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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Science and Democracy

National Geographic Investigates the Future of Food

Lucy Movie (2014)

War Is Good for Us, Dumb New Book Claims

Will sex workers be replaced by robots? (A Precis)

How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit


ieet books

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of AGI and Other Transformative Technologies
Author
by Ben Goertzel ed.

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution
by Ted Chu

Personality Capture and Emulation
by William Sims Bainbridge

Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies
by Russell Blackford


comments

Rick Searle on 'War Is Good for Us, Dumb New Book Claims' (Apr 18, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'How to regain trust in the NSA era: The IGUS Gambit' (Apr 18, 2014)

Rick Searle on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)

instamatic on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)

Nikki_Olson on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)

Peter Wicks on 'Social Futurist revolution & the Zero State' (Apr 18, 2014)







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Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work…

Technological Growth and Unemployment:  A Global Scenario Analysis

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
Mar 27, 2014
(14850) Hits
(8) Comments

Future of love and sex: monogamy no longer the default, say experts
Mar 30, 2014
(11974) Hits
(3) Comments

Quest for immortality spurs breakthroughs in human-machine merge
Apr 6, 2014
(6179) Hits
(1) Comments

Shape-shifting claytronics: wild future here by 2020, experts say
Mar 24, 2014
(5406) Hits
(2) Comments



Rights of Non-Human Persons

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) is committed to the idea that some non-human animals meet the criteria of legal personhood and thus are deserving of specific rights and protections.

Mission Statement


Owing to advances in several fields, including the neurosciences, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the human species no longer can ignore the rights of non-human persons. A number of non-human animals, including the great apes, cetaceans (i.e. dolphins and whales), elephants, and parrots, exhibit characteristics and tendencies consistent with that of a person's traits like self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and many others. It is a moral and legal imperative that we now extend the protection of 'human rights' from our species to all beings with those characteristics.


The IEET, as a promoter of non-anthropocentric personhood ethics, defends the rights of non-human persons to live in liberty, free from undue confinement, slavery, torture, experimentation, and the threat of unnatural death. Further, the IEET defends the right of non-human persons to live freely in their natural habitats, and when that's not possible, to be given the best quality of life and welfare possible in captivity (such as sanctuaries).



Specifically, through the Rights of Non-Human Persons program, the IEET will strive to:
  • Investigate and refine definitions of personhood and those criteria sufficient for the recognition of non-human persons.
  • Facilitate and support further research in the neurosciences for the improved understanding and identification of those cognitive processes, functions and behaviors that give rise to personhood.
  • Educate and persuade the public on the matter, spread the word, and increase awareness of the idea that some animals are persons.
  • Produce evidence and fact-based argumentation in favor of non-human animal personhood to support the cause and other like-minded groups and individuals.

Program Director: Rights of Non-Human Persons

George Dvorsky
, who serves on the Board of Directors for the IEET and heads our Rights of Non-Human Persons program, is Canada's leading agenda-driven futurist/activist.

The suggestion that we confer human-level rights to non-human persons is an idea whose time has come.



IEET Rights of Non-Human Persons News

Non-Human PersonsRights of Non-Human Persons List - Discussion of issues relevant to the protection of rights for certain non-human beings.



Below is a beginning set of resources for gaining background and learning more about issues of concern to the IEET's Rights of Non-Human Persons program.


Key Rights Links

Books (non-fiction)

  • Animal Liberation, Peter Singer (1975)
  • Primate Visions, Donna Haraway (1990)
  • Simians, Cyborgs and Women, Donna Haraway (1990)
  • The Great Ape Project, Paola Cavalieri and Peter Singer (1993)
  • Kanzi: The Ape at the Brink of the Human Mind, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin (1996)
  • The Origins of Language: What Nonhuman Primates Can Tell Us, Robbins Burling, Iain Davidson, Kathleen Gibson, and Stephen Jessee (1999)
  • Rattling the Cage, Steven M. Wise (2000)
  • Apes, Language, and the Human Mind, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (2001)
  • Drawing the Line, Steven M. Wise (2002)
  • Minding Animals, Marc Bekoff (2002)
  • When Species Meet, Donna Haraway (2007)
  • Animals as Persons: Essays on the Abolition of Animal Exploitation, Gary L. Francione (2008)
  • Animal Bodies, Human Minds: Ape, Dolphin, and Parrot Language Skills, W.A. Hillix and Duane Rumbaugh (2010)
  • Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint, Marc Bekoff (2010)
  • In Defense of Dolphins, Thomas I. White (2007)

Books (fiction)



PERSONHOOD MEDIA


Antispecism & Compassionate Stewardship
Apr 11- 2014

On the Origin of Suffering
Apr 7- 2014

Moral Enhancement
Apr 6- 2014

Better than Borg in an Age of Enhancement
Mar 6- 2014

Consciousness, Artificial Intelligence and Surveillance
Mar 3- 2014

Collective consequences of a very long life; life extension as a human right
Feb 28- 2014

What’s next—the horizon of our dreams
Feb 22- 2014

The Antispeciesist Revolution
Feb 10- 2014

Inside Animal Minds Sneak Peek
Feb 5- 2014

Artificial Brains
Jan 20- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: Meet Bina48
Jan 19- 2014

Rights for Non Human Persons
Jan 15- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: “On Why personalism turn towards animal ethics”
Jan 14- 2014

The Ecosystem
Jan 13- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On Posthuman Personhood
Jan 12- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On “Personhood for Artificial Agents to animals’ rights”
Jan 9- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On Animal - Human - Corporation - Robot
Jan 7- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On “Is the UN UDHR Fit For Purpose in the 21st Century?”
Jan 6- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On Denial of Death and the Threat of Animality
Jan 5- 2014

Personhood Beyond the Human: On The Signature Cry of our Species
Jan 3- 2014


PERSONHOOD EVENTS




PERSONHOOD ARTICLES



Apr 18, 2014

Will sex workers be replaced by robots? (A Precis)

by John Danaher

I recently published an article in the Journal of Evolution and Technology on the topic of sex work and technological unemployment (available here, here and here). It began by asking whether sex work, specifically prostitution (as opposed to other forms of labour that could be classified as “sex work”, e.g. pornstar or erotic dancer), was vulnerable to technological unemployment. It looked at contrasting responses to that question, and also included some reflections on technological unemployment and the basic income guarantee.


Mar 20, 2014

Majority of IEET Readers see AGI as Potential Threat to Humanity

We asked whether “artificial general intelligence with self-awareness” or “uploaded personalities or emulations of human brains” were more of a threat to human beings. Almost three times as many of you thought AGI was more of a threat than uploaded personalities, and overall 62% of the 245 respondents thought one or the other or both were a threat.

Full Story...


Mar 12, 2014

Granting “Personhood” Status for Great Apes

by R. Dennis Hansen

Humans are classified by biologists as Great Apes, along with orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos.  And geneticists inform us that we share 98 percent of our DNA with chimps. Yet all the Great Apes are in jeopardy.  They are being wantonly killed, sometimes unnecessarily used for research, captured for zoos, and illegally sold as pets.


Feb 21, 2014

Ancient Definitions of Personhood: The Homunculus, the Golem, and Aristotle

by Kevin LaGrandeur

Before deciding how to define and proceed with modern definitions of personhood beyond the human, it will help to see how personhood has been defined historically—especially with regard to several ancient androids, because in their day they presented the best case for individuals who might have had, by the time’s definitions, the chance to be considered fully human.


Feb 1, 2014

Bioengineered monkeys with human genetic diseases have almost arrived

by George Dvorsky

Looking to create more accurate experimental models for human diseases, biologists have created transgenic monkeys with “customized” mutations. It’s considered a breakthrough in the effort to produce more human-like monkeys — but the ethics of all this are dubious at best.


Jan 19, 2014

IEET Audience Supports Right to Die for Disabled, After Some Time

We asked “How long should caregivers prevent recently disabled people from refusing life-sustaining care (and thereby causing their own deaths)?” Of the more than 230 of you who answered, almost half (47%) said “The recently disabled should be treated until they are no longer depressed, and have a sustained, rational intent to die.”

Full Story...


Jan 19, 2014

5 Criticisms of the Movie “Her” From the Point of View of Speculation

by Jon Perry

Her is a great movie that I fully recommend. And as a movie it really only has one mandate: create an emotional impact on its audience. And by this metric Her succeeds wonderfully. However, how internally consistent is Her? How much sense does it make from the point of view of speculation? As it stands, Her actually does better than most science fiction movies. But it’s not perfect.


Jan 16, 2014

The sciphi of gay adoption

by Massimo Pigliucci

Gay marriage is rapidly becoming less and less controversial, at least in the Western world. Yes, the battle hasn’t been won just yet, both in Europe and in the US, but we are getting there at a pace that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.


Jan 14, 2014

‘Her’, OS Sentience and the Desire to Love

by B. J. Murphy

So I just got done watching Spike Jonze’s recent sci-fi epic film Her and I feel as if my mind is, metaphorically of course, absolutely blown away. The film far exceeded my expectations of how it would make me feel, let alone make me think! I found myself wanting to tell everyone I knew to stop what they were doing and take the time to really watch it, listen to it, absorb it. I spoke of other great films which captured my heart and my brain, like Robot and Frank, but no film thus far has achieved what Spike Jonze's Her achieves.


Jan 10, 2014

Femen in North America! Interview with the Feminist- Activist - Topless Leaders

by Hank Pellissier

Femen is notoriously well-known for its anti-authoritarian, anti-religion “top-free” protest activities in Europe, especially in the Ukraine (where they’re originally from) and in Paris, where they’re presently headquartered. Recent activities include disruption of a Catholic Christmas Mass in Cologne Cathedral in Germany, where Josephine – a Femen “sextremist” – clambered up and posed on the altar, arms widespread, with “I Am God” scrawled in black paint on her torso.


Jan 7, 2014

The Singularity promises great benefits, but can we brave the risks

by Dick Pelletier

What can we expect when machines surpass humans in intelligence; a point in time that futurists predict could become reality by 2045.


Jan 6, 2014

Protesting Students Joined by Alumni: “Change the Church”

by Valerie Tarico

In late December, while marriage equality became law in New Mexico and Utah, a Washington vice principal and coach at a Catholic school got fired for marrying his partner, and a Philadelphia Methodist minister was defrocked because he performed a wedding ceremony for his son. 


Dec 29, 2013

#2 Editor’s Choice Award: The Antispeciesist Revolution

by David Pearce

When is it ethically acceptable to harm another sentient being? On some fairly modest assumptions, to harm or kill someone simply on the grounds they belong to a different gender, sexual orientation or ethnic group is unjustified. Such distinctions are real but ethically irrelevant. On the other hand, species membership is normally reckoned an ethically relevant criterion. Fundamental to our conceptual scheme is the pre-Darwinian distinction between “humans” and “animals”.


Dec 27, 2013

The philosophy of suicide

by Massimo Pigliucci

In a forthcoming episode of the Rationally Speaking podcast, Julia and I discuss the philosophy and science of suicide, i.e. what empirical inquiry tells us about suicides (who commits them, how, what are the best strategies for prevention) and how philosophical reflection may lead us to think of suicide. In this post I will focus on the philosophical side of the discussion, for which an excellent summary source, with a number of additional references, is this article by Michael Cholbi in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, to which I will keep referring below.


Dec 18, 2013

#12 Religious Trauma Syndrome: How Some Organized Religion Leads to Mental Health Problems

by Valerie Tarico

At age sixteen I began what would be a four year struggle with bulimia.  When the symptoms started, I turned in desperation to adults who knew more than I did about how to stop shameful behavior—my Bible study leader and a visiting youth minister.  “If you ask anything in faith, believing,” they said.  “It will be done.” I knew they were quoting the Word of God. We prayed together, and I went home confident that God had heard my prayers.


Dec 18, 2013

A Review of The Techno-Human Shell, by Joseph Carvalko

by Nikki Olson

Joseph Carvalko, polymath, has authored a new book entitled “The Techno-Human Shell: A Jump in the Evolutionary Gap”. Carvalko is a lawyer, an engineer, a musician, and an inventor who currently holds 10 patents in the fields of electronics, biomedicine and financial services. His new book, an exploration of Transhumanist topics, focuses on implantable device technology as well as legal and ethical aspects of the transition to post-humanity.


Dec 17, 2013

#13 Human enhancement: does nature know best?

by George Deane

An ardent objection common to human enhancement and transhumanism is that it is both perilous and foolhardy to try to ‘play God’, or to question the wisdom of Mother Nature. As with most mental shortcuts, there is some truth in the ‘nature knows best’ argument. Cognitive enhancement, perhaps the most challenging and promising of all, is no mean feat. Naïve intervention into the mechanisms of the most complex system in the known universe could disrupt the delicately poised equilibrium struck by evolution over millions of years with unknown consequences.


Dec 15, 2013

#15 Justifying Human Enhancement: The Case for Posthumanity

by Andy Miah

This paper argues on behalf of a posthuman future that is intimately tied to the use of human enhancement technology. It presents three principal justifications for enhancement, which focus on functionality, creative expression, and the ritual of re-making the self through biological modification. Collectively, these aspirations articulate the values surrounding posthuman life and the pursuit of biocultural capital.


Dec 15, 2013

The Ethics of Chemical Castration (Part One)

by John Danaher

Chemical castration has been legally recognised and utilised as a form of treatment for certain types of sex offender for many years. This is in the belief that it can significantly reduce recidivism rates amongst this class of offenders. Its usage varies around the world. Nine U.S. states currently allow for it, as well as several European countries. Typically, it is presented as an “option” to sex offenders who are currently serving prison sentences. The idea being that if they voluntarily submit to chemical castration they can serve a reduced sentence.


Dec 13, 2013

#17 A Letter to Sergey Brin

by Maria Konovalenko

I’ve heard you are interested in the topics of aging and longevity. This is very cool, because fighting for radical life extension is the wisest and most humanitarian strategy. I would like to tell you what needs to be done, but, unfortunately, I haven’t got your email address, or any other way to be heard.



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The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

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Williams 119, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford CT 06106 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376