Can everything we need to say about how to live be translated into rights talk?  Possibly.  But.

Consider an easy case.  I can translate the statement that parents have a duty to care for their children into the idea that children have a right to their parents’ care.  Not bad.

The paradox of the sexual revolution is that those who preach it belong mostly to the upper stratum, but those who suffer from it belong mostly to the lower.  Will this difference persist?  I don't think it can.

People sometimes tell me that they believe there may be some natural laws – okay, it’s wrong to murder -- but that there are no natural laws about sexuality.  They simply refuse to consider that sex might be ordered to procreation.

Has the population of the hookup world suddenly become more numerous than before the HHS mandate and before Obergefell?

No, but its inhabitants are more openly angry about rational criticism, and the minority are less willing to speak up.

 

How often we hear people argue that we ought to promote animal rights, because, since we can’t read animal minds, they might, for all we know, be persons.

Yet often people of the same persuasion argue that we ought to allow abortions, because, since we can’t read baby minds, we have no reason to think they are persons.

 

And I should imagine that this is equally true of the soul, Callicles; when a man is stripped of the body, all the natural or acquired affections of the soul are laid open to view.  -- Socrates

Those who reject God don’t reject gods in general.  Each of them makes something else his god.