Should Animals, Plants, and Robots Have the Same Rights as You?

The idea of expanding humanity’s moral circle raises knotty questions. What happens when different beings have competing needs? How do we decide whose rights take precedence? These are questions that activists for the rights of animals, nature, and robots all grapple with as they use the idea of the moral circle to mount their arguments. They say there’s no reason to assume that once we’ve included all human beings, the circle has expanded as far as it should. They invite us to envision a possible future in which we’ve stretched our moral universe still further.

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