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  1. #1
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    Animal Rights

    Chimps may gain limited "person" status in Austria.

    Ok, fine by me, so long as you don't call him a "person." He's a chimp!

    My cat came across to me as a person, and I was very griefed the day she died (and for a while afterwards). No one can tell me she didn't have a personality, didn't get vexed at times, or hold grudges, attempt to manipulate, or communicate (purring, body language, and touch), or that she wasn't clevel enough to get what she wanted. I witnessed every human trait in her except two: higher thought and language.

    While I would endorse any legislation towards protecting the rights of some animals (pets, chimps, etc.), I have to draw a line somewhere, as I am, as nature intended me, a meat-eater, and I'm a fan (to the detriment of my waistline) of Burger King.

    I dunno - thoughts?

  2. #2
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: no unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nothing further than that. Chimps are animals, not people. Thus, the rule applies. Thus, no rights can be extended to them.

    No exceptions.

    Frankly, I'd have no problem with this chimp being turned into hamburgers, if it were done humanely - or, at least as humanely as possible.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: no unnecessary cruelty to animals. Nothing further than that. Chimps are animals, not people.
    I'm not disagreeing with you; I also wouldn't have a particular problem with chimp burgers. But I think you should say: "Chimps are animals, but not people." Because people are also a kind of animal.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    While I would endorse any legislation towards protecting the rights of some animals (pets, chimps, etc.), I have to draw a line somewhere, as I am, as nature intended me, a meat-eater, and I'm a fan (to the detriment of my waistline) of Burger King.

    I dunno - thoughts?
    I agree. Bit even if you take opinion out of the story, the entire premise breaks down.

    They want legal status so that money can be donated to take care of him the rest of his life.
    Legally, money can only be donated to a living person.

    So; If they get their wish, who is going to cash the checks, go buy chimp chow, invest the extra, etc. I would bet it is a currently defined human being. So; how about donating to that human being as a guardian?

    I don't know what the details and legalities are, but this is what I get from the article.

    I think the real story is that they (animal rights activists) are trying to get thier 15 minutes (again).

  5. #5
    Frankly, their plan is impossible, which I think is what you are touching on. Here it is in brief:

    Chimps is declared a person.
    Donations are made to chimp.
    A third party spends that money.

    But it's the chimp's money - only he can spend it, right?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    Frankly, their plan is impossible, which I think is what you are touching on.
    Thank you. I'm not always clear with my thoughts.

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    I think it is an 'Andy Warhol' to make money for the lawyers and animal rights group.
    How much is this case costing?
    Would the money be better spent on the monkeys?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinemarten View Post
    How much is this case costing?
    Would the money be better spent on the monkeys?
    Will you please stop bringing logic into these discussions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Will you please stop bringing logic into these discussions?
    Sorry.
    I bought a new calculator and it doesn't have the apples/oranges button.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    I witnessed every human trait in her except two: higher thought and language.
    Perhaps, it is other way around, and you have witnessed every animal trait in humans

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    I'm a dreamer. I'm all for any entity being declared a 'person' with legal rights. However, there's a catch. The entity/group has to prove themselves - that means; abstract and rational thought.

    Ability to communicate won't cut it - as has been mentioned above.
    Being cute won't cut it (ergo, no rabbits - except Bun-bun)

    This is a stunt by the bleeding hearts to A) keep the chimps where they are, B) prevent them from being put down, and C) open the door to declaring every other creature on the planet 'human'.

    Nothing would please me more than to share the planet with another rational species, but this isn't the way to go about it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    The entity/group has to prove themselves - that means; abstract and rational thought.
    Any arguments as to why this entity must have rights, except that you feel like you dont mind?

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    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Chimps have been shown to be capable of communication more than once. Especially if you include communication among the group.

    Yeah, I'm all about the trust fund for chimps if someone wants to leave them money. But except on a certain Mastercard commercial, your average non-human animal is not able to buy things in stores.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Not so fast there Doodler. Rights are only available for people who agree to recognize and abide by the rights of others. Kids don't have full rights because they aren't at that level of intellect yet. Criminals don't have full rights because they refuse to abide by others having rights - like to their own property and their lives.

    Cats might have personalities like most people and all dogs, but that doesn't mean they are willing to abide by and recognize that birds and mice have a right to life. Actually, I am still affected by the old scifi movie - incredible shrinking man - and I firmly expect that if you suddenly became a mere mouthful in size to your tabby cat - you'd be lunch too.

    As for protection under the law from cruel and unusual treatment, animals have enjoyed that for quite some time now. It's not the same thing as rights and is a prohibition upon man's action - as it cannot be applied to non lawabiding cats carting half dead mice around in their mouths to show off to others.

    It would seem that it would be nice to be able to give money to someone else for the expressed purpose of caring for a beloved critter. And that is doubtlessly possible by contract - even to the point of putting constraints on just how much the care taker can spend on haircuts and new clothes so as to be visually appealing to the critter (LOL) or whatever else the person responsible for dispensing the money might decide is in the best interest of the critter - like a new car to be driven to the vet every year in.

    Even with a communicating critter such as supposedly exists here and there in the monkey community, it's doubtful they would have the understanding and maturity to be able to actually be treated as an adult. Heck, there's quite a few humans around that don't make that cut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbacba View Post
    Even with a communicating critter such as supposedly exists here and there in the monkey community, it's doubtful they would have the understanding and maturity to be able to actually be treated as an adult. Heck, there's quite a few humans around that don't make that cut.
    So, no rights for another species unless they acknowledge the human concept of social contract?

    How arrogant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    So, no rights for another species unless they acknowledge the human concept of social contract?

    How arrogant.
    Your darned straight on that one. It cannot be any other way because it's our society and if these critters are going to live as we do in our society - they've got to fit in or they cannot be allowed in. Even if a human doesn't go by the rules of our society - they are either killed or jailed. You cannot extend rights to those or that which does not recognize and abide by those rights. Establishing a law protecting a critter from being hunting or from abuse (or whatever) is however not giving them or acknowledging that they have rights.

    A little closer to home, same thing goes for radical islamicists. They don't have the right to live here and obey their interpretation of sharia law instead of our law. They don't have the right to go decapitate us infidels for the fun of it. They don't have the right to beat their wives as they wish here. They have to live under our laws. If you want to go to their territory, then you are subject to their laws and if you want to go to the jungle, you're subject to the law of the jungle.

    Just remember, a lot of them critters consider they have a right to kill and eat you for lunch and a right to pull your limbs off to see what sort of noise you'll make when they do. And, in their world, you have the same rights to do so to them. Personally, I prefer to stick to our societal rules.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbacba View Post
    <snip>
    Rights are only available for people who agree to recognize and abide by the rights of others. Kids don't have full rights because they aren't at that level of intellect yet. Criminals don't have full rights because they refuse to abide by others having rights - like to their own property and their lives.
    Wow, I really like that explanation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodler View Post
    Show me a chimp capable of communication, and you've got me sold. Otherwise, just a monkey with a lotta potential.
    Most animals (including chimps) are capable of communication. Bees and ants communicate.

    Perhaps you're talking about a higher form of communication, such as speech? But then one could argue what's the essential difference between speech and other forms of communication. Dolphins speak with known symbols and a syntax, and they respond to one another's speach. Dolphin divers working for the Navy have been taught to do remarkable things, including locating downed submarines or dangerous weapons, and attaching things to them, as well as receive certain communications from their handlers.

  20. #20
    Where do things stand? Do I have to give up chimp burgers?

  21. #21
    Listen, as soon as the chimp complains that he has no rights, I'll give him some. Until then, time to eat. Mmm... chimp...

  22. #22
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    Please
    I'm not demanding rights for any creature - unless it's .. well, Supreme Pizza... er... Canuck said it better. When an entity asks for rights, I'll consider granting them. Note, asking for these rights doesn't necessitate a document signed and witnessed by fourtyleven Supreme Court Justices and a meat packer from Green Bay. If little green men swoop down from the sky - for whatever reason - by definition the request has been made and granted. They don't have to have the same philosophy we do - even if they see us as food, they're entitled to rights. (granted, that would be awkward)..

    What I DID say was that I'd like for there to be an entity / population suitable for the question (though I did say it differently). But my wishes don't change the fact that A) animals don't have rights, B) Chimps are animals.

    Doodler, as the lovely Gillian pointed out, Chimps DO communicate - and can express relatively abstract concepts (same as gorillas). Dogs can learn what a command (verbal or physical) means, but they can't teach what they know to other dogs (that I know of). Chimps and gorillas can, and do. Teach one sign language, and they frequently teach it to others in the group. I have yet to hear of a dog calling any body a "S*** head", but Koko, the Gorilla, does. That's pretty abstract, when you get down to it.

    As I recall, Koko also kept a pet - something NO other animal has done, to my knowledge. She didn't see the cat as a baby gorilla.. she saw it as a cat. and she mourned when the cat died.

    In my opinion, these primates have proven they are much closer to us than is commonly thought even amongst biologists and geneticists...

    Sentient? yeah.. intelligent, yes.

    But grant them "human" status? No way. In order to be human, you have to be capable of acting human - and that includes our concept of social contracts., as mentioned above.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    I'm not demanding rights for any creature... When an entity asks for rights, I'll consider granting them.
    It's about time to note that chimps/creatures never asked for rights. They can't, and don't, know what a "right" is. But they can ask for banana, I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    If little green men swoop down from the sky - for whatever reason - by definition the request has been made and granted.
    What definition is that? Because it makes totally no sense to me
    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    even if they see us as food, they're entitled to rights.
    Haven't I asked "why"? I think I did. In my last post above.
    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    In order to be human, you have to be capable of acting human - and that includes our concept of social contracts., as mentioned above.
    Are you saying, or better are you trying to say, that anything that acts like a human, is a human?

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    Quote Originally Posted by please View Post
    It's about time to note that chimps/creatures never asked for rights. They can't, and don't, know what a "right" is. But they can ask for banana, I think
    I'm sorry - I really don't understand the point here.

    .What definition is that? Because it makes totally no sense to me
    By definition, any complex species that has the intelligence to cross the void between the stars is at least human. I don't have to like them. I don't have to befriend them. But they do have certain basic rights - the same ones I'd acknowledge for any other human.

    Haven't I asked "why"? I think I did. In my last post above.
    Every person has basic rights - John Gacey had rights. Jeffrey Dahmer had rights. Saddam Hussein had rights. No matter my opinion of them as individuals (or groups), they have rights. It's inherent in being a person.

    Are you saying, or better are you trying to say, that anything that acts like a human, is a human?
    Close, I suppose. It might be better to say that "Any self-directed entity that demands we acknowledge its rights is a person" 'Human', might say, in the legal sense, if not scientific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    By definition, any complex species that has the intelligence to cross the void between the stars is at least human. I don't have to like them. I don't have to befriend them. But they do have certain basic rights - the same ones I'd acknowledge for any other human.
    ...and then, in a scene of beautiful poetic justice, a ship full of your "other humans" lands just outside Grover's Mill and sees you coming towards them. One thinks to the other "Hey look at that jabbering chimp, he's waving around some red and white cloth and acts like that dirty piece of paper with scribbles all over it means something....how cute...I'm hungry let's have him for lunch provided we're not 'unecessarily cruel'...I mean after all, if that thing had any rights he would have thought them to us by now, right? Ahhh chimp burgers!"

    You people...**sigh** Chimp burgers?! It's hilarious to see how entitled a little clothing and some tools has made some of you animals feel.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by soylentgreen View Post
    You people...**sigh** Chimp burgers?! It's hilarious to see how entitled a little clothing and some tools has made some of you animals feel.
    It isn't the technological advancements that entitle us - it's the social and biological ones. We are intelligent enough to understand the concept of rights. We want rights. We are capable of building a society that can grant rights. Ergo, we grant ourselves rights.

    Now, chimps can't do any of these (though, arguably, they don't need to do number three - we arleady have) and thus, the way I see it, we shouldn't grant them rights. They don't want them. They don't even know what they are. This is what separates people from beasts. As soon as a species can demonstrate they understand rights and asks for them, they should be granted rights. They become people at that point. No more chimp burgers. Until then, I'll fire up the grill.

    Now, if this standard were universally applied, your alien invaders couldn't have human burgers - we understand rights and will definitely insist upon having them. Thus, we gain the status of "people" in the eyes of our E.T. visitors, and can go do friendly things like exchange mathematical formulae and eat chimp burgers together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    Every person has basic rights. It's inherent in being a person.
    This is only another political law, NOT physical. "Having" basic rights is not nearly as absolute as speed of light, it is the concept invented and supported by humans and is NOT, again, something I would call "inherent in being a person". I feel we have really strong disagreement here. You seem to be like one of those american constitution writers, who "hold those truths to be self-evident", and the answer you are giving me is NOT proper answer to my "why" question.

    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    Any self-directed entity that demands we acknowledge its rights
    Again, you have not explained to me how being intelligent automatically means demanding rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    I really don't understand the point here
    The point is, if chimp does not know what a "right" is, how can it demand one?

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by LurchGS View Post
    Please

    In my opinion, these primates have proven they are much closer to us than is commonly thought even amongst biologists and geneticists...

    Sentient? yeah.. intelligent, yes.

    But grant them "human" status? No way. In order to be human, you have to be capable of acting human - and that includes our concept of social contracts., as mentioned above.
    Bacteria communicate too, does this mean that it is a crime to take antibiotics.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AstralSpirit View Post
    Bacteria communicate too, does this mean that it is a crime to take antibiotics.
    You raise a good point - where should we draw the line?

    In the purest sense, it's where our actions might run counter to any evolutionary process, including loosing one's child to an infection.

    However, that's assuming that we're cheating by using tools which evolution itself has allowed us to develop, thus, again, in the purest sense, our using antibiotics is in line with evolution.

    What's not in line with evolution is the senseless killing of animals when there are alternatives. By and large, animals don't kill other animals except for food, breeding rights, or territory (which usually relates to food and breeding rights). There are exceptions, but it's extremely slim.

    Humans, on the other hand, kill all animals, including other humans, for some pretty ridiculous reasons. I would argue that with respect to the right to life, we're the most barbaric creatures on this planet.

  30. #30
    LurchGS: I agree entirely. Sentient - yes. Intelligent - yes (compared to other animals). Person - absolutely not.

    Jens: Strictly, yes, you're right. Biologically, humans are of course animals. From a legal standpoint, though, we are not.

    Hm. Now I kind of wonder what a chimp burger does taste like?

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