RE: sentient rights (was RE: Battleground God)

From: Richard Steven Hack (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 02:31:56 MST

At 08:46 AM 2/22/02 +1030, you wrote:

>Maybe I should rephrase my statement here... in terms of the process of
>transformation, of which humans and dogs are both part, in the past through
>natural selection, and in the future probably including more direct
>intervention, the dog is not so far from us after all. Evolutionarily, how
>far from dumb dog to sentient dog? Does that make an ethical difference to
>an SI? Should it make a difference to us?

You are correct in that humans are not very far from dogs. However, this
would have no "ethical" impact on an SI - it might however have a practical
impact since humans can be distinguished from animals based on their
capacity (if seldom utilized) of conceptual reasoning and
imagination. This distinction is why we also should not care about animal
rights. (Note: I do not advocate treating animals "cruelly" since I do not
believe in engaging in any pointless behavior.)

Richard Steven Hack

Checked by AVG anti-virus system (
Version: 6.0.324 / Virus Database: 181 - Release Date: 2/14/02

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Nov 01 2002 - 13:37:40 MST