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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: Interesting question. First of, I'm an Atheist and despise religion. Its only purpose is to spread ignorance, and I would like to remind you that morality in Christianity is rather ambiguous, and has, for the most part of its existence, condoned acts of violence.

    Now, instead of making an essay on the issue I'll go straight for your question: Why is rape wrong ? 1) The enforcement of your will on a victim 2) Knowingly inflicting physical and psychological pain on someone (not to mention taking pleasure in it) 3) Stripping your victim of her freedom, making of a living creature a tool to your personal desires.

    Now, these points are general, as they can be sometime beneficial (Parents enforce their will on children to raise them, for example), and that is where common sense steps in to make the difference between such situations. As far as God goes, well, he's just a metaphor to enforce the will of the authority on the populace, and it's still working to this day.

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