Re: sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Richard Steven Hack (
Date: Wed Feb 20 2002 - 22:04:56 MST

At 11:06 AM 2/21/02 +1030, you wrote:

>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.

Simple. Human do not have rights - and therefore animals have none as
well. I find rights to be a redundant and effectively useless
concept. The human race exists in Darwinian competition with itself and
all other species. Within itself, this need not be the case, but because
of human stupidity, ignorance, irrationality, maliciousness and fear -
characteristics I find more defining of the species than Ayn Rand's
"rationality" - they have in fact made this the case. A Transhumanist
should accept this and act accordingly. Do not rely on social fictions to
protect you or anything else.

Richard Steven Hack

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