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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 8 2013: I do agree with you in the stance that rights and wrongs are validated through the teachings of religious preaching. However, I believe that right vs. wrong is a mindset that isn't necessarily primarily gained through one's religion but also through one's emotions and social experiences. Therefore, this isn't an objective right or wrong, God or no god. Nothing is absolute; if it were so, the question of doing the right or wrong thing wouldn't exist. But because subjective morality exists, we question the rights and wrongs that we have learned to know.

    In the case of rape, you ask why is it objectively wrong? Let me rephrase your question, when is it objectively right? Some might say for reproduction; we live in a day and age where this isn't necessary. I don't think people need God or religion to know that imposing someone's free-will for personal pleasure and desire for power is wrong.

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