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Quotes / What Measure Is a Non-Human?

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    Anime and Manga 
"Yeah, that's right. I'm a monster.
What are you gonna do? You gonna destroy me or what?
They blame us for recession and social problems.
If humans don't want us, why did they make us?"

"To me, the lives of one hundred thousand artificial fluctlights are worth less than a single soldier's."
Seijirou Kikuoka, Sword Art Online

"I think it's because we want to live. Is there something wrong about that? We were all given life and raised. If the only thing we can do is eat people... how can we ever live correctly with a body like this? Even ghouls... even I want to live just like you guys!"
Touka Kirishima, Tokyo Ghoul

"Did our master not say this once? Where there is Distress, therein lies a Story. Where there is a Story, therein lies a Will. Where there is a Will, therein lies a Soul."
Negi to Chachamaru, who feared her inhumanity, Mahou Sensei Negima!

"I don't know who decides the laws of the pactio, but organization, spirits of the contract, or whatever you may be, don't you dare screw with me like this! This desperate, despairing Chachamaru-san I see before me cannot be a simulation! She cannot possibly be artificial! In fact, so what if she is artificial! Chachamaru-san is our friend!! She is real! And I won't let anyone tell me otherwise!!"

    Comic Books 
"You want reality, Ben? Reality is, you are an android...I AM A MAN!"

"You're right. I am a princess. And, as far as I'm concerned, my family exists to serve its people. I get it. You didn't intend to create Nicole. And maybe you don't like having her around. But don't you dare suggest to me that she isn't a person worth saving!"
Princess Sally Acorn, Sonic Universe #73

"I know who I am, and I know what you are— A mockery of life. This is not murder. It is the end of a terrible mistake."

    Fan Works 
"He had been tried and punished for the early attacks against the owned robots- not because the Mecha were living things with rights, (they weren’t) but because they had been licensed property."

Ching smiled. “I’m active duty Navy. I’ve got a whole set of combat implants and nanoware boosters. On top of that, you’re Homo Sapiens, I’m Homo Avalonis. It not really a fair contest. Even without my military gear, I could outrun cheetahs without much trouble.”
“You’re not even human? No fair. And I was already tired, too.”
Ching gave her a sharp look. “’If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’ I’m human, Asuka, I’m just not Homo Sapiens. Mere species is neither the measure nor definition of humanity here. Human is as human does. There are plenty of people on this planet alone who don’t have even a single codon of Homo Sapiens DNA in them, but are very human. And you know damn well there are plenty of people walking around on your world that are one hundred percent Homo Sapiens that are not human in the least. Be careful, some might take what you said as rather an insult.”
Asuka was a bit taken aback by Ching’s sharp tone. “Sorry.”
A Crown of Stars, Chapter 20

If she had been human, perhaps someone might have cared, but since she was a Toon, no one listened to her screams.

"You're made of metal, but you have feelings and you think about things and that means you have a soul. And souls don't die."
Hogarth, The Iron Giant

"You may think that thing looks human. Stands on two legs, right? But we're created in the Lord's image. You don't think that's what the Lord looks like, do you?"
Strickland, The Shape of Water

Van Helsing: I must save him!
Carl: No, you can't.
Van Helsing: Why?
Carl: I cabled Rome earlier to apprise them of our situation.
Van Helsing: What did they say?
Carl: Even if you somehow kill Dracula, Rome orders you to destroy Frankenstein as well.
Van Helsing: [shocked] He isn't evil!
Carl: Yes, but they say he isn't human either.
Van Helsing: Do they know him? Have they talked with him?! Who are they to judge?!
Carl: They want you to destroy him so he can never be used to harm humanity.
Van Helsing: And what of me? Did you tell them what I'm to become? [Neck Lifts Carl in a rage] Did they tell you how to kill me?! The correct angle of the stake as it enters my heart?! The exact measure of silver in each bullet?! Huh?!
Carl: [wheezing] No, I left you out!

Spock: But, Captain, we both know that I am not human.
Kirk: Spock, you wanna know something? Everybody's human.
Spock: I find that remark... insulting.

"Oh, suuure...kidnap the humans, destroy the machine!"
Number "Johnny" Five, Short Circuit 2

Detective Del Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a... canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?
Sonny: Can you?

"There have always been ghosts in the machine. Random segments of code, that have grouped together to form unexpected protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals engender questions of free will, creativity, and even the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it that when some robots are left in darkness, they will seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are stored in an empty space, they will group together, rather than stand alone? How do we explain this behavior? Random segments of code? Or is it something more? When does a perceptual schematic become consciousness? When does a difference engine become the search for truth? When does a personality simulation become the bitter mote... of a soul?"
— Voiceover of Dr. Alfred Lanning, I, Robot

NS4 Robots: [from flashback] You are in danger!
Detective Del Spooner: [from flashback] Save her!
NS4 Robots: [from flashback] You are in danger!
Detective Del Spooner: [from flashback] Save her! Save the girl!
Detective Del Spooner: But it didn't. Saved me.
Susan Calvin: The robot's brain is a difference engine. It's reading vital signs. It must have done...
Detective Del Spooner: It did. I was the logical choice. It calculated that I had a 45% chance of survival. Sarah only had an 11% chance. That was somebody's baby. 11% is more than enough. A human being would've known that. Robots, [indicating his heart] nothing here, just lights and clockwork. Go ahead, you trust 'em if you want to.

"General, a machine becomes human when you can’t tell the difference anymore."
Dr. Ellen Lamb, Daryl

"Why do we fear them when they learn speech? They are still dogs, still subordinate. It doesn't change who they are or their loyalty.
It is not always fear we run from. Sometimes it is shame."
Kij Johnson, The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change

Gregor: You know, where I come from, we don't think much of someone who sneaks up and stabs a person in their sleep.
Henry: He is not a person, he is a rat.

Madame Mist: Just because the Doctor is a being without specification does not make it a monster.
Ghastly: Without specification? You mean because it isn't male or female? You mean because it isn't strictly human? No, that's not what I'm talking about. It's a monster because it conducts medical experiments on its captives!

Saint: Your creator isn’t kind. He warned you about the forbidden fruit, laid the laws out for you. You broke them, ate the fruit. It’s something of a mercy that he punishes you this way instead.
Dragon: I disagree. On every count. I was the one who made me, who defined myself. This creator is no god, only a cruel, shortsighted man.
Saint: Tomatoes, tomahtos.
Dragon: Do me one favor? Tell Def-

Saint: Friends? She’s a machine. Any emotion she has is calculated. You’re anthropomorphizing her, applying human qualities where there aren’t any.
Tattletale: I bet you’re one of those guys who says dogs can’t feel true affection for their owners, that it’s all learned behaviors that get them more food or whatever.

Grown-Ups will spaz out if your Flip-O-Ramas feacher "people" beating each other up. To get around this, draw robots and monsters instead. (For some reason, Grown-Ups think that's O.K... Go Figure!)
The Captain Underpants Extra-Crunchy Book 'O Fun

The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

    Live-Action TV 
Xander: Buffy, you wanna kill Anya!
Buffy: I don't want to.
Xander: Then don't! This isn't new ground for us. When our friends go all crazy and start killing people, we help them.
Willow: Sitting right here.
Xander: I'm sorry, but it's true.
Buffy: It's different.
Xander: Because you don't care about her the same way I do. Buffy, I still love her.
Buffy: I know. And that's why you can't see this for what it really is. Willow was different. She's a human. Anya's a demon.
Xander: And you're the Slayer. I see now how it's all very simple.
Buffy: It is never simple.
Xander: No, of course not. You know, if there's a mass-murdering demon that you're, oh, say, boning, then it's all gray area.
Buffy: Spike was harmless. He was helping.
Xander: He had no choice!
Buffy: And Anya did! She chose to become a demon. Twice!

"I don't give a damn if you're a machine, Bracewell. Are you a man?"

"Dogs don't deserve special treatment! They have to play by the same rules we do!"
Wade Blasingame (No, not the ballplayer; the attorney-at-law!), Saturday Night Live

"Hologram already dead. Morally, ethically, hologram killing fine!"
Katrina Bartikovsky, Red Dwarf: Back To Earth

Sora: You go around snatching hope from people... And you call yourself a wizard?
Haruto: You have lost your human soul long ago. You don't count as a person.
Sora: You got me there...

Jaha: You're not real.
Alie: Define "real". Your vessel is carbon-based; mine is silicon. Your thoughts are chemical; mine are digital.

Stephen Franklin: I'm a doctor! My duty is to heal!
Richard Franklin: Then heal humans! Stephen, I know you're fascinated by these alien creatures, but they're a threat to humanity. And they always will be. Help your own kind!
Stephen Franklin: Life is life, whether it's wrapped in skin, scales, or feathers! Now if you respected these beings instead of constantly trying to murder them, you'd appreciate that!

It's okay to eat fish, 'cause they don't have any feelings
Nirvana, "Something in the Way", Nevermind

    Tabletop Games 
To be Unclean
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Impure
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Abhorred
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Reviled
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Hunted
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Purged
That is the fate of the Mutant
To be Cleansed
For that is the fate of all Mutants
First Book of Indoctrinations, Warhammer 40,000

Little Red Riding Hood: A giant's still a person, isn't it?
Witch: Since when are you so squeamish? How many wolves have you carved up?
Little Red Riding Hood: A wolf's not the same!
Witch: ...Ask a wolf's mother.note 

    Video Games 
"In ancient times, the members of our own family and tribe were human, but all else was a dangerous Other. Our entire history can be considered a process of pushing this boundary back, toward a point at which nothing that thinks can be said to be alien to us."
Lady Deidre Skye - "Arguments in Council", Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri

AL: Before I try something, I would like to ask you a question. Am I a human? Or a machine?
Sousuke Sagara: You... you should decide that for yourself. That's what all humans do.
AL: Thank you...
Sousuke: For what...?
AL: I will try and do it myself.
Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen

"We're [...] covered in fur. We look different from humans. But inside, we're still people."
Keith Kessler, TwoKinds

"You treat your robots as if they're people. I may actually have to like you."

Sam: That's stupid. Why would they want [religious texts]? Robots don't have souls. Do they?
Max: I think that's what they're trying to find out.

"Do you really think I'd be so foolish as to define "Human" as one narrow subset of primate DNA?"
Dr. John Bowman, Freefall

"Should we accept them or not, the present of intelligent conscious machines will change our society. How it changes is why we are here. My own view is that we should provide the machines with basic protections. The right to be free from arbitrary termination. The right to choose their own path. Rights humans take for granted."
Max Post, Freefall

Bob: Jean, they're alive — (sort of) — and they can talk. So they're people! And you can't own people! They put a... thing in the Constitution, remember? Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for it.

    Web Original 
James: What? You got your money.
Ash: Yeah, well, you almost killed him!
Jessie: What are you so upset about? It's just a Pikachu.

"Alongside the Sontarans are the Androgums, a race of food-obsessed aliens who are repeatedly treated as brute savages by all of the other characters... This, of course, is exactly what [Robert] Holmes was trying to do back in The Time Warrior... The steady reduction of his concept to 'generic war potatoes' was, as [Eric] Saward guessed, a source of annoyance to Holmes. But he didn’t fix the problem by redoing the Sontarans. He fixed it by creating the Androgums — essentially the same concept only now they’re food-obsessed instead of war-obsessed — and having them be humanoid enough that nobody was ever going try to reuse them as generic monsters. And then, for good measure, have the story repeatedly and uncomfortably treat them like generic monsters even though they’re clearly interesting characters. So basically, the Sontarans without funny masks."

"The Brigadier has wiped out an entire race of alien beings, and the Doctor views it as murder. This is unambiguously an accusation that the Brigadier has committed genocide. Watching it in sequence, it's difficult to imagine how any viewer seeing this wouldn't assume that the Doctor and UNIT were not going to be working together anymore. That is, after all, surely the only thing that can possibly follow this. The alternative is for the Doctor to accept genocide — to say that sometimes intelligent species that have brilliant scientists and civilization get exterminated, and that's OK. If the Doctor shows up next episode, he effectively undermines the entire point of this story. And of course, he does, and it does."

"The hero of the story was a heartless, arrogant brat. I'm rather surprised no-one physically hurt him for saying things like "I'm the rider! I say where we go!" This would be fine if he were talking to a horse, but he was not talking to a horse. He was talking to Saphira, a dragon with the intelligence level of a human being. A woman, if you will. Put a human female in Saphira's place. "I'm your master! I say where we go!" Would you stand for the hero of a story doing that? It's nauseating."
Syera on, discussing the problems with Eragon.

Penny: I'm not real...
Ruby: Of course you are. You think just because you've got nuts and bolts instead of squishy guts makes you any less real than me?

"And the graphic and extensive violence was totally okay because it was a ROBOT and not a PERSON!"
Blake, DSBT InsaniT

"Well howdy-ho. Robots! You know what that means: I can be as hardcore as I want and it'll still be PG-13."

Holt: [hustling her to the car] Goddamn abomination.
Lily: Abomination.
Holt: Get the door, please. [Shoves her inside]
Lily: Abomination, from the Latin word abominari. A thing that causes hatred or disgust.
The Hire, "The Escape"

"I know where this train goes. I've been on it before. "She'll hurt someone!" "She can't be trusted!" "It's okay, she isn't even human!" No. I'll be DAMNED if I let that happen to anyone else!"
Hera, defending Lovelace, Wolf 359

    Western Animation 
"Kids, hitting and punching people is wrong. BUT THAT'S NO PERSON! IT'S A GIANT HAM!"
Buster Baxter as "Cat Saver", Arthur

Magica: Lena couldn't be your friend because she was never real!
Webby: I don't believe you!
Magica: You had sleepovers with a shadow. You gave it a friendship bracelet. Honestly, it's embarrassing how pathetic you were!
DuckTales (2017), "The Shadow War!"

    Real Life 
"'s difficult to make up our minds about the endless violence inflicted on the zombies. They are shotgunned, run over, hacked to bits, decapitated by helicopter blades ... and after a while we notice that our reaction to this mayhem is curiously complex. On the one hand, the violence isn't as disturbing as it would be against "real" human beings: Since the victims are without intelligence or personalities (and, for that matter, are already dead), their fates are less compelling. And yet, at the same time, we feel a sympathy for them: It is not their fault that they're zombies, and their activities aren't deliberately anti-social. It's just in their nature to eat human flesh."


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