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Scot Wilcox

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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 9 2013: "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."
    Ready?. . . imagine what it would be like to have a person who is very able and very desirous of forcing you to submit to genital contact and bodily penetration by physical superiority or by threat with a weapon. Against your best physical efforts this person overpowers and violates you, perhaps repeatedly. Your cries and pleas to stop are ignored. You feel helpless, soiled and violated. Your whole view of life and yourself is permanently disfigured. One objective truth makes sexual molestation and rape evil. . . the affect it has on the unwilling person. Do you concede the point? If not, explain please.
    • Feb 11 2013: This is a subjective argument. It focuses on the feelings of the victim, which while horrible and should not be endured by anyone in my opinion, are subjective.
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        Feb 11 2013: All societies subjectively ordain sexual molestation and rape to be not only aberrant but criminal. The decision to declare such behaviour to be criminal is subjective, but the act itself is objectively wrong. Even if a society were to legalize, or decriminalize, child molesting and forcible rape it would not change the fact that such acts are objectively, patently, universally, and absolutely wrong. Do you concede the point?
        • Feb 12 2013: I agree with you, that it would be objectively wrong. But how do you know it's objectively wrong? The only basis I have is that God said so.
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        Feb 12 2013: You must be implying that all humans are endowed by their creator with a knowledge of right and wrong. That debate takes us out of the natural realm into the supernatural realm. You have conceded that child molesting and forcible rape are objectively wrong. You came to that conclusion without any mention of God. I think even the most militant Atheist would concede as you and I have, that certain behaviour is wrong, objectively wrong. There is no need to invoke God. The word objective means unaffected and unchanged by varying details. Objective wrong is always wrong. How do we know something is objectively wrong? Easy to define, impossible to execute.Ask every SANE person on Earth if it is wrong. . . if they say it is wrong then it is objectively wrong.

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