And Thanks for All the Fish

Via the ethical werewolf (who is surely pending his own Twilight-style pop culture makeover), I see that some marine biologists are now arguing that dolphins are so intelligent they deserve some human–or “person,” rather–rights.

It’s an interesting argument, and a persuasive one. Note that it relies on making a certain intelligence level the criteria for who, or what, deserves basic rights, which I think is fair. I think what it comes down to isn’t so much reasoning and problem-solving skills, but self-awareness. And the article suggests that evidence is mounting for a view of dolphins as self-conscious individuals with strong, complex personalities.

But if a dolphin is a “non-human person” (and I’m not totally convinced yet, just receptive to the idea), the obvious question that follows is what sort of rights such an entity has.

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2 Responses

  1. That, and what about chimps and gorillas and bonobos? They’re even more similar to humans than dolphins are.

    • They’re physiologically more similar to humans, but I think self-awareness is the determining factor here. This article seems to suggest that dolphins are ahead of them in that department.

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