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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 21 2013: Yes, right and wrong does exists. God is supreme power who controls everything but blessed human beings with brain to distinguish between good and bad. If it would not have existed then we would have never realised the worth of pain and happiness.
    • Feb 21 2013: So you think without being consciously aware of right or wrong you can't fully appreciate happiness & pain? I've seen plenty of obvious happiness from the family pets... I would argue that they are easily happier than most humans. On the other hand, I've seen animals in pain too. And while they can't verbalise or describe what they feel, it's clearly very 'realised' to them from the way they cry out and the look in their eyes. Ever seen a bird weep next to its dead life partner? So sad.
      • Feb 22 2013: You don't have to be sad for anything or anyone.... I really appreciate your point of view. But pain and happiness is just a brief description of right and wrong. We are in present world realise so much around us as wrong and appreciate humanity. Why?? It's only because we can distinguish between right and wrong. But each individual has his own perception about things. Some believe in presence of god in making others happy, creating peace and spreading humanity in world whereas some people have entirely opposite definition to it. If they would not have been able to differentiate between good and bad then everyone would have never appreciated Mother Teresa and no one would have criticised bomb attacks and mass killings. Definitely I believe in the fact that God is supreme power who has given intelligence to human being to find out difference between good and bad. But at same time given liberty to do karma. One who understands it always try to be in obedience of supreme power while some non believers tend to create their own world of right and wrong around them.
        • Feb 22 2013: Yes well we see the world very differently. I think that its down to personality in the end, whether you want to believe in a supernatural power or not. Perhaps more plausible when you see examples of Christians turning aethiest like myself & visa versa. Sometimes no amount of perceived logic can persuade one side to the other... & yet somehow I feel compelled to try. I strongly feel having been brought up Christian, but ultimately losing faith due to the way my mind works(logical, rational & requiring imperical evidence) that I have seen both sides of the coin & I am very comfortable facing the harsh reality of no afterlife. Further, my right & wrong 'ability' tells me that either this world & it's inhabitants evolved & are at the mercies of Mother Nature, or a very thoughtless/cruel god created it, filled with flaws, pain & unnecessary suffering. & I absolutely do not accept that all negative aspects of life are gods mysterious plan? And all good things are gifted by him. Or her. Or it, I mean has to an it... With no other gods, there would be no need for reproductive features & therefore no definable sex.
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      Feb 22 2013: Neetika, kindly allow me ask few questions here. Do right and wrong exist in Mars? Or say in Sun? Like the way hydrogen exists on earth, Mars and Sun?
      Or say, if a very hungry tiger, almost desperate to the point of starvation and death, finds a human and hunts it to eat, will it be right or wrong? For both the tiger and the human?
      If my house is destroyed in earthquake and the insurance company rejects my claim for compensation citing act of God will it be right for the insurance company?

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