Do Dolphins and Whales Have Rights?

Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held a session on expanding rights for dolphins and whales. Since cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are highly intelligent animals and very social, some scientists and ethicists argued cetaceans deserve legal protections as "non-human persons." The panelists outlined a "Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans," which among other rights, would recognize whales and dolphins' right to life, an undisturbed natural environment, and the right to not be held in captivity. So say goodbye to whale sushi and SeaWorld.

To support cetacean rights, the panelists listed evidence for dolphin and whale intelligence. Scaled for size, cetacean brains are almost as big as human brains. Cetaceans can also recognize themselves in a mirror. Humans, elephants, great apes, and magpies are the only other species who have that trait. Cetaceans also communicate with each other and grieve for their dead.

Dr. Lori Mano, of Emory University and one of the co-authors of the declaration, expands on changing perceptions toward cetaceans:

Once you shift from seeing a being as a property, a commodity, a resource, to a person, an autonomous entity that has a right to life on his or her own terms, the whole framework shifts...this is not about harvesting resources, this is about murder.

Back in September 2011, A. Barton Hinkle covered many of the arguments and rebuttals to animal rights, including moral agency and marginal cases. One thinker Hinkle did not mention in his article was Murray Rothbard. In The Ethics of Liberty, Rothbard criticized the notion of animal rights, writing:

In short, man has rights because they are natural rights. They are grounded in the nature of man: the individual man's capacity for conscious choice, the necessity for him to use his mind and energy to adopt goals and values, to find out about the world, to pursue his ends in order to survive and prosper, his capacity and need to communicate and interact with other human beings and to participate in the division of labor. In short, man is a rational and social animal. No other animals or beings possess this ability to reason, to make conscious choices, to transform their environment in order to prosper, or to collaborate consciously in society and the division of labor.

For Rothbard, the act of homesteading demonstrates rationality. Since Homo sapiens can homestead, but animals can't, animals do not have rights.

While this is certainly true for many animals, the distinction between human and cetacean is not so clear-cut. Dolphins use tools to hunt, turning conch shells into traps and sea sponges into probes and protective gear. There have also been a few cases of cooperative hunting and role specialization. In addition, mother dolphins have also been seen teaching their daughters how to use these tools. Michael Krützen, a researcher at Zurich University, and one of the first observers of this behavior, has labelled this training a "cultural transmission." 

More impressively, dolphins have been known to delay gratification and plan for the future. The Guardian explains how one dolphin even outsmarted humans:

At the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, Kelly the dolphin has built up quite a reputation. All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean.

Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on. This behaviour is interesting because it shows that Kelly has a sense of the future and delays gratification. She has realised that a big piece of paper gets the same reward as a small piece and so delivers only small pieces to keep the extra food coming. She has, in effect, trained the humans.

Perhaps so long as animal rights are defined as negative rights, they can be compatible with libertarianism. David Graham, a libertarian writer and animal rights advocate, continues in this vein:

Unlike incoherent positive rights, such as the 'right' to education or health care, the animal right is, at bottom, a right to be left alone. It does not call for government to tax us in order to provide animals with food, shelter, and veterinary care. It only requires us to stop killing them and making them suffer.

Depending on the level of rationality, intelligence, and pain sensitivity an animal has, the more rights it should have. Under this ethical framework, a whale or a dolphin would more or less be the moral equivalent of a young child, the mentally handicapped, and possibly a fetus, depending on the latter's stage of development. Cetacean rights and fetal personhood advocates could become unlikely allies in the years ahead. 

If cetacean rights are taken seriously, protecting whales and dolphins would mean everything from stopping whaling and ocean pollution, to developing safe havens in international waters, free from human interference. Building on the latter, some advocates even support the creation of a "cetacean nation," most prominently, John C. Lilly. A heterodox thinker, Lillly was the creator of the isolation tank and one of the pioneers in LSD experimentation and human-dolphin interspecies communication. As Lilly envisioned, a cetacean nation would formally encode protecting whales and dolphins, with the ultimate goal of gaining formal recognition by the United Nations.

Cetacean rights activists also want all whales, dolphins, and porpoises free from aquariums and theme parks. As Mike Riggs wrote a few weeks ago, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently tried to free killer whales from SeaWorld. PETA argued the orcas were "enslaved," which would violate the 13th Amendment. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. district court judge dismissed Tilikum v. SeaWorld for lack of standing, remarking that "the clear language and historical context reveal that only human beings, or persons, are afforded the protection of the Thirteenth Amendment." 

In addition, Tilikum was not a sympathetic plaintiff: He's been involved with the deaths of three SeaWorld trainers. If Tilikum were granted personhood, wouldn't he be liable for murder? Or at the very least, manslaughter? If convicted, Tilikum would get prison time, and since he couldn't be imprisoned on land, he would serve his sentence in a tank.  A tank at, say, SeaWorld.

Reason on animal rights.

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  • ||

    With great rights come great responsibilities.

  • Homesteading = Aggression||

    Nice whitewashed Fibertarian term, though.

    Homesteading = Trail of Tears first.

  • Continuing the Occupation||

    ...takes lots of government aggression too. Big Government enforced Privation property is directly contradictory to the N.A.P.

    "Premise Three: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence."

    ~Derrick Jensen
    Endgame
    www.endgamethebook.org/Excerpts/1-Premises.htm

    ENDCIV: Premise 3
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_7bMWucoKQ

  • Jason Godesky feels children?||

  • Fibertarians always lie?||

    Or just most of the time?

  • Jason Godesky is an inbred?||

    Just asking questions.

  • Fibertards=aggressive statists||

    Just making observations.

  • ||

    Fibertarian? I like that insult! Much more polite than we usually see, plus it sets the moral standard at honesty, which I think we can all agree with.

  • ||

    White Idiot is the intellectual equivalent of an unsolicited live performance of"Two Girls,One Cup"for the Super Bowl half time show.

  • Continuing the Occupation||

    Tyranny of Mind control, for the mark of the beast
    All rights removed, you're punished, captured, and enslaved
    Believe me when I say, "This IS the Endgame."

    ~Megadeath
    Endgame

  • ||

    Stop the "natural rights" foolishness. A right is a recognized freedom. Rights are based on forcing people with power into recognition.

  • Earthlings||

    EARTHLINGS is a powerful and informative documentary about society’s treatment of animals, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix with soundtrack by Moby. This multi-award winning film by Nation Earth is a must-see for anyone who cares about animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

    EARTHLINGS is considered the definitive animal rights film by organizations around the world. “Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most,” said Phoenix. “For every one person who sees EARTHLINGS, they will tell three.”

    Earthlings
    www.earthlings.com

  • ||

    That's great for the harelip retard and Moby. I hope it inspires them to do shit.

    However, their willingness to do good for lesser species should not turn into compelling me to change my life or give up my rights for them.

    And FWIW, he sucked in Gladiator.

  • Lesser species?||

    Do you fall for the monotheistic hierarchy of Genesis 1:26, as follows?

    JEHOVALLAH (or the Invisible Hand)
    PRIESTCRAFT (or heroic Industrialists)
    MAN
    WOMAN (submits to husband)
    ANIMALS (submit to husbandry)
    NATURE (valuable only if useful to hierarchy)

    Probably you do.

  • Lesser species=Christian axiom||

    The fact that most people do not think of these attitudes as Christian is irrelevant. No new set of basic values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.

    The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis
    Author(s): Lynn White, Jr.
    Source: Science, New Series, Vol. 155, No. 3767 (Mar. 10, 1967), pp. 1203-1207
    Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
    www.uvm.edu/~gflomenh/ENV-NGO-.....-White.pdf

  • ||

    You do realize there are people who publish books about flat-earth theory, and how it is correct, right?

    IOW, just because some whack-a-loon publishes something in a book (that gets him paid more by the way), doesn't exactly make it so.

    And another thing...the Bible has sold a few more copies that Mr. White's tome. I'll probably lend it a bit more credence, thank you very much.

  • Praise Jehovallah, sloopy!||

    - the Bible has sold a few more copies...
    - Mao's Little Red Book has sold a few more copies...
    - Das Kapital has sold a few more copies...

    .... than Science, New Series, Vol. 155, No. 3767 (Mar. 10, 1967)

    Well, shit. Fuck that Science stuff then. Can I join one of your popular city-Statist in-groups right now?

  • ||

    Yes, they all have sold more copies. That's why they each have more adherents to their contents. And whether we agree with them or not, they are theories that have withstood scrutiny and remain relevant to this day. Little Mr. White's pet bullshit...not so much.

  • ||

    Do you fall for the monotheistic hierarchy of Genesis 1:26, as follows?

    Yes, I do. Now kindly go fuck yourself.

  • Praise Jehovallah, sloopy!||

    Now kindly go fuck yourself.

  • Consider the ravens.||

    Jesus said to do it. Burn in hell if you don't.

    Consider that Jesus was ANTI-AGRICULTURAL anarcho-primitivist:

    They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

    ~Jesus
    verse 26, chapter 3, The Jefferson Bible

    Better start following Jesus if you say you follow Jesus.

  • ||

    They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. - The Big J

    He was saying that God takes care of all his creatures, regardless of their station or lot in life. But you already knew tat, didn't you?

  • ||

    Now kindly go fuck yourself.

    Wow. Such an original comeback. Did you learn to be a parrot in your cave, while drawing pictures of the lady from the next cave (who will die by age 30) with animal blood and semen?

  • Sloopy's Continued Lies||

    Jesus wants you to lie? Weird.

    Civilization has made us unhealthy and cut lifespan.

    The earliest visible populations of prehistory nonetheless do surprisingly well if we compare them to the actual record of human history rather than to our romantic images of civilized progress.

    Health and the Rise of Civilization
    Mark Nathan Cohen
    Yale University Press
    http://www.primitivism.com/health-civilization.htm

    Thus with the advent of agriculture and élite became better off, but most people became worse off. Instead of swallowing the progressivist party line...

    The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
    Jared Diamond (UCLA School of Medicine)
    Originally published in Discover Magazine, May 1, 1987. Pages 64-66.
    www.mnforsustain.org/food_ag_w.....mond_j.htm

  • ||

    The earliest visible populations of prehistory nonetheless do surprisingly well if we compare them to the actual record of human history rather than to our romantic images of civilized progress.

    And what does he use to support this assertion? What empirical evidence is there that supports this? And why has it gotten zero support from the field of anthropology?

    Thus with the advent of agriculture and élite became better off, but most people became worse off. Instead of swallowing the progressivist party line...

    Sorry, but I'm having a hard time grasping a sentence with such poor structure. Your refusal to complete the statement or offer any context, not to mention zero evidence to support the claim whatsoever, further gets by bullshit-detector flashing red.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Sloopy, seriously, why are you talking to it?

  • ||

    Oh honey, please don't respond. If this retard started having a debate with you in real life, would you actually take him seriously, or help him get safely on the short bus as you chuckle at his adorable retard antics?

  • ||

    Scaled for size, cetacean brains are almost as big as human brains

    Sounds like phrenology. And what of the inherent species-ism of giving favored status to cetaceans? Plants have been known to cooperate among themselves and with other species. Why won;t 'science' admit that it's concerns are limited to what they think they understand..and thus quite limited?

  • Sam Grove||

    They must devote a lot of neurological power to echolocation.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Up against the shore cetacean!

    You have the right to remain silent. The right to a court-appointed attorney. You have the right to sing the blues. You have the right to cable TV. You have the right to sublet. You have the right to paint the walls. No loud colors.

  • wareagle||

    I am sick to death of these human Loraxes and their inane belief that they can speak for constituencies that neither asked for representation nor appear to need it.

    Their intellectual vacuousness is evident in the campaign on "dolphin-free tuna": all the heartburn about dolphins, not a tinker's damn about the tuna. So, it's okay to believe in "rights" for some species but not for others.

  • ||

    Seriously. When a dolphin attorney emerges from the seafoam and files an injunction, they can have rights.

  • Bee Tagger||

    If an unfrozen caveman can do it, certainly a dolphin is within the realm of reason.

  • AuH20||

    I'm just a simple caveman. Your world frightens and confuses me. Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts.

  • You're a cityStatist Goldwater||

    Thesis #21: Civilization makes us sick.
    Thesis #22: Civilization has no monopoly on medicine.
    Thesis #23: Civilization has no monopoly on knowledge.
    Thesis #24: Civilization has no monopoly on art.
    Thesis #25: Civilization reduces quality of life.

    The Thirty Theses
    Jason Godesky
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/index.html

  • ||

    #21: What diseases has any uncivilized group cured. [citation required]
    #22: What medicines have uncivilized groups developed that helped anyone outside of their "tribe?" [citation required]
    #23: Shared experiences of civilization is knowledge.
    #24: Art develops because of civilization. That's why cave drawings are now out of fashion.
    #25: Even if it prolongs life, adds leisure time and allows for personal development. Please show me a study [citation please with plenty of footnotes] that shows it reduces it.

    Your theses are the ramblings of a retarded madman, and are rejected easily through basic deduction and supporting evidence. That is why they are roundly rejected by any reputable anthropologist.

  • See how this works?||

    Seriously. When a dolphin retard/child/fetal attorney emerges from the seafoam and files an injunction, they can have rights.

  • ||

    Retards/Infants/attorneys are human. We've already established that humans have rights.

    Dolphins have yet to prove that. And, frankly, so do attorneys.

  • Dolphins are rational animals||

    As are humans.

    They've proven it.

    Rational Animals? [Paperback]
    Susan Hurley (Editor), Matthew Nudds (Editor)
    Oxford University Press
    www.amazon.com/Rational-Animal.....198528272/

  • ||

    Where are the arguments coming from that dolphins are rational animals?

    From humans.

    Once a dolphin makes a case in his species' defense, I'll acknowledge it.

    And no more retard/infant/attorney comparisons.

  • Weird Fibertarian bullshit||

    So now your definition of rights (or anything else) has no bearing until any other party agree with you?

    That's wild.

  • not like you thought it would||

  • Infants||

    Seriously. When an infant with legal skills emerges from the womb and files an injunction, they can have rights.

  • RoboCain||

    Bad set theory.

  • Fibertarianism=bad set theory||

    Glad you got that figured out.

  • Sam Grove||

    I'd be satisfied if they threw fish at Gingrich or Santorum.

  • Newt Paul: "I disavow."||

    I disavow things I sign, like marriage certificates and financial newsletters. "Things happen."

    P.S. Contracts you sign with me in which I profit are sacred. Don't forget that, you useless parasite.

  • ||

    As a practical matter, cetaceans and other species will need to force us into recognizing whatever rights they may assert, before we will say they "have" any. On the other hand, they may do this with the assistance of strong allies from within our own species, and why not? Among humans, the mentally incompetent, the comatose, and minors have rights, too, though they can't "force" the recognition of those rights; guardians, advocates and attorneys do that for them. First, however, a human and a non-human must have a conversation, in which the latter proves understanding of his or her lack of rights, and seeks help in securing them. (continued in reply msg)

  • ||

    (continued from msg above)

    I hope I live to see that day and the ensuing legal and political struggle. I am surprised that it hasn't happened already. Some of the reported exchanges between Koko the gorilla and her human friends, for instance, seemed to suggest that she might have understood (or been able to understand) the plight of her and her fellows, and then been able to request help. If not her, though, then someday another primate, dolphin, whale, cephalopod, or perhaps even a parrot, will. That will be a remarkable event, regardless of where one stands on the non-human rights issue.

    (By the way, what's with the 900 CHARACTER limit? What a crock!)

  • ||

    That dolphins lack the capacity to file and demand an injunction is evidence that they don't deserve a legal right to join a state bar association and earn a license to practice law. It is not evidence that they are undeserving of the right to be left in peace.

  • ||

    Why O Why did Charlie want to be put into a can and eaten???
    Kind of like me wanting to be soylent green.

  • Tonio||

    So, it's okay to believe in "rights" for some species but not for others.

    That's an oversimplification. There is a continuum of rights, depending on the intelligence of the species.

  • ||

    My novelty band in college once had a song called "Tuna Fish Can with Extra Dolphin".

  • ||

    #5: "Rights" are subjective. Biggest gang wins.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Do Dolphins and Whales Have Rights?

    No. You have a permit to ask stupid questions like that?

  • YES They're moral; they reason||

    Do Dolphins and Whales Have Rights?


    Yes.

    They're moral beings.

    Good Natured:
    The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals
    by Frans B. M. de Waal
    Harvard University Press
    www.amazon.com/Good-Natured-Or.....674356616/

    They're reasoning beings.

    Rational Animals?
    by Susan Hurley and Matthew Nudds
    Oxford University Press
    www.amazon.com/Rational-Animal.....0198528272

  • WhiteInuit hunters hardest hit||

  • Fibertarians Fundamentalists||

    Deny scientific scholarship when it conflicts with their faith.

  • Tak Kak||

    Scientific scholarship has nothing to do with "rights" whatsoever.

  • Morality and Rationality...||

    ...have to do with FIBERTARIAN definitions of "rights," so scientific scholarship does have something to do with it.

    Especially when other animals demonstrate rationality and morality.

    Try again, Fibertard.

  • Sad Chatterer||

    It's sad (but not at all surprising) that we're even having this discussion.

  • You're a sad sack of shit.||

    not at all surprising

  • Sad Chatterer||

    I know you are but what am I?

  • tarran||

    If Tilikum were granted personhood, wouldn't he be liable for murder? Or at the very least, manslaughter?

    Killing people who kidnap you, keep you prisoner and enslave you is murder?

    How so?

  • Corneliusm||

    Technically, this article is incorrect. Even the wikipedia article linked says that only 2 of the deaths were trainers.

    The other was some weirdo trying to engage in some man-on-orca action. Guess he was too lazy to travel to Wisconsin.

  • Sparky||

    You know that humans only stay alive in the ocean because dolphins allow them too right? If we start trying to humanize dolphins we'll find out which is the master species real fast.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Ever heard about the dolphin rape caves? Google it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A chin-stroking post about rights for cute animals, right after a contemptuous post about bills in Virginia to protect the right to life of *human beings.*

  • Liberaria||

    We have a problem with the concept of "rights."

  • ||

    Well, cute animals are part of Mother Gaia! While humans are teh cancer on Mother Gaia!

    Or something bizarre like that.

    I figure the "progressive" answer is, "if it expands the power of government, then yes they have rights".

  • wareagle||

    then your progressive theory runs aground in VA. No way they can be for the Repubs' personhood bill, even though the power of govt is surely expanded.

  • ||

    I never said they were consistent. Indeed, they're proud of the fact that they aren't. Just ask Tony.

  • ||

    ah, but what if personhood imbued fetuses with voting rights? Would progressives be for personhood then?

  • Humans aren't cancer-Growth is||

    The uncontrolled and destructive GROWTH of City-STATISM is the cancer.

    Chapter 1: 1. PROBLEM OF GROWTH.
    A capstone formulation of why our societal structure is unsustainable, how rhizome presents a solution, and how to implement it.
    What is Rhizome?
    Jeff Vail | January 28, 2008
    www.jeffvail.net/2007/01/what-is-rhizome.html

    Civilization itself is a Prisoner’s Dilemna driving ever greater intensification, complexity and growth.

    Thesis #12: Civilization must always grow [LIKE A CANCEROUS GROWTH]
    Jason Godesky | 23 October 2005
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/

  • Humans aren't cancer-Growth is||

    Representative thinking is based upon existing matter.
    It fails in the creation of concepts because new matter is neglected.
    Creation has to evolve from necessity.
    It's always on the crossing border of existing and non-existing matter.
    Creation will be based upon imagination.

    ~Disavowed
    Rhizome

  • CANCER = UNREGULATED GROWTH||

    No wonder Fibertards don't like regulation.

    The Wit & Wisdom of Cancer
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3C-ERBfCms

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, no body disagrees about the moral status of a fetus. Jesus Christ, talk about question begging.

  • Gojira||

    To my understanding the article never once mentioned the cuteness, or lack thereof, of whales or dolphins. It's an intelligence question. And some whales are definitely not "cute" (of course some people will always think differently, but there are also people who think tarantulas are cute, so you have to paint with a broad brush here).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Not only are they cute, they're tasty, too!

  • sarcasmic||

    Some tarantulas have pink toes. I shit you not. Google it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Bright blue with pink toes. Seriously.

  • Gojira||

    It's funny you bring that up, because I was just looking at pink-toed tarantulas yesterday when trying to decide if we want a snake or a spider for our next pet.

  • sarcasmic||

    We've got both.

    Spiders are easier to care for, but snakes are easier to handle.

  • Gojira||

    Hmm. I've only ever had cats and dogs, so for a first "exotic", I wanted something pretty basic. Corn snake, mexican red-knee, etc. Something very noobish.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you're going to go with a snake, I'd suggest here http://www.albinonile.com/ though, depending on where you live, you may want to wait until it warms up to have it shipped.

    All his critters are carefully bred from good stock, and hand fed frozen-thawed rodents.

    With traditional pet stores you really don't know what you're getting, and you're almost guaranteed to overpay.

  • Gojira||

    I'd mostly been going off of craigslist, since a lot of guys on there will throw in their enclosures and all the gear for pretty cheap, but thanks for the website, I'll definitely check it out.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you do that then you don't know what kind of temperament the animal has, what it has been eating, if it has a respiratory infection or mites...
    I wouldn't suggest it.
    You might save money, but get a sick animal that you can't easily handle. What's the fun in that?

  • Tonio||

    Jimbo at 12:33, FTW.

  • ||

    +100 banjos

  • sarcasmic||

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  • Randy||

    I knew this would turn up on this thread. 'Cause I was going to post it, but you beat me.

  • H man||

    Beat me as well.

  • ||

    You said that on porpoise.

  • RoboCain||

    GAAAAH!

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    which among other rights, would recognize whales and dolphins' right to... an undisturbed natural environment.

    I don't know if dolphins qualify as "persons", but I am certain that I do qualify as a "person" and that I have no such right.

    Theoretically, this "right" would ruin the world economy. Realistically, protecting this "right" would fail epically.

  • Tonio||

    And you're right that declaring a right to an undisturbed natural environment puts you into WI territory.

    But there's a difference between that and declaring that intelligent individuals should not be held in captivity.

  • GILMORE||

    I'll acknowledge 'Dolphin Rights' as soon as they stop Raping People

    http://www.aardvarknyc.com/abo.....pe-people/

    Over 14 times a year people are maliciously raped by dolphins. It happens all over the world and often goes by unnoticed. It could happen to you in any aquatic environment deeper than 4 feet, fresh water or salt. The male dolphins have an opposable penis which they WILL use to grab you or your family members by the wrist or ankle and pull you under water. It will happen quickly and rather quietly, except for the terrifying shriek of the dolphins rape call. Once you are submerged they WILL proceed to bring you to their rape caves, and violently ravage you. Dolphins show absolutely no mercy and are not easily satisfied.

  • Sparky||

    Hey, those people were asking for it obviously. They got in the water wearing that skimpy clothing didn't they?

  • Matrix||

    but it's not rape-rape

  • Tman||

    Came here for stories referencing dolphin-rape.

    Leaving satisfied, if slightly more paranoid about getting raped by a tuna-munching hoop jumper.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Don't worry Tman, it's all made up.

    Still hilarious, though.

  • Tman||

    The "14 people a year" and "dolphin rape caves" may be fake, but Dolphins have needs just like any other animal and since we can't say "no" in Dolphin speak they do what they need to man..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    There are a frightening number of dolphin-humping-humans videos on Youtube.

  • Hank Hill||

    Gaaaahhh!

  • Pope Jimbo||

    So if it turns out that the dolphins are "persons" who are being held captive, does that mean that Sea World will have to build a seedy cave out back for their prisoners to have conjugal visits with crazy ass wild dolphins who have a fetish for caged dolphins?

    Also, how soon before the internet comes up with a new genre of female dolphins in a prison pr0n?

  • ||

    Leaving satisfied, if slightly more paranoid about getting raped by a tuna-munching hoop jumper.

    Hey, leave me out of this!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Hahahahahah!!!!

  • Butts Wagner||

    Something about Dolphinsanity and Tuna flavored Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

  • ||

    Thank you, as always, Gilmore for keeping the discussion relevant and serious.

  • GILMORE||

    I do my part

  • Killazontherun||

    I read that while researching the topic, and there are elements of humor that make me doubt its veracity. I have been trying to find more info on Snopes, but it appears Google's site: search function is broken as all fucking hell.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Wait, I thought it was the Male Gaze, not the Male Cave that all the feminists were bitching about.

    Did my dyslexia kick in or something?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Fuck ha-yooo darphin andha whaaare.

  • ||

    The intelligence of cetaceans is vastly overstated. They're more akin to dogs. But hey, let's waste time anthropomorphizing some more animals.

  • ||

    I'm sympathetic to arguments that more sentient animals should be treated better than less sentient ones, but that's a different argument than saying they have rights.

    Unless I can make shitloads of money claiming that my clients, the porpoises of the Gulf of Mexico, have property rights that they would now like to assert. Certainly, my clients don't want to restrict the use of the surface by humans or the drilling of oil; they simply want fair and just compensation for such uses.

  • ||

    What does "more sentient" mean? Nothing, because "sentient" is a binary. You are or you aren't. We haven't met another sentient species yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a case of "I know it when I see it".

    ET PHONE HOME

  • ||

    I'm still wrestling with the question of whether you are human or a Turing test gone horribly wrong.

  • Gojira||

    That's an awfully homo-centric definition of "sentient". Maybe they are, in a way we don't understand.

  • ||

    I'm with Jim. Against the construct known as Episiarch.

  • ||

    I don't see what being gay has to do with being sentient, Jimbo.

    Jerri: Mr. Noblet wants me to snitch on a friend.

    Jellineck: Snitching doesn’t seem like you, Jerri.

    Jerri: Oh, it’s not what you think. It’s not like snitching on a real person. She's--

    Jellineck: Gay?

    Jerri: Retarded.

    Jellineck: Yes, most of them are.

    Jerri: Most who are what?

    Jellineck: Most gay people are retarded.

    Jerri: Does that mean Kimberly Timbers is gay?

    Jellineck: I don’t know. Hey! Make a pass at her and find out. She'd have to be retarded to turn you down!

  • ||

    Not that kind of homo, dude. The other kind. You know, the guys who ride around on trains without buying tickets.

  • Sparky||

    If you got raped by one of those guys would you say you got hoboned?

  • Gojira||

    I never could get into that show, even though it's the kind of humor that's usually right up my alley. Still, I wish it had gone on longer (see how many double entendres you can find in that statement).

  • ||

    It was before its time, Jimbo. Of course a gauche trend-follower such as yourself couldn't get into it.

  • Gojira||

    The worst part is, I can't stand Seinfeld, but I love Curb Your Enthusiasm. Makes no sense.

  • Nundner||

    Most sane people have it reversed.

  • Gojira||

    I've never been accused of having a surfeit of sanity.

  • ||

    You merely prove my point, Jimbo.

  • Gojira||

    I would think a trend-follower would be the other way around, ne?

  • ||

    So you're a hipster?

  • Bingo||

    I wrestle with this logic particularly due to the abortion debate. If sentience is the only thing that grants individuals rights, then infanticide is justifiable until a child actually achieves sentience. Many children don't have a sense of self until they are toddlers, while dolphins have demonstrated that they are capable of self-awareness by recognizing themselves in a mirror.

  • ||

    Well, then you're right in line with the ancient Greeks. Expose a baby on a hillside, today! It will come back as a hero and kill you later, and possibly have sex with its own mother.

  • Zeb||

    We really need more of that sort of thing today.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Some of the hunting tactics I've seen dolphins use look more complicated than what a dog pack could pull off. They might be up around chimp level.

  • ||

    Wolves use some complicated hunting tactics too. It's not that complicated.

    When they figure out how to drive buffalo off a cliff or the seafaring equivalent, then we can talk.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Saw a clip on Discovery of dophins rounding up fish into a shrinking column. Eventually the fish try to jump out of the column and other dolphins are waiting there, above water, with mouths open. The one's actually laying the trap don't even get to eat, but they learned to take turns. Pretty impressive stuff.

  • Trespassers W||

    That's a perfect example. FACT PWNED.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Animals showing specialization in hunting and mating within their environment does not make them "intelligent". It is the mere perfection of their environmental niche. Wolf spiders excel in their environment. So do Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia), as well as the California Oak Moth. Every single species of plant and animal does the same. But when popular science focuses on a few select species, they begin to project human traits onto those species. The problem with this is that Wolf Spiders aren't charming, and their feedback mechanism is not compatible with human senses. Trees are even less communicative. It doesn't mean these species are "dumb" and aren't worthy of rights. It just means they are living species, just like dolphins and whales. None of which are entitled to individual rights.

  • ||

    The only issue I have with this is the earlier ET reference. I've got visions of that logic being applied to us. It's all about line-drawing, of course.

  • Zeb||

    The difference with dolphins and other more advanced animals is that they innovate and learn, which trees, spiders and insects do not do. I think it is absurd to draw a line through nature and say that humans are on one side and everything else is on the other. That may be the case, but it is far from obvious. Some animals might be more intelligent than we understand. And we humans might be less of independent, intelligent and moral actors than we like to believe.
    I'm not about to start advocating for rights for any non-human animals, but I think that it is far from obvious that no other animals are entitled to individual rights. Based on what I know, I don't think that any other animals should have rights, but that is not something that can be known a priori.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I don't think that any other animals should have rights, but that is not something that can be known a priori.

    Yeah, my initial argument was a little clunky. I agree with your argument Zeb. I think the problem is that people project human characteristics onto certain species, and then dismiss others altogether. Even you saying that, "The difference with dolphins and other more advanced animals is that they innovate and learn, which trees, spiders and insects do not do" is problematic. It's hard to tell if a live oak is innovating because of the long life cycles, and our inability to effectively communicate with a tree. Wolf spiders may innovate too, but because of their microscopic size and our lack of observation, we simply haven't noticed. But one dolphin starts to ration litter, and some people think it's a sentient being deserving individual rights.

  • Zeb||

    Indeed, there is a whole lot that we don't know about what other creatures get up to. It seems like people keep discovering really unexpected behaviors in species that had long been assumed to lack any kind of learned behavior, tool use, etc.

  • Bingo||

    It's an interesting question. What if we landed on Europa and discovered creatures of dolphin-like intelligence living there? I think that people would have a hard time justifying any sort of killing these creatures due to the fact that they do exhibit traits of intelligence.

  • Nundner||

    Depends on how delicious they are.

  • ||

    Europan dolphin steak sounds pretty good to me.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    Expensive too.

  • ||

    That's what makes it extra delicious.

  • Brendan||

    They demonstrate an interesting level of altruism in protecting humans from sharks and have been seen assisting whales in navigating shallow water. They also assist injured dolphins by bringing them to the surface to breath.

    Recognizing another species in distress and placing yourself in danger to protect them is pretty damned significant. Recognizing that a species is having difficulty getting around and taking time to assist them without a visible (at least to us) pay off is even more so.

    Dolphins also cooperate with fishermen by driving fish towards their nets and then snagging some of the caught fish.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Wait, you are telling me that these dolphins do all this crap for free?

    Now I'm all for full blown tuna nets. Last thing we need are seas full of stinking socialists.

  • Brendan||

    They might be telling us that they're smart and would prefer not to be killed. In exchange, they'll save our lives when the chance arises.

  • Fibertarians Fundamentalists||

    The intelligence of Fibertarians is vastly overstated. They're more akin to dogs.

  • ||

    The appetite of Jason Godesky is more akin to Jabba the Hutt than a noble Navaho.

  • ||

    That would actually be anthropopathizing, Epi. Big difference and one you should understand if you want to sit at the big peoples table on this one.

  • Fluffy||

    I think the post is a reach, too.

    But say ET is discovered in Drew Barrymore's closet tomorrow.

    Does ET have rights?

    Can he own property?

    If he commits a crime, does he have the right to remain silent? To be free of cruel and unusual punishment?

    I have to think, "Yes". He's a rational and sentient being. He shares in common with Man the things that give Man natural rights. So he gets them.

    OTOH, I have to think, "No". The whole purpose of natural rights is to come up with a moral way for men to live with one another, for the benefit of Man. Other species are there for us to fuck up.

    So it's a quandary.

    For people who look at Shamu and see ET (which is not entirely reasonable, but not so ridiculous that you'd have to be insane to do it) I guess it's a quandary also.

  • wareagle||

    I think when you have to resort to that level of thinking, the question posed in the article has emphatically answered itself - hell, no.

  • WarMonger! Hell NO!||

    cuz I said so. And have a gun. Emphaticlly.

  • Matrix||

    I have a problem limiting rights only to humans. For one, if we're not the most intelligent and advanced species in the universe, if someone more advanced comes along and has the same sentiment as "only we have rights" then we're toast and deservingly so.

  • ||

    ^This.

    And our track record with less intelligent species might determine the response of more intelligent species to us.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    I'll worry about that when the time comes. I'm not going to structure my life around a remote possibility.

  • ||

    Something about foreseeable consequences, Rev. Also, you have no idea how remote this possibility is or when it could happen. Neither do I.

    This is a moral question that needs to be settled for many reasons, and I'm not inclined to latch on to easy excuses to ignore the question.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    An alien invasion is not a forseeable consequence. Do you believe in Pascal's Wager too? By your logic you should fall to your knees right now.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    The whole purpose of natural rights is to come up with a moral way for men to live with one another, for the benefit of Man. Other species are there for us to fuck up.

    Will you change your mind when staring down the barrel of ET's spaceship-mounted Omega Death Ray?

    I think natural rights should be applied to anyone who is capable of pondering the concept of natural rights. That certainly includes intelligent aliens and will one day include AI.

  • voxpo||

    But not babies or dogs or horses.

  • Zeb||

    I think that it is the mind that makes one a moral agent, not genetics. If we encountered a different species which we could communicate with as we do with other humans, I think that the only morally acceptable thing would be to treat such beings as human.

    I think that the "whole purpose of natural rights" that you posit is only our picture of natural rights because so far we have not encountered any other type of being that is like us. So there has never been a reason to consider a system of natural rights including other species. I think that treating another sentient species differently would be the same thing as racism.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think that the only morally acceptable thing would be to treat such beings as human.

    Realistically the first thing we would try is enslavement, and if that didn't work the next step would be eradication.

  • Fluffy||

    So there has never been a reason to consider a system of natural rights including other species.

    Right, but why stop and consider a system of natural rights to begin with?

    Why bother?

    The answer to that question has to be "Because we think it would be good for us to do so" in one manner or another.

    Good...for salvation before God. Good...for utility. Good...for enlightened self-interest. Or good for something else I haven't listed. But still good for something.

    And all of those presuppose that we're talking about human beings. Would we bother to try to figure out what the good is and what rights are, if they were bad for human beings? I'm thinking no.

  • Zeb||

    Again, I think that what you are saying rests ont eh assumption that we are unique. If we did interact with another sentient species, why would I automatically have more affinity for fellow homo sapiens than for another sentient species? If rights are good for homo sapiens, then would they not also do good for all sentient beings as a whole? The whole calculus of why we discuss natural rights changes when we encounter another sentient species.

    If we ever do encounter another species that is intelligent and sentient, we will need to re-think our whole morality and what it means to be human. Even the question of what human means doesn't have a good answer because we have never had any practical reason to challenge the notion that human=homo sapiens.

  • Trespassers W||

    I was with you up until "The whole calculus of why we discuss natural rights changes when we encounter another sentient species." Why would it? And why would I need to rethink my whole morality, which doesn't make explicit reference to bipedality or specific biochemistry or planet of origin?

  • Zeb||

    I see your point. I was responding to Fluffy's assertion that the purpose of considering a system of natural rights in the first place is to benefit our species. If you assume that the purpose of morality is to benefit people, then if your definition of people is challenged, then you need to re-think some aspects of morality. If your system of morality already allows for moral agents of another type, then I guess you don't.

  • Trespassers W||

    Coolness.

  • Trespassers W||

    How do all of those presuppose that we're talking about human beings?

    Briefly and roughly*: I want to avoid a state of constant war and enjoy the benefits of trade. I believe a system of natural rights, understood and adopted by all capable of doing so, is a necessary condition for that.

    But I don't see any reason here to distinguish between human-on-human war and human-on-ET war. Avoiding both is in my interest, and in the interest of any entity capable of considering the issue and acting accordingly, human or ET, so long as the ETs have similar capacities for deliberation and action.

    * That's what she said.

  • Zeb||

    Well put. And more or less in line with what I was trying to say.

  • Fluffy||

    I want to avoid a state of constant war and enjoy the benefits of trade. I believe a system of natural rights, understood and adopted by all capable of doing so, is a necessary condition for that.

    I think you're mixing different ways of arguing for a rights-based system.

    Basically if you "want peace and trade" and therefore want people to believe in rights in order to facilitate peace and trade, that's not really a natural law system. That's more of a Straussian system, because even if natural law is complete bullshit, you'd still want people to believe it because it's instrumental to your end.

    "Let's all agree to think that rights are real because if we think that we'll all stop fighting," is prudential reasoning, and not reasoning from observation of Man's nature.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re Fluffy,

    Does ET have rights?


    Yes, he does. He acts rationally, is self-aware, clearly trades his abilities as an entertainer and medical doctor for help, and flies in a spaceship that looks like a chirimoya.

  • ||

    With all due respect to the author, I've found the majority of times I'm being lectured to that animals should have the same rights as people, those arguing wind up thinking that people should have no more rights than animals.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sad but true.

  • Randy||

    ^^^ This ^^^

  • Old Mexican||

    +100000000

    So true.

  • ||

    So? Are you rejecting the argument just because some who argue this position use emotionalism?

  • ||

    "So long and thanks for all the fish."

  • sarcasmic||

    I beat you to it! Neener neener neener!

  • Ska||

    Yeah, but what about all the mice we've been fucking up?

  • Sparky||

    Come on, we're only breaking the portion that exists in the dimensions we can interact with. To them it's like clipping a toenail.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dude, they are experimenting on us!

  • ||

    There is no need to refer to animal rights to believe that humans have a moral duty not to bring needless agony into the world.

  • ||

    Right. Not killing cetaceans is simply a matter of policy, achieved by concensus, not a huge clusterfark debate about rights.

    We can just agree that killing and eating dolphins and whales is icky and not do it any more.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Yes, but you cannot force me to abide by your moral code. So more whale steaks for me.

  • ¢||

    I'll acknowledge 'Dolphin Rights' as soon as they stop Raping People

    I'll acknowledge them when I'm about to fuck a dolphin and it says "Not tonight, bro."

    Or maybe a little while after it says that.

  • Sparky||

    But if it says that in dolphin, would it be your fault or its that you didn't understand what it said?

  • ||

    No means no! And "squeak, squeak" means...I don't know what it means. Turtles?

  • Sparky||

    dolphin cop: Alright Jerry, tell me what happened.
    dolphin male: Well I goes up to one of those 4 limbed things and says "Hey, you wanna come back to my place for a tumble?"
    dolphin cop: OK Jerry, what did it say?
    dolphin male: It didn't say nothin', just made some weird grunting sounds. It sounded like a yes to me so off we went.
    dolphin cop: Jerry, you know you shouldn't be taking advantage of lesser species like that. Don't let it happen again.
    dolphin male: Yes officer.

  • Hank||

    And nothing else happened.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    They don't call it a blow hole for nothing ...

  • Japanese Fisherman||

    Fuck-a yoo Darphin!!!! And fuck-a yoo Whare!!!!

  • Almanian Nippon||

    Pruss Run!

  • GILMORE||

    Dophin Fetishism aside, I think this is a huge step forward for eventual recognition of Mosquito Rights. Once we acknoledge the 'personhood' of dolphins and whales, it should only be logical to extend similar respect to Culicidae, our friendly blood-sucking breatheren, and allow them to emerge from the stagnant waters of second-class status... Ectoparasite Bias MUST END!

  • ||

    How many divisions does Flipper have?

  • Stalin wasn't flawless.||

    As if aggression is the answer.

  • Aggression||

    solved WWII. And you can't control it. It's built in. No "delete" option.

  • Non-Aggression Non-principle||

    LULZ

  • Fred||

    1. When did a racist propagadist hack such as Rothbard become a "thinker"?

    2. Rothbard's argument is one of the dumbest I have ever read. Homesteading as the basis of rationality. Really?
    a. How can "rationality" be the basis of rights, esp. to someone like Rothbard. Rights either exist naturally or are granted by the state -- neither of which is possible under this rationality BS.
    b. Think for a minute of all the people Rothbard's argument excludes from protection. The mentally retarded, slaves, members of civilizations which are nomadic (since they don't "transform their environment"), monastics and other ascetics who withdraw from society (since they are not engaged in "cultural transmission" of ideas), etc.
    d. Oh, and many species DO homestead, transmit knowledge, and "transform their environment," etc.

    Thus we see the stupidity of Rothbardian fundamentalism.

  • ||

    Cool story, bro.

  • Gojira||

    The man wasn't flawless. I admire a great deal of his philosophy, but I agree that basing the idea of who has rights based on homesteading would seem to leave a lot of holes.

  • Stalin wasn't flawless.||

    As if.

  • Fluffy||

    I don't think you understand what a natural law argument actually is.

    Philosophers who believed in a "natural" law held that by observing Man's nature you could establish the proper way for him to live. You'd go about observing his nature by asking questions like, "What is distinctive about Man? What does he require to live? What kills him or diminishes him?"

    If Man is, as they say, the rational animal, then the "natural" law would be the one that granted them the widest possible freedom of conscience.

    Other philosophers thought that the critical part of Man's nature was his relationship to God as a created being. That gives you a different natural law.

    And so forth.

    It's fine if you think that's the wrong way to establish what rights are. But methodologically, Rothbard was going about it the right way. Any other method wouldn't give you "natural" law.

  • Gojira||

    Given voting patterns, I'm beginning to question the entire premise that we're "rational".

  • Almanian the Whale Lover||

    or are granted by the state

    You're not from around these parts, are you?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fred

    1. When did a racist propagadist hack such as Rothbard become a "thinker"?


    Even racist propagandist hacks can be thinkers. And even those that aren't such as Rothbard, can be as well.

  • Rothbard = Racist||

    In short; RACIALIST SCIENCE is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors. ~Murray Rothbard

  • Rothbard = Fattist||

    He wouldn't have liked the Fat Indian either! He might have chuckled at your Twinkie lust.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    SO?

    By the way, what Rothbard is saying is that the apaprent inequality of income or success can be explained by other factors besides economics-illiterate conspiracy theories. He was one to accept that average Asians are very adept at improving their lot compared to average Europeans, Latin Americans or African Americans, and that such could be explained better by genetics. That doesn't mean he was correct, by the way, but that does not mean either that he was inherently a racist.

  • Racialist Science. "So?" LOL||

    What the Bible is saying....

    What Rothbard is saying....

    I don't need your bullshit interpretation, Fundie Boy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fred

    2. Rothbard's argument is one of the dumbest I have ever read. Homesteading as the basis of rationality. Really?


    That's not the sole basis for rationality, Fred

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fred

    a. How can "rationality" be the basis of rights, esp. to someone like Rothbard. Rights either exist naturally[...]


    You totally miss the point. Rights are not physical laws of matter or energy. Rights come naturally as manifestation of our rationality. Unless you want to prove to me you're not rational...

    or are granted by the state -- neither of which is possible under this rationality BS.


    That's the point, Fred: That they're not subject to nature nor to the state.

  • Other animals are rational||

    So naturally other animals have rights.

    This book includes many of the world's leading figures doing empirical work on rationality in primates, dolphins, and birds, as well as distinguished philosophers of mind and science.

    Rational Animals?
    by Susan Hurley and Matthew Nudds
    Oxford University Press

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Begging the Question?
    by Susan Hurley and Matthew Nudds
    Oxford University Press

    Just because an animal behavior looks rational does not mean it is rational.

  • Old Poodle steps on his dick||

    No, it's not about looks, shit for brains. It's about rational behavior. Which you know little of.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile the Equivocator,

    No, it's not about looks, shit for brains. It's about rational behavior.


    Nobody say anything about looks, you turd. If something looks like [i.e. interpreted as] rational behavior, it does not necessarily mean that it is rational behavior.

    You just made an ass of yourself. You can't even read sentences.

  • Fat Indian||

    ....just made an ass of yourself

    Just made? Just made?

    He's been making an ass of himself since he got here! Fully expecting I think that he would have hordes of converts to his "philosophy"!

  • Old Mex FIBertarianism exposed||

    Old Mexican|2.28.12 @ 1:33PM|#
    Just because an animal behavior looks...
    Old Mexican|2.28.12 @ 2:27PM|#
    Nobody say anything about looks...

    Epic fail.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    The presence of an object can drastically alter the definition of a word...

    Did Old Mex fail epically? Or do you simply lack the grammar skills needed to see that he did not?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fred

    b. Think for a minute of all the people Rothbard's argument excludes from protection. The mentally retarded, slaves, members of civilizations which are nomadic[...]


    ... those that are sleeping... Oh, you didn't think of that, did you? You use an absolutist interpretation of Rothbard's argument to undermine his argument - what is known as a Strawman.

    Rothbard does not contend that people have to manifest rationality all the time, absolutely. He contends that humans are the only ones to show rational thought, even if some are: sleeping, or retarded, or not fully grown. By the way, slaves are still fully rational humans, Fred

  • absolutist interpretation ||

    LOL...words have meaning right? Except Rothbard's don't mean what he meant this time?

    Some day you might move up to the status of Recovering Fundamentaist.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Except Rothbard's don't mean what he meant this time?


    No, Rothbard didn't mean what Fred is implying, you crying little wussy girl when facing snarling wolverines stealing your food.

  • Old Domesticated Poodle Teaser||

    No, Rothbard didn't mean...

    No, The Bible didn't mean...

    Preach it, Fundie boy!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Confused White Imbecile,

    I'm not a believer, you stupid ignorant cut-and-paste piece of shit.

  • Hank||

    A heterodox thinker, Lilly was the creator of the isolation tank and one of the pioneers in LSD experimentation and human-dolphin interspecies communication.

    Was this in the universe where Olivia and Peter are together, or the one where there's zeppelins?

  • ||

    I vote zeppelin universe.

  • T||

    Definitely. Zeppelins are always cooler.

  • Almanian||

    I don't know. But I been told that woman ain't got no soul.

  • sarcasmic||

    Big legged!

  • T||

    I beleive that's "big-legged woman", Almanian, so Anna Torv doesn't qualify.

  • You Sing Your Song||

    I'll sing mine

  • ||

    And because Lilly was working for USN and a lot of his work is (afaik, still) classified, it's possible that there was a human-dolphin language breakthrough that we don't know about.

  • freeforall232||

    I wonder, how does one go about getting the dolphin/whale vote?

  • Almanian||

    "Walking Around Fish (and/or Plankton depending on the exact species)"

  • Fa||

    Fa love Pa!

  • Almanian||

    Fa stop Bee! Thing on Bee's back BAD! Fa STOP Bee!

  • Old Mexican||

    Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held a session on expanding rights for dolphins and whales.


    Something that tells you that the American Association for the Advancement of Science is not populated by either philosophers... or thinkers.

  • Almanian||

    But they're GOOD people, with the BEST intentions, OM.

    GOOOOOOOOD people. BEEEEEEEEST intentions.

    Isn't that enough?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Almanian,

    Isn't that enough?


    That's the problem with issues like "animal rights" and such. People tend to rationalize "rights" based on "good intentions" instead of moral judgment and logical analysis. For instance, if we recognize whales or dolphins as moral beings, would they extend the same courtesy towards us humans?

  • Humans = Animals||

    Did you forget that, old poodle?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Did you forget that, old poodle?


    Animals =/= Humans

    Did YOU forget that, you crying little wussy girl?

  • Humans are ANIMALS||

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Primates
    Family: Hominidae
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

    I knew you were one of those Religious-Randroid Fundamentalists who blank out empirical data, Old Domesticated Poodle.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    From dictionary.com:

    Animal
    1. any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli: some classification schemes also include protozoa and certain other single-celled eukaryotes that have motility and animallike nutritional modes.
    2. any such living thing other than a human being.

    Most words have multiple meanings.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile Who Doesn't Understand Syllogisms,

    Humans are ANIMALS


    But not all ANIMALS are HUMAN, you useless piece of cat shit.

  • ||

    It's a continuum, OM. I know this is a concept that a lot of people here have trouble with.

  • GILMORE||

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently tried to free killer whales from SeaWorld

    I wonder if these hardened-criminal Cetaceans then 'freed' a few PETA members from this mortal coil. Or least a limb or two. I think before reintroducing sociopathic Orcas back into ocean-society, they might at least be forced to demonstrate they won't immediately slaughter every last sea-lion they can get their jaws on.

  • Gojira||

    Do dolphins turn into zombies the same way people do? If so, I think you have your answer.

  • DK||

    PETA Spokesperson: We feel there is no need for these laws. We simply euthanize 95% of the dolphins we rescue from fish nets and seaquariums.

  • annonymous commenter some guy||

    The other 5% die while making ads for us...

  • Old Mexican||

    In short, man has rights because they are natural rights.


    What Rothbard is arguing (which is not new, by the way) is that our rights coem naturally from our rationallity. As rational beings, we have control - OWNERSHIP - of our own bodies. Ergo, we have a right to our bodies. We're conscious of our lives, ergo we have a right to our lives. And so on.

    Dolphins and whales would have to show a similar capacity of self-awareness and control. So far, dolphins have not been able to overcome the "net equals death" equation.

  • Ownership Bait and Switch||

    Bait: you are your own.

    Fibertarian Switch: People are mere property, to be consumed, sold, rented, mortgaged, transferred, exchanged, disposed of, or destroyed.

    Consume, sell, rent, mortgage, transfer, exchange, dispose of, or destroy: should we be doing that to people like property?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile and Equivocator,

    People are mere property


    Nowhere do I say people are mere property, you useless cunt.

  • Implied in the bait-n-switch||

    You don't have to overtly say it, dipshit.

    Fibertarianism is the fallacy of converting all human social behavior to mere economics, even the relationship to your own self.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    You don't have to overtly say it, dipshit.


    Overtly or not, I didn't say it, you incoherent mush-for-brains.

    Fibertarianism is the fallacy of converting all human social behavior to mere economics,


    I agree. Since I don't, then I am not one. How about that?

    For instance, breathing is a human activity, not subject to economics. However, purposeful action is suject to economics, because just for starters, our time is finite.

    You're showing yourself as being an unsophisticated rube, White Imbecile. I'm beginning to think you didn't even go to college.

  • Uneducated Old Mex?||

    Are you projecting your fear of scholarly references I've provided from Yale, Harvard, and Oxford Universities that demonstrate just how full of bullshit you are, Fundie boy?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Are you projecting your fear of scholarly references I've provided from Yale, Harvard, and Oxford Universities that demonstrate just how full of bullshit you are, Fundie boy?


    Cutting and pasting is something every underachiever high school snot learns to do, White Imbecile. Those "references" did not come from papers written by you, of that I'm sure.

  • ||

    The sexual tension's so thick, you can cut it with a knife. Can you two get a room?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Proprietist,

    The sexual tension's so thick, you can cut it with a knife.


    Use a Kleenex this time, P. Your mommy doesn't want her carpet to be stained, again.

  • Old Mexican||

    If Tilikum were granted personhood, wouldn't he be liable for murder?


    You know the answer to that: Animal rights activists would argue that Tilikum is just an animal with no concepts of right and wrong. You *know* they'll want to have it both ways, Nick - just like all leftist turds.

  • Killing Captors isn't Murder||

    You're the one trying to have it both ways, Old Poodle.

    Why don't you mewl about your fear of wilderness some more?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Killing Captors isn't Murder


    What captors?

    You're the one trying to have it both ways, Old Poodle.


    That overtly racist schtick will not get you anywhere, White Imbecile.

  • Old Poodle Teaser||

    The Dolphins Captors. Or do you like captivity, Old Domesticated Poodle?

    The Domestication of the Human Species
    by Peter J. Wilson
    Yale University Press

    Obviously some humans, like you, are extremely domesticated.

    By the way, that psychological projection schtick of your fear of wilderness does not get you anywhere, Old Domesticated Poodle.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    The Dolphins Captors.


    What dolphin captors?

    By the way, that psychological projection schtick of your fear of wilderness does not get you anywhere


    I beg to differ. You bet I fear the wilderness, only an idiot wouldn't. And you're an idiot - so you would cry like a little wussy girl after the realization that your romanticized image of the wilderness does not come to be if having to survive in your beloved "original affluent society."

    And you're also a racist asshole, White Imbecile.

  • Rothbard's "RACIALIST SCIENCE"||

    Actually, your prophet Rothbard is a racist. Got psychological projection much?

    In short; RACIALIST SCIENCE is properly not an act of aggression or a cover for oppression of one group over another, but, on the contrary, an operation in defense of private property against assaults by aggressors. ~Murray Rothbard

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Actually, your prophet Rothbard is a racist.


    Who cares about that? I am calling you out as a racist, you racist cunt.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    The Dolphins Captors. Or do you like captivity, Old Domesticated Poodle?


    You can't know that dolphins are being held captive, White Imbecile, unless you presume to speak Dolphin. Let's say that dolphins are rational animals - how then can you say they are being held "captive"? What if they believe they're in an all-inclusive resort for dolphins, and like where they are? And if you say that they're not really rational, then what are you arguing about?

    You see, you have an unsophisticated mind, White Imbecile. You have shown your true colors, at last.

  • Another Pointless Lib-Chat ||

    ^

  • Just another turd||

    ^^^^

  • Old Mexican||

    Dolphins use tools to hunt, turning conch shells into traps and sea sponges into probes and protective gear. There have also been a few cases of cooperative hunting and role specialization. In addition, mother dolphins have also been seen teaching their daughters how to use these tools. Michael Krützen, a researcher at Zurich University, and one of the first observers of this behavior, has labelled this training a "cultural transmission."


    There's also tool utilization by a few species of birds, not to mention chimps. The fact that mama dolphins show these skills to their young would only be evidence of an evolutionary advantageous instinct and not necessarily of conscious thought. This is certainly NOT the case with early hominids who created tools based on necessity, not necessarily on something they learned from mommy-hominid.

  • #||

    I remember reading a story a few years back.

    There was an example of a monkey species being researched in Japan. The researchers put piles of rice on the ground to get them to come out to be observed. But they would just scoop up the rice and then run off.

    So then the researchers put the rice with grains of sand so the monkeys would have to take time to pick the grains out.

    But one learned that if it picked up the pile, dropped it in the stream nearby, the sand would sink, the rice would float and it would scoop it up and run off.

    Not only did this monkey learn that. A few days later they started observing other monkeys do this.

    Out of interest, the researchers continued to observe them. The next generation started doing the same thing.

    Here is an example of discovering a new "tool" and transferring the new knowledge to others.

  • Old Poodle's lies||

    Other animals are rational too.

    This book includes many of the world's leading figures doing empirical work on rationality in primates, dolphins, and birds, as well as distinguished philosophers of mind and science.

    Rational Animals?
    Susan Hurley (Editor), Matthew Nudds (Editor)
    Oxford University Press
    www.amazon.com/Rational-Animal.....0198528272

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Other animals are rational too.


    How can you tell, you little crying wussy girl?

    Begging the Question?
    Susan Hurley (Editor), Matthew Nudds (Editor)
    Oxford University Press

    Just because a behavior looks rational does not mean it is rational.

    By the way, that overtly racist "Old poodle" schtick does not get you anywhere, White Imbecile. Nor is placing the link to Amazon for the book you haven't even read.

  • Old Poodle Teaser||

    Just because a behavior looks rational does not mean it is rational.


    Then what is it? Whatever your Fundamentalist Axioms say it is?

    If it looks like a dog, and barks like a dog....well, it's not. Cuz I sez soz. LULZ!!!

    Proof you ain't much rational!

    How can you tell, you little crying wussy girl?


    By the way, that psychological projection schtick of your fear of wilderness does not get you anywhere, Old Domesticated Poodle.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Then what is it?


    Instinctive behavior, programmed by millions of years of evolution.

    By the way, that psychological projection schtick of your fear of wilderness
    You bet I fear the wilderness - only an idiot wouldn't. And you're an idiot.
  • Old Poodle Teaser||

    Your're an animal. Other animals show rational behavior.

    If you want to define yours and their behavior as "instinctive behavior, programmed by millions of years of evolution," then go ahead and blank-out the empirical data, Randroid Fundamentalist.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Your're an animal. Other animals show rational behavior.


    Non sequitur. Just because I am a human animal does not mean other animals are rational.

    You can't even argue correctly. You're making an ass of yourself gratis.

    By the way, I don't have to prove my rationality comes from evolutinary process - why would I? Just saying "I am not rational" would be a perfunctory contradiction. What I argue is that the apparent "rational" behavior of animals other than humans can be explained by biological and evolutionary factors, not by the fact that animals are self-aaware or moral actors.

    Again, you can't argue coherently - you are just showing your true self, White Imbecile.

  • Old Domesticated Poodle Teaser||

    Keep blanking-out the empirical data science that shows other animals are rational, Fundie boy.

    Your whole religio-economic faith depends on irrational "axioms."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: White Imbecile,

    Keep blanking-out the empirical data science that shows other animals are rational, Fundie boy.


    You haven't shown any data, you piece of shit. You're just pasting a link to the bookstore that sells A book you haven't even read.

    And presenting "empirical" evidence of rational thought is as ridiculous as presenting empirical evidence for intelligent design. The fact is that apparent "rational" thought is NOT rational thought, just like Eliza was not evidence of intelligence. Both are just approximations, but not the real thing.

  • A Serious Man||

    We all know what will eventually happen:

    All ceteceans are equal, but some ceteceans are more equal than others.

  • ||

    And it never ceases to amaze me how many self-described libertarians are hostile to expanding liberty for others. Srsly.

  • Rev. Blue Moon||

    Because the mechanisms and sheer amount of government intervention makes it unworkable. Add to that that I don't actually believe animals have rights, qnd you get the gist.

  • Gov't = Ag-City-STATISM||

    There is no city-statism (civilization) without government. When will you check your premises and recognize your contradictions?

    "Agriculture creates government."

    ~Richard Manning
    Against the Grain, p. 73

  • ||

    How is a system of fundamental dolphin rights unworkable? "It shall be illegal to kill, harass, interfere with, or keep in captivity any cetacean. Violations of this section constitute a second-degree felony and may be punished by up to 5 years in jail and up to a $25,000 fine."

    Pretty easy if you ask me. No need to regulate dolphin-v-animal behavior just as there is no need for the American government to regulate British-v-French crimes and so forth.

  • Mensan||

    If dolphins are people than a lot of them should be kept in captivity. Specifically, prison, because they are rapists and murderers.

  • all humans to the ovens||

    because they're sinners

    Fibertarian told me so.

  • ||

    (1) If they are moral equivalents to very young children then they cannot possess the requisite mens rea to commit crimes. But like very young children, this does not mean they do not deserve some protection from murder and abuse.

    (2) Even if they were liable for crimes, it would only be for crimes against American citizens. Look up "jurisdiction" on Wikipedia. The basic concept is that a polity only has jurisdiction over crimes that happen against its interest. So dolphins are not citizens of the United States, violence by a wild dolphin against a wild dolphin would not implicate U.S. interests and our courts would have no jurisdiction -- let alone the legal authority -- to prosecute or regulate such behavior.

  • Mensan||

    "Humans, elephants, great apes, and magpies are the only other species who have that trait."

    Redundant.

  • Humans = Great Apes||

    True, fellow Hominidae.

  • Mensan||

    Also, just to be a taxonomic pedant:
    Human is not a species; it’s a genus (Homo),
    elephant is not a species; it’s a family (Elephantidae),
    great apes is not a species; it’s a family (Hominidae).

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Hell Yeah! They don't call it a blow hole for nothing.

  • ||

    Please keep in mind that this is what you are arguing with.

  • ||

    Does this silly fat fuck really believe man evolved to play video games? His shirt does.

    And what's the over/under on how many times he's intentionally cut himself in his lifetime? I'm setting the opening line at 8.

  • ||

    Primitard?

  • NL_||

    The case for not murdering or torturing high-level cetaceans seems fairly reasonable, though I can't say I'm entirely convinced. But I think it's clear we're talking about a lower order of rights than humans possess. It doesn't seem reasonable to give dolphins the right to property, for example, until it's clear they can generally understand and obey the sometimes arbitrary lines that property necessitates. I mean, are we going to sue dolphins if they start eating fish stocks that are owned by human fishing ventures? I doubt it.

    The problem is it seems like cetacean rights are being subsumed into an argument for anti-development or anti-climate change policies. Which just muddies up an already complicated policy question.

  • Joe M||

    This made me think of L. Neil Smith's first book, The Probability Broach.

  • Killazontherun||

    Me too.

  • RyanXXX||

    Ants are far more impressive to me than Dolphins. They build structures that for all intents and purposes could be called castles, are able to cross rivers through the use of rafts and very complicate cooperation, and even "harvest" and protect other insects (aphids mostly) in exchange for those insects' discharge (it gives them nutrients or something)

  • You Sing Your Song||

    Ants are more likely to rule post nuke-a-geddon than las cucarachas.

  • You Sing Your Song||

    I do love the pseudo naturalist blogging from his basement about others' "fear of wilderness".

    Tell us all about your months in the wilderness, "roughing it". Please!

    And the lulz ensue.

  • Ryan||

    Hey, if the animals want rights they can do their own rebellion! Fuck 'em.

  • ||

    Just like the mobs young children who rose up in the 1800s to demand their rights from exploitation in the labor market.

  • voxpo||

    From a well-argued little book on natural rights and ethics:

    Rothbard's argument bases "human rights" on human survival needs, which raises the question: Why don't the survival needs of all other organisms generate "rights" for those organisms. After all, they need freedom from violent interference with their survival activities as much as men do. Rothbard, however, clearly does not believe that animals have "rights." He says, "Animals are 'economic land,' since they are original nature-given resources." And he presumably also considers plants to be "economic land." But the unanswered question is: Why aren't other men also "economic land"? Why can't (or "shouldn't") they also be viewed as "original nature-given resources"?

    There is more in response to Rothbard and others, too.

    The Myth of Natural Rights
    L.A. Rollins

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Compare this human(?)itarian, life affirming treatise with:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9113394/Killing-babies-no-different-from-abortion-experts-say.html

  • ||

    "Under this ethical framework, a whale or a dolphin would more or less be the moral equivalent of a young child, the mentally handicapped, and possibly a fetus, depending on the latter's stage of development."

    "If Tilikum were granted personhood, wouldn't he be liable for murder? Or at the very least, manslaughter?"

    I think the latter question is answered by the former. Cute quip, but pull it together, Reason.

  • Joshua Whalen||

    "Tilikum was not a sympathetic plaintiff: He's been involved with the deaths of three SeaWorld trainers. If Tilikum were granted personhood, wouldn't he be liable for murder?"

    I'm not entirely sure you could build a valid case against someone for killing their captors. If I were kidnapped, and held against my will, would I be a murderer if I killed one or more of my captors in an effort to escape, regardless of whether that effort met with success or failure?

    It'sonly if we don't convey personhood on Orcas that the killing would in any way be unjustified; a sentiet being would unquestionably lash out at captors and tormentors every chance they got, and would be entirely justified in doing so.

  • ||

    I was born in a seaside village and grew up in my formative years alongside the sea. Every year, a Southern right whale which we called "Wendy" came to our little bay to have her offspring. She was interested in us a small humans, coming close to our beach to look at us. One day, we took a dingy and rowed towards her, when she saw this, she started to swim towards us, gently touching our boat. We got onto her back and ran on it. While we did that, she lay totally still as if she did not want us to fall into the water. Every year, she would come into the bay and look for us, allowing us to engage with her. She would swim around us, gazing at each one of us separately, all the while making a very deep soothing sound that we interpreted as "do not be afraid - I will not hurt you". Sadly,after 5 years, she stopped coming - from then, right until today, I still feel the loss.

  • Jason||

    Thanks for sharing this post and bringing light to cetaceans and their rights.

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