"Are human beings like mountains and streams?"
This is a profound question, and there seems to be remarkably divergent opinion on the matter!
I think may people would say, "Of course they are different!"
Expecially those brought up in a Jewish or Christian tradition would say: "Humans are alive. They have souls. They are rational. They have free will and make choices.
They are capable of good and evil; they have moral responsibility; they are capable of sinning," etc., tec.
On the other hand, there are those ultra-mechanistic types - often in the computer sciences - who say that human beings are basically like mountains and streams; they are both causally determined mechanisms.
The human being (they say) may be a more complicated kind of machine but is a machine nevertheless and subject to exactly the same physical laws which govern the behavior of mountains and streams.
Therefore human beings are like mountains and streams.
But what a ghastly, perverted way of looking at it!
I don't know which of these two viewpoints I find more horrible!
The first empasizes that aspect of religion I have always hated.
The second is completely inhuman.
I also tend to think of humans - at their best - as being like mountains and streams, but for such different reasons!
In the first place, I don't think of humans as machines.
Second, I don't think of the universe as a mchine; I think of it as an organism rather than a mechanism.
Even if it is perfectly decribable, using purely mechanical and electromagnetic laws, I still think of it as an organism rather than a mechanism.
And I think of mountains and streams as part of the organism of the cosmos, and a very beautiful part of that.
And since I like to think of human beings as also beautiful, I therefore like to think of them - at their best - as being like mountains and streams.