so, if we use dna to make a person (which i am not cool with, btw), it's a person, because we used the system of creation that God already put in place. it's like His breath is still running through that. good thought.
So, you're saying it comes down to being organic? God cares about us because our brains use electro-chemical impulses to convey information and thoughts but he wouldn't care about an intelligence that used silicon-based circuits to do so?
It seems to me that it is the brain which is the most important part here. After all, we don't consider an amputee to be less of a person for having lost part of her body. And if someone sustained Darth Vader like injuries and subsequently became a cyborg, would he then be less of a person and would God love him less, or not at all?
The argument that the AI couldn't be a person because "God didn't make it, humans did," seems to have other implications. Suppose a person with severe cancer recovers after being treated by doctors using modern techniques and medecine. If he then said "God didn't cure me, the doctors, scientists, and drug-makers did," would you agree with him? It seems to me that if you say "God didn't make the AI, humans did," you would also have to say "God didn't cure Bill of cancer, the scientists did."
Anyway, the sorts of rights that I have in mind include, but are not limited to, the rights to:
(1) continued existence (a person couldn't just "pull the plug" on it);
(2) compensation for work (whatever it is that an AI would want); and
(3) self determination.
These are all basic rights that all people are entitled to. There are, of course, restrictions. Children, for instance, have limited rights of self determination given their diminished capacity for thoughtful long-term planning and understanding relevant consequences of actions; parents generally exercise those in trust for kids. Animals also have some rights; you can't simply torture a dog, even if you own it, but, as property, the wages from an animal's work, if any, accrue to said animal's owner, not the beast itself. And, of course, one person's rights generally end once they begin infringing on those of another.
But the lesser rights of animals are not determined based on their DNA. My cat can't own property because she can't conceive of what that means. If a being is incapable of responsibly exercising a right, that right can be withheld from that being. But it seems to me that the AI that I have described would be able to responsibly exercise a large variety of rights, possibly all of those that humans have. Is the fact that the entity is computer-based and not organics-based really a proper distinction to discriminate on? Note, of course, that rights have historically been denied to people based on gender and race, differences that we now consider it improper to discriminate upon.