OpinionDolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons'. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece
      – Lee J Haywood, 2010-01-03 at 23:59:53   (7 comments)

On 2010-01-04 at 00:00:34, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The article is somewhat dubious, but at some point we're going to have to deal with the implications of not just animals being smart but us actually manipulating them to be smarter.
On 2010-01-04 at 04:17:43, BorgClown wrote...
LOL @ non-human persons, who do they hire to come up with these silly names?
On 2010-01-04 at 04:18:43, BorgClown wrote...
Why not call dolphins "sentient beings"? Too corny?
On 2010-01-04 at 16:31:58, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Do you not remember the holographic doctor being granted the legal status of a 'person' to allow him to claim ownership of a fictional work he'd created? Clearly holograms and dolphins aren't humans, but they could be granted personage - something that only applies to human beings at present.
On 2010-01-05 at 04:59:29, BorgClown wrote...
I'd be more happy if the "person" term was expanded to include all self-conscious beings with a complex language. That would grant automatic personage to all of them. But what would they do with it anyway? Would we have to take care of them?
On 2010-01-05 at 23:30:19, Melchior wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: What's this doctor thing about? @BorgClown: I suppose we would have a legal obligation to take care of them, but realistically it couldn't be policed. You can't check if a boat is fishing dolphins by mistake.
On 2010-01-06 at 00:02:33, Lee J Haywood wrote...
We don't really have to worry about it as much now, but I certainly see non-human animals and AIs (and possibly extraterrestrials) having to be granted broadly equivalent rights to humans. The Times article is somewhat utopian given that many people in the world don't give a damn about animal welfare. As I've said before, when you've got an ape/monkey talking good English and arguing for itself then you've got to rethink the idea of it being mere 'property'. @Melchior: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Author,_Author_(episode)