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  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: Is this a tense or what ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I thought you might. If it does ever happen, you're definitely invited too (as long as you bring a bottle of Cab Sav and some After Eights).
    Cab Sav and After Eights? Is it 1973? And I'm only coming if the Cantina Band are playing in a corner!

    (Sorry, OP - we've gone a bit off-topic! Feel free to inform the Imperial Senate.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Senior Member
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    #12

    Re: Is this a tense or what ?

    Not a teacher
    ------

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I'm now wondering if you can refer to non-Earthling individuals as 'people'. I can't quite recall whether they do this in Star Wars.
    The Three-Fifths Comprimise showed that the definition of a person can depend on quite a lot of things. Apart from the question of whether a machine can be sentient and have free will, there are other things to take into account, such as if we deem them as equal to ourselves.

    A funny thing happens in Polish (not sure if it's analogous in English). It's common to refer to pets as who, not what; someone, not something; and other untranslatable words that are meant to be used with people, not their counterpats meant for animals. The same doesn't apply to wild or stray animals, just your home pets. Maybe there's some sense of having a relationship with the being, befriending them, being emotionally attached.

    I'd say both 3PO and R2D2 deserve being called people. Especially 3PO feels like a person. He's funny, adorable (in his own annoying way), and perfectly relatable.

    Good question. You're right this question will need to be addressed, but I'd say much, much sooner than in coming millennia.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: Is this a tense or what ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    The Three-Fifths Comprimise showed that the definition of a person can depend on quite a lot of things.
    Right. The philosophical notion of personhood is a messy area. In the context of slavery, it relates to legal rights (whether slaves should have the right to vote, for example) but in the context of ethics, it's fundamentally about whether a being has moral agency. Nobody ever denied the fact that American slaves had moral agency—the question was regarding their rights.

    In the Star Wars universe, it's pretty obvious that Jabba the Hutt has the capacity to act morally, which would count him as a person, in the ethical sense. Even though he's not a very nice, um, person, we wouldn't feel good about torturing him because we would intuitively understand that he is subject to our own moral act of torture.

    I don't think this is true for droids though, however intelligent they may be. It's hard to imagine R2-D2 going to trial for murder. And you would certainly feel much worse about torturing Chewbacca than you would C-3PO, even though 3PO is fluent in over 7 million languages and Chewie just one.

    Anyway, what we can say is that in the legal and ethical senses, the notion of personhood is not fundamentally related to the human species. There are many philosophers who would even count your pet hamster as a person, given that it deserves some level of legal protection. And although I've never heard of anybody talk of legal protection for machines yet, I agree that with the rapid progress of complexity in AI, it may be something we need to think about before the end of the century.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: Is this a tense or what ?

    I fail to see why something would need to be considered a person in order to deserve legal protection.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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