A. Barton Hinkle on Nonhuman Rights

Monkey typingWhy do people have rights in the first
place? Suppose future space exploration discovers a planet
populated by highly intelligent beings, with an exquisitely rich
culture dating back several millennia, who look not at all human.
Wouldn’t it make sense to recognize them as rights-bearing
creatures anyway? And wouldn’t that make more sense than
attributing human rights to mannequins—which look very much like
humans, but have no human capacities? A question like that might
seem too fanciful, writes A. Barton Hinkle. But from chimpanzees to
artificial intelligence, science is raising important questions
about just who, and what, has rights.

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/18/a-barton-hinkle-on-nonhuman-rights

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