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Scot Wilcox

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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 6 2013: Answering both Amirpouya Ghaemiyan & Obey No1kinobe :
    There a few fundamental things declared as right or wrong in ALL religions. I don't thing there would be a reason for any to question or change them. For example a man shouldn't want to ask 'what is wrong if I marry my sister ?'. On the otherhand if one asks 'why can't cremate my dead as I can not afford a burial', that could perhaps be a debatable issue resulting in new answers and revelations.
    In some relegions (Hinduism for example) the scriptures are believed to have come from the Gods or their incarnations and in some other religions from their prophets. Popes, Gurus or the like have played the role of custodians of the preachings, practices and interpretation. The problem seen in recent times is the number of such Gurus who can provide a correct interpretation of the scriptures have become less. Problems arise when the pretend to know evertihng and give an incorrect interpretation of the 'right and wrong'.

    At least about Hindu scripture I can say this: if you read the right ones and do try hard, would get the correct answers, often scientific and practicable. There is a saying :"If you see a stone there is no Dog; If you see a Dog there is no stone" - when you see it as a Dog you forget what it is made of. One need to learn how to see the Dog in the stone.
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      Mar 6 2013: Thanks tj.

      I can think of good reasons not to marry your sister without relying on holy scriptures.

      I suggest the revelations can be assessed as to their moral worth on there practical merit.
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      Mar 6 2013: I disagree.

      The risk of misinformation permeating all of humanity is ever present. There was a time when a flat world was considered mainstream discourse. While I reasonably accept that logic must be tempered with various forms of moral teachings (including religious texts), there is nothing conclusive about moral agreement between different religions, however you want to cut it. They could simply be all wrong.

      Also, there is no way of knowing when you have achieved the "correct interpretation".

      Peace.

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