Basically I am talking about formal causality. There are some things that are more than the sum of their parts, and then there are some things which aren’t. If you want to learn more go and see what Aristotle has to say about it.
Just because something exhibits order is not indication that it is artifical.
Oh my yes. You are definitely right.
You said that artificial and natural can be told apart.
No. I said artificial and natural unity as found in the aristotelian tradition can be told apart.
Why do you say that the capacities are “not” identical?
First, the sets of capacities are not identical, otherwise you would have one set of capacities and not two. And you didn’t set up the scenario that way.
Second, you have clarified that you have set up the scenario with two sets of capacities that are formally identical. In other words there are two instantiations of the same set of capacities. I’m fine with this scenario, because in this case the two entities that have these capacities would be the same kind of being, provided that the entire set of capacities is formally identical with the other set.
And third, the more interesting scenario is when one has two sets of capacities that are not identical nor formally identical, but similar. These sets of capacities might be extremely similar to each other, making it harder for us to discern their difference. And it just might be that we aren’t able to tell the difference. Regardless if it is rational or not to believe the two sets are identical, the fact is that they are not and we would be mistaken.
If there is no method to find a difference - even in principle - then to assume that there is a difference is nonsensical.
Yes, if that were true then it would be nonsensical. But that’s just it, there is a method to find the difference in principle. But in practice there might not always be a method that reaches the correct conclusion. Let me explain further…
Here is why your use of “in principle” is misplaced. There are instances of two formally similar (but not identical) sets of capacities that we can and do distinguish between. Sure, the interesting scenario where two sets of capacities are really really really similar says we can’t reach the correct conclusion. But if you have opposite conclusions under the same type of scenario, then it isn’t correct to say that “in principle” there is no way to find a difference.
As long as the only information you have access to, is the being’s actions, you must draw your conclusions based upon that.
Correct, but irrelevant to my point that I am trying to make.
And yes, the sum of the actions actually defines what the being is. What else would it be?
Sure. But the sum of actions is not the being simpliciter. What I am condemning is the philosophically naïve position that a being’s action is the being. Action requires a subject. To dislocate action from a subject (let alone call that action the new subject) is nothing but nonsense.
If I am not mistaken, David Hume fell into this error. And it has spread to those who defend the philosophical position of materialism today. It’s a silly mistake, but what else is one to do if one denies formal causality–not much.