I suppose this is going to be sort of philosophical. I had a friend whose grandmother recently passed away. This made me think about my own grandmother who is still alive but to me she is not. Let me explain, she has dementia and she has suffered from this for nearly a decade. To me she is not living because she has no concept of her reality. She is breathing, sure, but she is dead and has been in my eyes since she could not decipher reality from memory.
Some may say this is harsh, but I think making people exist like this is far more demeaning and cruel, which is one of the reasons I’m a huge proponent of euthanization. So I suppose the question is, if you are not cognizant of what is happening then are you really alive?
Lets use an example that is not dementia, one many can relate to on a personal level. Have you ever been so drunk that you blackout? You have no memories of what you said or did but you did in fact do them. In that blackout period were you still living?
I say you were not. That is why I always excused my actions during a blackout. I was not really living. If I was of sound mind I would not have done these things. If I can’t remember doing them, it is not that they did not happen, they did but I can’t account for them because I was in a “dead” state.
If you have ever seen a person who is blackout drunk when you are not they do appear to be in a “dead” state. They look like the walking dead. They are functioning but have no recollection of time during this state. They are dead to the world around them.
That is why I believe that if you are in a mental state that makes you completely unaware then you are in fact, not living.