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Are whales and dolphins smart enough to get special rights?

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posted on May, 22 2010 @ 06:35 PM
They already have rights. They have no "human" rights and it is impossible to convey these to non-humans.
The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are "inalienable" rights that even humans have to continually fight to maintain for themselves, against ONLY humans. You don't see a human taking a pit bull to court, and you don't see a dolphin petitioning for human rights.
The rights they enjoy are not provided by humans, and they cannot be taken away by humans, they are provided by nature.
You can only be talking about protections, not rights. We can protect them from other humans, maybe. We cannot protect them from their natural predators, which of course, COULD be humans.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 06:56 PM
One day an alien civilization discovering Earth will have the same issue about humans: Are they intelligent enough to deserve rights?
Another issue is the post-humanistic or trans-humanistic issue - if the RICH people will have the cash to increase their IQ and improve their brains , they will of course be superior to the standard homo sapient : will this give them the right to eliminate us for being unintelligent?

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by Stewie

I can't really tell what rights they are referring to. All they say is

rights to life like humans

Just based on that, there are some humans who have more rights than others, while some have fewer.

It does appear the group holding this conference is a conservation group(s), so I'm unsure if there is a different agenda other than promoting the intelligence of these animals.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 07:04 PM
reply to post by Romanian

Good point. I think there is a thread on here somewhere, although I can't find it right now, that brought up that very question about some of the wealthy people that are manipulating their DNA before insemination.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 07:08 PM
Intelligence as a basis for rights is a flawed argument. I will go ahead and say that the respect we give others of all species and their property/habitat/resources needed for life is a demonstration of who we are, both as individuals and as a species. Mentally disabled humans are afforded the inalienable rights that the rest of us enjoy without the need to pass an I.Q. test score. We have, in most of our society now, accommodations for those individuals of lesser abilities. That is fairly new tradition and is dependent on our greater understanding of those conditions. It is called progress. Get it, know it, learn what it looks like and strive for it every day.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 07:13 PM
reply to post by stopthathurts

I think you just said the million dollar word...Respect.

That is something that we humans tend to neglect both with each other and with our surroundings.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 07:21 PM
First we gave them to the Mexicans, then the gays, now special rights to whales and dolphins??
I'm kidding....sorta. Not too fond of them being hunted, but special rights..I can't go that far, sorry.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 07:34 PM
They definately should have the same rights as humans. Actually, I believe all "animals" (I prefer the term "living entities") should have the same rights as humans. In fact, I find it rather barbaric of us, the most intelligent species with capacity for moral thought, are even weighing the pro's and con's of treating the sanctity of life with the respect it deserves.
Science has proven that these creatures are extremely intelligent. Must we wait for them to plea for their lives in our language in order for us to stop their slaughter?
I don't think so.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by Wayne60

Humans don't have a "right" to life, unless this right is provided by other humans.
In other words, humans can TAKE your life, as well as provide some PROTECTIONS from the arbitrary taking of your life.
But, you can still be murdered, even if you have "rights".
So "rights" are those things that HUMANS cannot take away from other humans.
Rights have nothing to do with animals, unless animals acquire the ability to communicate with humans.
So, the argument boils down to...
Are some of these creatures TRYING to communicate with us, but we are deaf? Are they PLEADING for their rights?
If so, what rights?
We have to learn to listen if we believe they are in fact trying to communicate with us.
Only then, can this become a discussion about their rights.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 09:08 PM
reply to post by Wayne60

Whatever the reasoning or emotional outcries, the matter of us as a species being able to confer "inteligence status" for another species is highly debatable.
I see articles out here everyday that bemoan the two party system, yet that same poster will acknowledge there is no two party system anymore becauser of the NWO.
I see articles about the "possibiltiy" of ET's shaping our world, and right next ot it a thread about whether they exist at all.

I see bigotry, hatred, opposing views from all sides of every issue out here, and we want to try to give another species the "right" to be intelligent?
None of us...NONE OF US ...have a 100 % agreement on ANYTHING.
And by the looks of history, we never will...
Yes, they are intelligent, perhaps more so than we know.
Yes, they deserve to be treated accordingly.
But it will never happen because someone out there will have a yen for a dolphin steak one day.

Like I said, monkeys saying "?"
How arrogant we are...

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 10:23 PM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

Those 1 or 2 'pegs' of intelligence must be major, because humans have managed culture, writing, science, philosophy, invention, religion and ethics, flight, cellular technology, metal working, and not to mention we managed to get some humans off of the planet we live on. Last time I checked, dolphins and whales are still swimming around, eating fish or krill, and showing extremely basic cognitive skills. Give them 100 million years or so, they may surprise us.

I am all for treating these creatures with a measure of respect and to not delight in inflicting pain to them, but I am against any governing body laying aside certain positive rights for humans, let alone semi-intelligent aquatic mammals.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 03:23 AM
reply to post by DINSTAAR

Even if they were way more intelligent then we are they will still be swimming around if w didn't kill them all in a million years. Unless they develop hands of course.

The ability to make tools is not really a thing you can measure intelligence with.
Dolphins , Killer whales and even Octopi are capable of problem solving and using tools as far as their anatomical design makes it possible.

culture, writing, science, philosophy, invention, religion and ethics, flight, cellular technology, metal working, and not to mention we managed to get some humans off of the planet we live on. Last time I checked, dolphins and whales are still swimming around, eating fish or krill, and showing extremely basic cognitive skills.

Different populations show little changes in behavior. You could call that culture.

Writing could be a problem without the ability to held a pen or with a wet piece of paper.

Philosophy... Who says they don't. They have a very sophisticated way of communication that we don't understand at all.

Invention, Dolphins and killer whales are known for their hunting skills. These are not instinct they have to learn them from their mother. Several different hunting skills that you need to learn from somebody else means you have got to invent them first.

Religion. Please explain to me why religion is a good thing. ?

They know ethics. without ethics they were not able to live in groups. That they are not the same as the ethics humans think they have is because of perception. Ethics change over time. In ancient Greece it was perfectly ethical to have a homosexual relation. ( example )

Flight, cellular technology and metal working is pretty much restricted By their anatomical design.

Last time you checked those basic cognitive skills were already quite advanced.
Human understanding and/or arrogance is probably the reason for you to think they are basic. ( no offense )

Educate yourself. They are amazing animals, capable of much more then you give them credit for.

Kind regards.


Edit nr.2.
See post from one question below this one.

[edit on 5/23/2010 by Sinter Klaas]

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 03:33 AM
They never grew hands and never destroyed any eco systems, or themselves. I believe if they have any sort of operating frequency close to ours, they are more then likely more intelligent/have more wisdom. Mybe they are here watching us.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:55 AM
Maybe, but i would rather focus on getting the rest of our family more rights as there is no question they deserve them, no they are not humans but i would say they are people. Shipping baby gorillas or chimps around the world is just as disgusting, if not more disgusting than shoving a human baby in a crate for 12 hours. So, i would rather focus on the rest of our primate family before dolphins or whales if im being honest.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by Solomons

I can truly empathize with that. But why do you feel like they are more important ?
Probably because you can relate better with them.

The disappearance of dolphins and whales will be more devastating.
That's because they are key species and the effects they have on their surroundings are a lot bigger than for example a Gorilla has.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by Sinter Klaas

I think they are more important because they are family and because of that it is alot easier to identify with them in regards to emotions, their body language etc It is harder when it comes to whales or dolphins because just like pet owners who have dogs or cats they tend to impose their own mindset and emotions on their actions.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by Solomons

Good enough reason for me

Unfortunately a lot of people are not even capable of sharing your reason for actual humans.

Let alone apes or dolphins.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 12:14 PM
Apparently any creature (be it Humans, insects, plants or animals) that is deemed 'special' get imprisoned anyway. So dubbing them 'special' with 'special' applications is for show and political correctness only. It would only be in name not.....purpose!

The military have been using dolphins (and I believe whales too if I am not mistaking) for decades. They know they're smart so they use them to detect underwater mines to killing people. Look it up!

Forget labels, awards, rankings or any of that nonsense! It's a dog and pony show folks and 'they're' the stage putting on this grand illusion and we're the audience. HOWEVER, some are waking up and demanding their money back now!

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by Wayne60
I wish International Law would categorize whales, dolphins, chimps etc as 'smart enough' to be protected from farming, fishing, testing and culling.

Banning these would have a negative effect on the economic interests of people who rely on the trade and scientific experimentation. It can't be ignored. However, without sounding 'flip,' protecting these species would have a positive knock-on effect for the ecology of oceans and forests.

Scientific research is constantly revealing new evidence of animals’ intelligence and emotions. This interest is reflected in burgeoning numbers of journals, books and reports. Professor Marian Dawkins of the Oxford University has called the study of animal sentience "one of the most exciting and the most important in the whole of biology."

There is now evidence that many animals can learn new skills and some appear to show emotions similar to human empathy. They can also be reduced to a state resembling human depression by chronic stress or confinement in a cage. This new understanding of the sentience of animals has huge implications for the way we treat them and the policies and laws we adopt.
Animal Sentience

I fully expect a profound debate will happen in the future. Science keeps providing uncomfortable evidence that these species are caring, thoughtful individuals living within 'cultures.' A big worry is that the debate will be retrospective when too much damage has been done.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 12:41 PM
In my not so humble opinion, it is sheer arrogance for humans to believe that they are the only intelligent or even the most intelligent creatures on this planet.

I believe that whales and dolphins should get special rights, but I don't believe they will - human greed and all that. I also believe that all creatures (regardless of presumed intelligence or lack thereof) should be treated with respect (or at least not cruelty, regardless of what uses you make of them), but expecting this from most humans is like like peeing against the wind (excuse the expression). :-)

I am reminded of the beginning of Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galazy (movie), with the singing dolphins.

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