How best to begin to integrate sentient non-humans into society?

The question came up recently: how would one best integrate sentient non-humans into society. This means robots, clones, cyborgs, and various and sundry flavors of aliens, strange-land foreign or extra-terrestrial.

My first thought: make them pay taxes. A lot of social interaction seems to stem from needing to take care of such social responsibilities. I think it’d be a big first step.

Any other ideas?

Well getting used to robots is already happening…not Blade-Runner cyborgs mind you, but robots nontheless. I’d have no problem watching a robot walk/roll down the street getting it’s owner groceries or whatever. Fighting wars? Now there’s something I could get used to, bring our boys home and send in the robots.

As for other beings like chewbacca’s and things of that nature - little green men - that would be harder to get used to. In terms of your OP, it would depend upon the context of which they arrived. If it was happy aliens, I’d say start a communication system and go like meeting a new friend…if the nasty kind…introduce them to the US Army. Or feed them cookies, either one may work.

Well, if history is any guide, whenever a group of outsiders has entered another, larger society, it has been as slaves (Africans in America) or masters (the Mongols in China).

Sorry, clones? I’m assuming you mean human clones, right? How would they not be humans?

I guess you’re right. A clone’s just another human being, like an identical twin, as far as I’m aware. Is there any legislation to that effect, at the moment?

They don’t have souls. Nor can they enjoy soul food, soul music, or SoulCalibur.

But if we only cloned one, wouldn’t it be a soul survivor?

I believe cyborgs are also humans.
Isn’t everyone with an artificial heart or a hip replacement a cyborg?

Australians usually integrate just fine.

(Getting them to do differentials is hell, though.)

Probably. I was thinking more along the lines of Frankenstein or the Terminator robots, myself.

Would they get anything out of Soul Train, much less be able to pronounce the show’s title with sufficient enthusiasm (Sooooooooooooooooooul…Train!)?

Reminds me of my Driver’s Ed teacher in highschool. I’d already been driving for awhile and didn’t really need to be instructed, so when it was just he and I we’d drive around for an hour or so, chatting. Well, me listening while he told me his theories of everything. My favorite of his theories was the reason Hollywood comes out with so many movies & TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars was because aliens were already here and slowly getting us used to seeing aliens and feeling comfortable around them.

Of course I thought he was a bit nuts, but at the same time he had a point. I think I, and generations younger than me are so used to seeing aliens on TV we really wouldn’t freak that much.

I’ve wondered whether a galactic community of many different alien species would have an agreement that each homeworld wouldn’t allow alien residents. I figure that each species would have a high enough proportion of xenophobes that would want to keep their homeworld “pure”, and this sort of agreement would cut down on interspecies “ethnic” tension. The caveat would be that no other planet is subject to “we were here first” attitudes.

Hollywood comes out with so many movies & TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars was because aliens were already here and slowly getting us used to seeing aliens and feeling comfortable around them.

Of course the popularity of Buffy and Harry Potter then implies that we’re being slowly introduced to the idea of vampires and demons and wizards and such. :eek:

I’ve always felt that the ease with which a group early integrates into mainstream larger society is partially dependent on their cuisine, and maybe their attractiveness. But I’m a guy, and this is a personal opinion with no documentation.

Soooo. Are wookies hot? are they ahem easy? Did a good wookie restaurant just open up downtown? Since there’s already furry pr0n, I figure wookie pr0n is a shoo-in.

I think the cuisine thing is gonna be tough for the robots.

I imagine we’d assign them the way we usually do strangers who come to our society. They’d be taxi drivers, doctors, convenience store clerks, motel managers, nail shop workers, waitstaff, and college professors. :wink:

[Pedantry]Frankenstein was inarguably human, as far as that word applies to fictional characters. His monster, on the other hand…[/Pedantry]

The Frankenstein monster, in the classic Universal film, was composed of human flesh and was capable of human thought and emotion (although perhaps on a primitive, childish level). I think if such a creature actually existed, he would have to be granted at least some degree of human rights, although fully integrating him into society would probably be impossible.

The monster in the novel was fully capable of speech and seemed to have above average intelligence but was cursed with a grotesque appearance. If people could have gotten past that (and the ick factor of knowing that he used to be dead) or somehow his appearance could have been improved, he should have been able to assimilate easily.

(True, the monster in both versions committed homicide, but it was in response to being tormented and scorned or, in the case of tossing a little girl into a lake, not realizing the consequence of his actions.)

The Terminator (at least in the first film, the only one I’ve seen), was a robot designed to be an unstoppable, remorseless, killer. It wore superficial human characteristics as a disguise (and apparently to facilitate time travel). We are not under any moral obligation to accept inhuman death machines into society.

People seem to like medicine enough.

The problem with Scifi aliens is that they’re either HUMAN (in appearance and behavior at the very least), or severely anthropomorphisized (or something spelled similar to that :dubious: ). In other words, they’re so close to being Human that it makes very little difference that they’re not.

Now imagine if they looked like 8’ tall Spider/Preying Mantis creatures and were not capable of Human speech except through interpretation computers. Imagine also that their culture was so completely alien as to be virtually incomprehensible and not at all reconcilable with our values and expectations.

There would be no integration or mutual understanding sufficient to having them move in next door and work in the next cube.

Well, as long as they don’t expect our women to wear burkhas.

David Brin, science fiction author, has featured the idea of Uplift–taking non-sapient species, & using genetic engineering to make them reasoning creatures. S. Andrew Swann wrote on this theme, & of course, H.G. Welles wrote The Island Of Doctor Moreau.

How to integrate them?