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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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    Mar 2 2013: @ Mark Meijer: i would disapprove of falsely absolutizing morality as well. This is where it starts to sound ludicrous, but could there be some greater paradigm that I do not grasp? Surely we can hope for a better world than one where, given the absence of objective morality, logic is constantly at risk of being contorted to suit every person's own beliefs? As a fairly cynical person, I suspect human morality is built in the same way as history: it is strongly influenced by the dominant powers of the day. Centuries ago, a king would have found it perfectly justifiable to kill a subordinate with greater talent than himself on the grounds of preserving the political order. Today, democratic and meritocratic society strongly condemns such an act. In the future , we may yet witness a repeat of the king's behaviour. This moral inconsistency is just as hypocritical as all the flawed attempts at establishing objective morality.

    I am undecided though. I could be forcing myself into a false dichotomy too. Nice talk we're having here.
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        Mar 3 2013: Well, I'm not a philosopher so I'm not aware of other positions you can take besides moral relativism and moral subjectivism. I'm agnostic and moral nihilists are repulsively animalistic, so I'm stuck between these two options.
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      Mar 2 2013: This is a comment building on yours. Not objecting to any point you make.

      While the frameworks we use to decide what is right or wrong are subjective, surely there is still value in seeking and promoting values frameworks, that to the best of our ability to discern, improve the human condition and reduce suffering.
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        Mar 3 2013: Yes, insofar as it is pragmatic to do so.

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