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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: Your argument is that without God one cannot have any clear ability to discern right from wrong?
    Lets assume (as I do) that religious texts are primarily false but well meaning anecdotes. That would mean that we created them. In this reality, we would also have created the "right and wrong" that some believe to have been divine. As one with no religious affiliation, it is some what insulting to assume that if I see someone being killed, that I only know it to be wrong because you say it is. Or would it make more sense that my internal conscience tells me not to remake or condone atrocities in general?
    Right and wrong is an ideal that is developed (developing) with human evolution of intelligence. This theory is supported by how we now see that some things we thought were wrong (biblical or religiously; such as homosexuality) are actually inherently wrong to defy.

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