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Do right and wrong exist?

I'm curious about objective right and wrong. If you believe in God, this is a no-brainer. Some things are wrong, some things are right, simply because God says so and He knows. But if you don't believe in God, can you still believe in objective morality? I personally don't think you can. I mean, what do you base it off of? How do you find out what's objectively right or wrong? (By objective I mean "existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality." from dictionary.com)
Sure, there's subjective morality. Any idea of right or wrong come up with by a human is by definition subjective. That's all well and good. Problem is that it only applies to people who believe in it and it gives them no authority to proclaim anything as "what we should be doing." Very often everybody disagrees with each other and we don't get anywhere. (Just look at Congress for an example of this.)
Maybe you disagree with me and you think there is objective morality but no God. That's fine. I would like to ask you to answer a question for me though. Let's pick an easy one. Why is rape objectively wrong? Don't misunderstand me, I can't think of a single instance where rape wouldn't be wrong. I believe very strongly that sexual abuse is one of the greatest evils in the world. Why is it evil? If you can answer me without using a God-based or subjective argument, I'll concede the point.
That point is this: Without God, there is no such thing as right and wrong, only the things we call right and wrong. And since nobody can agree on what to call what, we're all in a lot of trouble.


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  • Feb 11 2013: Scot, You say,

    "OK, so it doesn't seem that anybody doubts the fact that atheism and objective right and wrong are mutually exclusive "

    How in the world did you reach that conclusion..?? ... and what does being an atheist or a Christian or a Buddhist or a Muslim have to do with what is "objectively "right or wrong...? It it's objective .. then it's objective , it stands for itself ... regardless of who's life view or religious view is involved ...
    • Feb 11 2013: You're absolutely right. I believe that there is objective truth. However, how can we know that objective truth except through religion? Since atheists have no way of finding out what that objective truth is, it might as well not exist to them. Am I wrong?
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        Feb 13 2013: Atheists don't know what is objective truth and look for it. Religious depend on 2000 year old books with dubious authorship to claim objective truth. Take your pick.
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        Feb 17 2013: Scot, what is the objective truth you believe in and can you demonstrate why this has merit?

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