The religious view is far simpler: Human beings have rights because human beings have Godly souls. Human beings have responsibilities because they have Godly souls. Robots do not have souls -- they can never transcend their programming. Animals do not have souls -- they cannot transcend their programming.
The sanctity of human life is based on its unique status. Without the soul, the human being is a complex machine, no more sanctified than a tree or a squirrel or a robot. There can be no high ideals in a soulless world. Why fight for freedom when there is no true freedom from our own genetics? Why worry about murder when every human being is as banal as a pocket calculator? Why worry about human rights when humans don't deserve special rights?
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