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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 4 2013: *sigh* This is another crap religious argument. My deity defines right and wrong therefore I am right and you are wrong and it is fundamentally okay for me to believe that you are evil and deserve to be destroyed and tortured. If there is a deity he created 2.1 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims whose religion directly contradict each other and whose religion states that those outside it deserve eternal torment. He gave both sides nukes.

    Morality is defined by society! It is defined by civilization and not by a magic spirit or special book. If you are a Christian and you believe morality comes from a deity whose will is expressed through a book, the bible in this case, you have to agree that slavery is okay because it is okay in the bible.

    And if you look at your last statements you state that without whatever deity you believe in we can't agree on morality. You also use rape as a case in point. So you imply that we can't agree that rape is wrong. Well, guess what, most people agree is rape is wrong despite your implications. I am so tired of this religious crap about how atheists are immoral when priests are raping children and "holy warriors" are flying into buildings to perform mass killing.

    So I will present the counter point, if right and wrong comes from "God" how does he communicate it? Is it magically imparted to each member of society and then society generates a moral code? That sounds a lot like moral codes come from society. It comes from a book. Well, the Old Testament clearly indicates racism and slavery are okay and so maybe you are arguing that you would like to own some black people? Or maybe you think the teachings come through prophets? How do we verify a prophet? Muslims have one. Christians have one.
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      Mar 6 2013: At least biblical slavery was not so racially based as the us slave industry.
      Equal opportunity slavery unless Jewish.
      Bright side?

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