Are you comparing life to consciousness? They seem like two completely different things. Overall this "black and white" approach is pretty limiting in my experience. No dissembling required. Consciousness is a scale, as are most other biological parameters. Nope. He is acting against his self interest. Intentionally killing oneself is the very definition of acting against ones self interest. He may, of course, be acting in support of a higher moral cause (like choosing the lives of many over his own) but that is a decision absolutely made against his self interest. Sounds like you've painted yourself into a corner with your definition of consciousness and are now trying to redefine words to "win." I will let you play such games by yourself; they are ultimately not very interesting. I think you now realize that your requirement that anything conscious must exhibit self interest is invalid. It offers a better perspective on why you think that an aircraft's working environment is many times less complex than a car's when it comes to avoiding collisions. If you had ever flown the Manhattan VFR corridor, for example, you would not think that was the case. There is certainly a difference between abiogenesis (beginning of life from lifelessness) and 'ordinary' biosynthesis. However, reproduction ('synthesis of life') _is_ biosynthesis, just writ large.