Machines and Rights -- Maylar and J. Anderson


J.Anderson and Maylar will answer the following question.

Suds asked:

“Should a machine capable of human intelligence be granted human rights?”

J. will argue the con position, that human rights should not be granted to machines capable of “human intelligence.”

Maylar will argue the pro position, that machines capable of “human intelligence” should be granted human rights.

J. suggested this as a definition:

Oxford English defines “intelligence” as:

1. The faculty of understanding; intellect.

Obviously, that’s not incredibly helpful, so I’ll offer the following suggestion:

“Human Intelligence”: The ability to reason, communicate, solve problems, make plans, and comprehend/understand concepts and ideas.
Maylar offered no objections to the definition, so we’ll work from J.'s suggestion. J.'s definition specifically was meant to make a distinction between intelligence and consciousness.

This will be the format:

Both will post an opening thesis.

Five posts of rebuttal. J. offered to make the opening post, so he’ll have the opening rebuttal, and Maylar will make the final rebuttal.

Both will post a conclusion simultaneously
I don’t know if this is automatically moderated. I would like to see the opening posts avoid directly debating the other position. Rather, I would like to see them argue their own positions, with the debate coming in rebuttal. If it’s not automatically moderated, other folks need to stay completely off this thread. I will open another for comment as it proceeds.

Good luck and please enjoy. It’s an interesting topic.

This is the appropriate location for discussion about this debate:


After thinking on it for awhile, I’ve decided that I must withdraw from this debate. My rudimentary study of philosophy of mind is just not enough for me to produce what I would consider to be an interesting argument on this subject. This matter deals not only with extremely complicated ethical considerations, but also with matters of neuroscience and computer science; both fields in which I have little to no competence.

My apologies to Maylar and RWNJ.


No hard feelings at all J. Withdraw has been acknowledged.


I am not sure what one expects from this thread. When it was first posted I attempted to provide some input but nothing was published, so who is in the debate who selects who and what would be the nature of the debate.
The initial debate question is moot because of the nature of the machine thought. Would a machine request to have rights and on what grounds, and could a machine be thought of as self aware. I think whoever set the question was watching reruns of the Data story on Star Trek, next generation.


I was going to use Searle’s argument for the impossibility of artificial intelligence (the infamous “Chinese Room Argument”). The more I thought about the debate topic, the more I felt that the question was too loaded to allow for meaningful discussion.


I don’t think the Chinese Room Argument would necessarily completely disprove the possibility of true AI, however, there is no such thing as real AI because computers only operate on algorithms. They might be clever algorithms that make the computer seem human in some ways, but ultimately, it is all predefined behavior while humans have erratic behavior.


Nope, never seen Next Gen. I just have a very active imagination. XD


first, is the nature of the AI ,self aware? Second, does the AI know enough about itself to request certain inalienable rights? This was the question posed when Data was questioned on when it had been determined that he was not a sentient being and therefore had no rights as a human. [ One of the BEST stories from the Next Generation series.]


I loved that episode.


Indeed. If it’s the one I am thinking of - where he builds a daughter. It’s a very interesting topic.

Also reminds me of a discussion related to The Matrix. What is real and so forth.


[quote=“Ictoanius, post:10, topic:24069”]
Indeed. If it’s the one I am thinking of - where he builds a daughter. It’s a very interesting topic.

Also reminds me of a discussion related to The Matrix. What is real and so forth.
[/quote]Actually, I think he was referring to a second-season episode called The Measure of a Man in which some crackpot wanted to disassemble Data for some grand experiment of his own, and Picard helped defend Data in court to establish his personhood.

The one you’re referring to is the third-season episode The Offspring. I think it was beautiful.


Is this all? Maylar is there no rebuttal? How about another subject?


The original person whom I was to debate withdrew without setting an opening. Also, people have deviated from the original question that I was to debate anyway. Thus there is no rebuttal because there was never a proper opening and discussion got offtrack.


What was it you were trying to debate? when one sets a parameter and a specific question it could be fun. But understanding that other views can rabbittrack a debate fairly easily. If you only meant to debate Anderson, I apologize for butting in.


As per the very first post, “Should a machine capable of human intelligence be granted human rights?”

It’s not so much I only intended to debate Anderson, but that I wanted to debate the question. The questions very nature requires us to assume the machine already has the ability to have human intelligence, and thus discussing whether it’s possible for a machine to do this is outright ignoring the question. I have no desire at this time to debate whether a machine is capable to human intelligence.


njc, this forum was an experiment in 1v1 debate – or perhaps others – where the wisecracks, myriad insults and so forth would not invade an otherwise semi-intelligent discussion, more formal with supported arguments. A companion thread exists for related discussions by everyone else. So far, the concept hasn’t worked out, which is fine. Closing this thread.

Anyone wishing to open a debate, PM me.