If everything's a 'person,' humanity gets devalued

  • Article by: Dahlia Lithwick , Slate
  • Updated: December 5, 2013 - 7:16 PM

What does it mean to be human when we’re faced with the prospect of corporate personhood?

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hawkeye56379Dec. 5, 13 8:05 PM

Who would decide what religious beliefs a for-profit corporation holds? Would the Board of Directors vote on it? Religious beliefs can only be held by actual flesh-and-blood persons.

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alansonDec. 5, 13 8:08 PM

The author bemoans the imposition of "universal laws". An interesting sentiment from a Progressive, given that the law in question is the Affordable Care Act.

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usmc1127Dec. 5, 13 9:42 PM

If corporations aren't people, is it the bricks of their buildings that conduct meetings and make decisions?

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johnmplsDec. 5, 1310:41 PM

Corporations aren't people. Neither are fetuses. But chimpanzees should be(for those of you who read that recently). Only we progressives get to decide who is a person and who isn't. Period.

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hawkeye56379Dec. 5, 1311:02 PM

usmc: No, the people who work for the corporation do those things. And those people actually can have religious beliefs, unlike an artificially created entity.

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hawkeye56379Dec. 5, 1311:36 PM

johnmpls: No, it's the Supreme Court who decides who is a person. They decided that fetuses aren't persons under the Constitution and they decided that corporations are legal entities with rights to free speech. Now,they are being asked to decide whether a corporation can actually have religious beliefs.

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mandansmomDec. 6, 13 7:33 AM

If for-profit secular corporations have religious beliefs, companies run by Christian Scientists can be free to limit medical treatment and those run by Jehovah’s Witnesses could object to paying for blood transfusions. Artificially created constructs that exist to shield owners from lawsuits will be able to shield owners from compliance with basic civil rights laws"

Isn't that the whole point of this and similar cases? Corporations are people to the extent that they are run by people for the profit of other people. How convenient it would be for them to do so without any legal constraints!

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cstoney48Dec. 6, 13 7:43 AM

This story is being to read like one of Isaac Asimov's Susan Calvin stories. He certainly would enjoy the possibilities of 'personhood' for things and the unintended effects derived from it.

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pumiceDec. 6, 13 8:03 AM

Re: "Now, [the Supreme Court is] being asked to decide whether a corporation can actually have religious beliefs." Exactly, hawkeye56379. Such a ruling would mean that a corporation's "beliefs" can trump laws passed by Congress, signed by the President and ruled constitutional by the US Supreme Court. That would set corporations above the US government and corporation's rights above the rights of actual human beings.

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usmc1127Dec. 6, 13 8:15 AM

"No, the people who work for the corporation do those things." So those people are working for a corporation. So when the corporation wants it's worker to do something, how does it relay that message to the worker? I'm assuming it can't communicate since this "corporation" is not a person or people.

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