So I get why it’s difficult or sometimes impossible to define which “rights” or values are absolute, but how then can we thrive and survive without being able to presume they exist?
If rights are absolute, they aren’t subject to definition (human invention). Of course, societies do define things they TREAT as absolutes. Societies define themselves by making choices and assumptions of this nature. “Our ideal society permits slavery,” “Our society sees women and men as full equals,” “Our society believes the military should run the show,” etc.
“… thriving and surviving are the absolute values. By absolute values I mean primary values.”
Yes, however nature indicates thriving is a goal, not a right. 98% of all species that thrived at one time are now gone. None of these creatures damaged the planetary eco system either. If there is one species that should not have a right to thrive, it is us.
Those two are hardly synonyms. An absolute value, should it exist, is basically built into reality. A primary value is such due to the regard with which it is held, which can be due to, for example, religious beliefs, historical experiences, traditions, etc.
Absolute in the sense of being the most basic. I can understand your meaning of the word, but it’s hard to see how anything like that could exist, in the same way that “moral truth” doesn’t exist in that sense either.