I remain in the camp that viruses aren’t alive. They don’t eat or metabolize at all, they don’t reproduce, and they do nothing if there aren’t other living things around for them to subvert. They can only trick other living things into making more copies of themselves. Being able to passively defeat an immune system changes nothing. To me, they aren’t living beings, they’re loophole-like pathological special cases of replication gone wrong.
The categories “living organism” and “not a living organism” do not exist in nature.
They are artificial constructs we create due to the overwhelming human compulsion to put things into categories as a way of mentally dealing with them.
IOW, the map (human representation) is not the territory (reality).
So whether a virus is a living organism or not is dependent entirely on the definition you choose to use for “living organism.”
Hmmm. Interesting way to look at it. There is no doubt they are very strange things. Yet they do mutate into new types don’t they? I am thinking of the new strains of flu viruses and their like.
Don’t they always tell us the flu shot can’t make us sick because it is a “dead” virus?