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Are chimps 'people'? Do chimps deserve rights? (Page 3)
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Feb 3, 2015, 01:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Trying to use human children as a guide for how lower animals' "rights" or protections should be handled is inappropriate IMO. Whether there are apes who are developed enough to think or not, or whether they deserve some kind of special protection or not...they are not human and they are not simply less developed little versions of us. They are altogether different and any discussion of this kinds needs to consider the actual nature of the actual animal and nothing more.

Also, to reiterate, children are a still developing version of a higher species. THAT is why their rights protected by proxy. This is not analogous to an lower animal that by its own nature cannot and will never be able to grasp its the concept of its own "rights".

IMO.
Oh, but they can, it isn't difficult to teach most apes how to communicate via sign language and pictagrams, some have developed vocabularies that rival the size of 6-7 year-old humans, and can easily tell you what they need and even how they feel. Specifically, I'd say that bonobo are either self-aware or right on the verge of it. As fellow primates, smarter primates, the responsibility of allowing them to continue to grow and develop, as a species and a society, is upon us. They don't need or want our intervention in that process, what they need is to be left alone and for us to stop tampering with them. Our great hubris as a species is the belief that we own this world and everything on it, that we can just do whatever we want with all parts of it as we see fit, and quite frankly, we don't.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Feb 5, 2015, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Does this include the unborn?
"This" being the irrelevance of self-representation? Yes absolutely. I don't recall anyone ever trying to decide the abortion issue based on self-representation vs third-party-representation. Do you?
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Feb 5, 2015, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Trying to use human children as a guide for how lower animals' "rights" or protections should be handled is inappropriate IMO.
I agree, but I draw your attention to the difference between "should" and "could." The question Snow-i raised was "even if we wanted to, how is it feasible?" It should be possible to discuss feasibility independently from desirability.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Feb 5, 2015, 12:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Very good point, however we still assign guardians and legal representation for those individuals to "make up" for their inability to recognize and invoke their rights - my question is what is the analogue for an animal plaintiff, defendant or even witness?

Would we do the same for individual animals by assigning them a guardian/lawyer?
It would be just as impractical to assign a lawyer to every human child, which is why we don’t. It only happens on an as-needed basis. Most children never need any lawyer, and most apes wouldn’t either.


I’m not sure we'd have to make them all universal - but how would we enforce them? What rights would we bestow upon the animal world that we could uphold using our existing judicial and legislative framework?

I guess I'm more interested in how exactly we would apply this to the animal world. Children can still testify and be questioned for legal proceedings. How do we apply this to the animal world?
I don’t see what’s so complicated about it. If it were illegal for human to kill ape or ape to kill human, then if such were to happen there would be a trial and the guilty would face their respective punishment.


Technically speaking, there is no right to be alive (at least in the US).
Technicalities of the law are irrelevant to a discussion of the appropriateness of updating that very same law. The moral principles which guided us to enact laws forbidding murder still continue to influence us. If through new knowledge, understanding, or even spiritual awakening we decide that our current legal apparatus is an insufficient portrayal of our society’s morals, then we update the laws to grant rights to certain groups who never enjoyed formal protections before. It’s happened before and it can happen again.


This is why, IMO, the whole idea of giving "rights" to animals would be moot, as they have no laws to abide by and therefore no rights to exercise in the face of those laws.
I would argue the opposite. If you’re claiming that we can’t give rights without also giving punishment, and (bafflingly) that we can’t give punishment, then I have to question whether you have tried to pay attention to what we give apes currently. Punishment is the ONLY thing we give apes. They are long overdue for rights, if that is the connection you are drawing. We most certainly do have the capacity to punish an individual ape for harming an innocent human victim, if that were to happen. But as cap’n tightpants tirelessly points out, apes are unlikely to even encounter a human, much less harm one, if humans are obliged to stop interfering of their own initiative.
     
Doc HM
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Feb 5, 2015, 01:56 PM
 
Is it the chimps similarity to humans and ease of anthropomorphising them that gives rise to the desire to grant them rights or their intelligence and society. If so I guess dolphins and whales should have them as well?
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 5, 2015, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Is it the chimps similarity to humans and ease of anthropomorphising them that gives rise to the desire to grant them rights or their intelligence and society.
Yes

Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
If so I guess dolphins and whales should have them as well?
Probably, though I'm curious what rights you refer to specifically
     
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Feb 5, 2015, 03:06 PM
 
Monkey Deaths Spur Anger Over Primate Research at Colleges - Bloomberg Business

In April, the USDA found that the majority of monkeys at Oregon were suffering abnormal hair loss, potentially caused by psychological factors. In a November report, the USDA reprimanded Washington officials for the deaths of three infant monkeys, who were attacked by older male primates this year.
Three monkeys have died under Washington's supervision in the past three years, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Activist group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! says an additional four monkeys have died since 2012, according to documents they obtained through a public record request.
Animal rights groups say the centers mistreat animals, citing the example of “A11049,” a four-year-old rhesus macaque at UW’s center who in 2013 began to repeatedly injure himself, going so far as to chew off his own finger, and was euthanized by veterinarians after that behavior continued for a month. Michael Budkie, the president of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, says that self-harm may be a consequence of the small cages in which the animals are kept.
First off, whether experimentation on animals is ok is a whole 'nother can of worms I'm not trying to open here. Next, it's obvious that there's some speculation going on here. Issues stemming from psychological trauma is not a proven conclusion. However, the situation does not lend itself (or seem concerned with) proving the cause definitively.

My stance is I am not opposed to treating experiment subjects in a more 'humane' manner. To define 'humane' more concretely, let's aim to treat these animals more like prisoners in our justice system than cattle waiting for the slaughter.

But perhaps I am being too soft here.
     
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Feb 5, 2015, 06:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Yes

Probably, though I'm curious what rights you refer to specifically
I'm not sure if I agree with the idea of rights in the human sense for any animals, for many of the reasons discussed previously, but mainly because rights as generally considered would be a human construct with I suspect very little meaning to any animal species. I'm not at all sure that animal thought processes are directly analogous to human.

However, as with every philosophical discussion it comes down to semantics and I do feel that you can usefully define some rights that can be thought of as "applied rights" that involve no const or understanding on the part of the rights holder, i.e. higher animals should have the right not to be hunted and killed, while all animals have the right to be treated humanely and with considerations and if used for human benefit (i.e. farmed) in such a way that minimises suffering. Are these rights? It'd all in the definition of rights.
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Snow-i
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Feb 6, 2015, 01:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
It would be just as impractical to assign a lawyer to every human child, which is why we don’t. It only happens on an as-needed basis. Most children never need any lawyer, and most apes wouldn’t either.
"Most" not "all implying that "some" would infact retain legal representation?


I don’t see what’s so complicated about it. If it were illegal for human to kill ape or ape to kill human, then if such were to happen there would be a trial and the guilty would face their respective punishment.
Administered how? A trial and sentencing?

This is what I'm trying to get at. What would that trial for an ape killing a man look like?


Technicalities of the law are irrelevant to a discussion of the appropriateness of updating that very same law.
It isn't a technicality so much as a foundation for legal doctrine. It is an underlying "logic" that all of our criminal laws follow. To update this law, especially to include animals, would be no small matter.
The moral principles which guided us to enact laws forbidding murder still continue to influence us. If through new knowledge, understanding, or even spiritual awakening we decide that our current legal apparatus is an insufficient portrayal of our society’s morals, then we update the laws to grant rights to certain groups who never enjoyed formal protections before. It’s happened before and it can happen again.
I guess I'm asking for specifics here, because it seems wildly impractical based on how we run things today. In order to give em rights, we have to set up judicial infrastructure to uphold their rights/punish those who violate the laws we will have to set up for them.


I would argue the opposite. If you’re claiming that we can’t give rights without also giving punishment,
No, I'm not claiming that we can't, i'm claiming that by definition you wouldn't have rights without criminal laws.
and (bafflingly) that we can’t give punishment,
How is this baffling? Rights don't exist in a vacuum. they exist to tell the government what laws they can and can't make. If we don't have laws or a government for apes, just what are their rights going to be? Give me an example of a right an ape would have and what would happen, specifically, if that apes "right" were violated by a human, or another ape.

then I have to question whether you have tried to pay attention to what we give apes currently.
From a legal perspective? Protection. That's it.

Punishment is the ONLY thing we give apes.
What punishment?
They are long overdue for rights, if that is the connection you are drawing.
They need laws and a government before they can have rights. Are you sure your not saying we should give them more protections?

We most certainly do have the capacity to punish an individual ape for harming an innocent human victim, if that were to happen.
What about if it harms another ape? We just gonna sit by and let that other ape's rights get violated?

I don't think what you're trying to advocate here is rights for apes. It sounds like your advocating for legal protections for individual apes from the actions of human in humans' current legal system(s), which IMO is a worthy discussion. But you aren't making the case to actually give them "rights" as humans enjoy them.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 6, 2015, 01:49 PM
 
I'm reminded of the concept of natural rights.

Legal rights are those bestowed onto a person by a given legal system. Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable
I think the overarching point of these cases is whether freedom is an inalienable right for hominine.

Is what I'm saying making sense?
     
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Feb 6, 2015, 03:18 PM
 
Now you captured my interest - Inalienable rights for hominidaes and up, which includes Pan, Homo and Gorilla.

But what about delphinidae, or other intelligent life forms? Should we just come up with an IQ test to judge?
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 6, 2015, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
But what about delphinidae, or other intelligent life forms? Should we just come up with an IQ test to judge?
I'm acknowledging our difficulty to empathize with less similar life, our lack of agreement on what constitutes 'intelligent' (and again, likely hominid bias), and our lack of developed manner on which to test that intelligence.
     
osiris
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Feb 6, 2015, 03:51 PM
 
How about aptitude tests - any species can participate. Complex food puzzles ( you need to figure out how to get the reward of food).

I've seen crows in Japan complete puzzles that the average 4 year old would fail. And in some cases, many adults as well lol
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 6, 2015, 03:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
I've seen crows in Japan complete puzzles that the average 4 year old would fail. And in some cases, many adults as well lol
Avian bias.
     
osiris
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Feb 6, 2015, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Avian bias.
I know, I'm a racist.
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Uncle Skeleton
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Feb 7, 2015, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I don't think what you're trying to advocate here is rights for apes. It sounds like your advocating for legal protections for individual apes from the actions of human in humans' current legal system(s), which IMO is a worthy discussion. But you aren't making the case to actually give them "rights" as humans enjoy them.
If the OP had used the word "protections" or "right to protections" instead of merely "rights," you would agree with him? I'm not too interested in this issue if it is only one of semantics.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Feb 7, 2015, 04:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
If the OP had used the word "protections" or "right to protections" instead of merely "rights," you would agree with him? I'm not too interested in this issue if it is only one of semantics.
Thank you. I highlighted that earlier as well.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Feb 7, 2015, 06:15 PM
 
I'm thinking basic rights, largely the right to life, freedom, and to be left the **** alone.
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Feb 8, 2015, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
If the OP had used the word "protections" or "right to protections" instead of merely "rights," you would agree with him? I'm not too interested in this issue if it is only one of semantics.
Absolutely.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is what "rights" or "rights to protection" would look like in the real world today. The semantical argument, from my view, is only to determine the process and application of whatever legal doctrine we adopt in order to conserve our environment, if any.

Would the "right to protection" be only for human interference? Would we apply these protections to individual animals or treat them as a collective? Would we then prosecute violating humans? And if so, would we then also prosecute violating animals (such as invasive species or cannibalistic individuals)?

I'm just interested in what exactly the application of our efforts would look like, and how we could come up with a system today that is practical, and I felt it was prudent to get our definitions locked down first. Apologies if I sound overly nit-picky.
     
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Mar 1, 2015, 09:25 AM
 
Wow, this thread went to a decent place after I dropped it. Good discussions and points, folks.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Apr 21, 2015, 09:55 AM
 
A New York Judge Has Granted Legal Person Rights To Chimpanzees
For the first time in U.S. history, a supreme court has granted a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of two lab chimpanzees, effectively recognizing them as legal persons. While the future of the chimps has not yet been decided, it’s a huge step forward in establishing personhood status for highly sapient animals.
The judge may merely want more information to make a decision on the legal personhood claim, and may have ordered a hearing simply as a vehicle for hearing out both parties in more depth. These kinds of claims are new terrain for judges, and we should be cautious about drawing conclusions as to judicial intent based on the format used to schedule hearings.

My understanding is that in the other two chimpanzee cases filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project the judges entertained hearings before dismissing the cases. I am not aware of the judge handling the present case involving Hercules and Leo having a hearing thus far. The order filed today schedules a hearing and allows the opposing parties to file answering affidavits before the hearing. It would be quite surprising if the judge intended to make a momentous substantive finding that chimpanzees are legal persons if the judge has not yet heard the other side’s arguments.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 31, 2015, 02:58 PM
 
They lost.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/ny...-2-chimps.html
But while Justice Jaffe took the case seriously — her 33-page decision cited the long history of habeas corpus and included references to discrimination against women and African-American slaves — she could not quite see Hercules and Leo as people in the eyes of the law.

“For the purpose of establishing rights, the law presently categorizes entities in a simple, binary, ‘all or nothing,’ fashion,” the justice wrote, noting: “Persons have rights, duties, and obligations. Things do not.”

“Animals, including chimpanzees and other highly intelligent mammals, are considered property under the law,” she continued. “They are accorded no legal rights,” beyond being free from mistreatment or abuse.

And while she said such definitions could evolve, she also said her decision was bound by a 2014 state appellate court decision finding that chimps were not legal people because of “a chimpanzee’s inability to take on duties or responsibilities” of adult humans (such as voting, jury duty or paying rent).
The Nonhuman Rights Project’s president, Steven M. Wise, also called Justice Jaffe’s decision “thoughtful and comprehensive,” but said that the organization would appeal. The group also seemed cheered by the sentiment in Justice Jaffe’s conclusion, which noted that similarities between chimpanzees and humans — who share most of the same DNA — inspire “the empathy felt for a beloved pet.”

“Efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are thus understandable; some day they may even succeed,” Justice Jaffe wrote. “Courts, however, are slow to embrace change.”
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jul 31, 2015, 10:06 PM
 
chimps were not legal people because of “a chimpanzee’s inability to take on duties or responsibilities” of adult humans
Good to know, now we can just strip the rights from humans with disabilities that keep them from taking on "duties or responsibilities". Same goes for young children. Non-human higher primates are more sentient and self-aware than 9% of humanity (counting individuals with severe cognitive disabilities and kids under the age of 4) yet we can't legally recognize that they should be afforded more rights to dignity than a common goldfish. Sorry, but that's ****ed up.

Edit: Should we call them "people", perhaps not, but they are individuals and should be respected and have basic rights as such.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 4, 2015, 10:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Good to know, now we can just strip the rights from humans with disabilities that keep them from taking on "duties or responsibilities". Same goes for young children. Non-human higher primates are more sentient and self-aware than 9% of humanity (counting individuals with severe cognitive disabilities and kids under the age of 4) yet we can't legally recognize that they should be afforded more rights to dignity than a common goldfish. Sorry, but that's ****ed up.

Edit: Should we call them "people", perhaps not, but they are individuals and should be respected and have basic rights as such.
I do wonder how much is phrasing. Would people be opposed to giving them 'protections' as close relatives to human kind?

I also realized there was an interesting cross-section between this case and criminal justice. Arguably, some of this chimps were being held in what constitutes solitary confinement, which is currently looking to be a frowned upon method of locking up human beings.
     
 
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