Re: SOC/LAW: Chimp Rights

Date: Sat Feb 05 2000 - 05:23:45 MST

In a message dated 2/4/2000 5:49:20 PM EST, writes:

<< From a rationally selfish point of view, the reason I grant
 rights to people is that interacting with people in an environment
 of such rights generates advantages for me: specialization, trade,
 reciprocity, etc. I live a better life because I choose to support
 and work within a system of human rights. When short-term narrow
 circumstances change that dynamic--such as when I am being robbed
 at gunpoint--I would not hesitate to sacrifice another human life
 to save my own because that after all is my final goal: my life.
 It may be that I can accrue some benefits by supporting a system
 that grants some such rights to apes. I can't enumerate them, but
 nor can I rule them out. But unless I can justify this grant in
 selfish terms, I find it difficult to support rationally.
 Lee Daniel Crocker <> < >>

    I have a slightly different view of morality, but let's see if I can't
make an
argument for why it might be of benefit to you to support a society in which
the Great Apes have rights. If you grant that the Great Apes have features
that allow their classification as people, features which you share with
then if you do not grant those Great Apes rights, might not someone else
take away your rights should it prove convenient to them? This has happened
to humans many times in the past, and it has caused much sufferring. Of
course, in societies which countenance such actions, there is no guarantee
that you will be on the beneficiary side. Also, remember that strength as
as utility are relative things. This century you, by being a human, are in a
position of power, and humans are by and large the most useful species on
the planet. But who knows what might happen in the future? Suppose, for
example, that for biological IA adult humans are in some sort of biological
rut making IA very difficult, but by some quirk of evolution some adult
Great Apes are not. Then someone might uplift them to a greater level
then you know hold, and then what kind of society might they learn from the
old humans? Creating a society ahead of time where all persons are respected
and their rights honored gives protection to us all for those times when we
are weaker and in need of help.

Glen Finney

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