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Legal status of non-humans


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59 minutes ago, thorngumbald said:

Is there anything written regarding the legal status of non-human heroes in the Champions Universe?

 

Aliens could be treated as foreign nationals, I guess, and interdimensional visitors similarly. What of intelligent robots? Pure energy beings?

Dark Champions 4th ed has a section on it.

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Champions Universe 5E and 6E talk briefly about this. It says the legal "guarantees of due process and equal protection do not apply to sentient aliens, extradimensional entities, artificial intelligences, and the undead, because they are not 'persons' under the law" (CU6E p. 51).

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2 hours ago, Rigel said:

Champions Universe 5E and 6E talk briefly about this. It says the legal "guarantees of due process and equal protection do not apply to sentient aliens, extradimensional entities, artificial intelligences, and the undead, because they are not 'persons' under the law" (CU6E p. 51).

 

You'd probably get a hell of a lot of pushback on sentient humanoids not being considered persons under the law by civil rights organizations and the ACLU.

 

I can't imagine the NAACP, for example, taking well to considering sentient humanoids as being sub-human.

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The Stronghold source book, in addition to extensively detailing that super-prison, also explores at significant length how the Champions American legal system has adapted to the presence of superhumans, extra-terrestrials, supernatural creatures, etc. Below are the relevant passages from p. 30 of that book:

_________________________________________________________________________________________


The second and more important issue is the rights of so-called "non-humans": alien and extra-dimensional life-forms; artificially intelligent computers, androids, and robots; human mutants; the undead; clones and genetic constructs; and so forth. The Supreme Court dealt with this question in 1978 in six consolidated cases: One Unname-able Alien Life-Form From Tau Ceti 11 v. United States (alien being), Mechanoid-5 v. New York (artificially intelligent android), Ohio v. Julesz the Kind (vampire), Gordon "Powermonger" Lowder v. California (mutants), Phillip "Infrared" Cowling v. United States (mutates), United States v. The Lizard-Thing (extradimensional beings), and Number 32 v. Central Intelligence Agency (human clone with genetic enhancements), 428 U.S. 1471 (1976) (collectively, Tau Ceti 11). The Court stated:

 

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees of due process and equal protection extend to all persons within the United States or its territories. But... the term "persons" means humans. Neither alien and extra-dimensional life forms, nor artificial intelligences, nor the undead are "persons," and hence they have no rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

 

Mutants, mutates, clones, and genetic constructs from human stock are a different matter. Essentially, they are "subspecies" of humanity. In many cases, even the most thorough examination of them cannot differentiate them from humans. The are so close to being human that there is no legal justification for considering them not to be human. We hold that free-willed mutants, mutates, clones, and genetic constructs, from human stock, are 'persons" under the Fourteenth Amendment and are possessed of all rights thereunder.

Id. at 1480-1483 (citations omitted).

 

In response, Congress passed the Android, Artificial Intelligence, and Alien Life-Form Rights Act of 1979 (usually known as the "Triple-A Act"). The Triple-A Act grants civil rights to most "sentient" beings who can prove that they are independent and free-willed. The law defines "sentience" in various ways, usually relating to the capacity for creative and philosophical thought, not just problem-solving capability. Most states have also enacted laws or passed their own constitutional amendments granting "alternate sentiences" various civil rights. However, this law and all related laws, state and federal, make one exception: the undead do not have civil rights. The legal ramifications of that, particularly the question of who owns the formerly deceased's property, combined with the typically evil or destructive nature of such beings, has kept them outside the ambit of the laws.

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Even though the Consul isn't yet part of the current official setting, Champions Earth has received peaceful diplomatic representatives from two humanoid races, the Mandaarians and Vayathurans. In addition, Ironclad is a member of the Champions who have connections to the American government, while the reformed villain Herculan has been able to find employment in heavy labor. So at the very least they must have been granted landed immigrant status and a work "green card."

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2 hours ago, Marcus Impudite said:

How about beings who are the rulers of their own planets/dimensions? Might they be treated as visiting Chiefs of State while (peacefully) on Earth?

 

I'm sure they would if Earth governments accepted that the alien beings were heads of state.

 

But if some alien showed up claiming he was the head of an intergalactic federation, I doubt he could convince many people unless he brought a fleet of spaceships with him.

 

If you showed up on a series of alien planets claiming that you just displaced Nixon and are now the new President of Earth, how many alien civilizations do you think would believe you without VERY substantial proof?

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12 hours ago, archer said:

 

I'm sure they would if Earth governments accepted that the alien beings were heads of state.

 

But if some alien showed up claiming he was the head of an intergalactic federation, I doubt he could convince many people unless he brought a fleet of spaceships with him.

 

 

That would be the Istvatha V'han approach. She doesn't leave much room for argument.

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What the heck is a "mutate?" 

 

We all know just how stupid I find the comic book "oh no; it's a mutant!"  thing.  But when you start filling your backstory with legal cases to explain the standing of "non-humans such as mutants," you should keep in mind that all blue-eyed people are mutants. 

 

Which makes it that much harder for me to not see that whole shtick as stupid. 

 

Before I get that" but it's a stand-in for racism" thing:

 

A stand-in for racism is not one but less stupid.  If you want to preach from your pulpit, address the problem.  Talking around it just encourages more people to not talk _about_ it. 

 

Anyway, you subhuman blue-eyed types, keep up the good fight.  One day you'll be equal. 

 

🙄

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22 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

What the heck is a "mutate?" 

 

We all know just how stupid I find the comic book "oh no; it's a mutant!"  thing.  But when you start filling your backstory with legal cases to explain the standing of "non-humans such as mutants," you should keep in mind that all blue-eyed people are mutants. 

 

Which makes it that much harder for me to not see that whole shtick as stupid. 

 

Before I get that" but it's a stand-in for racism" thing:

 

A stand-in for racism is not one but less stupid.  If you want to preach from your pulpit, address the problem.  Talking around it just encourages more people to not talk _about_ it. 

 

Anyway, you subhuman blue-eyed types, keep up the good fight.  One day you'll be equal. 

 

🙄


   In the Superhero world, not scientific terms.

  A Mutant is someone born with super powers that their parents or ancestors didn’t.  Example;  Any one of the X-men, Sub-Mariner, Captain Comet, etc.

  A Mutate is someone who was changed by an outside force.  Example;  Any one of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.

 

  The idea for racists in the Marvel Universe is that Mutants are literally a different species, Homo Superior who will someday replace humans as the dominant species on the planet.

  Mutates on the other hand are “just regular folks” that something happened to.
  Whether you’re setting up the camps to to hold Jews, Japanese, Mexicans or Mutants when it’s prejudice, it doesn’t have to make sense.

 

Edited by Tjack
A better final line (and goddamn spellcheck!)
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On 10/8/2020 at 4:21 PM, Tjack said:


   In the Superhero world, not scientific terms.

  A Mutant is someone born with super powers that their parents or ancestors didn’t.  Example;  Any one of the X-men, Sub-Mariner, Captain Comet, etc.

  A Mutate is someone who was changed by an outside force.  Example;  Any one of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.

 

  The idea for racists in the Marvel Universe is that Mutants are literally a different species, Homo Superior who will someday replace humans as the dominant species on the planet.

  Mutates on the other hand are “just regular folks” that something happened to.
  Whether you’re setting up the camps to to hold Jews, Japanese, Mexicans or Mutants when it’s prejudice, it doesn’t have to make sense.

 

 

Mutate : "You poor person, something bad happened to you, didn't it? I supported the Americans with Disabilities Act, you know."

 

The same person reacting to a Mutant : "Get back! Something is wrong with your genes! I will NOT have you dating my daughter!"

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1 hour ago, archer said:

 

Mutate : "You poor person, something bad happened to you, didn't it? I supported the Americans with Disabilities Act, you know."

 

The same person reacting to a Mutant : "Get back! Something is wrong with your genes! I will NOT have you dating my daughter!"


    This has nothing to do with real world prejudice or the screwy views on genetics racists tend to spew but in the Marvel Comics Universe that might not be unsound thinking. In the universe the of X-Men, mutant parents tend to have mutant offspring.
    While Hank McCoy’s father was supposed to work around radioactive materials the other parents of the original X-Men had no paranormals or mutants in their family trees, so this is not always true.  But in general mutant and mutated gene pools do produce paranormal kids.  And not all mutations are beneficial.  The children of Peter Parker, Reed & Sue Richards and Magneto are enough proof for any parent who doesn’t want to play dice with their future grandchild’s health to be at least wary of an obvious mutant dating their child. 
   There are enough real world genetic diseases that give couples second thoughts about having children when one of the partners is found to be a carrier.
      Just a stray thought.

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3 hours ago, Tjack said:


    This has nothing to do with real world prejudice or the screwy views on genetics racists tend to spew but in the Marvel Comics Universe that might not be unsound thinking. In the universe the of X-Men, mutant parents tend to have mutant offspring.
    While Hank McCoy’s father was supposed to work around radioactive materials the other parents of the original X-Men had no paranormals or mutants in their family trees, so this is not always true.  But in general mutant and mutated gene pools do produce paranormal kids.  And not all mutations are beneficial.  The children of Peter Parker, Reed & Sue Richards and Magneto are enough proof for any parent who doesn’t want to play dice with their future grandchild’s health to be at least wary of an obvious mutant dating their child. 
   There are enough real world genetic diseases that give couples second thoughts about having children when one of the partners is found to be a carrier.
      Just a stray thought.

 

The in-universe difference:

 

Your daughter has a kid with a mutant, the kid could be anything from looking like a blue-furred demon to looking like Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. And that's if the kid turns out to be humanoid with two arms and two legs rather than something more exotic. 

 

Your daughter has a kid with the Absorbing Man, there's a good chance that your grandkid will be the Absorbing Kid. And at least...wait...that's probably a bad example.

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I ran a campaign that had aliens, androids, drone replicants, and so forth, so I came up with a system for determining legal personhood.

The T.E.A.M. Assessment score:

The first is the Turing test, which here means a conversation between the subject and the assessor;

A score of 0 indicates that the subject's responses can be distinguished from a person after only a minute of conversation

A score of 1 indicates that the subject's responses can be distinguished from a person after only 5 minutes of conversation

A score of 2, 20 minutes

A score of 3, 1 hour

A score of 4, 6 hours

A score of 5, the subject's responses cannot be distinguished from a person after 24 hours or longer

 

The second is the Emotive test, which measures proper emotional responses to stimuli, the ability to read emotions of others, show empathy and so forth

A score of 0 indicates no ability to respond emotionally, no ability to read emotions and no empathetic capacity

A score of 1 indicates an ability to model basic emotions, a very limited ability to read emotions of others and no real empathetic capacity

A score of 2 indicates an intermediate ability to model emotions, a limited ability to read emotions of others and no empathy

A score of 3 indicates an advanced ability to model emotions and/or alternatively to feel actual basic emotions, a moderate ability to read emotions and very limited empathy

A score of 4, an intermediate emotional range, a good ability to read emotions and limited empathy

A score of 5, advanced emotional range, excellent ability to read emotions and strong empathy

 

The third is the Autonomy test, which measures the ability to act independently, solve problems and be proactive/anticipate further issues

A score of 0 indicates no ability to operate outside command parameters and a requirement for constant guidance

1--limited problem solving, can operate with frequent but not constant guidance

2--intermediate problem solving, need for regular but not frequent guidance

3--advanced problem solving, can operate with only infrequent guidance, limited ability to anticipate future problems/act proactively

4--intermediate ability to anticipate future problems and act proactively

5--full autonomy

 

The fourth is the Motivation test, which measures the ability of the subject to form their own motives and set their own goals and purposes

0--motivated only to follow commands/serve X

1--motivated to find out more about X

2--has minor interests unrelated to X

3--has substantial interests and goals unrelated to X, can refuse X when orders conflict with substantial interests

4--can refuse X for any reason

5--has own goals and purposes and is not subject to orders at all

 

 

The TEAM score is an aggregate of the 4 tests, so the score range is from 0-20.  

In most countries, a score of 12+ is sufficient to convey a status of at least limited personhood on the subject.  15-16+ is sufficient for full personhood status in most jurisdictions.  It might be a bit more elaborate than most campaigns require, but at least there's a reasonable basis for it.

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1 hour ago, megaplayboy said:

I ran a campaign that had aliens, androids, drone replicants, and so forth, so I came up with a system for determining legal personhood.

The T.E.A.M. Assessment score:

The first is the Turing test, which here means a conversation between the subject and the assessor;

A score of 0 indicates that the subject's responses can be distinguished from a person after only a minute of conversation

A score of 1 indicates that the subject's responses can be distinguished from a person after only 5 minutes of conversation

A score of 2, 20 minutes

A score of 3, 1 hour

A score of 4, 6 hours

A score of 5, the subject's responses cannot be distinguished from a person after 24 hours or longer

 

The second is the Emotive test, which measures proper emotional responses to stimuli, the ability to read emotions of others, show empathy and so forth

A score of 0 indicates no ability to respond emotionally, no ability to read emotions and no empathetic capacity

A score of 1 indicates an ability to model basic emotions, a very limited ability to read emotions of others and no real empathetic capacity

A score of 2 indicates an intermediate ability to model emotions, a limited ability to read emotions of others and no empathy

A score of 3 indicates an advanced ability to model emotions and/or alternatively to feel actual basic emotions, a moderate ability to read emotions and very limited empathy

A score of 4, an intermediate emotional range, a good ability to read emotions and limited empathy

A score of 5, advanced emotional range, excellent ability to read emotions and strong empathy

 

The third is the Autonomy test, which measures the ability to act independently, solve problems and be proactive/anticipate further issues

A score of 0 indicates no ability to operate outside command parameters and a requirement for constant guidance

1--limited problem solving, can operate with frequent but not constant guidance

2--intermediate problem solving, need for regular but not frequent guidance

3--advanced problem solving, can operate with only infrequent guidance, limited ability to anticipate future problems/act proactively

4--intermediate ability to anticipate future problems and act proactively

5--full autonomy

 

The fourth is the Motivation test, which measures the ability of the subject to form their own motives and set their own goals and purposes

0--motivated only to follow commands/serve X

1--motivated to find out more about X

2--has minor interests unrelated to X

3--has substantial interests and goals unrelated to X, can refuse X when orders conflict with substantial interests

4--can refuse X for any reason

5--has own goals and purposes and is not subject to orders at all

 

 

The TEAM score is an aggregate of the 4 tests, so the score range is from 0-20.  

In most countries, a score of 12+ is sufficient to convey a status of at least limited personhood on the subject.  15-16+ is sufficient for full personhood status in most jurisdictions.  It might be a bit more elaborate than most campaigns require, but at least there's a reasonable basis for it.

 

That looks really great. I could see something like this test making it into a rulebook.

 

But I can't comment further on the "A score of 1 indicates an ability to model basic emotions, a very limited ability to read emotions of others and no real empathetic capacity" part without moving the discussion to the political thread. ;) 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

A computer passing the Turing test doesn't frighten me nearly as much as a computer failing it on purpose. 

Absolutely this.

 

Although as to point one of the TEAM test, what about people who are severely autistic and therefore cannot comprehend or display emotions?

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27 minutes ago, DusterBoy said:

Absolutely this.

 

Although as to point one of the TEAM test, what about people who are severely autistic and therefore cannot comprehend or display emotions?

Humans are grandfathered in, and one of the elements of the test is that generally you don't have to get a perfect score to be considered a "person", legally speaking.  And if most members of a species qualify as persons, then those with "special needs" would likely be classified as persons.  

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4 hours ago, DusterBoy said:

Absolutely this.

 

Although as to point one of the TEAM test, what about people who are severely autistic and therefore cannot comprehend or display emotions?

 

 

Strangely enough, you don't actually have to be severely autistic to have difficulty with emotion.  Granted, it's a hallmark of autism, so we tend to go straight there for examples, but there are others both more severe (sociopathy and psychopathy) and far less (some Aspergers patients and an "on again, off again" diagnosis occasionally called "Literalism").  And it's not just emotion: a lot of these folks (autistics included) also have trouble with sarcasm, double-entendre, and even simple jokes.

 

It's actually frightening how much emphasis we put on the "humanity" of emotion when there are so many people collectively who have difficulty even _appreciating_ emotion, let alone understanding it.  The same goes with empathy: we talk about how it's a touchstone feature of being a living, sentient being-----   but there is an appreciable number of folks who simply aren't capable of it.  Stressing it as part of the "diagnosis" of being a "real human" becomes just a bit frightening....

 

:(

 

 

Well great. I've gone and made myself sad...

 

 

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