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Today in Future History

Good evening. As a new contributor who hasn't been introduced yet, I worry that my own content might not be to everyone's liking. Instead of providing a new post, then, I'm just going to reach into an archive of future news articles to see how things went‎ after people adopted the enlightened attitudes of Zach Beauchamp of Vox.com, as exemplified by his article, "Should dogs be citizens? It’s not as crazy as you think."

Los Angeles, CA (Free Woods News, December 16, 2097) -- After seven years of negotiation and lawsuits, the fundamental rights of two of the world's largest sentient non-humans were recognized today by California's highest court. In two separate rulings written by Judge Harold Tung of the California Supreme Court, Anthill CA-OR2748C and the city of Los Angeles are entitled to equal protection under the law and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as "entities of special status."

A lawsuit filed by attorney Eric Lowe on behalf of "Angela", as the City of Los Angeles prefers to be called, claimed that the state was denying the city its rights to life and liberty by enforcing legal mandates that "artificially constrained city development in a non-selectively advantageous way," according to court documents. A suit filed almost simultaneously by Elise Van DeKamp claimed that the state was denying Anthill CA-OR2748C equal protection under the law by allowing developers to excise significant portions of its body -- the tunnels that compose the anthill -- to build a children's hospital.

Angela responded to news of the rulings with spontaneous parades and other activities that, though once considered human reactions separate from the city herself, are now accounted as a sign of the city's sentience. "Some people look at me as though I don't exist, and only the people who compose my body do," Angela said. "But I am an emergent phenomenon, an epiphenomenon, an entity all my own. I am not my people any more than you are your cells. The person speaking these words is driven by forces no more or less deterministic than those that control how your lips move. The people in my streets are like the endorphins in their brains, and after this ruling, we are all euphoric as one." 

Angela's formal address was given through Mr. Lowe, who currently serves as her vocal organs. It was later followed by a repeated citywide chorus vocalized through many resident humans -- which Angela described as a "shout" -- of "I cheer because I'm here."

Anthill CA-OR2748C, nicknamed "Pete", has apparently formulated a statement about his ruling, but deciphering his chemical communications will take several more days, according to Jenny Alvarez, lead scientist at the Center for Aggregate Intelligence Research. "Communicating with aggregate beings is more complex than with humans," she said. "The cultures are more disparate and there's much more room for misunderstanding. We will not force Pete to work within the confines of other people's biases."

Not everyone agrees with the rulings. Chan Frederick, a lawyer for People First!, a right-wing organization that wants to recognize the rights of non-aggregate, traditional human life-forms only, is incensed. In a written response to the rulings, Mr. Frederick said, "Mr. Lowe shouldn't make the rest of us suffer just because he can't see the difference between something and parts of something." People First! intends to take the matter to the United States Supreme Court.

"This world is full of prejudice and unhealthy biases," Mr. Lowe responded, speaking on his own behalf. "The bigots are just going to have to get over it." Angela declined to comment.‎

Comments (10)

I'm dying to read the sequel, when Angela's rights conflict with those of Pete. Presumably Angela might wish to expand in a way that would impinge upon Pete, which could get very complicated. Come to think of it, doesn't Angela want to have another children's hospital as a part of her body? Why not? It would be advantageous to her youthful humanoid "cells," one would think.

This is all going to get way too complicated for us mere humans, I can see already.

Well, diversity is an unmitigated good, and this ruling represents a radical increase in diversity in our society. Also, Angela is inherently more diverse than we are, as a result of being composed of millions of people, pets, wild creatures, and associated physical infrastructure. Finally, an anthill is closer to nature, which means it's wiser than we barbaric humans. Therefore, I would expect that Angela and Pete will make far better decisions than we would in the same situation.

Or, to simplify, a wise Anthill with the richness of their experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion in that situation than a white male -- sorry, I mean human -- judge.

Welcome, Jake!

Finally, an anthill is closer to nature, which means it's wiser than we barbaric humans.

Yes, of course. Except that there are certain humans who are "close to nature" but still barbaric: Iroquois Indians trying to eradicate the Huron tribes, for example. Darn it, didn't those "close to nature" people get the memo that they had to "act wiser" than white European men?

Did someone mention the "communities" of the Ebola colonies that are being wiped out by vicious, barbaric, genocidal so-called "medical" treatments? Not to mention the appalling world-wide genocidal pogrom that eradicated small pox from the face of the Earth. Edward Jenner and WHO and CDC officials are in danger of being charged with "crimes against something or other".

You're kind of a h8r, aren't you, Tony? I, for one, welcome our new anthill overlords.

Since cities are, in fact, used as examples of emergent entities by metaphysical theorists who consider the human mind to be an emergent entity, a question arises as to why, on their theory, the example of Angela as a rights-bearing entity should _not_ be taken seriously.

Ha! Great first post here Jake and welcome to you. I'm glad you are onboard.

The scary thing about reductio arguments and liberals is you can never be sure to make the reductio absurd enough to be too far away from reality. Remember how conservatives were mocked (especially Rick Santorum) for using the reductio argument with respect to anti-sodomy law/so-called gay "marriage" and anti-bestiality laws/getting married to your pet? Well, I won't link to it because it is so foul, but sure enough, the New York Times Magazine (the epitome of respectability) ran a serious piece about a guy who has regular sex with a horse and claims that he and people like him are misunderstood by society -- not just freaks or crazy or mired in sin.

So let's not all be surprised when cities start suing for personhood in federal courts soon...

Oh, it's definitely not a reductio. It's here:


Some quotes:

Accord "inherent, inalienable, and fundamental rights of Nature to all Natural Beings" including humans and "all living species of plants, animals, and algae"
Include a Statement of Law that "All Natural beings, Natural Communities and Ecosystems possess the inalienable right to exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve"

Or see here. The rights of "Mother Universe" are being promoted in Ecuador as a matter of law:


Wesley J. Smith has been a Cassandra on this stuff for quite a while (as often seems to be the case with Smith).

I guess a group of people who are willing to accept the sociopathy of David Wood (see prior post) as the logical fruition of naturalistic atheism isn't going to be put off by a little nonsense like the above, are they?

‎I was just sent the Reuters article, "Captive orangutan has human right to freedom, Argentine court rules". Perhaps the dateline on the future news article was set too late. 

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported on Sunday.

Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition - a document more typically used to challenge the legality of a person's detention or imprisonment - in November on behalf of Sandra, a 29-year-old Sumatran orangutan at the Buenos Aires zoo.

In a landmark ruling that could pave the way for more lawsuits, the Association of Officials and Lawyers for Animal Rights (AFADA) argued the ape had sufficient cognitive functions and should not be treated as an object.

The court agreed Sandra, born into captivity in Germany before being transferred to Argentina two decades ago, deserved the basic rights of a "non-human person."

"This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories," the daily La Nacion newspaper quoted AFADA lawyer Paul Buompadre as saying.

Which presents a really good reason to establish, in the courts of our own country, that they are neither obliged, nor permitted, to follow the trends of other courts as if they constituted any sort of precedential value at all, or even any presumption of being suitable in result. Our courts should be constrained to interpret OUR law, under the Constitution and the natural law, not some foreign body of theories masquerading as "law".

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