Re: SOC/LAW: Chimp Rights

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 14:47:29 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>... I am hesitant to grant rights to persons
>who I cannot at the same time hold responsible for their
>actions, and for whom "consent" is an unclear notion at best.
>Of course this same argument applies to children as well, and I
>would grant children some minimal rights--such as the right not
>to be battered or mutilated--that our laws barely recognize now.

I think the law is more flexible than you may realize; it does
make quite a few distinctions based on such criteria.

>And doing so is not without cost: medical research on chimps
>has made real differences in all our lives.

I suppose it must have made some difference for some lives,
but I have doubts that it is much difference for most lives.
What evidence would you offer for this claim?

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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