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Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: starfire] #393701 01/18/10 05:07 PM
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Carl Offline
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Starfire, you said:

Quote:
They are highly cognitive but are no where near the level of sophistication human beings are in every facet of life.



Sophistication is something to be desired? Shades of Avatar, I'd say.


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Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: Carl] #393702 01/18/10 05:41 PM
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Let's see, I have been manipulated by a cat, a dog, and a three year old.

Just think of the can worms we open if we extend those unalienable rights to other than the chosen. Of course that was the thinking when blacks were not originally included in those unalienable rights.

We are all children of the universe. I am no greater than a tree or a dolphin. Just different.

Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: BLR] #393703 01/18/10 06:24 PM
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It was this very interesting article, from yesterday's Sunday Times, which led me to the one already quoted: [quote]From The Sunday Times, January 17, 2010 'Smarter than you think ~ The animal kingdom is home to much greater intelligence than has been previously acknowledged, with scientists seeing evidence of human-like traits everywhere' Jonathan Leake and Georgia Warren ' ... animals and birds can communicate complex ideas not just to their peers but also across species. ... ' 'Zuberbühler has good reason to be thankful for the ability of animals to communicate complex information. Walking back to camp in the Tai forest he heard a group of monkeys screaming the warning call for a leopard. 'That was nothing special but a few minutes later he passed a second group who took up the cry — and then the same happened with a third. 'He said: “By then I had been listening to monkeys for long enough to recognise what the cries meant — I was being stalked by a leopard.” 'Zuberbühler [Klaus Zuberbühler, psychologist at St Andrews University] picked up a stick and ran for the camp, wishing he could thank the monkeys for their help.' Rough ranking of animals in terms of cognitive intelliigence: 1. Dolphins 2. Chimps & Orang Utans 3. Elephants 4. Parrots 5. Crows 6. Dogs http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6991028.ece [/quote]


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Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: PDM] #393712 01/18/10 09:16 PM
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Well, whoops. I wanted to share how cool the non-human person's concept is with a close friend...and lo and behold, she doesn't think it's a good idea. It sparked a conversation where she says God gives us dominion over all non humans, and that she does not believe other intelligent species exist elsewhere in the galaxy. Also, that she does not believe in evolution.

I had no idea she thought this way about things.

It's disconcerting. frown


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Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: jilly] #393713 01/18/10 09:24 PM
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Also, when we say rights for a non-human person, we are talking about human rights, not American rights. Dolphins are ocean citizens, I suppose: no country can claim them.

So what rights? The right to be treated as a person, to not be hunted, to have a say in their governance. This is also supposing we can figure out how to communicate between our species for complex conversation. I'd love to see dolphins sit on to the UN (in a tank, of course), with their own translators and a voting right in deciding how the world should be run.


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Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: jilly] #393721 01/18/10 10:36 PM
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That's interesting Jilly. Thanks for sharing your friend's reaction! And gives a good perspective from a religious person's opinion.

Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: jilly] #393728 01/19/10 12:06 AM
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And what about those dolphins at sea world? surely they would be american citizens no? wink

Kidding aside, yes the United Nations could be the only governing body besides an actual country that could recognize dolphins as humans in international waters. However dolphins would have a hard time fitting the criteria set in the preamble here only because their cognitive level:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

Things such as "if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law", and " it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations". Dolphins simple can't grasp these concepts on the macro level.

Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: starfire] #393736 01/19/10 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: starfire
Things such as "if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law", and " it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations". Dolphins simple can't grasp these concepts on the macro level.
I do believe that you sell them short. They are organized. They participate in warfare. If you doubt their intelligence you should watch documentaries on their hunting parties and the coordination of their actions.

Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: BLR] #393737 01/19/10 04:47 AM
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As for the dolphins not being able to grasp concepts "on the macro level," first off - how do we know for sure that they can't? Secondly, might they simply not care? And who's to say that, even if they can't grasp the concepts (and we can?), that they might grasp concepts that are important to them (and maybe to us, as well)?


Marge is the love of my life.
Re: Dolphins - 'non-human persons'? [Re: Carl] #393740 01/19/10 08:06 AM
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While we are on the topic, has anyone read the Uplift Wars? Startide Rising, the first novel, focuses on humans and uplifted dolphins. In the series, dogs, chimps and a few other species have been uplifted to sentience, and the socio-political consequences of such actions are main points. The dolphin religious tenets are also explored:

Startide Rising, wikipedia

Humans are considered orphaned sentient beings, since we have no obvious Patron.

In the Pern series, Dolphins are also established as having a society and complex language skills.

I am agreeing about Avatar here...just because someone does not have a certain concept in their culture (like money, a human invention to track the movement of goods and services), does not mean they are incapable of understanding it. And once they understand it, they may still reject it. Do dolphins care about Wall Street? Well, why should they? But I bet they have a lot to say about human fishing practices and the wanton pollution of waterways seen in some countries. smile


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