Nothing new

The wokies have been trying for a long time to grant “rights” to rivers and gorillas and turtles. The “conservatives” have been screeching about these “rights”.

First, stop screeching. This is an inevitable and automatic result of the lethal Enlightenment lie of “rights”. You invented this crap and you have been insisting for 250 years that everyone and everything has “rights”. When you participate in a concept designed by demons to destroy culture and civilization, you shouldn’t be surprised that it destroys culture and civilization.

Second, treating inanimate objects as plaintiffs or defendants is nothing new or special. ‘Action in rem’ is a strongly established part of common law, and it often leads to some interesting cases.

US vs One Solid Gold Object In The Form Of A Rooster is a good story, atypically told in a lively narrative by Wikipedia.

In 1958 Dick Graves, owner of Sparks Casino, wanted a solid gold rooster as a centerpiece to keep the suckers aiming high. (Blatantly obvious Freudian implications!) He needed to acquire a large amount of gold, and ran into a Federal limit on individual gold ownership. He persuaded the SF mint to sell him the gold, and they granted an official exception to the rule for his specific purpose (or maybe for a sufficient bribe.) But then the Secret Service decided to overrule the mint. They raided the casino and seized the rooster.

Quoting:

The rooster was then held in a federal bank vault until the case was heard as the judge refused to grant bail to it. Whilst the golden rooster statue was in federal custody, Graves responded to the denial of release by placing a bronze copy of the rooster dressed in a striped prison uniform in his casino in the meantime.

The jury found in favor of the rooster, since Graves had been given official permission BY THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT before the fucking government OVERRULED ITSELF. Juries usually get things right by NATURAL LAW.

Roosters and rivers are not real plaintiffs and defendants. If a river “sues” a polluter, juries will understand who’s really suing who, and will reach a sane conclusion.

= = = = =

Footnote: Most of the in rem cases include a wildly specific name for the property that is suing or being sued. Precision is obviously necessary in this situation. But here’s a case where precision failed, and where a shrewd lawyer could have appealed:

Nebraska v. One 1970 2-Door Sedan Rambler (Gremlin). The state seized the “Rambler (Gremlin)” because it was transporting weed. Not overly surprising. Gremlins were good fast cars that sold cheap. Gremlins thus had the same qualities as previous rum-running cars like early-30s Ford V8s. The defense lawyers made several fussy claims but missed the most obvious: THERE WAS NO SUCH THING as a “Rambler (Gremlin)”. It was just a Gremlin or an AMC Gremlin. AMC stopped using the Rambler brand in 1969. Calling a Gremlin a “Rambler (Gremlin)” is like calling a GTO an “Oakland (Pontiac)” or calling a Continental a “Leland (Lincoln)”.

The stupidest man in the world

Admittedly this is a far larger competition than Sanest Man, but here’s one convincing finalist.

A professor in England is worrying about the moral implications of “virtual characters”.

The question is actually moot, though. If we create our characters to be free-thinking beings, then we must treat them as if they are such – regardless of how they might appear to an external observer.

That being the case, then, can we switch our virtual worlds off? Doing so could be condemning billions of intelligent creatures to non-existence. Would it nevertheless be OK if we saved a copy of their world at the moment we ended it? Does the theoretical possibility that we may switch their world back on exactly as it was mean we’re not actually murdering them? What if we don’t have the original game software?

Can we legitimately cause these characters suffering?

Fantastically stupid. We’ve been creating virtual characters forever. Other intelligent mammals seem to create virtual characters in play. There’s NO DIFFERENCE between a character in a story and a character in “virtual reality”. You can draw a timeline from verbal legends to written stories to scripted plays to movies to TV shows to video games. The form of expression and storage is different, but the stories and characters are the same type of entity.

When we say “The End” on a verbal story we don’t kill the characters in it. When we close a book we don’t kill the characters in it. When we bring down the curtain on a stageplay we don’t kill the characters in it. When we turn off a virtual reality we don’t kill the characters in it.

This question has always bothered some narrators, which is why some old stories end with and they lived happily forever and ever.

I should really describe this professor as dangerous, not stupid. If we enshrine “rights” for characters as a basis for litigation, storytelling and imagination will be illegal. Every story ends, so every story is unethical.

Ethics professors are the leading edge of holocausts.