Look, I can see why this is challenging to understand.
Come on! But this is my fault. Five years ago, I kindly invited you to explain a certain position, and then I jumped on you. I created a monster, and now you're back for revenge.
You and norumaru seem to be saying that it's stupid to argue about the literal definition of a pile of plastic and wires because the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. It's not.
I wrote the following paragraphs, and then realized that I don't know what you're referring to by "It's not." If you're saying that the sum of the parts is not greater than the whole, then, you dumb motherfucker! But if you're saying it's not stupid to argue about it, then, you're right. It's endlessly interesting. (I'm not sure they were saying that though.)
The difference between the pile of parts and the assembled car is, and the difference between a dead body and a living one, is its configuration. Configuration is a kind of information, which is a mysterious but real physical quantity. Of all the possible configurations of parts, the working RC car is one infinitesimal possibility. An information processor, like a human, can enhance the probability of that configuration.
A person is an extremely unlikely configuration of atoms. The probability of ending up with one was pumped up by natural selection. And in the short term, the difference between a living and dead person is metabolism.
These configurations take time and energy to accumulate and utilize, just like energy. To say there's no difference between one and the other is like saying there's no difference between charged and dead batteries.
One configuration may not be "greater" than the other, but that doesn't bother materialists because undefined measures of "greatness" don't bother us. Free will still matters.