As with human aesthetic sense, human morality may be approximations and versions of more absolutely definable optimal solutions to information-theoretic, game-theoretic, social, economic, intelligence, signaling, cooperation problems. Therefore it may be likely that an alien race could share some of the same values as we do, because it may turn out that they are “good” solutions for intelligent culture bearing species in general. But there is nothing in the universe in it self that says that theese optimal solutions, or any value what-so-ever can be valuable, and I don´t understand why some atheists even expect there to be something like this. It is minds that give value to certain phenomena, and it usually happens because our emotional circuitry where wired to value something by evolution.
But I so no problem in trying to choose some of the more general looking values evolution has given us and making them even more general and refined. We should do this in such a way as to keep us stable and happy but also so that we have a rich future mind-space to move in, and I think we have already done this in part with Goodness, Truth and Beauty for it´s own sake, but they are not easily definable. It is not easy to find a sweet-spot between a species-specific version and a more general one that is free and pleasing to as many minds as possible. I think we should continue to refine this sweet-spot and work towards some values for their own sake and not only because they give us pleasure. I think this is important and can add up to the stability of an individual as well as a society and an AI. It certainly is a dangerous thing, but I see it as essential at least for a human mind.
One problem may be though that we are wired so that, if we don´t believe that morality or some other value is intrinsically rooted and valued by some great preferably immortal and omnipresent authority(God, the Universe, Nature) then we may have some trouble behaving morally or in accordance with that value, just because we choose to do so. Some strong people may find this easy. But many finds this very hard, and I think that is the prime reason why religion still persists today, even though most people know somewhere deep down that it is a dead practice.
And I will admit although not with any pride that I, myself has great trouble with pursuing and actually doing what I value, systematically and with pleasure and discipline, even though I know about all this. It may be that something is particularly wrong in my brain, or it may be quite a wide problem.
Thank you Eli for keeping on enlightening my path, day after day, I have been lurking on you for 2.5 years now, you have totally changed my life, before you, there was no person I could really trust in deep matters, and now, because you are so often right and I have to be so careful with trusting you, I have also become extremely careful in trusting my own intuitions and thought patterns. You learn people to think with rigorous self-critique, extream precision and dedication and mindful focus on the actual territory and possibility-space of study without getting trapped in the usual mind projection fallacy and other biases.
Keep on fighting! Your books will sell well, and it will fuel your goals!