Is it possible to make a decent argument for absolute morality without appealing to any "magic" or religious ideas?
I have a limited knowledge of ethics, but of what I've read, Aristotle's The Nichomachean Ethics is most appealing. This concept of the mean, particularly. But one obvious problem with that is that it is inherently "fuzzy."
If you look at nearly every culture, whatever passes for "murder" is apparently universally considered immoral. The same for whatever passes locally for "theft." Obviously the crimes depend on the local definition, but someone taking what Adam believes to be his seems to be universally considered bad. Even in a den of thieves you'll see people stab each other for what they consider to be "their" possessions. Again, and I can't stress it enough, what one culture defines as theft or murder (or whatever) changes from place to place. That's not what I'm talking about.
So does that mean that there are certain actions that (allowing for differences in definitions) are universally considered immoral?
If there are, how could you discover for certain what they are? If you can't (and I don't think you can), does that mean that they don't exist as universal moral "truths?"
Please give me your thoughts (and remember, I'm coming at this from a purely atheistic perspective, and add to that that I'm talking only about within the confines of human action and thought).
The fundamental laws of our universe
As they are taught us by our greatest curse