Posted by: zyxo | June 20, 2008

human intelligence = human rights ?


Profile of Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes or Pan paniscus ?Image via WikipediaGreat apes think ahead. Apes can plan for their future needs just as we humans can – by using self-control and imagining future events. OK, they still are apes (chimpanzees, orangutans) and much less intelligent than (most) humans. (however in a particular test apes outsmarted japanese college students)

But what if some rich guy decides that he wants to buy a brain implant for his pet chimpanzee that doubles or triples or … its intelligence ? What if the chimp becomes as smart as an average man ? Would it still been treated as an animal ? An animal reading the newspaper, sending e-mails, … It is not yet possible, but some experiments are heading in that direction.

I saw the same problem in a science-fiction film where a robot worked his lifefime to become acknowledged as a man. Yes, it is SF, but is it not our not so far away future also ?

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Responses

  1. Ha Ha.
    Very thought provoking. I have never thought on those terms! Kudos!

  2. Quote:

    “An animal reading the newspaper, sending e-mails, … It is not yet possible, but some experiments are heading in that direction.”

    I might pre-empt this “experiment” and ask: Should we be harming sentient beings for this purpose? The action is predicated on a fallacy — some human traits are “special” because they are human traits –, which raises questions about the initial premise. However, a far more substantive and important question goes to the morality of the experiment itself.


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