Think about it. Is there really a basis for a “universal declaration of human rights”? No. There isn’t. Sadly, there isn’t.
Authoritarians of all stripes would agree. That seems to justify their wholesale brutishness and violence.
But they’re wrong.
“Human rights” is a social construct, and there’s a very good reason for that social construct: it leads to human happiness. In other words, it’s utilitarian.
In the utilitarian universe, the only good is that which leads to human happiness. Again, an assertion, but a happy one. Anything beyond that also lies in the realm of assertion. Universal human rights? Prove it. No inherent human rights? Prove it.
Let’s act “as if.”
Does acting as if there are universal human rights prove that there are? No. Of course not. But in societies that maintain the fiction that there are? There’s more happiness than in those that pretend that human rights don’t exist. Compare Iran and Iceland, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
In other words, fighting to establish the entirely (naturalistically) baseless concept of “human rights” leads to happiness.
So, let’s work for the establishment of free speech, free association, etc. There’s no naturalistic basis for human rights– nature is entirely neutral — but we’ll all be a hell of a lot happier if we’re free.