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We are Sentientists

Why are these people considered ‘nearly’ sentientist?

These are people who have been nominated as a Suspected Sentientist, but don't seem to be Sentientist (yet). This is either because they don't seem to have a naturalistic worldview (committed to evidence and reason, rejecting supernatural beliefs) or because they don't seem to grant meaningful moral consideration to all sentient beings.

Thank you for nominating people. If you have further input I'd love to hear it in the comments for each person. If you are one of these people, feel free to correct things and post yourself on our Wall of Sentientists!

Brian May

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Brian is a musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and astrophysicist. He is the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He is vegan. He has described himself as an agnostic, but has also said that, at times, be believes that some sort of a god does exist.
Brian on Wikipedia
@DrBrianMay
brianmay.com

Jim Al-Khalili

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Jim is a theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster. He is professor of theoretical physics and chair in the public engagement in science at the University of Surrey. He is a regular broadcaster and presenter of science programmes on BBC radio and television, including The Life Scientific. In 2014, he was named as a RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) leader by the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). He is not vegetarian or vegan. He was President of the British Humanist Association between January 2013 and January 2016.
@jimalkhalili
jimal-khalili.com

 

Siân Berry

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Siân is a politician who has served as Co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales since 2018. She currently is a member of the London Assembly and the only Green Party councillor on Camden Council, representing Highgate. While she has substantially reduced her consumption of animal products, she does eat meat occasionally. She is a Humanist and a patron of Humanists UK.
Siân on Wikipedia
@sianberry

Steven Pinker

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Steve is a cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind. Pinker's book The Better Angels of Our Nature  argues that violence in human societies has generally declined over time. Enlightenment Now  uses social science data to show a general improvement of the human condition over recent history. Steve is a Humanist who is also comfortable also identifying as a Sentientist given he grants moral consideration to all sentient beings. He doesn't yet seem to have applied that stance to his consumption decisions.

The closing paragraph of Enlightenment Now includes the phrase "The story belongs... to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being." The book analyses the decline in "animal cruelty" as a sign of progress yet largely ignores the clearly anti-progress story of the rapid, relentless growth of animal farming. Maybe the next edition will be titled: "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Sentientism, and Progress"?

Steve on Wikipedia
@sapinker
stevenpinker.com
Steve in conversation with suspected Sentientist Stephen Fry, where he says: "To treat other people and ultimately other sentient creatures as equivalent in interests to my own."

Adam Rutherford

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Adam is a geneticist, author and broadcaster. He was an audio-visual content editor for the journal Nature for a decade, and is a frequent contributor to the newspaper The Guardian. He hosts the BBC Radio 4 programme Inside Science, has produced several science documentaries and has published books related to genetics and the origin of life. He is an atheist and a humanist. He describes himself as vegetarian.
Adam on Wikipedia
@AdamRutherford

Alice Roberts

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Alice is a biological anthropologist, biologist, television presenter and author. Since 2012 she has been Professor of the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. Since 2019, she has been President of the charity Humanists UK, which campaigns for "a tolerant world where rational thinking and kindness prevail". Alice does show concern for sentient non-human animals and seems to be working on removing them from her consumption (no meat, but does eat fish, eggs and dairy).
Alice on Wikipedia
@theAliceRoberts
alice-roberts.co.uk

Cory Booker

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Cory is a politician, attorney and author who has served as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, Cory is the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Cory is vegan and a vocal political advocate for non-human animals. The Humane Society gave him a 100% 2019 scorecard for his positions. He is sponsoring the Farm System Reform Act which aims to restrict factory farming in the U.S. Cory is a Baptist Christian but his personal ethics and policy approach seems largely naturalistic and compassionate.
Cory on Wikipedia
booker.senate.gov
@CoryBooker

CosmicSkeptic

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Alex O'Connor, also known as CosmicSkeptic, is a YouTuber, writer and podcaster. He speaks and writes regularly about his atheism and used to speak and write about his veganism.

In this video clip he says: "I don't like calling myself a Humanist for the rather controversial reason of not thinking that we should just put humans at the basis of our ethic and morality... I would call myself a subscriber of... there's this new term going around... Sentientism" but says "if it wasn't such a terrible term that just doesn't roll off the tongue and has no wit about it - then maybe I'd call myself one... there needs to be a better word for that."

Since then he has resumed his consumption of products made from sentient animals so seems to have withdrawn his practical moral consideration from many sentient beings. He remains opposed to "factory farming".

@CosmicSkeptic
CosmicSkeptic YouTube

Richard Dawkins

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Richard is an ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and author. He is a vocal atheist and naturalist. He grants moral consideration to sentient non-humans in principle and hopes for a vegan world, as you can hear in these discussions (with Sentientist Peter Singer and in this talk). However, in practice he continues to buy and consume sentient animal products. The Center for Inquiry, where Richard is a founding board member, published this article about Sentientism in their Free Inquiry magazine.
Richard on Wikipedia
@RichardDawkins

Sam Harris

Nearly Sentientist
Discussion and points of difference

Sam is an author, neuroscientist, and podcast host. Sam's book, The Moral Landscape, sets out a naturalistic ethics that is largely consistent with Sentientism, in that it grants moral consideration to conscious non-human as well as human beings. However, despite experimenting with vegetarianism and veganism, Sam continues to buy and consume products made from sentient beings, implying he doesn't personally grant them meaningful moral consideration. He is a vocal atheist and naturalist.
Sam on Wikipedia
@SamHarrisOrg

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Head and shoulders picture of Chris Bryant looking towards the camera. Wearing glasses and a black t-shirt/top.

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"Your Robot Dog Will Die" Author Arin Greenwood - Sentientism Ep: 176

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"Making the kind choice becomes this gift" - Molly Elwood - Elwoods Dog Meat CEO - Sentientism Ep: 175

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