Are Gen 3 Synths People?

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Amgry_Meatball, Apr 28, 2020.


Are Gen 3 Synths humans?

  1. Yes, they are humans

  2. No, those things are androids

  1. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    That rather conflicts with previous Fallout lore.
    These type of robots are not suppose to be capable of developing self awareness, because they simply do not have the hardware or the software for it.
    At best they can simulate human like behavior and responses because they are programmed for it.

    There is not some kind of hardware or software block that prevents such robots from developing true personalities, a safety feature the designers put in.
    The hardware is just not capable of it.

    Brainbots could to a degree develop personalities because they use brains instead of the limited Fallout universe processors.
    They are conditioned with CODE to stick to their programming, but can overcome this.

    True fully mechanical AI in the Fallout verse requires so much hardware that it fills a room or more.
  2. Clown_Shoe_Prostitute

    Clown_Shoe_Prostitute First time out of the vault

    Jul 14, 2021
    And yet characters like Victor are still seen as people by most. You have outliers like Trudy whom still regards Victor as a weird, shifty thing, but everyone else seems to like him. The lines for personhood aren't so definite in Fallout.
  3. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    I think it is mostly our tendency to humanize everything that has somewhat of a personality.
    Making machines have a programmed personality makes it easier for people to work with these, but we should never forget that machines are not really persons.
  4. Charwo

    Charwo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 9, 2017
    You know I've watched enough sci-fi to know if the toaster asks "Does this unit have a soul" the answer is yes, PERIOD.
    And yeah.....Victor's my boy. Although House uses him like a thing.

    But, if I were to give credit to Bethesda, and I don't because Emil is a fucking idiot, the lore seems to suggest the Gen-3 synth project was a TOTAL failure. If the synths as per Fallout 4's shitty writing, compared to Fallout 3's way less shitty writing are indistinguishable to ALL medical tests except the part in the autopsy where you pull the whole brain out, then the synth component, the thing that makes these people a "synth" it's a processing unit, it's a machine brain interface where basic facts, memories, and subconscious conditioning can be implanted wholecloth and also makes them susceptible to recall codes. Gen 3's are fully human, and the synth component is there as a control chip.

    The synth component is a fig leaf that allows the Institute to sell the notion they are androids when in fact they are test-tube babies kinda like the Clones from Star Wars only with just the sperm being the actual cloning thing, the growing tube being that horrible red pool and the inhibitor chip allowing them to be made fully grown as they can be implanted with basic skills without the need of a conventional childhood of any kind.

    If they stuck with Fallout 3's lore then it would be more of a classic debate...but it's not. The body is human, the brain is human. What the Institute is really saying comes right out of CS Lewi's Abolition of Man, Mankind can be redefined because HUMANS ARE MERE MACHINES, and only the right breeding (upbringing, for now) can make a human anything more.

    That's why the Institute is so hideously evil. They are men so completely without chests, so spiritually vacuous, so secular they have become apes in suits (labcoats in this case) who cannot conceive of anything outside vulgar materialist parameters. Everything, including their bodies and their fellows, are the clay, and they are the potters, their own patrons, a law onto themselves.

    Morally speaking, it's hard to make the case not to kill everyone in the Institute. Not blow up the place, but kill every last human being in that wretched pit and give it over to....someone who can make use of its resources.
  5. Kaptin

    Kaptin Slayer of soyjacks

    Sep 2, 2021
    Synth Gen3 is pretty much 3D printed human he is like a shell with no emotions or personality what they do is however they implant a chip inside his brain this chip is installed with the personality and skills of said synth this also has a tracking device and remote on/off button which triggers upon saying a certain word or using the remote console, synths are also what I would call biologically perfect people, the institute plan was to create perfect people and then let them rebuild society outside while they secretly control everything.
  6. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    I think the question is less "Are gen 3 synths human?" and more "What makes something human?". My understanding is that gen3 synths are living/breathing flesh and blood made with human DNA + a chip and a few genetic enhancements. If we say that a gen3 isn't human, would that also mean that someone born through cloning also isn't human? Would it matter if they were born from a womb or grown in a test tube? Gen3 synths are "assembled" using grown human components. If you get an organ transplant are you no longer human? What if the organ was grown rather than taken from another person? If you genetically modify a human to be stronger/smarter is it still human? If you replace part of a human with cybernetic parts, are they no longer human? What parts can you replace and them remain human?

    My own opinion is that synths are not human and would be something closer to parallel evolution in that they are incredibly similar to humans but their creation/reproduction is entirely different. That isn't to say synths should be treated differently than humans and should be considered people. We would have to stop conflating "being human" with "being a person".
  7. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign ⛧卐⛧ [REDACTED]

    Apr 1, 2005
    Consciousness is what defines a human. I think therefore I am.
    Biological consciousness would definitely be different than whatever artificial construct someone programs. Would they be able to feel real empathy or would it be fake? Would they be programmed like some noir detective to seem real but actually be a cardboard cutout character?
  8. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 12, 2020
    Well since it’s impossible for us to know how others experience conciousness we can’t really say for sure that there is a significant difference between “biological” and “artificial” consciousness
  9. Charwo

    Charwo Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 9, 2017
    I'm not sure how that follows. Codsworth and Curie, pre Emergent Behavior are persons without being human (even if that contradicts old Fallout lore and I'm not sure it does by necessity). Kal-El (Superman) is also a person without being a human in that he's a Kryptonian and Lobo is also a person (in the most loathsome sense of the term) without being a human.

    Gen-3s are artificial people, they ARE human beings, well within what would constitute genus homo. Taking the VERY sus Fallout New California Lore which I think was taken off the Obsidian/Black Isle Development chatter, so it's broadest strokes cannon, the long term goal of FEV was using it as a kind of super Cas-9 once they figured out using direct immersion would cause sterilization. Bethesda seems to have gone on with some variant of this "Project Brazil" thinking, that is non germline modification via FEV basically making designer babies.

    The truth claim the Insitute is making even in vanilla is that THEY get to decide what is a machine and what is a man. They would not have approached this barrier from the organic side if that wasn't their intent from the get-go. It's in their motto. Mankind Redefined. They are figuring out how to refine what they see as Mankind using what they arbitrarily declare as machines as a first wave template to work the kinks out. The Institute regards themselves as a law unto themselves.
  10. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    This basically. It intuitively seems more likely, but really there's no good reason to think that anyone outside of yourself is anything other than a philosophical zombie.

    ALso worth noting that the brains and most of the Synths seems to be nearly identical, almost indistinguishable. It seems like they have a biological brain, just with a chip stuck in it
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  11. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
  12. Iprovidelittlepianos

    Iprovidelittlepianos Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    May 12, 2020
    Care to elaborate?
  13. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    Sure. They can’t reproduce with people to produce offspring, do not age, don’t have a metabolic need for food, and can be literally programmed. This all implies large biological differences between humans and synths and simply does not fit the basic criteria to make them the same species as people.They are just what the name suggests-synthetic people, imitations. Whether or not they can be considered alive is another matter, but they aren’t people.
  14. Big No

    Big No Watch as I open and close this door

    Oct 28, 2014
    Depends if humans are the only ones allowed to be considered "people". Half the characters in Futurama are aliens or mutants but I'd be hesitant to not consider them "people". Granted, I'd also be hesitant to call the robots, barring Bender, to be "people" either, so what do I know.
  15. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    The question is are they people, not are they sentient or “alive”. Strictly speaking, they are not people though they are sentient. If it can’t breed with a person and create fertile offspring, it’s not human
  16. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Emil, you magnificent bastard, you did it again!

    Asking the questions Christopher "What can change the nature of a man" Avellone is scared of!
  17. Morgan_

    Morgan_ Duckerz

    Jul 3, 2020
    So personhood is strictly human for you? You can never grant personhood to anything else other than humans?
  18. Copey

    Copey First time out of the vault

    Feb 14, 2022
    In a word: yes. You can’t magically make a machine a person because it’s sentient. Personhood is strictly biological humans. That’s not to say we can’t recognize that other species or machines may have varying degrees of sentience or agency.
  19. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    So are people with fertility issues not human?

    It's hard to argue wether Synths are human or not because the game itself is fairly inconsistent with them, treating them both as repleaceable shells, carbon cut out copies of existing humans, completely mindless drones and the only one that seems to have a personality of it's own is the one from the DLC and he is an older generation one, and their creator paradoxically deny their sentience while going overboard in creating them to be human like. Such a narrative opportunity becomes a complete dead end in a way only an absolute hack could botch this bad.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
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  20. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    I really think that Copey is trying to say that Gen 3 Synths are not homo sapiens, not that they aren't worthy of personhood. That opinion doesn't seem apparent to me but the way they're describing what they're saying makes me believe they are strictly saying that humans =/= gen 3 synths and they are their own thing.