The value of anything is established by its properties. If values aren't really arbitrary, then there is an absolute morality. The rest of this is trying to explain why values can't be arbitrary, they can only be misunderstood as arbitrary.
This thread is an argument that order is the basis of all concepts. Order is very rigid, so when you build a concept like a moral system on it, like all concepts should be built, it is going to lead to absolute results. Morality is based on values, and the only way to justify morality is to prove your values are accurate. My argument is that values aren't arbitrary, thus there is an absolute morality.
Original post below:
Many atheists shy away from absolute morality because it sounds religious. I argue that there has to be an absolute morality because the universe is absolute. This may seem wrong as there are many subjective things. I am contending that this isn't true because subjectivity resides on the conceptual level and like disorder and change is not a part of actual existence, but rather merely descriptive. Absolute morality has to exist because the base foundation for morality is order, which enables it to have structure as a social concept. This means that even as a concept, it has to have an absolute and most perfect form as a social concept.
I have been working on this for a while, and I think I am nearing completion, but I am wondering what faults may be found with this line of thought... I have had to return to the drawing board to correct my errors a few times already.
This below is an addendum:
What I am contending is that once morality is conceived as a concept, the nature of order upon which any concept is structured necessitates a most perfect form.
Individual perception causes humans to see the concept with innaccuracy in contrast to the order with which the concept maintains structure in conceptual reality. This creates subjectivity.
But where I am really going with this is that order is the base functional principle of any structure in the universe.
At the very foundation of the level of actuality lies order. Without order, molecules neither form nor bind. Order enables structure, which in turn enables every other level of existence. Order permeates every level of existence as its foundation, including anything that exists on the conceptual level. For this reason, structural order serves as the archetypal basis that justifies having a moral system.
Disorder is mistaken as coexisting with order, but it exists on the conceptual level only and is a name given to an observation of change. It is not a counterpart to order. That means disorder is not actual. It is conceptual.
These things tie together to start to point out that best action can be established on the basis of the order of the universe, and the lack of actuality of disorder which would be its only challenger.
That is a good summary. You are right that I say disorder is a projection we apply to the effect of "nothing" replacing something in a structure. Why is order real and disorder not? Because order functions in reality and is a part of reality. The cause of disorder is nothing being where something was. With order, there is always something there. Where there is order there is something, and where there is disorder there is nothing. One is real, and the other is nothing. I don't see that as asymmetrical.
As for values, we and any other creature are information processing machines. Values are merely measurements. I don't really understand why you are asking if there are values, when it seems obvious that values exist.
There is, it is based on biology. There was this psychologist named Bob Hare, he wored for a long time in prisons studying the brain patterns of inmates. He found that, when told they were going to receive an electric shock, then given a countdown, then shocked. He found that normal inmates would have massive reactions in the Amygdala, they would cringe in fear and preparation, they would exhibit predictable behaviors. But a certain percent of the inmates, the more violent usualy, would not have these reactions in the Amygdala, their brains were prepetually underactive in this area. It was through further study of this that Dr. Hare pioneered our modern understanding of phychopathy. See the phychopath suffers a deficiency, they are not normal, just as a person who is born without legs suffers a deficiency. And what the phychopath is deficient in is the normal reactions of the brain that allow us to function is a socially viable manner. If every one was a phychopath society could not function, and society is a nessecary evil for the existance of man.
But there are absolutes in the universe, They just don't help in an argument about morality.
The speed of light. The relationship of the freezing point of water given a known ambient pressure. The amount of information (matter/energy) in the universe is a constant., That sort of thing.
@Blaine - I'm getting that eye-twitch again --
You just end with a headache!! "There are no absolutes." First of all, the relativist is declaring there are absolutely no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute - there are absolutely no absolutes.
I guess you'd call me a relativist, but I don't say there are no absolutes. In fact, I listed some if you'll remember. The speed of light, etc.
Ethical/moral matters are culture-based and contingent. That's a fact, not an absolute statement.
No doubt, some things are hard to imagine. For some things, there is no mental image corresponding to them. For example, we can't imagine our own death. Death is an absolute and nobody can really wrap their head around it.
Yeah, but the funniest part of that bit was that after Chief Dan Lay there for ten or so minutes and nothing happened, he got up and walked away, possibly realizing that willing oneself to die may just not be quite as easy as previously thought. If you decide to try that Blaine, take a good book --
I mean, if you've ever promised yourself you'd read War and Peace or Moby Dick, but never quite found the time, that could be your chance --
Didn't the chief get up and say "Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't"? or was that another movie?
@Unseen - yes, that quote is correct. That is one of my favorite 5 movies.
RE: "There has to be an absolute morality"
As well as, "a morning after --" (Carpenters)
And hopefully, a morning-after pill --
Sorry, couldn't resist - going away now --
Humans aren't absolute therefore their morals aren't absolute. I like Dawkins idea of the ever changing moral zeitgeist. We adjust out morals as we evolve... but our evolution isn't in a constant direction towards an absolute state but adjusts to its environment.
Therefore we can only have a human morality based upon our environment.