“I’m just a computer simulation of me.”
The original setup of the show is really quite bleak, isn’t it? Holly and Rimmer are technically just the same computer, and Cat doesn’t really interact with Lister that much. Imagine if they’d decided to follow that line of plotting right through, so Lister gradually loses his mind through loneliness.
I’ve thought about this a lot. I came to the conclusion when I was about 12 that Rimmer isn’t alive and it’s all incredibly fucking bleak. But in a sort of ship of Theseus way or whatever, it doesn’t really matter, people are our ideas of them, and they are real/alive to us/Lister. But again the question of if he is self aware or just acting out a set of instructions is hard to answer. Is Holly alive?