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View Full Version : If you teach a monkey how to write, does he have rights?



dan020350
05-15-2007, 07:30 PM
I once ask this question and it generated many amusing responses.
I was just wondering what kind of response will I get in this forum.

andave_ya
05-15-2007, 08:04 PM
humph. here in California they have rights regardless. A "retirement home" for chimpanzees who were in showbiz has been officially opened.

audiobahn53
05-15-2007, 08:37 PM
humph. here in California they have rights regardless. A "retirement home" for chimpanzees who were in showbiz has been officially opened.

Hahah thats classic :lol:

"If you teach a monkey how to write, does he have rights? " well for me to declare it to be given "human" rights would be morally presumptuious, but what about "God Givin" rights, one could argue that a so called monkey is a creature of God as we all are, and perhaps that the monkey should indeed have certain moral rights so as that it would be in their right to deserve the same equal treatment as humans gain from danger ect.

just my 2 cents. . .

kathycf
05-15-2007, 09:24 PM
Does the monkey churn out pulpy junk, or does he or she write fine literature?

papayahed
05-15-2007, 10:19 PM
Ask Dr. Zaius.

dan020350
05-16-2007, 12:08 AM
Hahah thats classic :lol:

"If you teach a monkey how to write, does he have rights? " well for me to declare it to be given "human" rights would be morally presumptuious, but what about "God Givin" rights, one could argue that a so called monkey is a creature of God as we all are, and perhaps that the monkey should indeed have certain moral rights so as that it would be in their right to deserve the same equal treatment as humans gain from danger ect.

just my 2 cents. . .

You remind me of someone who uses the signature two cents. Not sure who though.

audiobahn53
05-16-2007, 12:22 AM
I like your thinking I will add it to my signiture! :)

Pensive
05-16-2007, 07:23 AM
Teaching one how to "write" has got nothing to do with "rights". I would not mind treating a monkey kindly whether he/she knows how to write or not. :p

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 07:25 AM
Teaching a person how to "write" has got nothing to do with "rights".

What does then?

Pensive
05-16-2007, 07:53 AM
What does then?

Their existence gives them rights. You can't deny rights to an illiterate person.

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 08:05 AM
Their existence gives them rights. You can't deny rights to an illiterate person.

I see.

Existence = Rights.

Bacteria Exists=They have rights?

Pensive
05-16-2007, 08:40 AM
I see.

Existence = Rights.

Bacteria Exists=They have rights?

Yes. They exist. They have rights. Earth is letting them stay on it as much as it lets us. They are in their eyes "correct" as well. But they are harming us, that's why we don't tend to give them rights. Think how much rights would a chicken like to allow us to have? You see we eat chicken (many of us). And anyway, teaching them how to "write" has got nothing to do with "rights".

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 08:46 AM
Yes. They exist. They have rights.


What about Stones and Bricks? :-)




They are in their eyes "correct" as well.


In Stones eyes too?

What about atoms, and quarks and glouns and higgs bosons - they exist :-)

NSAM
05-16-2007, 09:00 AM
What about atoms, and quarks and glouns and higgs bosons - they exist :-)

not higgs bosons by the looks of things.
maybe they only get basic rights

Pensive
05-16-2007, 09:02 AM
What about Stones and Bricks? :-)

In Stones eyes too?

What about atoms, and quarks and glouns and higgs bosons - they exist :-)

They don't exist in a living condition. And anyway you can't teach a stone to write. All I mean here is that you can't judge whether to give one rights or not on the basis one his literacy. In other words it means the people in Early Age shouldn't have been given rights? They didn't know how to read or write.

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 09:05 AM
not higgs bosons by the looks of things.
maybe they only get basic rights

That was a trick question ;)

May be that Large Hadron Collider - soon to be operational - may provide us the answer and thus we grants it's rights :-)

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 09:15 AM
They don't exist in a living condition.


Ah I see. Correction.

Living Things in Existence= Rights.

By Virtue of our Existence we endow ourselves with Rights - arrogant position?



And anyway you can't teach a stone to write.


You are right there. English Teachers here in UK are at their wit's end trying to do just that :-)



All I mean here is that you can't judge whether to give one rights or not on the basis one his literacy.


I thought no one gives us rights. Rights we get by virtue of our Living Existence? So there is no one to judge on this matter. So Every living things has rights.



In other words it means the people in Early Age shouldn't have been given rights?


Given by whom?

Rights stuff - an invention?

Pensive
05-16-2007, 09:23 AM
Ah I see. Correction.

Living Things in Existence= Rights.

Yes, they all have rights, most of all to exist.


By Virtue of our Existence we endow ourselves with Rights - arrogance position?

You can't be too sure about that. A baby who can't speak or write also has rights.


You are right there. English Teachers here in UK are at their wit's end trying to do just that :-)

I am sorry for them but they should better face the truth.

[QUOTE]I thought no one gives us rights. Rights we get by virtue of our Living Existence? So there is no one to judge on this matter. So Every living things has rights.

Yes. There have been some standards made for it though.


Given by whom?

Rights stuff - an invention?

Given by their own mind to themselves. :p

Francis Parker
05-16-2007, 09:32 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/sci/tech/1952902.stm

I assume this was supposed to be a clever question kind of post, I'm still feeling my way around what is and isn't acceptable to discuss around here. I got the feeling that people who are into literature are a bit more open to discussion about a variety of topics but in the past few days I've seen people advocating the burning of books and threads closed because the discussion was about race, so I'm not so sure just how provincial and uptight "literary" folks are 'round these here parts.

Anywho.

"Rights" are not something that exist in a vacuum, they exist within the defined structure of societies. In order to exercise rights, one must claim them. Then defend them against others who would seek to limit them. Anyone who presumes that rights are God given or intrinsic is deluding themselves- not that there's anything wrong with that.

I think it's funny that there's a discussion of whether or not chimps have rights if they can write when human beings on this very board are excluded from posting on certain topics or using certain words or phrases- they haven't got "rights" (priveleges of course, since we're on a controlled and moderated forum) beyond what they possess in their own minds and at their own keyboards- but no further.

Isn't it ironic?

Dontcha think?

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 09:39 AM
"Rights" are not something that exist in a vacuum, they exist within the defined structure of societies. In order to exercise rights, one must claim them.


or invent them?



Isn't it ironic?

Dontcha think?

Humanity is complex and contradictory :-)

Francis Parker
05-16-2007, 12:39 PM
"or invent them?"

There's a conundrum. I suppose by definition anything we think or do or say is, by it's very definition, an "invention" so you are technically correct.

However (one of the greatest words ever invented;-)

As we conceive of "rights"- or those things which are not granted or bestowed by others, but as a fundamental construct of our very existance as sentient beings, something inherent to us without influence from outside, are they really an invention?

In the words of Nietzsche, Whatever.

NSAM
05-16-2007, 01:17 PM
I think the Issue here is Consciousness, not Existence.

Francis Parker
05-16-2007, 03:40 PM
actually it's "rights", not consciousness and not existence- both of which chimps are- even if they don't write.

Lote-Tree
05-16-2007, 03:50 PM
...but as a fundamental construct of our very existance as sentient beings, something inherent to us without influence from outside, are they really an invention?


It can be if you say you are a Lesbian trapped in a Man's body and you demand your rights as such? :-)

or Descendents of Gengis Khan demanding the "right" to rape and pilliage? :-)

But I am just teasing you :-)

Does our sentience bestow us with rights?

What about the non-sentience beings?

Nightshade
05-16-2007, 05:11 PM
you know what this thread is moving to the philosphy section :nod:
but my take is you have to define rights.

Should all living things have some kind of rights yes should they have the same I dont know.
And how does teaching a monkey to write have any baring on anything, are they writing as in creating new stories and plots ect or writing as in holding a pen?

dan020350
05-16-2007, 09:18 PM
you know what this thread is moving to the philosphy section :nod:
but my take is you have to define rights.

Should all living things have some kind of rights yes should they have the same I dont know.
And how does teaching a monkey to write have any baring on anything, are they writing as in creating new stories and plots ect or writing as in holding a pen?


It was orignally in philosophy section . When someone has been educated he will fight and become politcal. Can a monkey be educated that is athe question, much like back then to blacks and slaves where they can't be educated nor ought to be, if they do they will rebel.

NickAdams
05-16-2007, 09:49 PM
1: Don't they already write daytime television in America?
2: They should be arrested if the write The Da Vinci code.

dan020350
05-17-2007, 08:24 AM
I think you have posted in the wrong thread Nick.

ennison
05-17-2007, 09:21 AM
This monkey? Has he got an agent and has he (or is it a she writing about the rights of monkey women?) a publishing deal? What about the evilutionists view oops evolutionist... isn't it a foregone conclusion all things being equal and in permanent stasis that monkeys will, nay must, one day write.
Monkeys should have monkey rights but free bananas might be going too far.

NickAdams
05-17-2007, 09:30 AM
I think you have posted in the wrong thread Nick.

I'm talking about the monkeys.

We finally get to see if a monkey can write Hamlet.

Nightshade
05-17-2007, 10:37 AM
Ahh but that would be plagurisim as Hamlet has already been written :goof:

NickAdams
05-17-2007, 12:02 PM
With rights come lawsuits. :lol:

Triskele
05-17-2007, 07:35 PM
They don't exist in a living condition. And anyway you can't teach a stone to write. All I mean here is that you can't judge whether to give one rights or not on the basis one his literacy. In other words it means the people in Early Age shouldn't have been given rights? They didn't know how to read or write.


but we are made of the same materials, and it is proven that all things have sentience, even subnuclear particles, so rights are granted by us to all things that can 1.) communicate with us on a level plane... and 2.) not violate our right to life.

dan020350
05-17-2007, 10:24 PM
I see Nick.

Monkeys will one day be able to write and be educated, look at the x-men call Beast.

Triskele
05-18-2007, 12:44 PM
I see Nick.

Monkeys will one day be able to write and be educated, look at the x-men call Beast.

do some reading, the beast started as a human, not as a monkey. his mutation gave him the physical attributes of a bestial thing, but he is in no way a monkey...

byquist
05-18-2007, 01:49 PM
There's a fun movie about that, "Born to be Wild" -- worth a fun watch.
Animals are smart, that's for sure. I just heard about a parrot who whistles and calls the dog's name in the house, and the dog responds.

I guess only linguistic experts could tell us if a monkey has ever, or could ever, grasp the idea of letters/words. Perhaps a more pictorial writing such as Chinese would be achieved first -- the sun looks like a sun; a tree looks like a tree. Then, symbolic languages would be another leap. Not necessarily for the good, because a writer like Alan Watts points out the loss of value that took place when people went from picture-based writing to symbolic writing (and many of the symbol-combinations make no sense anyways). A good read, his "On the Watercourse Way," or some such similar title.

kathycf
05-18-2007, 02:25 PM
Koko the Gorilla is alledged to communicate through American Sign Language. She does not write, but has learned over 1000 signs.


Koko (born July 4, 1971, in San Francisco, California) is the name of a captive, acculturated gorilla trained by Dr. Francine 'Penny' Patterson and other scientists at Stanford University to communicate with more than 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language, and understand approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. She has lived most of her life in Woodside, California, but plans for a move to a sanctuary at Maui, Hawaii are nearing attainment. She was also the inspiration for Amy the "talking" ape in the Michael Crichton novel Congo.

Koko is short for the name Hanabi-Ko, meaning "fireworks child" in Japanese (a reference to her date of birth, the Fourth of July)

Some scientists assert Koko's use of signs, and her actions consistent with her use of signs, indicate she has mastered the use of language. Others contend she does not understand the meaning behind what she is doing, but learns to complete the signs simply because the researchers reward her for doing so (i.e. that her actions are the product of operant conditioning). However, the latter position is not really consistent with the fact that Koko uses the language freely and in novel ways, even when there is no foreseeable gratification. Another concern that has been raised about Koko's ability to express coherent thoughts through the use of signs is that interpretation of the gorilla's conversation is left to the handler, who may see improbable concatenations of signs as meaningful.

However, Dr. Patterson has documented Koko inventing new signs to communicate novel thoughts. For example, she asserts that nobody taught Koko the word for "ring", therefore to refer to it she combined the words "finger" and "bracelet", hence "finger bracelet"


Read the entire article. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koko_(gorilla))

More on Koko can be found here (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/koko/) and here. (http://www.koko.org/index.php)

I thought it was interesting...although perhaps not completely relevant to this thread.

dan020350
05-19-2007, 12:17 AM
triskele may be right about Beast started out as a human, but artists can always change the story line to make sense. It is the writer and translator that put lies.


Kathy it was interesting, just write whatever you want freely.
I know the moderators deleted one of my threads today but I didn't care.

Nightshade
05-20-2007, 09:18 AM
Koko the Gorilla is alledged to communicate through American Sign Language. She does not write, but has learned over 1000 signs.


Read the entire article. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koko_(gorilla))

More on Koko can be found here (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/koko/) and here. (http://www.koko.org/index.php)

I thought it was interesting...although perhaps not completely relevant to this thread.


There's a fun movie about that, "Born to be Wild" -- worth a fun watch.
Animals are smart, that's for sure. I just heard about a parrot who whistles and calls the dog's name in the house, and the dog responds.


Unless Im hugley mistaken which I dont think I am Koko is the gorilla from Born to be wild. I seem to rember seeing a documentry around the film about koko.

:nod Of course the question that comes to mind is does koko even relaise she is a gorrila and not human, sort of the whats it called impression thing like with the owl who was brought up by a man and never realised it was an owl.

dan020350
05-20-2007, 10:57 AM
does koko even relaise she is a gorrila and not human, sort of the whats it called impression thing like with the owl who was brought up by a man and never realised it was an owl.

BEst impression you have state in my threads.

YOu are a human being do you realize you are not a human being.

What it means is we are just human beings, everyone call themselves as black, whites, indians, koreans, Communists, socialists, moderators.;)
IF there is no more distinctions you are brothers and sisters to everyone. WE are one, family. Freedom. :thumbs_up

kathycf
05-20-2007, 01:52 PM
Unless Im hugley mistaken which I dont think I am Koko is the gorilla from Born to be wild. I seem to rember seeing a documentry around the film about koko.
.
Unless there are two movies of the same title I disagree.

Born to be Wild is a comedy film from 1995 that has a gorilla in it, but it is not a documentary. Koko may have inspired some of the movies content...I couldn't say with any degree of certainty not having seen the movie. From what I found online "Katie" is the name of the gorilla, and the part of Katie was apparently played by Leif Tilden. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0863208/) Often times, animatronics and costumes are used to take the place of animal "actors". Tilden is also credited as a gorilla suit performer in the movie George of the Jungle

I did see a documentary on Koko on PBS, information regarding the program was one of the links in my earlier post. I imagine that is not the only documentary about her, but it is the only one I have seen. :) I think if an animal is capable of communication, whether through sign language or other (perhaps unrealized at this time) mode of communication, that opens up an interesting perspective on "rights". If an animal tells us they are unhappy with being confined, do we have the "right" to continue to confine it? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Two links regarding the comedy film.

Born to be Wild--IMDb. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113533/)

Born to be Wild--Yahoo films. (http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1800232296/info)

Brady10
06-02-2007, 04:33 AM
That's a tough question. Aristotle said the only thing that seperates humans from animals is that humans have the ability to ask questions and search for answers. Teaching a monkey to write would not put him on human level, it would only teach him to transfer words to paper. On that note, can a monkey even be taught to write? If he can, what says he can't be taught to speak English, or any other language? If he can transfer words or thoughts to writing, why couldn't he transfer words or thoughts to verbal noises?

So if you can teach a monkey to write...i applaud you.

ELizabeth McC
06-02-2007, 12:25 PM
That's a tough question. Aristotle said the only thing that seperates humans from animals is that humans have the ability to ask questions and search for answers. Teaching a monkey to write would not put him on human level, it would only teach him to transfer words to paper. On that note, can a monkey even be taught to write? If he can, what says he can't be taught to speak English, or any other language? If he can transfer words or thoughts to writing, why couldn't he transfer words or thoughts to verbal noises?

So if you can teach a monkey to write...i applaud you.

Maybe it would have to be a female monkey ;)

NikolaiI
06-04-2007, 11:21 PM
I heard that they can teach apes to speak sign language, but have to kill or release them into the wild before they are six. If they don't, the adolescent or adult ape is likely to kill them. It turns out even trained apes come to a point where they don't care about things like the trainers life, etc. If you displease them they are liable to rip your arm off.

What if you released a chimp that could speak sign language into the wild? Would it forget, or teach others?

NickAdams
06-04-2007, 11:26 PM
That's a tough question. Aristotle said the only thing that seperates humans from animals is that humans have the ability to ask questions and search for answers. Teaching a monkey to write would not put him on human level, it would only teach him to transfer words to paper. On that note, can a monkey even be taught to write? If he can, what says he can't be taught to speak English, or any other language? If he can transfer words or thoughts to writing, why couldn't he transfer words or thoughts to verbal noises?

So if you can teach a monkey to write...i applaud you.

Transfering words to paper is all they can acheive. Neither monkeys nor apes have the mental ability to think abstractly.

Their learning is based on punishments and reinforcements.

Reccura
06-04-2007, 11:56 PM
I know Koko as well. I read her in an encyclopedia.
*to the topic of the thread*

I really don't know. Maybe i could be a monkey for a day, and maybe I'll find the answers.

Midas
06-29-2007, 07:30 AM
Not only have rights, but can even be elected as a 'world leader'. (If I have, by association, insulted the monkey fraternity here, I aopologise)

atiguhya padma
07-09-2007, 07:24 AM
Some people argue that in order to have rights, you need to be in a position of current or potential reciprocation. This therefore discounts animals (other than some humans) from having rights. However, if rights are given on a basis of reciprocation, some severely disabled people may not be entitled to rights either.

DeathAngel
07-09-2007, 05:18 PM
i thought we were the overlords so if monkey can write, then monkey get sent to little lab where they test him n see if he can juggle and maybe say a few words too
but he does deserve rights

probably would've have much to go by anyway
yay the monkeys, let them fling poo and eat bananas!

Ludmila607
08-18-2007, 06:59 PM
If you teach a Human to keill.Does he have rights??

Bakiryu
08-18-2007, 07:03 PM
All living beings have rights, the monkey even if illiterate has right as well.

Ludmila607
08-30-2007, 06:24 PM
The Human Genetic Code it is 90% similar to the monkey.

Bakiryu
08-30-2007, 07:29 PM
If you teach a Human to keill.Does he have rights??

All human beings know how do kill. What does this have to do with anything?

atiguhya padma
09-03-2007, 06:17 AM
Chimpanzees share almost 95% of our genes. From one human to another there can be variation of almost 5%.

Washoe and Lucy are examples of chimps that clearly can reason and appear to have made moral judgments.

Noisms
09-07-2007, 10:59 AM
To quote that famous philosopher Ricky Gervais: "Why would you want to be cruel to an animal whether it can reason or not?"

In other words, rights are basically about protecting dignity, and a thing doesn't have to be able to write, reason or whatever else in order to have dignity that needs protecting. Babies and old people with Alzheimer's Disease are two other examples.

Why is dignity itself intrinsically worth protecting and respecting? Because it is both a reflection of, and an influence on, wider society.

Psycheinaboat
09-07-2007, 01:11 PM
Transfering words to paper is all they can acheive. Neither monkeys nor apes have the mental ability to think abstractly.

Their learning is based on punishments and reinforcements.

I know some people like that, too.

I agree with Nick that sentience and mental capability (not necessarily ability) are at the crux of the matter (I think that is what Nick was getting at - I don't want to put words in his mouth).

atiguhya padma
09-07-2007, 01:27 PM
Noism,

I'm not convinced that animals other than humans and chimps have dignity. I have lived with cats all my life. I have yet to see much feline dignity. Horses, dogs, sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens etc... I've seen quite a number, but do not ever recall any sense of dignity among these beasts.

NickAdams,

Washoe is an example of a chimp that has displayed reasoning abilities.

Noisms
09-07-2007, 01:34 PM
Noism,

I'm not convinced that animals other than humans and chimps have dignity. I have lived with cats all my life. I have yet to see much feline dignity. Horses, dogs, sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens etc... I've seen quite a number, but do not ever recall any sense of dignity among these beasts.

Perhaps you don't understand what I mean by "dignity". I'm not referring to the way we use the term in our venacular (graceful, restrained, etc.). I'm talking about the intrinsic quality of being something that is worthy of respect.

It doesn't matter whether an animal has a "sense" of dignity. What matters is that it has an innate dignity, by virtue of its being alive, that should be protected.

atiguhya padma
09-07-2007, 01:36 PM
Perhaps you don't understand what I mean by "dignity". I'm not referring to the way we use the term in our venacular (graceful, restrained, etc.). I'm talking about the intrinsic quality of being something that is worthy of respect.

It doesn't matter whether an animal has a "sense" of dignity. What matters is that it has an innate dignity, by virtue of its being alive, that should be protected.

So do viruses have "dignity" then?

Noisms
09-07-2007, 07:25 PM
So do viruses have "dignity" then?

Strictly speaking, viruses aren't really 'alive'. But okay, for the sake of argument, I'll play along.

Of course viruses have dignity of a sort. It's difficult to imagine how we could violate that dignity, though, given that viruses are microscopic, do not have any of the functions that we might call senses, and don't really qualify as being 'alive' by the conventional definitions. That basically serves to make yours a moot point. But still, yes, it's important to treat viruses with some basic respect: that we only do to them what is necessary and proportionate.

Bacteria are a better example to illustrate what I mean. They really are alive, and we use them for all sorts of things. Provided those uses do not become frivolous or abusive, then I would argue that the "dignity" of those forms of life is being preserved. I think treating even basic forms of 'life' like bacteria and viruses in a destructive or disrespectful way just for the sake of it or for playful reasons would reflect poorly on our society. More importantly, it would influence our society in negative ways.

Likewise, those are the main reasons why we commit to the concept of human rights - at least in relation to strangers. In that sense I think the whole idea of "rights" is a slightly misleading one, because it implies something tangible that can be held or discarded. It's easier to forget the whole idea and say that respect and dignity are the two inviolables, because in those two words the basis of rights is contained anyway - and they can be extended to all living things (and non-living things too!) without all the baggage that the word "rights" entails.

Jeroun
09-08-2007, 07:11 AM
I think that rights have nothing to do with the fact that someone or something can write, think or whatever. Rights are simply something given by the dominant species. We can decide if monkeys deserve rights or not but if they can write or not doesn't matter. It all comes down to what the dominant species decide. If we did not care what happened to animals, nature, etc. nothing would change in the 'world of rights' : no rights would been given to them. It's only because we care about those things that they deserve rights. Example: Animals, nature have the right to live/exist, endure, to be protected etc. But they only have these rights because the dominant species gave them to these beings. (Pressure by animal rights organisations, etc.)


I'm not convinced that animals other than humans and chimps have dignity. I have lived with cats all my life. I have yet to see much feline dignity. Horses, dogs, sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens etc... I've seen quite a number, but do not ever recall any sense of dignity among these beasts.

There are also humans who don't have 'dignity': yet we decide they deserve rights too. Now I think of a person who sits in front of his TV all day, gets drunk every night,etc. Does this person have dignity? Probably not. Is this person better than a monkey? The monkey spends his time better. Why does he has more rights than the monkey then? Because we decide so: he is human so he deserves the rights we give to humans.

( There may be mistakes in here because my English isn't that great.)

atiguhya padma
09-09-2007, 11:22 AM
But if we decide that the species that resemble us most are deserving of similar rights, then whether a species can read or write or reason or empathise matters a great deal. It would seem to me that we do indeed tend to give rights to animals that show qualities similar to us humans. Nobody complains of cruelty to spiders, for instance, as much as they do cruelty to dogs or cats: whilst spiders may have qualities that are similar to humans, most people see cats and dogs as being closer to us than spiders.

Of course an argument that claims that dominant species determine rights on the natural world, creates a kind of duality of rights. After all, a species based analysis of rights does not account for the development of rights within the dominant species. So you would need to come up with another argument for that.

The idea that life deserves respect doesn't sit comfortably with the fact that we eat many life forms. I cannot see how we can give respect to the lobster we are about to devour or the lamb we are about to slaughter. And if the same respect is expected of us with regard to cereals, vegetables and other inanimate life forms, well then we may end up feeling like failed Jains, knowing that we really should starve ourselves to death as the ultimate respect given to the dignity of life.

Jeroun
09-10-2007, 09:18 AM
But if we decide that the species that resemble us most are deserving of similar rights, then whether a species can read or write or reason or empathise matters a great deal. It would seem to me that we do indeed tend to give rights to animals that show qualities similar to us humans. Nobody complains of cruelty to spiders, for instance, as much as they do cruelty to dogs or cats: whilst spiders may have qualities that are similar to humans, most people see cats and dogs as being closer to us than spiders.

Of course an argument that claims that dominant species determine rights on the natural world, creates a kind of duality of rights. After all, a species based analysis of rights does not account for the development of rights within the dominant species. So you would need to come up with another argument for that.

But don't we decide that spiders are less than dogs, cats, etc. ? I see now that it does matter that they can write, read, etc. but only because we then think of these beings as closer to us humans, right? The ability of reading, writing doesn't give them rights, we give them those rights because they have that ability which we also possess.

About the duality of rights: I think it does. I think rights change within the dominant species when the majority of the dominant species think that this or that should change. I could be totally wrong on this one though so clarify please if this was completely besides the point.

atiguhya padma
09-11-2007, 07:44 AM
I agree. The evolution of rights in our society seems to be a case of the majority opinion winning over established opinion.

mcvv09
09-11-2007, 10:52 AM
No, the monkey must demonstrate ability to think beyond the levels of simple writing.

CrazyDiamond
09-11-2007, 11:36 AM
"You are right there. English Teachers here in UK are at their wit's end trying to do just that :-)"

I am an English student here in the UK, and I find it quite insulting that you believe students here to be "stones". Going by what you are saying, students in the UK are incapable of appreciating great literature? Iím afraid that your racialist slander is incredibly incorrect, Lote. I donít quite think that English students at Oxford or Caimbridge University would agree with you either. =]

And, hey, a lot of the great authors and poets that have had major influence were born and were STUDENTS in the UK.

William Shakespeare was British, i would like to remind you. =] - Was he merely a "stone"?

Noisms
09-11-2007, 12:03 PM
The idea that life deserves respect doesn't sit comfortably with the fact that we eat many life forms. I cannot see how we can give respect to the lobster we are about to devour or the lamb we are about to slaughter. And if the same respect is expected of us with regard to cereals, vegetables and other inanimate life forms, well then we may end up feeling like failed Jains, knowing that we really should starve ourselves to death as the ultimate respect given to the dignity of life.

There are ways to kill and eat something without violating its dignity.

To expand that argument to human rights, it is generally accepted that the Right to Life can be derogated from in the interests of public welfare - in other words, for executions or in time of war. That's because it is possible for a person to lose their life in a dignified way. But slavery is always forbidden: there can be no derogations from it, because slavery fundamentally attacks a person's dignity.

So it is possible to kill animals and eat them in a way that does not violate their dignity. Unfortunately, at the moment, we don't do that: we keep them in unnecessarily cruel conditions and kill them in unnecessarily cruel ways.

atiguhya padma
09-12-2007, 04:58 AM
No, the monkey must demonstrate ability to think beyond the levels of simple writing.


Writing really isn't that simple. After mathematics, it is probably the most difficult thing that we ever master in our lifetimes. Any animal or machine that can fully replicate, in an appropriate way, the basics of language can be considered intelligent.

Mesalithasamut
09-12-2007, 11:00 PM
If a monkey were capable of functioning in society without human aid, it should have rights.

Ludmila607
09-13-2007, 07:08 PM
All human beings know how do kill. What does this have to do with anything?

It has all to do with it my dear Navokov reader.

waldenfairy
10-10-2007, 09:58 AM
I once ask this question and it generated many amusing responses.
I was just wondering what kind of response will I get in this forum.


I was just getting to the amusing part of this discussion . . . it didn't take long! Bacteria, stones and bricks . . . oh my! :)


Teaching one how to "write" has got nothing to do with "rights". I would not mind treating a monkey kindly whether he/she knows how to write or not. :p

Yes, I believe monkeys have a right to be treated kindly and honored their rights in the universe. Those who exercise their rights have rights. A rock simply lays or holds up the earth. The stick may lay with the rock depending on how light the stick may be. Most sticks get thrown or blown with the wind. Exist and have rights - it's transactional. Defining those rights does come down to the fittest, the one who's got it all, and surely the one that can write or at least manage their money the best.

AuntShecky
10-10-2007, 11:35 AM
Certainly monkeys have rights -- why would one deny rights to one's relatives?

Cogitus
10-14-2007, 07:53 AM
Well, legally speaking, monkeys do already have rights in a lot of countries. 'Rights' is a very broad term, but for example, in most western countries, using monkeys for scientific experiments is outlawed. That is a 'right'. Giving rights does not mean taking the laws and moral codes that we apply to mankind and transferring them 1:1 to monkeys.

A human is a human and a monkey is a monkey, and though they might have similar genes, they are per definition not the same. Why should they then have exactly the same rights.

A more practical parallel: A man is a man and a woman is a woman. Though they are equal, they are given rights in approximate equality respective to their undeniable differences. How senseless would it be to apply to apply abortion-laws to men?

Thus, monkeys have and should have rights relating to their specific qualities and attributes.

Midas
10-14-2007, 08:08 AM
By the way things are today, I would say it all depends on what 'it' (the monkey) writes.

If, by its writing, it indicates dissent to the established order, it is likely to brand itself a 'terrorist' or potential one, which now appears to amount to the same thing, and therefore - all rights denied, and Guantanamo Bay it is.

So, before we teach the monkey to write, better get some idea of its thoughts, and leanings - if only in concern for the monkey's well being.

Punishing monkey's as humans is nothing new - ask anyone from the North East of England - especially Hartlepool, though, forgive them if they are too embarrassed to answer.

The monkey-hanging legend is the most famous story connected with Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic Wars a French ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast.

At the time there was a fear of a French invasion of Britain and much public concern about the possibility of French infiltrators and spies.

The fishermen of Hartlepool fearing an invasion kept a close watch on the French vessel as it struggled against the storm but when the vessel was severely battered and sunk they turned their attention to the wreckage washed ashore. Among the wreckage lay one wet and sorrowful looking survivor, the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform.

The fishermen apparently questioned the monkey (in French?) and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death. The unfortunate creature was to die by hanging, with the mast of a fishing boat (a coble) providing a convenient gallows.

Gadget Girl
10-31-2007, 02:03 PM
Everybody and everything in this world have rights. God made them, so probably He also gave them rights so that the life He made on Earth wouldn't do anything to harm one another, but not to the extent. God made the fishes to eat, so man has the right to cook and eat them. God made the plants, animals have the right to eat because they get their energy from those and so on and so forth.

atiguhya padma
11-06-2007, 06:36 PM
Everybody and everything in this world have rights. God made them, so probably He also gave them rights so that the life He made on Earth wouldn't do anything to harm one another, but not to the extent. God made the fishes to eat, so man has the right to cook and eat them. God made the plants, animals have the right to eat because they get their energy from those and so on and so forth.


I don't understand your notion of rights. Is it the case that you just have to postulate a god and then you can do what you want? What on earth does a 'right' mean to you? I don't think its like handing out flyers or something. We don't go accumulating rights just because someone somewhere says so.

mazHur
11-06-2007, 06:54 PM
there is an old Indian saying : teach only them who deserve to be taught; a sparrow taught a monkey and the monkey ruined her nest!

Teach a monkey and he will invent yet another god !

Midas
11-07-2007, 08:25 AM
While we are on about our ancestors, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, I thought I would pass on this definition of a gentleman I heard a lady expressing to her friend some many years ago. No, not a titled one, just the way she dressed and her manners and behaviour made her worthy.

'A gentleman is a monkey that doesn't monkey with another monkey's monkey'

It took me some time to puzzle that one out, well, I was in my push chair at the time and my cognitive process hadn't fully developed - well not along those lines.

If that one is 'off thread' I apologise but I did contribute one that was on. And, then again, it is a thread that invites a little humour. NO? Oh, sorry, anyway 'fait accomplis' Or as they say in NE England, to the embarrassment of some - 'Wae (who) hung the monkey! And if you want to know why - read my previous post.