Someone who holds views similar to a humanist
(i.e. upholding human reason, ethics, and justice, and rejecting supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition), but with different rights-criteria. The main distinction is that personists believe that rights are conferred to the extent that a creature is a person.
Consequently, a member of the human species will not necessarily fit the definition of “person” and may not receive all the rights bestowed to a person. This philosophy is also supposedly open to the idea that such non-human persons as machines, animals, and extraterrestrial life (depending on their sentience) may be entitled to certain rights currently granted only to humans.
John prefers to identify himself as a Personist rather than a Humanist, because he believes that humans are not the only animal species worthy of consideration.