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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 27 2013: Where do Good & Bad come from? Mother Nature is full of sloppy, allegedly immoral examples of behaviors. Good and Bad are useful constructs, but whenever one uses them you really have to ask the questions "for whom?" and "in what context?" You can't escape context. The Bible is incredibly inconsistent about what is and what isn't, and that's largely because "it depends." Even God cannot make up His mind, if you take things literally. And often things are neither, or both over time. Murder would be "annoying" not "Bad" if we were all immortal. Greed is good up to a point until it dominates other people's ability to live or resources are depleted. Balance, and Harmony are really better constructs than Good or Bad. Having empathy / compassion towards Nature and other Human Beings is a great step towards Good and does not necessarily require a belief in a god. In fact, would it not be a requirement for being Good with a capital "G"?
    • Feb 27 2013: Morality comes from the affected person's mind. If they agree to the action done to them by another then the action is inescapably moral, regardless of what a third-party observer has to say about it. 99 out of 100 people don't like being lied to or to have actions done to them without their agreement. This is reality. Truth: in accord with fact or reality.
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        Feb 27 2013: Re: "Morality comes from the affected person's mind. If they agree to the action done to them by another then the action is inescapably moral, regardless of what a third-party observer has to say about it."

        So, "moral reality" depends on the mind of the affected person. Doesn't it mean that morality is subjective? Then, doesn't it contradict with your other statement that "Objective morality is a fact."?
    • Feb 27 2013: "Having empathy / compassion towards Nature and other Human Beings is a great step towards Good and does not necessarily require a belief in a god. In fact, would it not be a requirement for being Good with a capital "G"?"

      I wish more people here in the US & elsewhere could not consider themselves "Good" until they started taking environmental concerns seriously.

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