Non-human persons
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06-07-2014, 11:50 PM
Star RE: Non-human persons
"Let's base it on species. So a dog who is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble gets less rights."
"Lets base it only ability and intelligence. Well, a dog is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble, so they get more rights."

Those are all terrible. It will not be difficult at all to determine who and what is aware and experiences suffering. Just because there are gray areas with some, doesn't mean you can condemn those in the black/white.

How aware and capable are they, and what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.
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07-07-2014, 06:13 AM
RE: Non-human persons
(06-07-2014 11:50 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  "Let's base it on species. So a dog who is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble gets less rights."
"Lets base it only ability and intelligence. Well, a dog is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble, so they get more rights."

Those are all terrible. It will not be difficult at all to determine who and what is aware and experiences suffering. Just because there are gray areas with some, doesn't mean you can condemn those in the black/white.

How aware and capable are they, and what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.

Define awareness and capability, and the means to measure them across different species with accuracy.
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07-07-2014, 06:50 AM
RE: Non-human persons
(06-07-2014 11:50 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.

If you look at it from a broad evolutionary point of view, any life can and does evolve to take better advantage of it's environment. If you are a polar bear, evolution has concentrated on survival in the cold. Dexterity has not evolved because it wasn't necessary. That gives no clues as to what a polar bear thinks and how evolved those thoughts may be. Their thoughts are about their own environment and species and enemies of their species, because that is what their reality is. It is not the same as our reality. We can't relate, and comparisons are not possible.

We trump because we evolved by using our superior dexterity to subjugate all other life on the planet. We blind sided every other life form. If we think we want to cut the face off an elephant to get the tusks we can do it because our dexterity has made it possible. We do not know if other animals have similar thoughts but are unable to implement them. We just don't know.

That says a lot about us, but it says not much about other life forms.

If we extended empathy to all life that has the same hormonal household and central nervous system as us, and hence experiences things the same way, we could not treat other life forms the way we do. If we responded to the screams of agony issued by other life forms as result of our actions, we could not continue to survive the way we do. In order to subjugate all other life we had to become calloused to it. No empathy - so we rationalize that they are not like us. Like we did when capturing members of our own race to make them slaves, our own species but at the time less evolved. When it became evident that our slaves were the same as us, slavery was abandoned. If we recognized other life forms as having the same reactions as we do, we could not continue to treat animals inhumanely, empathy would kick in. It would ruin how we feed the ever growing population of humans., albeit it is entirely possible to do so in a humane way.

There is a disconnect between our instinct for survival of the species and our empathy. That is why you have opposing groups - animal welfare groups versus the status quo. Only when we manage to bridge that inconsistency will we be able to look rationally and logically at other animals.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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07-07-2014, 07:05 AM
RE: Non-human persons
I think the issue is not so much dolphins in captivity as much as the standard of living one can expect in captivity. I don't think dolphins should have "rights" in a legal sense, but I do support a more humane approach to how we handle them. Good on India.

On a related note, for those that have not been following it, the debate on orcas in captivity:

http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/kill.../seaworld/

The legal decisions against Sea World where motivated by concerns for safety, but the public out cry has a lot to do with animal welfare.
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07-07-2014, 07:13 AM
RE: Non-human persons
(07-07-2014 06:50 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(06-07-2014 11:50 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.

If you look at it from a broad evolutionary point of view, any life can and does evolve to take better advantage of it's environment. If you are a polar bear, evolution has concentrated on survival in the cold. Dexterity has not evolved because it wasn't necessary. That gives no clues as to what a polar bear thinks and how evolved those thoughts may be. Their thoughts are about their own environment and species and enemies of their species, because that is what their reality is. It is not the same as our reality. We can't relate, and comparisons are not possible.

We trump because we evolved by using our superior dexterity to subjugate all other life on the planet. We blind sided every other life form. If we think we want to cut the face off an elephant to get the tusks we can do it because our dexterity has made it possible. We do not know if other animals have similar thoughts but are unable to implement them. We just don't know.

That says a lot about us, but it says not much about other life forms.

If we extended empathy to all life that has the same hormonal household and central nervous system as us, and hence experiences things the same way, we could not treat other life forms the way we do. If we responded to the screams of agony issued by other life forms as result of our actions, we could not continue to survive the way we do. In order to subjugate all other life we had to become calloused to it. No empathy - so we rationalize that they are not like us. Like we did when capturing members of our own race to make them slaves, our own species but at the time less evolved. When it became evident that our slaves were the same as us, slavery was abandoned. If we recognized other life forms as having the same reactions as we do, we could not continue to treat animals inhumanely, empathy would kick in. It would ruin how we feed the ever growing population of humans., albeit it is entirely possible to do so in a humane way.

There is a disconnect between our instinct for survival of the species and our empathy. That is why you have opposing groups - animal welfare groups versus the status quo. Only when we manage to bridge that inconsistency will we be able to look rationally and logically at other animals.

Very well said, and I couldn't agree more.
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08-07-2014, 02:12 AM
RE: Non-human persons
I really do think that humans should start treating animals better (be it in zoos, on farms, or wherever) but the terminology "non-human person" leaves too much open to interpretation. I know the discussion points are about self-awareness and the like......but are robots ever going to qualify for this special status? If so, we're going to end up with a real life Futurama, where the artificially intelligent can own property and compete with humans for resources.

Idk. Tongue Maybe I'm just using too much of a slippery slope mentality.

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08-07-2014, 03:18 PM
RE: Non-human persons
(07-07-2014 06:50 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(06-07-2014 11:50 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.

If you look at it from a broad evolutionary point of view, any life can and does evolve to take better advantage of it's environment. If you are a polar bear, evolution has concentrated on survival in the cold. Dexterity has not evolved because it wasn't necessary. That gives no clues as to what a polar bear thinks and how evolved those thoughts may be. Their thoughts are about their own environment and species and enemies of their species, because that is what their reality is. It is not the same as our reality. We can't relate, and comparisons are not possible.

We trump because we evolved by using our superior dexterity to subjugate all other life on the planet. We blind sided every other life form. If we think we want to cut the face off an elephant to get the tusks we can do it because our dexterity has made it possible. We do not know if other animals have similar thoughts but are unable to implement them. We just don't know.

That says a lot about us, but it says not much about other life forms.

If we extended empathy to all life that has the same hormonal household and central nervous system as us, and hence experiences things the same way, we could not treat other life forms the way we do. If we responded to the screams of agony issued by other life forms as result of our actions, we could not continue to survive the way we do. In order to subjugate all other life we had to become calloused to it. No empathy - so we rationalize that they are not like us. Like we did when capturing members of our own race to make them slaves, our own species but at the time less evolved. When it became evident that our slaves were the same as us, slavery was abandoned. If we recognized other life forms as having the same reactions as we do, we could not continue to treat animals inhumanely, empathy would kick in. It would ruin how we feed the ever growing population of humans., albeit it is entirely possible to do so in a humane way.

There is a disconnect between our instinct for survival of the species and our empathy. That is why you have opposing groups - animal welfare groups versus the status quo. Only when we manage to bridge that inconsistency will we be able to look rationally and logically at other animals.

I understand the analysis you made, but I'm not sure what you concluded. Can you summarize it?

To summarize my first post:
1. Awareness and capability and potential for suffering in some animals is very easy to determine. They get humane rights automatically.
2. In other animals, it's harder to determine. We should work on those, and be cautious on the safe side. "Your lobster dinner is NOT worth potential torture of a sentient being."
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08-07-2014, 03:30 PM
RE: Non-human persons
(08-07-2014 03:18 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  
(07-07-2014 06:50 AM)Dom Wrote:  If you look at it from a broad evolutionary point of view, any life can and does evolve to take better advantage of it's environment. If you are a polar bear, evolution has concentrated on survival in the cold. Dexterity has not evolved because it wasn't necessary. That gives no clues as to what a polar bear thinks and how evolved those thoughts may be. Their thoughts are about their own environment and species and enemies of their species, because that is what their reality is. It is not the same as our reality. We can't relate, and comparisons are not possible.

We trump because we evolved by using our superior dexterity to subjugate all other life on the planet. We blind sided every other life form. If we think we want to cut the face off an elephant to get the tusks we can do it because our dexterity has made it possible. We do not know if other animals have similar thoughts but are unable to implement them. We just don't know.

That says a lot about us, but it says not much about other life forms.

If we extended empathy to all life that has the same hormonal household and central nervous system as us, and hence experiences things the same way, we could not treat other life forms the way we do. If we responded to the screams of agony issued by other life forms as result of our actions, we could not continue to survive the way we do. In order to subjugate all other life we had to become calloused to it. No empathy - so we rationalize that they are not like us. Like we did when capturing members of our own race to make them slaves, our own species but at the time less evolved. When it became evident that our slaves were the same as us, slavery was abandoned. If we recognized other life forms as having the same reactions as we do, we could not continue to treat animals inhumanely, empathy would kick in. It would ruin how we feed the ever growing population of humans., albeit it is entirely possible to do so in a humane way.

There is a disconnect between our instinct for survival of the species and our empathy. That is why you have opposing groups - animal welfare groups versus the status quo. Only when we manage to bridge that inconsistency will we be able to look rationally and logically at other animals.

I understand the analysis you made, but I'm not sure what you concluded. Can you summarize it?

To summarize my first post:
1. Awareness and capability and potential for suffering in some animals is very easy to determine. They get humane rights automatically.
2. In other animals, it's harder to determine. We should work on those, and be cautious on the safe side. "Your lobster dinner is NOT worth potential torture of a sentient being."

I did specify animals with a central nervous system similar to ours and a hormonal household similar to ours.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-07-2014, 03:34 PM (This post was last modified: 08-07-2014 03:38 PM by PoolBoyG.)
RE: Non-human persons
(08-07-2014 03:30 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(08-07-2014 03:18 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  I understand the analysis you made, but I'm not sure what you concluded. Can you summarize it?

To summarize my first post:
1. Awareness and capability and potential for suffering in some animals is very easy to determine. They get humane rights automatically.
2. In other animals, it's harder to determine. We should work on those, and be cautious on the safe side. "Your lobster dinner is NOT worth potential torture of a sentient being."

I did specify animals with a central nervous system similar to ours and a hormonal household similar to ours.

As long as it's taken into account that METHOD is not as important as OUTCOME. Different chemicals and structures can result in just as much awareness and pain.

(07-07-2014 06:13 AM)pablo628 Wrote:  
(06-07-2014 11:50 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  "Let's base it on species. So a dog who is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble gets less rights."
"Lets base it only ability and intelligence. Well, a dog is more capable and aware than an infant or feeble, so they get more rights."

Those are all terrible. It will not be difficult at all to determine who and what is aware and experiences suffering. Just because there are gray areas with some, doesn't mean you can condemn those in the black/white.

How aware and capable are they, and what is their potential in becoming more aware and capable.

Define awareness and capability, and the means to measure them across different species with accuracy.

I'll leave that to the biologists, zoologists, neurologists, psychologists, what have you. The "black and white" category I would imagine would be ones that are capable of crying, whimpering, shock and convulsion, depression, etc.
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20-07-2014, 03:59 AM
RE: Non-human persons
Quote:
India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided to forbid the keeping of captive dolphins for public entertainment anywhere in the country..... “Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” the ministry said.
The difference is that your dog or to a lesser extent an elephant can be kept in captivity without harm and living quite happily whereas large marine mammals most certainly cannot. As an animal who would naturally travel many hundreds of miles over just a few days are confined to a small area of way under one mile and exhibit many signs of stress, are likley (contrary to popular belief ) to have much shorter lives, and if what scientific evidence has shown to be true, are quite sentient beings that confined to a small area their entire lives and given only limited interaction with their own species, start to show dangerous behavior and so are put down.
Which is why it has been banned.
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