Where do these rights humanists purport to support come from? Do atoms have rights, molecules? How do combinations and conglomerations of molecules start to have rights? When in the line of evolution did that start? Do bacteria have rights? Do flat worms? Where did their rights come from and do we have a moral obligation to respect them? Where in the history of life on Earth does our obligation to respect rights begin?
It would seem to me that in order for rights and the moral obligations to respect rights to be real under atheist-materialism, they would require some moment like the Genesis moment of God creating Adam, instilling such qualities within him and, as an afterthought, Eve. I remember way, way back in an early Catechism class, Sr. Jean saying that God must have chosen a species in the evolution of people to put a soul into them. I can't see how any "Humanist" (read "atheist") who wants to pretend to believe in equal rights can avoid locating some similar point in the development of life to have NO ONE endow our ancestors with equal rights. At least dear old Sr. Jean had some coherent proposed mechanism of how that happened. And she'd trained as an elementary school teacher, not a sci-guy or a philosopher.
As it is, atheism has no coherent account of where rights come from and no coherent reason that would keep anyone, atheist or not, from merely choosing to violate rights as they figure they can get away with it.
Update: "Religion likewise has no enforcement mechanisms (except ones you like to whitewash, like inquisitions) and in any case its track record has, historically, been less than stellar."
If religion had the power to compel people to respect the rights of other people, you'd be the first one to whine about theocracy.
I'll put the checkered history of moral integrity of the Christian religion against the 100% record of atheist amorality when they have the kind of power to enforce behavior any day. As it is, I didn't expect you'd be the one to understand the point made in those posts.
Hey, Stevie, you going to slam Duncan for saying what you jumped all over me for saying about your idea of a cool cat, not mine, Bill Cosby?
Update 2: Nah, I'm not bothered with the jr. high mockery of Simps and Boy Thunder. I figured years ago that if Duncan wants to sponsor that instead of something serious then his blog would not turn out to have any kind of positive effect on much of anything. Like I said, once I realized it was just a means of making money for him....
and it was time to move on.
Update 3: It is kind of surprising for me to say it but any evidence I've seen would lead me to believe that Boy Thunder is even stupider than Simps. Is there anyone with a narrower mind than someone who had the equivalent of a voc-ed education in some narrow scientific specialty? Apparently it's news to Simp's sidekick that you've got to read something before you know what it said. Lots of that going on at the ol' Brain Trust.
Update 4: Yeah, I blame Duncan Black for letting his blog be a place where dishonest and superficial schmucks trash talk other people who don't go there. It's his blog, he could have done something about it years ago and he's too much of a self-absorbed narcissist to take the responsibility to stop that.
I noticed last week that his regulars were trashing a former regular who showed up to beg for money, Jurassic Pork, calling him a grifter, etc. How that differs from Duncan whining that they aren't supporting him by buying stuff from Amazon.com, using Adblock software, not donating to him must be some kind of Masonic secret among them because I can't see any difference.
Duncan Black has been living off of his former promise as asserted by his mentor, The Horse of Media Whores Online and a few things he got recognition from before c. 2007. His blog has been a drag on the discourse since about that time.