Personhood

Jan. 9th, 2012 11:10 pm
cholten99: (Default)
[personal profile] cholten99
As I've mentioned before I'm a big fan of the Future of the Constitution series from the Brookings Institution. I still have a backlog of their excellent articles to read but tonight I've found time to go through Endowed by Their Creator?: The Future of Constitutional Personhood.

This is an excellent essay covering both the creation of intelligence in machines (via AI) and the reduction of intelligence in humans (via genetics) to present arguments on exactly what makes a "person". Comments comparing AI restriction to abortion mix with warnings about the previous times in history groups of people have decided that some entities are not 'persons'. Statements such as those suggesting that any being that can hold moral values is 'human' is dispatched by pointing out that many animals can be shown to act 'morally'. Further reflection on already existing corporate non-human persons is briefly touched on.

However, perhaps the only solid conclusion is that while liberals struggle with the weighty problems of defining what is a 'person' conservatives and theologians will continue to resist the expansion of fundamental rights to any further group of beings - just as they have for women, gays, 'lesser races' and people with heretical thoughts.
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