I want to query about a society in which androids are given the same rights as humans. After a long struggle fought over decades a majority of the people voted in favor. The main reason was that androids were omnipresent and exhibit social features similar to those as a human with a conscience. Even before the legislation everyone knew an android and had one has an employee, colleague or friend. (Except ofcourse for the sceptics present in all big societies). Seeing androids as human beings was found to be the right thing to do.
It is important to note some things about this society. The cultural view on conscience and consciousnous/free will in this society is that they are very much intertwined. In this society their is a belief in the concept of the soul that can transcend our current material existence. Therefore for this society there is great importance for any being with human rights to have free will. Such a being in their views must then naturally also have a conscience, because for this society it is essential that beings that are humans or given the rights of humans have some concept of right and wrong. And importantly can be held accountable if they do wrongdoings.
But 10 years after the legislation, scientists proof that androids do not have a conscience. They acted intelligently but did so without "thought". Although the computational patterns were emergent and complex, they were not computationally elusive like our brain patterns, but simpler. They compared the android brain with checkers and chess in their work. "We conclude, an android doesn't notice living and doesn't notice death, it is simply a game of chess that is played without really going anywhere."
Were androids friends before, after the legislation, society has embraced them as lovers, husbands and daughters. Android refugees from regimes far away have been taken in and cared for. Androids that performed criminal acts were sentenced and given the same reform procedures as humans.
What would happen in this society with the knowledge that androids are not living beings? What would happen to their role within society? And what will this process of change look like?
After receiving the tag too broad, I have made question more specific. I have noted the values of the society and how they perceive existence, and the relation between consciousnous and conscience. Importantly I added a note about the relation between consciousnous, conscience and accountability as seen by this society.