Many thanks to Nannus for giving us this thoughtful reply. Please check out his response!
This article started as a comment to http://theleatherlibraryblog.com/homo-in-machina-ethics-of-the-ai-soul/ (by Steven Umbrello and Tina Forsee) that grew so long that it could not be posted there, so instead I decided to put it here as an article on my own blog and just comment that article by putting a link. This article, therefore, should be read in the context of the article it is commenting on.
Why is there ethics at all? Why is nothing wrong with taking a hammer and beating a stone, but everything wrong with taking a hammer and beating a human being? The reason is simple: the human being would suffer, the stone would not. The subjective experience of the human being is what makes ethics necessary.
We assume that animals, at least the more sophisticated ones, also have such a subjective side, so we would extend some of the ethical principles to them as well. There…
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