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View Diary: Thoughts on "Non-Human Persons" (79 comments)

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  •  The abortion debate is the autonomy of women (0+ / 0-)

    to make decisions about their own bodies.  Forced Birthers simply deprecate the moral value of women into an involuntary storage medium for fetuses.

    And if it's okay for another person to kill and eat a sentient creature when they don't have to, why isn't it okay for them to do that to a human?  Why isn't it okay for them to raise humans specifically for slaughter, treating them well right up to the point where they do an Anton Chigurrh with an air tank?

    And, if we discover language in plants (Actually, I think we have), then we are in real trouble.  What do we eat, then?   Air?
    The word "language" in that story is just being used cavalierly - they're just saying that there are chemical stimulus-response actions observed in plants, not that there is symbolic meaning, syntax, or grammar involved.  There's no theoretical or observational basis on which to suppose plant intelligence.  None.

    And in the magically unlikely case there were, we would eat plants that don't exhibit it, and synthesize other nutritional requirements chemically.  That's ultimately going to be how we eat.

    In the end, the one thing that I am sure of, is that you don't get to make this decision for me.
    But you get to make it for the things you kill or buy, whose bodies you steal from them simply because you have the power to?
    •  arbitrary and subjective (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that the classification of "person" is an arbitrary classification.

      You make up a definition of "language", which we've already run into difficulties with.  You base an arbitrary  classification of "person" on this definition of language.  

      And, then, based on your classifications, you tell another person what they can and can't eat, because in your Bible, you think that what someone else is eating, something that humans have traditionally eaten for centuries, is suddenly a "person".    

      But, what another person doesn't subscribe to your religion of personhood?

      The question becomes, who gets to decide what the definitions are, what the classifications are, and what the "rights' are of these new types of "persons".    It's a huge political nasty mess, and at the end, someone is telling someone else what they can and can not eat, and many other rules, based on these arbitrary definitions, basically imposing their religion on others.

      At some point, our civilization may evolve to the point where we can converse easily with a species, and that might be the tipping point.  When your "food" answers you back, it might make a difference to attitudes towards other creatures.  Or, it might not.  There is a history of cannibalism, and of tribes that viewed other tribes and slaves as "non-human".  

      Creatures don't come with tattoo'ed labels, "Human" or "non-human".   What you are talking about is basically spirituality, a philosophical ideation about the nature of another creature.    

      To put it another way, the term "person" is subjective.  You cannot scientifically demonstrate that a creature is or is not a person.  Even using attributes like language, you still end up with a debate on what constitutes a language, and a debate that language should even be considered a deciding factor on what is and what is not a person.  

      The way to practice your spiritual beliefs is for you to practice them on yourself.  Not to impose them on someone else.  

      At some point, the majority of our society might join you, and then those who still don't agree will be a pissed off, vocal minority, who are angry that they are no longer allowed to eat bacon or hamburgers, but denied that right, none the less -- forced to keep Kosher when they aren't even Jews, so to speak.  And, they might rebel and start a civil war, or they might not.  

      It's a very messing thing when people impose their religious views on others.

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