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Are chimps people too?

Opening Argument

The appellate division of the New York Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in a case about whether two chimpanzees deserve the rights of "personhood."

Tommy and Kiko, two chimpanzees reported to be in their late 30s, will be represented by the Nonhuman Rights Project in court on Thursday. In its petition before the New York court, the Nonhuman Rights Project asked that a chimpanzee not be considered a "legal thing to be possessed" but a "cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned."

New York court to consider whether a chimpanzee is a 'person'

  1. Your thoughts?

    10 votes
    1. Yes
    2. No

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  • Yes, Chimps are claimed to be the "previous versions" if I may, of modern day humans. They are animals, that do in fact deserve Thor very own set of rights.
  • Chimps should have their own righs. Mistreating chimpanzees would be considered animal cruelty. The article that @CYDdharta mentioned is in fact very rellavent to this modern day debate.
    DebateIslander and a lover. 
  • I disagree.  I believe the differences between humans and animals are well established and are not deserving of similar treatment.

    @juearstictiona ; Where should the line be drawn?  Should such rights also extend to millipedes?  Pneumodesmus were the first creatures to live on land. 

    @joecavalry ; Animal cruelty laws are already well established.  Affording animals rights is something very different.  This will do nothing but further burden our courts and add to our already overly litigious society.

  • I agree with @cydharta on this. I support animal rights, but don't support assigning human classification or rights to animals (including in this case chimps). I was surprised to learn from this article that Argentinian judge ruled that a chimpanzee was a "being" with "nonhuman legal rights" in November 2016. It reminds me of planet of the Apes.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @CYDdharta , I find it fascinating that Supreme Court would even consider it.  They animals, and not people, so at what point do you even draw a line.  I agree with you completely. 
    If supreme court will consider classifying chimps as humans, what about other artificial life forms as cognitive computing develops further.
  • In StarTrek there were multiple episodes about considering humanity of other lifeforms. Ltnt Data in Next Generations come to mind.  I believe to your point we will have similar discussions around artificial intelligence life forms in this century.  That said I personally find it ridiculous that Supreme Court would even consider a case that Chimps have human rights.  We should definitely continue protect chimps though as per well established animal rights.
    Also, I am comfused how they would evem deal with issue of "imprisonment" for chimps, would that mean release them from zoos into the wild in Africa?
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @agsr ; According to the Nonhuman Rights Project's petition, Kiko would be sent to a primate sanctuary that is part of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.  However, it seems to me that if it is found that Kiko is a person, he has the right not to be detained in such a facility unless he has committed a crime.  I realize the ludicrousness of the argument, but I believe it is more rational than trying to take the position that a chimp is a person.  With that in mind, the next step will be the demand that the gates need to be removed from the sanctuaries. 
  • Chimps are not intelligent enough to be considered people.
  • It is crazy to think that someone is seriously considering giving Chimps human rights.  Does anyone have a pet turtle they would like petition human rights to.  @CYDdharta , I agree with your comments that even logistics of positive ruling by supreme court would be insane.  That would mean we would have to ensure that Chimps cannot have gates and can roam around freely our cities.  LOL.  
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • @CYDdharta , I agree with your sentiment on this.  Implications as ale5 said are just bizarre.  
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Yes, Chimps need to be treated fairly as well.
  • Fairly as per animal right definition is different than having human rights
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Animal rights is a serious issue and we need to do whatever it takes to support it. At the same time it is a major waste of time by our judicial system to discuss chimps human rights.  That is just another example of waste in the system. Chimps and monkeys are not humans and it is a shame they are even considering it as a real case.
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