The Controversial Idea of Plant Consciousness

The idea that plants have consciousness, sentience, or intelligence would be unthinkable to most people. How could an organism without a nervous system or brain possess these capacities? A minority of scientists are challenging this assumption, however, leading some people to accept the possibility that the spectrum of sentience is more inclusive than previously imagined.…

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Digital Antinatalism: Is It Wrong to Bring Sentient AI Into Existence?

Digital antinatalism is the philosophical view that it is morally wrong to create sentient artificial intelligence (AI). It is a variant of antinatalism, which promotes the view that we should refrain from procreating for moral reasons. We can consider digital antinatalism to be a selective – or weaker – form of antinatalism since one may…

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Will We All Be Eating Insects in the Future?

The idea of eating insects can seem a bit unappealing if you’ve been brought up with a Western diet. We do eat them as a novelty or inadvertently as food colouring. However, insect-eating (known as entomophagy) is common in many cultures across the world. Humans have been eating insects from prehistoric times to the present…

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The UK’s Legal Recognition of Animals as Sentient Beings: Encouraging But Contradictory

The UK has decided to formally recognise non-human animals as sentient beings (this includes all vertebrates by default). Invertebrates could be included later based on new evidence, although there is already strong evidence that some invertebrates (crustaceans and cephalopods) can feel pain. This is the first contradictory aspect of the legislative decision. The introduction of…

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Animals May Experience Pain More Intensely Than Humans

Sentience – the capacity to feel, perceive and experience – lies at the foundation of the consideration for the rights and welfare of non-human animals. In Eastern traditions, there are prohibitions against causing injury to all sentient beings since sentience entails the capacity to feel pain. Although what many people may not realise – or…

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