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Old January 23 2013, 10:30 PM   #7
Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion
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Re: wild dolphin seeks out human help

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
What do you think? Are dolphins a sentinent species?
Yes, definitely.

Should they been given protection?
Yes, definitely.

Should they be treated different to other protected species, possibly even given the same status as humans? How about the other whales?
Any sentient species with intelligence equal to (or greater than ) Humans should have equal rights. This could include some cetaceans, some primates, elephants and even some birds. Maybe. But, while many of these species are sentient, it's hard to know both the level and nature of their intelligence. How do we define the equivalence of something as abstract as intelligence? And if they are of an intelligence equal to but of a different nature than Humans, how do we define their participation in society? For example, should they be allowed to work, pay taxes, vote, own property? For these questions to be answered, there needs to be a lot more research done on animal intelligence and we must be able to communicate with them as equals.

I would expect that we will ultimately discover that some of these animals are sentient and intelligent, but of an intelligence not quite equal or compatible with Human intelligence. They should therefore be given certain rights and protections, as would, for example, a Human with Down's Syndrome.
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