TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 19 2013: Have you ever made a mistake or done a wrong. even without Gods intervention for a sec. have you ever done something and had a guilty conscience afterward. youve known deep within yourself that what you did was wrong. Your conscience is yours , it wasnt directed by God and isnt controlled by him, its part of who YOU are the real you. everyone conscience is their own private one. God can only strive with yours to allow you to see the truth of his purposes, to guide you if you want to or not for your benefit.
    Gods name was slandered in the garden of eden , his right to rule was brought into queston , his sovereignty was at stake Gods name was brought into disrepute. Man in effect said to God we can manage without you, so God put them out of the paradise and allowed time to pass to see if man can rule without God. And have they?? Has mankind made a good job of living together. They are destroying the planet,killing and bombing in wars fighting everyday, we see starvation on a mass scale. see 2Tim 2 1-6 we know from scripture we are in the last days. math 24 tells of a sign that Jesus gave when he would "come". It involved a composite list of EVENTS that by seeing them one would know that he was present. It was like a fingerprint in time. he said not to be misled, to not believe people who came on the basis of his name saying they were he, why,? because he was returning invisibly, only those with spiritual eyes of discernment would know that Jesus was turning his attention to the end of days. When you see the signs as in mat 24 you will know he has returned in power as King. Like when someone rings your doorbell you dont see them do you, the bell is a sign that some is present. Jesus went back to heaven when he died waiting till his enemies were made a footstool for him. He did not become King till the witnessing of the signs that we see today. The bible says on becoming King he will clear satan from heaven, wow to earth because the devil has now a short time ...
    • thumb
      Feb 20 2013: Firstly I'm not aware of any compelling proof for any gods or goddesses let alone Yahweh.

      Secondly, I guess you subscribe to divine command. The creator of the universe gets to set the rules and do anything it likes with its creations like sending them for eternal punishment, drowning the entire planet etc.

      Glad there is no evidence of a divine dictator.

      I note the bible is a confusing array of stories and multiple perspectives of a god. I note believers disagree how to interpret it. Pretty poor effort by the creator if it does have a clear plan for us. It doesn't even seem to exist.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.