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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 5 2013: Religion is actually tell what should do, what should not, religion can guide our action, but can not determine action people take. That is why we need law to decide what is right, what is wrong.
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      Mar 5 2013: There are situations beyond religion and law, and sometimes they are not totally correct, because they change what they had said before.
      What about them ?
      • Mar 5 2013: I believe, religions were born out of the believes, rights and wrong as established by like minded people who presented them in the name of God, to gain immediate acceptance and avoid irrational and unanswerable questions. The religions have evolved over a period and hence there is nothing wrong if new definitions are created for situations that did not exist earlier or were not adequately handled.

        For example, it is said that Buddism is born of Hinduism and a lot of similarities can be seen. And among Hindus there are several sub-sects based on differences in believes (or rights and wrongs) that indicate that oldest religion in the world has allowed and tolerated evolution of its constituent rules on rights and wrongs.
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          Mar 5 2013: A question:
          Does it mean religions are true ?
          And if they are, do you agree that a rule cannot be true forever, and you should think about it yourself ?
          So ... religions are just guidances. This is you who should judge and decide.
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          Mar 5 2013: I kind of agree about your thesis on religions evolving.
          They may be useful social technologies for teaching a particular moral view.
          Their weakness is they often rely on supposed divine command via scriptures and revelation, coming up with different answers, and usually not providing a way to assess what is moral beyond the bible or sutras or pope says so.

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