Universal Declaration of Sophont Rights

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The Universal Declaration of Sophont Rights is a fictional manifesto of rights in the collaborative universe of Orion's Arm.[1]


  1. Recognition of sophonce. Any being claiming sophonce is entitled to be treated as such until such time as they are unambiguously determined not to be.
  2. Equality. All sophonts regardless of origin, clade, sex, faction, biology or mechology, cognition, ideology, orientation and toposophy are regarded as equal beings before the law and are to be treated accordingly.
  3. Life. All sophonts have the right to be free from arbitrary or unjust murder, bodyloss or stasis.
  4. Liberty. Each sophont is entitled to control over their own life within the law and cannot be forcibly owned, detained or otherwise coerced with the exception of those assigned a guardian whose rights will be limited in this regard.
  5. Mortality. In a civilization of immortals and near omni-capable medical tech, the right to terminate one's existence at a time and place of one's choosing, or to refuse longevity treatments is to be assured.
  6. Bodily sanctity. The physical form of sophonts, be they real or digital, are to be held sovereign. No one can arbitrarily or unjustly alter, augment, harm, maim or otherwise inflict pain on another.
  7. Cognitive consistency. No sophont shall be forced to have their mind drastically and forcibly rewritten, edited or otherwise changed in a manner that destroys their personhood.
  8. Reproduction or replication. No sophont may be arbitrarily denied the right to reproduce themselves including the right to create static or active copies. Population control policy must be fair and unbiased.
  9. Identity. Every sophont has the right to their own identity and may not, in the case of copies, claim another's or have another's forced upon them without consent.
  10. Self-transcendence. No sophont being is to be unreasonably denied, through either intrinsic or extrinsic force, the capacity to alter one's self physically or mentally, through natural or artificial means.
  11. Prosperity. No sophont can be unjustly denied access to the resources required for them to live full lives. Nor shall they be denied access to the means to ethically increase their personal wealth.
  12. Expression. Sophonts are to be allowed to express themselves in any reasonable manner without censure, attack or otherwise inhibition. This includes but is not limited to public speaking, published opinions, religious expression, bodily form and chosen garments.
  13. Association. All sophonts are to freely be allowed to associate in whatever family, network or organisation in any consensual manner.
  14. Relocation. No sophont may denied the right to move to a new location, polity, or metaempire of their choice.