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Homework Help: Is vaporising someone murder?

  1. Aug 27, 2015 #1
    1. Considering that not too many people have been vaporised, would you say it is murder?

    2. Because they are not alive anymore, does that necessarily mean they are dead? Forgetting religion, would you say having every single atom in your body separated would be death? Or Inanimation? I don't want to look at this on a philosophical level, but are they physically dead?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2015 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Vaporisation is the transition from liquid to gas.

    Not all of a human is liquid so you can't vaporise people, the closest you can get is cremation:

    It should be quite obvious cremating living people most definitely counts as murder.
  4. Aug 27, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, in essentially every society on Earth that knows what vaporization is, vaporizing a person would count as murder.

    Yes. Keep in mind that life, as it applies to a human being and every known form of living organism, is defined as something similar to the following: Life is a characteristic distinguishing physical entities having biological processes (such as signaling and self-sustaining processes) from those that do not,[1][2] either because such functions have ceased (death), or because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.

    Their body no longer exists, meaning every reasonable definition of 'life' no longer applies to their constituent components. They are physically dead in every respect. Thread locked before metaphysical/philosophical content creeps in.
  5. Aug 28, 2015 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Wanted to add one more point: a doctor pronounces someone dead upon the cessation of all vital bodily functions such as heartbeat, brain activity and breathing. Since a vapourised person isn't doing any of these they are obviously dead.
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