ending completely disregards or introduces a rule that contradicts what was said at the beginning of the story. It's like if you could of done that at any time why didn't you just do that from the start. It just comes off as lazy writing at that point. We need this thing that's super rare and hard to find. We go on an adventure to find this thing. Don't find what we're looking for. And only then do we discover that we can substitute something else we've had with us the entire time making the entire journey a complete waste of time. But in general as long as magic follows some sense of logic that makes sense within the context of the story I'm fine with it even if it's completely impossible in real life.

    That goes for Transformers too. Not everything is really realistic but as long as it makes sense within the context of the story it doesn't really have to.
     
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  13. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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    They are robots that can transform
     
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  14. ErickCruz

    ErickCruz Well-Known Member

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    Even in the simplest of origins (the quints created them as slave labor and disposable soldiers) the cybertronians evolved. Lifeless husks don't evolve past their "programming".
     
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  15. G1Prowl

    G1Prowl Prick, apparently

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    The Vision, Sonny from I, Robot. Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey...

    I think I've proven my point, I'll stop right there.
     
  16. QLRformer

    QLRformer Seeker

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    IMO A sentient robot - a robot who can think and feel, and thus can be said to have a soul - is still a robot. Just as a sentient animal is still an animal, or a sentient plant is still a plant.
     
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  17. Philip164

    Philip164 Board Member

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    You know all the continuities play fast and loose with this, so there is no answer, just Fan theory.

    The Spark and the Allspark are just Technology in Transformers. The Spark is the connection to the Allspark's, and if Information isn't being sent to the Allspark, the Transformer dies.

    The only point the Allspark exist is to gather Experience and Knowledge, the lack of a Hive Mind would favor Individual Efforts and Multiple Perspectives; this Forms Wisdom for the Matrix of Leadership to call upon.
     
  18. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Be strong enough to be gentle

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    The Spark may be the 'soul,' but they still have CPUs, processors, and other things that make up their identity.

    This is more or less how Beast Machines treated the concept, only it's actually when a Transformer dies that their gathered knowledge and experiences are brought back to the Matrix/Allspark.

    Hell, the Oracle was literally just a giant, hyper-advanced computer that for all its seemingly divine powers could be hacked and accessed like any other machine.
     
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  19. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    I've never had a problem with Transformers having a "spark". In fact I would say that it's the spark concept that makes Transformers, being more than just robots, easier to explain.
     
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  20. Amadeus Novilium

    Amadeus Novilium Well-Known Member

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    In a better one than I did before, here is my 1 cent as I don't wanna give you 2, you'l get full of yourselves.
    In most media, a spark lands somewhere in the soul field. Killing a transformer kills the spark and vice versa. Sparks can be transferred into new bodies, if removed, deactivate the bot, sending it into the organ field, somewhere in the brain field, but we got brain modules. Laser cores exist in G1 and are thought to be protection for sparks, but just a theory about giant robots amirite?