The evolution of rationality slowly converges to two simple facets of rights and freedom: to control and protect. You cannot protect what you do not control, nor can you control what you cannot protect.
Rationality: The quality or state of being rational; agreement with reason; possession of reason; due exercise of reason; reasonableness.
Ratio: Relation in degree or number between two concepts. [I assume that reason is a framework of ratios - I don't know if this is the correct way to view it though]
Evolution: A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.
Right: In accordance with fact, reason, or truth.
Freedom: The capacity to exercise choice; free will.
I believe these are suitable descriptions with which to describe the relationship of the evolution of rationality with respect to rights and freedoms.
My take on it is that in defining a rational evolution we must be careful to avoid setting up a self-contained system. By closing off our ability to further rationalize, we limit the degree with which we can evolve. Especially in the last century we have made observations of our reality that have bent or extended our basis with which we can apply our previous framework of rationality (the results of quantum mechanics and relativity can not be considered as rational consequences of a cartesian outlook, for example).
Now, with respect to rights and freedoms, we come to the point where we believe that by conforming all human action to our current framework we will be lead into the path which will optimize our rational evolution. My point is that it is precisely the *converse* of this that is required to make advancements in our rationality that will further expand it so that it can progress at the optimal rate [namely that of creating a more complex system or in another view, peeling the onion].
This implies that we should not make a point of forced protection or control. We should always imply the option of doing things differently or whatever, only that the knowledge with which we make our decisions is presented fully.
A rational basis then requires the greatest amount of knowledge [or framework of ratios] that can be associated with the decision at hand, and as such maybe we are not escaping the constraints of control (from our rationality), but at least in this case there is no explicit force being employed by one portion of humanity on another, it is the inherent rationality itself guiding us.
The problem is not with rationality, it is with the limited application of certain rational concepts into domains where they have no substantial basis for being applied.
Control, and hence protection, are results of people not having the rational basis required [or by having an unfounded rational basis] to operate within our current sociological climate (or reality, or whatever). There is something to be said for the person that can still operate within our current system and yet not formally observe the controls which are installed for our *protection* by the authoritative collective that is charged with guiding the mass of humanity. I try to operate on this basis, and it has for the most part always been a successful venture. Sooner or later a transcendence (as many others have pointed out) will be required for us to progress - of this I am relatively confident. Our current situation is not an equilibrium - it requires further progression, otherwise we are going to self-destruct. Many people believe they have pointed out certain criteria that we must overcome in order to make this transcendance... personally, I think the cartesian fragmentation of reality that was instilled during Newtons time is one of the most pressing *mass-psychology* problems that still exists today. I try to do my best to promote a "breaking-through" of this limited outlook, and it often runs against the grain. I suggest that if people are concerned with our rational evolution that they try to promote progression in other areas that they feel need development (even against the formal authority) and perhaps, just maybe, one day enough people will realize the decisions that we need to make as a whole in order to promote a rationally true and beneficial evolution.
Anyways, that's my take on it.
We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.