No theory of the proper social order – which is to say, no account of social order, whatsoever, no sociology of any sort at all – can succeed if it fails to provide an account of the ontological basis of propriety; for “order” is a term of aesthetic and moral evaluation, and thus itself inherently a measure of *propriety.*
No account of society, then, can fail to imply a prescription of proper social order that transcends all sociality, and informs it, and orders it. This is so even – indeed, a fortiori – when such analyses are couched in terms of economic efficiency, of the Hamiltonian, the Least Path, or of homeostases near some strangely attractive points of thermodynamic equilibrium in the local energetic flux. A sociology that takes no notice of the universal nisus toward survival and reproduction, toward formal perdurance, cannot hope to make sense. And no such nisus can be comprehensible unless it can be understood as motivated by and ordered toward some true and truly apprehensible good; for, if there be no such motivation or order, then no social act, nor any biological act either, can be rational, or even less than rational.
But this is no more than to say that no account of society can succeed in the absence of an absolute moral order, to which it may refer for its measures. And there can be no moral absolute in the absence of an ontological absolute.
Moral opinions, then, are eo ipso, and presuppositionally, religious. They presuppose the existence of the absolute as the first forecondition of moral reasoning.
This should hardly surprise us. If after all there be no ontological absolute, then neither can any proposition of any sort be relative thereto, or therefore either true, or false, or somewhere in between.