Why do atheists believe in "human rights"?

Oct 2019
676
48
USA
Belief in human rights is predicated on the notion that humans "are special" in a way which animals are not (given that human rights receive greater protection than animal rights).

"Human rights" is also a faith-based notion, and is not demonstrable with empirical evidence, nor is it testable.

So to an atheist, believing in human rights is akin to believing in any other "fairy tale" or "faith-based notion", much as it is based on the notion that humans are "special", rather than just another species of animal.
 
Jul 2008
19,064
12,953
Virginia Beach, VA
Belief in human rights is predicated on the notion that humans "are special" in a way which animals are not (given that human rights receive greater protection than animal rights).

"Human rights" is also a faith-based notion, and is not demonstrable with empirical evidence, nor is it testable.

So to an atheist, believing in human rights is akin to believing in any other "fairy tale" or "faith-based notion", much as it is based on the notion that humans are "special", rather than just another species of animal.
More BS.

Humans are special in that we are the only animals capable of recognizing others as deserving of rights. Animals act, mostly, on instinct and not abstract reasoning.
 
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RNG

Forum Staff
Apr 2013
40,188
28,050
La La Land North
There are a lot of animal rights codified into the Canadian legal system. I don't know to what extent but there are some in the US too. So animals also have some of the same rights as humans, those given by the government and force of law.
 
Jun 2019
552
245
ROT
There are a lot of animal rights codified into the Canadian legal system. I don't know to what extent but there are some in the US too. So animals also have some of the same rights as humans, those given by the government and force of law.
Lots of "rights" for corporations as well. Maybe the OP thinks those also came from his God?
 
Oct 2019
676
48
USA
More BS.

Humans are special in that we are the only animals capable of recognizing others as deserving of rights. Animals act, mostly, on instinct and not abstract reasoning.
I'm not sure if you're stating that as a strict dichotomy, but in practice it isn't that diatomic - humans do act on instinct (or other factors, such as intuition) which in certain situations, proves superior to abstract reasoning alone - per evolutionary writers such as Steven Pinker, or Sgt. Rory Miller in "Meditations on Violence".



Legal institutions such as Common Law are also based on these distinctions (which is 1st degree murder, for example is a more serious charge - because it is premeditated, or rational, while 2nd degree murder is done in the heat of the moment, or instinctive)

Some humans, such as Einstein, obviously demonstrate more abstract reasoning than others, so if "abstract reasoning alone" is the metric - then shouldn't a genius such as Einstein have more rights than a "developmentally disabled person"?

If not, then this is self-contradictory - since if Einstein should have the same rights as a developmentally disabled person (rather than more rights), this is based on something distinctly "human", not on abstract reasoning ability.

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The idea that animals "do not reason at all" isn't entirely true, though we can't take for granted that humans reason significantly more:


So based on that notion - we grant an ordinary human more rights than a chimpanzee (since humans reason significantly more), so why should we not grant greater rights to our intellectuals - such as a Newton or an Einstein, than we would an ordinary human, or one of low intelligence?

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And for what it's worth, how do you define "asserting a right"? If you mean through writing or legislation, then yes that would depend on abstract reasoning ability.

But if you mean merely "enforcing" a right, then this wouldn't require reasoning.

(For example, if a criminal attacked an innocent bystander, and he reacted in the heat of the moment by punching the criminal, he would be defending himself, but would be acting instinctively, not rationally - much as how an animal such as a dog or a horse might react if one kicked it).
 
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Mar 2013
10,375
11,271
Middle Tennessee
Atheist believe in human rights, BECAUSE THEY'RE HUMAN BEINGS !!!! Period, end of story. If you can't grasp this extremely simple concept, then you're a total and complete MORON. Not to mention a sanctimonious douche bag.
 
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Oct 2019
676
48
USA
Atheist believe in human rights, BECAUSE THEY'RE HUMAN BEINGS !!!! Period, end of story. If you can;t grasp this extremely simple concept, then you're a total and complete MORON. Not to mention a sanctimonious douche bag.
Then since I'm human, not an animal - I shouldn't care if animals or plants have any rights.

So why are rights for nature and animals a tenant of the Secular Humanist faith then?
 
Oct 2019
676
48
USA
Finding Human Rights in the Bible?

You must have a very different Bible from the ones I have as there are none, there are choices - Believe, Obey, or Burn...
Well, what's your point?

Living in America, you're required by law to demonstrate some form of morality, such as not murdering or stealing - and if you don't, then you'd be put in prison and lose your rights.

So even in a "free country", you're not entirely free, and in practice you or the state is required to preserve your rights, or else they would be meaningless, such as your rights would be in the face of a criminal with a loaded gun who cares not for notions such as "rights".

If the Bible or religion expecting "moral behavior" from its members means they "aren't free" or "have no rights" - this is not entirely different from the law in any civilized nation, so what is your point?

You aren't "free" in America to murder, to rape, or to molest kids, or other things which atheists could rationalize doing if "life is meaningless", as they often believe.