(Someone asked whether an open-source project of mine is dead. I took the question very seriously.)
What constitutes death? If a computer program persists to function by impeccable execution of its pristine instructions, would a mere delay in growth suffice to declare it bereft of life?
If suspended animation is any clue, could we make the call in the event of an apparent crash, as we can no longer observe vital processes due to the interface being rendered motionless?
Would a program die if uninstalled, whereas thousands of identical copies thrived throughout the planet? At what point could it be considered extinct? What would it take for us to utterly extinguish its existence?
What if a program voluntarily yielded to the temptation of nothingness as a means to escape? Is it possible, or ethical, to restore life to it by reanimation? Then again, was it ever truly alive?