Friday, September 28, 2007

More Fun With "Persons" [Jay]

Here is an interesting story about what can happen when personhood becomes the standard of rights bearing rather than moral value determined by our human nature. Wesley Smith writes a great post about a group seeking to legally identify a chimpanzee as a person.

The term is so meaningless that animals can be argued to be persons while unborn humans are excluded. This is not the argument of one fringe group. Singer utilitarians endorse the rights of animals over humans under certain conditions dependent upon the utility of the human in question.

HT: Second Hand Smoke


  1. I don't see how they can argue that, most dictionaries that I've seen define a person as a human being.

  2. This is the luxury that can be afforded to those who see personhood as a prerequisite for legal rights. Once you list a set of criteria and aquired characterisitcs beyond the nature of a being as the standards of receiving rights, then you can theoretically extend rights to animals that meet those criteria that are not human. Being human is not enough to qualify you for legal rights so not being human is no longer enough to disqualify you. In the extreme ideaology, humanity ceases to be an issue.


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