human rights and the all too human wrongs
You believe you have the right to say anything? Why?
Those who haven't had formal philosophy classes or enough history often seem to confuse political liberties with the contemporary technology which makes it possible for anyone to say anything. There are informed opinions, based on experience, formal education, or even simply being well-read on a subject. Which are not the same as personal likes and dislikes.
Where does the idea of "rights" come from? It's a product of Enlightenment (1700's) political philosophies. Which are a product of the European idea of rationalism. Here's where it gets tricky. Because a nuanced explanation is impossible in paragraph form. Rationalism was itself derived from the work of medieval Catholic theologians who concluded from their observations of the natural world that there were physical laws. These laws could reveal the mind of the creator, and were therefore proper to study formally. Hence the rise of western universities.
Way back in the ancient world, arose a new religion. One not grounded in ethnicity (tribe) or locality, like the Egyptian or Greek deities. This new cult even had the gall to claim that slaves and women had souls, that all humans did. The educated ancients found such a notion silly. They knew peasants were little more than animals. But this each having a "soul" business easily morphed into the idea of individualism. We in the postmodern world are so used to it we forget individualism has a history.
From the US Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." To whom is it self-evident? To the assumed rational thinker. Check the level of current political discussion-- see much rationality? All men; well, not really. They meant not slaves, not women, not Indians, not even white men without property. Modern psychology has revealed the scope of the irrational. And the post Einstein and post Heisenberg world of relativity and uncertainty pretty much demolished the Enlightenment assumption of the objective observer separated from whatever is being observed.
SInce it's being argued here that the "Creator" part is irrelevant, on what are rights based? Political agreement, then. Which also means these rights are the arbitrary decisions of humans. Which can be voted away. Who is to say what is good, what is true, what is (a) right? Does might make right?
As for what is good for the evolution of humanity... that implies a teleology. That's a fancy word from theology meaning purpose towards some end. Which mainstream biological science denies. The doctrine is of randomlessness and purposelessness, of evolution based on random mutations.
There are several atheistic scientists who have written about religion as a human biological survival mechanism, thereby attempting to explain the prevalence of the phenomenon. Those approaches leave out the entire dimension of experience. A complex subject not included in any definition of religion as submission to weird dogmas, as ignorant tribal lore, or as mere personal belief without evidence.
An analogy. Part of what makes us human is the ability to enjoy art. By scientific analysis, a painting is a chunk of cloth with splotches of pigment. It is the artistic, the poetic, the imaginal, the mystical, and even the religious dimensions that give it meaning. Same for human life.
What's good for evolution also implies the ability to foresee the distant future. Plus the incredible intellect necessary to judge what the entire species needs for the next millennia. That in itself would be evidence of deity.