Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.


If you kick a robotic dog, is it wrong?

Article I found today in a footnote in a book. If you kick a robotic dog, is it wrong? |

What do you think?


  1. Nice one Stephen. I liked the quote at the end, which put it all into perspective:

    “Consider a human being in a vegetative state with no greater self-awareness or deep desires than a robotic pet… If Aibo deserves no respect because it lacks self-awareness and deep desires, he asks, then on what basis would a vegetative human being deserve any measure of respect?”

    Ontology, I think, is absolutely key – yet increasingly we ‘rate’ people, particularly socially, in terms of economic usefulness or attractiveness. Personally I have no qualms about kicking a robot dog, but admit that I would find it easier if the batteries were out and no one was looking!


  2. Mark, if I remember rightly, that last quote comes from James Hughes. He expands his ideas of conscious-centred rights in the paper below.

    James J. Hughes, “The Future of Death: Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism”, Journal of Evolution and Technology, Vol 6 (July 2001).

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