15 December 2009

The living world

Peter Singer and Agata Sagan argue that the possession of emotions or consciousness should be a key concern when thinking about how to handle animals and increasingly sentient robots. [1]

But how far should the circle of concern extend? Should, for example, ecosystems -- the results of interactions between living and non-living systems -- have rights and not just instrumental value? In the epic of Gilgamesh the whole forest is sacred.


[1] But, as noted in many places including here, robots still have a very long way to go.

The image, added on 15 Dec, is from here.

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