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MONKEY BUSINESS…

By ATWadmin On May 22nd, 2008

His name is Matthew, he is 26 years old, and his supporters hope to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights. But he won’t be able to give evidence on his own behalf  –  since he is a chimpanzee.

Animal rights activists led by British teacher (Predictable) Paula Stibbe are fighting to have Matthew legally declared a ‘person’ so she can be appointed as his guardian. What kind of madness is this? I mean how do we KNOW "Matthew" wants Paula as his guardian? Some animal rights activitists are just plain…bananas!

15 Responses to “MONKEY BUSINESS…”

  1. Matthew shouldn’t be deprived of his human rights just because he isn’t actually human.

  2. He will probably be declared human, just because the European Court of Human Rights are all on his wave length, if you get my drift.

  3. Let’s make him prime minister – he can hardly do any worse than the one we’ve already got!

  4. It’s a lot closer to a human being than is an embryo.

  5. Of course. Why even bother saying so? – Only a complete lunatic could possibly find any grounds upon which to disagree with that logic. I mean, a chimp can most certainly be considered a human being if the EU declares it to be one, whereas nothing the EU (or anyone else) says or does, can ever make a human embryo develop into a human being. Everyone knows that.
    I accidentally trod on a caterpillar today, but that doesn’t mean that there’s going to be one less butterfly this summer than if I hadn’t trodden on it, of course. How can it? I didn’t kill a butterfly; I killed a caterpillar! Two completely different things.

    Actually, I’m glad that, together (teamwork!) we have comprehensively stamped out the absurdity of that position, for just like you Frank, when I read this thread, I saw the danger lurking ahead: Some deluded fools might take it upon themselves to argue that if "even" a "mere" chimpanzee could be endowed with "human rights", then surely there would have to be political implications for "human" embryos, the results of which would contradict our current laws and make them seem absurd and ludicrous. So yes, I’m glad we have managed to falsify that position before the right-wing Nazis have a chance to pick up on the implications. (It was your work of course, I take no credit for it. You outlined the basic truism; I just fleshed it out a bit).

  6. Tom,

    " nothing the EU (or anyone else) says or does, can ever make a human embryo develop into a human being."

    Oh lots of things develop into human beings. After all the chimp’s ancestors managed it eventually, admittedly after a lot of trial and error.

    I even know several women who have turned food into human beings.

  7. I’ve also heard of a kebab shop owner who did it the other way round! But that may be beside the point. Is a human being to be defined solely by the cells and molecules which make up their physical body at any one moment in time? If so, then we’re all in deep trouble – I dare not walk on the grass for fear of killing human life. I turn several ounces of myself into mud and fertilizer every day, and I shudder to think where my late Grandma is by now – let’s just say I’d better not pick any more mushrooms from within a mile radius of her grave, it might be illegal. Heck, even breathing together in an enclosed space (the tube) could constitute a sort of orgy, under that sort of rationale.
    Yet it doesn’t. You get off the tube, and you’re still you, and the person squashed up next to you is still him/herself. So it seems we’re not just defined by our molecules.

  8. >>I even know several women who have turned food into human beings.

    What, are they letting women be priests after all?

  9. These people are several bricks short of a full load.

    It’s a monkey, if the zoo closes place him in another one or give him to someone who’s able and willing to care for him properly. Why should this animal be treated any differently than homeless dogs or cats at the local shelter?

  10. Funny Noel. 🙂

  11. Ironically, So far, only in churches which reject that very assertion in the first place! (Or, to be more accurate, churches which misinterpret what they think my church is asserting). But that’s a different issue!

  12. Tom,

    "Is a human being to be defined solely by the cells and molecules which make up their physical body at any one moment in time?"

    No, because all of that changes (every 7 years? can’t remember).

    "If so, then we’re all in deep trouble – I dare not walk on the grass for fear of killing human life."

    Yep. Your argument, not mine. Remember that you’re the one arguing that if something can develop into a human being in future then it is one now.

    All I said was that a chimp has more human qualities than an embryo has. Chimps have been taught to communicate using ASL (sign language), they are social, they can use some tools, they can recognise themselves in a mirror (hence are self-aware). They can feel pain, be scared, etc. They have mirror neurons that may be relevant to empathy. They even laugh. That doesn’t make it a human being, just a sight closer to one than an embryo.

  13. No, Frank. You are making the essential error of anthropomorphising, of equating the outside appearances of other species with those of humans.

    ADULT chimps appear to be close in nature to ADULT human beings, due to all sorts of similarities like you outline above. Quite probably too, a chimp embryo looks and behaves (and is similar chemically) very much like a human embryo too. It is true that a human embryo behaves and appears very much less like a human adult, than does an adult chimpanzee. Indeed, an adult cat or dog may appear to have far more "human qualities" than a human embryo, but you’re not comparing like with like, by making such a comparison., but rather, you’re looking at external appearances and qualities. I don’t see the veracity of such a comparison. ALL developed mammals have very basically the same broad physical structure (four limbs, head containing brain, two eyes, etc) so naturally we’ll all share (or at least, appear to share) certain aspects of our physionomy and behaviour. Such outside similarities do not make another species essentially "closer" to ourselves than our own embryos. To reason such, is to count on external appearances alone.

  14. Good one Maggie XD

  15. Tom,

    "No, Frank. You are making the essential error of anthropomorphising, of equating the outside appearances of other species with those of humans."

    No I’m not. Nobody would ever confuse a chimp with a human just by looking at it. Nor would anybody mix a chimp up with a human being based on the many similarities I mentioned. I assure you that people will be able to pick the chimp out of the lineup every time (of course it might take slightly longer if George W. is in the lineup, and the chimp might beat him at scrabble too).

    Similarly they’ll be able to pick the petri dish containing the embryo out of a lineup just as easily. After all, being a human being is more than just molecules (DNA).

    (And it’s more than potential to be one, too. If in America anyone has the potential to become president, that doesn’t mean everyone is president)