sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Emlyn O'regan (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 17:36:48 MST

Anders wrote:
> Overall, an enjoyable little website. There should really be
> more sites
> like this for other questions (right now I'm reading a book about the
> animal rights movement, and it has some interesting examples of how
> tricky the issue of deciding what beings have rights and on what basis
> is; it would probably make a good "battleground ethics" setup).

How bizzarre... I am reading "Animal Liberation" by Peter Singer at the
moment. Same issues. Same book?

I think that the ethical questions raised have are very strong in the
context of transhumanism, moreso than other philosophies, in that we support
morphological freedom, and thus must regard where we are now (human) as t(i)
(where i is some positive integer) in an iterative process. This implies far
less weight given to current qualities of humanity in determining who is
covered by concepts such as the Principle of Equality... any criteria based
on current human abilities must look entirely arbitrary. Thus with respect
to beings with below human levels of intelligence, which are otherwise
rather similar to us (eg: mammals), it is difficult to see where lines could
rightly be drawn to grant us rights but deny the same to them. After all, in
a context where we are talking about becoming SIs, etc, the difference
between a human and, say, a dog, is negligable.



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