Dot is just being open-minded.
Funkyanarchy: excellent, excellent points. You've totally hit on the problems I have communicating my thoughts. The apparent contradictions you highlight are not uncomfortable in my mind: they are resolved in a synthesis that I have extreme difficulty describing. I just don't have the vocabulary or definitions to talk intelligibly about the truth I've discovered. That's why my recent decision to speak up has only been frustrating. That's why, if I am to speak up my original question is of urgent importance. Other people, more skilled in language than I am, have undoubtedly seen the world as I do. I've always laughed at "isms" but now I see their value: If I can find a respectable established "ism" that accurately corresponds to my own ideas I can use the words good writers have already used to say the same thing I want to say. I can say "yeah .... what he said." Otherwise, in the eyes of others, I'm just sitting out here on the moon. My words, intended to provoke serious thought just get ignored, snubbed or at worst they provoke hostility. I can either shut-up and return to my plants, or try to aquire the tools and materials to contribute to participate effectively in a very exciting social battle that has reached a potential turning point. What I'm seeing in the world right now is a huge surge in populism -- Trump, Bernie, Brexit, ISIS -- all boiling down to an attempt by large numbers of people (a critical mass?) to overturn a demeaning system they can no longer endure.
Only... they don't know what they really need, so they are being manipulated. Lack of knowledge is being abused. Most humans will remain half-dead and half-worthless in the struggle for the continuation of life in the universe unless they are led to truth by people with sincerity, empathy and the awareness that anarchy is the only satisfying social order. And I have a feeling this is a moment in history when the voices of anarchists can matter. So I'd like to add mine to yours.
Just so you'll take me seriously when I respond to others' questions on this site, let me try to respond to your points. Whether or not you agree -- yet -- with my ideas, it is important to me that you not dismiss them outright. I'm not joining your group simply as comedy relief (although I will try to keep it light).
Absolute morality and higher duty. Yeah, I can't deny their existence. It begins with this statement: The existence of life is "good." Therefore, to support life and defend life from forces that would destroy it are "right" actions. There you go: how describe this any way other than absolute morality and higher duty? Its existence seems to be confirmed because plants and microbes -- much wiser than humans, having been around much longer and quite capable of passing information down through the generations -- largely act for the continuation of life rather the continuation of their own individual lives. That's just obvious and I'm not going to go into the multiple observations that have led me to this. Not relevant to this particular forum. Suffice it to say that "to contribute to the continuation of life is morally, ethically right; to work against its continuation is morally, ethically wrong."
I'm not sure anthropomorphism is stupid. I would say that thinking humans are somehow more alive than plants is anthropocentric. I hate arrogance and try to resist any self-centered tendencies in myself. I guess it depends on how you define life. Think about this: an earthquake; a body falls to the ground; if it gets back up without external cause it is alive. It is the difference between a tree and a wooden chair. Same matter but one influences its own movement, the other is entirely dependent on external forces for movement. At least that's the way I see it, and to see it otherwise would leave me with no free will and therefore no meaningful answer to the ethical question "what should I do?" If this question is moot... no, I can't accept that. I totally refuse to accept that. I will insist to the end that I can respond to external signals in ways that cannot be predicted purely with mathematical formulas of laws of physics.
So the answer to the question "what should I do?" is somehow going to be "what supports/defends life."
Does this call for altruism or supporting the life of others more than the life of oneself? I don't think so, because I'm a part of it as much as anything else. It is also not utilitarian "greatest good for greatest number," because as groups of collaborating things grow larger communication breaks down and the group breaks apart. The size of life or the quantity of living organisms is by no means the best assurance of its continuation. Small things and members of small groups have the flexibility to adjust rapidly. To be important to the continuation of life I have to be in small groups. Others in groups I'm not part of will just do their own things in their own groups.
A group take on unique personalities and are capable of action on a different scale than the action of any of its members. So it is not really a "group" of individuals at all. It is just another individual living organism. I deal with all living organisms as equals. I will not submit to the will of any collective "person." I will exchange value with it on equal terms.
That's why, naturally, my morality leads inevitably to anarchy: If I give up ANY of my ability to move of my own free will I give up part of my life -- I give up part of life. I am capable of movement and my options of action are entirely unique because nothing else has ever before been in this place and time and never will be. That includes any collective "persons." They have their own things to do; I have mine. If we both have a duty to support life, we both have a duty to empower whatever life-forms we encounter, including ourselves, as long as that life-form is doing the same (if not, empowering life entails weakening its attackers).