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Are chimps 'people'? Do chimps deserve rights?
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The Final Dakar
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Dec 5, 2014, 03:28 PM
 
Interesting case went through an appeals court yesterday.
Why An Appeals Court Was Wrong To Say This Chimp Isn't A Person
the Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP) has been asking judges in the state of New York to grant several captive chimpanzees legal personhood status, thus ensuring their right to bodily liberty (the suits are seeking writs of habeas corpus) so that they may be moved to a sanctuary. The NRP says these chimps are deserving of legal protections because their cognitive, social and emotional capacities are similar to those of humans.
It's important to note that the judges did not challenge any of the scientific evidence presented by the team, which included affidavits filed by nine leading primatologists. The NRP's affidavits contend "that chimpanzees exhibit highly complex cognitive functions-such as autonomy, self-awareness, and self-determination, among others—similar to those possessed by human beings." The NRP team, led by Steven Wise, argues that Tommy should not be regarded as property but as a "complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned."

Instead, the judges claimed that legal rights arise from an abiding respect for individual liberty and self-determination. Rights are contingent upon responsibility, they say, and chimps can't have rights because they can't fulfill their social duties.
Unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions. In our view, it is this incapability to bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties that renders it inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights—such as the fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus—that have been afforded to human beings.
Some observers, including myself, see this as an extremely problematic reading of the law, especially considering that children and the mentally disabled are persons, yet they cannot "bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties."


In defense, the judges wrote:

To be sure, some humans are less able to bear legal duties or responsibilities than others. These differences do not alter our analysis, as it is undeniable that, collectively, human beings possess the unique ability to bear legal responsibility. Accordingly, nothing in this decision should be read as limiting the rights of human beings in the context of habeas corpus proceedings or otherwise.

It would appear that the judges ruled against Tommy simply because of his biological status as a chimpanzee.
---

Prosin says the judges rested their decision on whether or not someone is eligible for legal personhood on their species, so they're essentially saying that Tommy is not eligible for legal personhood status simply because he's a chimpanzee.

"We have contradictory case law in the state of New York which rules that your eligibility for personhood is not a question of biological or natural correspondence but one that must be a question of public policy," she says. "We were hoping that the court would make a public policy determination and use the great amount of scientific evidence that was submitted through our lawsuit to actually make the determination that Tommy is in fact a legal person."
Where law, philosophy, ethic, morals, and probably religion, collide.

The arguments on both sides are convincing (to me). I'm a little concerned people might shun what they could perceive as being right for more practical reasons, but I do think whether its 100 years or 1000, certain species will get expanded human-like rights.
     
reader50
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Dec 5, 2014, 07:16 PM
 
The government seems to be taking rights away more often than expanding them.

About chimps, I'd consider rights for them when they can communicate. Pass the Turing Test without special subject limits. Even if they lack appropriate vocal chords, they can use keyboards. Stephen Hawking hasn't let a speech impediment get in the way of communication, nor did Roger Ebert.

I've heard there are many people in Asia who lack spoken English skills, but are fluent in written English. Because the internet has historically been dominated by English. So if chimps have our cognitive and learning ability, why can't they post here, for example? The PWL would be a good place to start.
     
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Dec 5, 2014, 07:24 PM
 
Legal Personhood by species:

Human? Check!
Corporation? Check!
Chimp? Sucks to be you!

OAW
     
turtle777
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Dec 5, 2014, 11:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
So if chimps have our cognitive and learning ability, why can't they post here, for example? The PWL would be a good place to start.
I'm sure we've had our fair share of chimp-minded posts at 'NN.

-t
     
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Dec 6, 2014, 02:15 AM
 
Kevin wasn't all bad.
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Dec 6, 2014, 12:50 PM
 
Oh, no, I'm talking about some mods

-t
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Dec 7, 2014, 05:08 PM
 
I've thought some more about this and I believe they do, and the other great apes as well, maybe not to human levels but definitely above other animals. The same goes for whales and other marine mammals in order Cetacea.
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Dec 7, 2014, 10:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The government seems to be taking rights away more often than expanding them.

About chimps, I'd consider rights for them when they can communicate. Pass the Turing Test without special subject limits. Even if they lack appropriate vocal chords, they can use keyboards. Stephen Hawking hasn't let a speech impediment get in the way of communication, nor did Roger Ebert.

I've heard there are many people in Asia who lack spoken English skills, but are fluent in written English. Because the internet has historically been dominated by English. So if chimps have our cognitive and learning ability, why can't they post here, for example? The PWL would be a good place to start.
I think they already have
     
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Dec 8, 2014, 12:14 PM
 
Then next will be Dogs, Crows, Octopus, Dolphins, Elephants, Gorillas etc.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Dec 8, 2014, 12:44 PM
 
no, no, no, yes, no, yes
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 9, 2014, 11:26 AM
 
We already grant animals limited rights, correct? Animals raised for consumption have standards they must be kept in. We also condemn torture of animals.

To me it seems logical that an animal we might consider more complex than a housecat might get more rights.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
About chimps, I'd consider rights for them when they can communicate.
Don't we already communicate with several simians? That too, is a subject of some debate.
     
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Dec 9, 2014, 12:39 PM
 
I love chimps, but I don't see how they can't be granted extensive rights. Protection, yes. Rights? I just don't know.

Honestly, this is a mind-bending case.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 9, 2014, 12:47 PM
 
Arguably, the lawyers are trying to take a legal shortcut here.

Here's a question: How do you guys feel about captivity in general? We already see it's bad for animals in zoos. Is it a stretch to think more intelligent animals suffer from captivity? Is there a reason why we shouldn't condemn that like we do torture?
     
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Dec 9, 2014, 12:56 PM
 
Eliminate "traditional" cage zoos, What about "open habitat zoos aka wild life parks?.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 9, 2014, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Eliminate "traditional" cage zoos, What about "open habitat zoos aka wild life parks?.
I think it's a strong step in the right direction.
     
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Dec 9, 2014, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Arguably, the lawyers are trying to take a legal shortcut here.

Here's a question: How do you guys feel about captivity in general? We already see it's bad for animals in zoos. Is it a stretch to think more intelligent animals suffer from captivity? Is there a reason why we shouldn't condemn that like we do torture?
I was about to say it, then...

Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Eliminate "traditional" cage zoos, What about "open habitat zoos aka wild life parks?.
This.

I'm all for expansive refuges, especially when segmented to prevent predation on some of the more vulnerable and endangered species.

[EDIT]My wife and previously made a decision to no longer visit SeaWorld when we saw one of the orcas become belligerent during a show. Everyone in attendance could tell something was wrong because of the trainers rushing everywhere in a panic.

Then Blackfish was released, and it made our boycott concrete.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 9, 2014, 01:09 PM
 
I do wonder, though, how people will like the idea if it means that it will be inappropriate to keep certain animals. For instance, I don't see it being right to keep polar bears much further south than Canada.
     
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Dec 9, 2014, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I do wonder, though, how people will like the idea if it means that it will be inappropriate to keep certain animals. For instance, I don't see it being right to keep polar bears much further south than Canada.
I don't personally agree with it either.

However, I remember the polar bear at the Columbus Zoo was a massive superstar. I know people would probably recoil at the thought of him being taken elsewhere, but it was strange seeing him walk outside while I'm sweating in a t-shirt on the other side of the glass.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 9, 2014, 01:16 PM
 
Back to the OP, consider this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfQZDm4SLyo
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 22, 2014, 11:04 AM
 
How about Orangutans? Captive orangutan has human right to freedom, Argentine court rules | Reuters
An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday.
The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a "non-human person."

"This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories," the daily La Nacion newspaper quoted AFADA lawyer Paul Buompadre as saying.

Orangutan is a word from the Malay and Indonesian languages that means "forest man."
Interesting times ahead.
     
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Dec 22, 2014, 12:51 PM
 
They're a higher primate, a part of genus Hominidae, so I can see that.
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Dec 22, 2014, 01:00 PM
 
Chimps need better talent agents.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 22, 2014, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
They're a higher primate, a part of genus Hominidae, so I can see that.
Breaking out a scientific argument, I like!

wiki'd that, though, and I'm a little confused by your statement.
The Hominidae (/hɒˈmɪnɨdiː/; also known as great apes[notes 1]) form a taxonomic family of primates, including four extant genera: the chimpanzees (Pan) with 2 species; gorillas (Gorilla) with 2 species; humans (Homo) with 1 species; and orangutans (Pongo) with 2 species.
Chimps are Hominadae too.
     
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Dec 22, 2014, 01:09 PM
 
Rights of human society, and civilization, go with responsibilities, to follow laws, etc. So until the animals can communicate on that level to be part of society, giving them "rights" is ridiculous.

That doesn't mean that they, and their habitats, can't be PROTECTED, treated humanely, etc.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 22, 2014, 01:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Rights of human society, and civilization, go with responsibilities, to follow laws, etc. So until the animals can communicate on that level to be part of society, giving them "rights" is ridiculous.
Children have limited rights. I don't see why Primates can have limited rights as well (Certainly no one is advocating they should vote, etc.)

Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
That doesn't mean that they, and their habitats, can't be PROTECTED, treated humanely, etc.
But what about captivity? Experimentation?
     
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Dec 22, 2014, 03:03 PM
 
Speak for yourself. I'm all for giving them voting rights.

On the serious side, I don't see how experimentation is the slightest bit humane. No go.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 22, 2014, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Speak for yourself. I'm all for giving them voting rights.
Don't be surprised if we end up with a banana republic.
     
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Dec 22, 2014, 03:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Breaking out a scientific argument, I like!

wiki'd that, though, and I'm a little confused by your statement.


Chimps are Hominadae too.
I think any mammal within Hominidae deserves rights as an individual, granted "personhood" I guess you could say; orangutans, gorillas, chimps, and bonobo. Especially the bonobo, they're as socially evolved as humans, and a good deal more peaceful.
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subego
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Dec 22, 2014, 08:44 PM
 
That's the irony. Bonobos will never get rights because they won't use guns.
     
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Dec 22, 2014, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
That's the irony. Bonobos will never get rights because they won't use guns.
Make love, not war!
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Dec 23, 2014, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Make love, not war!
"I prefer to do both"
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Don't be surprised if we end up with a banana republic.
I probably enjoyed that more than I should've.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 23, 2014, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
I think any mammal within Hominidae deserves rights as an individual, granted "personhood" I guess you could say; orangutans, gorillas, chimps, and bonobo. Especially the bonobo, they're as socially evolved as humans, and a good deal more peaceful.
That's a rather progressive view. I'm not even there yet.

---


Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
I probably enjoyed that more than I should've.
I was proud of that more than I probably should have been.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That's a rather progressive view. I'm not even there yet.
There are too many humans running around who act worse than apes, and others who aren't much more intelligent (ex. people who suffer from Down's syndrome have full rights). To me it just appears to be a communication problem and they're too closely related to us for us to continue to ignore their suffering.


(I'm not slamming people with disabilities, I'm just looking at this practically.)
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 23, 2014, 02:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
(ex. people who suffer from Down's syndrome have full rights)
This has been a subject of some legal troubles, right? I know they have protections under the law, but I'm not sure about limitations.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 05:53 PM
 
Interesting phrase: Socially evolved.

Social creatures like ants communicate chemically. Politically its a dictatorship.

Crows raise their young and show them all the tricks they've known, some from info passed down from olders. They have extended families.

Octopus can learn from observation.

Cats and dogs have social structures too.

Perhaps looking closer at those creatures around you might give you a different perspective.

We have print, a good, detailed, "pass downable" document of thoughts, and technical info. You can include illustrations. We make complex tools. Not many hunt anymore. Not many do gathering either.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
There are too many humans running around who act worse than apes, and others who aren't much more intelligent (ex. people who suffer from Down's syndrome have full rights). To me it just appears to be a communication problem and they're too closely related to us for us to continue to ignore their suffering.


(I'm not slamming people with disabilities, I'm just looking at this practically.)
So, what do you do with a chimp who tears the face off someone? Perhaps keeping a barrier between them and us is a good idea. Gorillas display amazing tempers and shows of force/intimidation. I'd like some 1" steel bars between them and me.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 23, 2014, 06:00 PM
 
I will never understand how you think. Rights and barriers are two completely different issues.

Edit: "I'd like some 1" steel bars between them and me."
How about an entire ocean, instead?
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 06:01 PM
 
Was the chimp that tore off the womens's face off his meds?
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 06:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Not many [humans] hunt anymore. Not many do gathering either.
I agree on the hunting. However, shopping should count as gathering. You just have to pay for it, or be resourceful and sneaky.

Hunting for bargains on ebay would qualify as gathering rather than hunting (there's no resistance from the target). However, auctions should count as hunting.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 06:38 PM
 
Christmas shopping does feel kind of primal.

I think I'm comfortable with captivity, as long as it's humane and natural-feeling. I go to zoos, the good the zoos do (expose people to animals and their plights, educate) can counterbalance some of the downsides (even a nice habitat is not as big as nature). Someday the only places some animals will exist is in zoos.

Animal testing: for cosmetics purposes completely stupid and shallow. For cancer research... there, I don't know. The greater good?
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 07:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
So, what do you do with a chimp who tears the face off someone? Perhaps keeping a barrier between them and us is a good idea. Gorillas display amazing tempers and shows of force/intimidation. I'd like some 1" steel bars between them and me.
You leave them where they are in the first place. They don't belong in cages, especially not for our amusement. What we as a species have done to the other primates is nearly akin to genocide.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Dec 23, 2014, 09:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Was the chimp that tore off the womens's face off his meds?
What are you on about? Where are you guys living that Chimps and Gorillas even register as a concern? Please, stop being a conservative stereotype.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 09:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
For cancer research... there, I don't know. The greater good?
Pragmatically, yes. I don't know where the balance is, but the least we could do is reward former test animals with lives of comfort after their service (assuming they survive). Given how poorly we treat our veterans, though, that's a tall order.
     
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Dec 23, 2014, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
So, what do you do with a chimp who tears the face off someone? Perhaps keeping a barrier between them and us is a good idea. Gorillas display amazing tempers and shows of force/intimidation. I'd like some 1" steel bars between them and me.
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Was the chimp that tore off the womens's face off his meds?
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What are you on about? Where are you guys living that Chimps and Gorillas even register as a concern? Please, stop being a conservative stereotype.
Dude chill. I was asking about the Travis the chimp. It turns out in addition to meds for Lyme disiease, the owner was giving him Xanax. Is Xanax even approved to give to chimps?


Travis (chimpanzee) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On February 16, 2009, Travis attacked Sandra Herold's 55-year-old friend Charla Nash, inflicting devastating injuries to her face and limbs. Travis had left the house with the Herolds' car keys, and Nash came to help get the animal back in the house; upon seeing Nash, Travis immediately attacked her.[11] Travis was familiar with Nash, who had also worked at the Herolds' towing company, although Nash had a different hair style at the time of the attack.[22] The chimp had been taking medication for Lyme disease.[10] Herold, then 70 years old, attempted to stop Travis by hitting him with a shovel and stabbing him with a butcher knife. "For me to do something like that – put a knife in him – was like putting one in myself," Herold later said. The chimp turned around, she said, as if to say, "'Mom, what did you do?'"[10] The animal was angered more. Herold then called 9-1-1 and pleaded for help. Travis' screams can be heard in the background of the tape as Sandra pleads for police, who initially believed the call to be a hoax, until she started screaming, "He's eating her!"[17][23][24] Emergency medical services waited for police before approaching the house. Travis walked up to the police car when it arrived, tried to open a locked passenger door, and smashed a side-view mirror. Then he went calmly around to the driver's-side door and opened it, at which point Officer Frank Chiafari shot him several times. Travis retreated to the house, where he was found dead next to his cage.[11]
Toxicology reports confirmed Sandra's statement that she had given Travis Xanax-laced tea the day of the attack, which could have exacerbated his aggression.[35][36] Xanax (Alprazolam) is a short acting potent anti-anxiety drug that can cause disinhibition and disorientation and occasionally paradoxical reactions of hallucination, aggression, rage and mania.[citation needed]
     
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Dec 24, 2014, 01:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Dude chill. I was asking about the Travis the chimp. It turns out in addition to meds for Lyme disiease, the owner was giving him Xanax. Is Xanax even approved to give to chimps?


Travis (chimpanzee) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
While I can't speak WRT approval, my understanding is Xanax works as a depressant on any mammalian CNS.

One can also presume it also has the same possibility of paradoxical reactions with other mammals as well.
     
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Dec 24, 2014, 08:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
What are you on about? Where are you guys living that Chimps and Gorillas even register as a concern? Please, stop being a conservative stereotype.
Oh, reading lots of news articles makes one a conservative.
     
And.reg
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Dec 24, 2014, 08:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Interesting case went through an appeals court yesterday.
Why An Appeals Court Was Wrong To Say This Chimp Isn't A Person
I guess that's what happens when you watch too much Planet of the Apes.


It's not rocket science, people, it's biology. Humans (people) and chimps (obviously not people) have differing tribes, genus, and species.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Dec 25, 2014, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by And.reg View Post
I guess that's what happens when you watch too much Planet of the Apes.


It's not rocket science, people, it's biology. Humans (people) and chimps (obviously not people) have differing tribes, genus, and species.
"They aren't like us, we're smarter and more evolved, thus we must subjugate our "inferior" cousins and use them for whatever purpose we see fit." If we ever do run into ETs, we'd better hope they're more morally advanced than we are, because, if not...
"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
Chongo
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Dec 25, 2014, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
"They aren't like us, we're smarter and more evolved, thus we must subjugate our "inferior" cousins and use them for whatever purpose we see fit." If we ever do run into ETs, we'd better hope they're more morally advanced than we are, because, if not...
yep
     
 
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