The argument is made by religious people again and again. “Without religion we wouldn’t know right from wrong.” I deeply disagree and let me tell you why. First off what is right and wrong? Is it relative to the culture, I think so. I don’t think that there are universal rights and wrongs. I can say that it is wrong to kill and steal and rape, the most basic evils that just about every society condemns. But what about killing in war, or self defense? Is it ok to kill in defense of your country, your religion or your freedom? There are times where it can be argued that killing is justified in some circumstances.
As to the basic question of whether we need divine information to know what is right or wrong, think about this point. Think if how complicated our man-made laws are here in the U.S. regarding every aspect of our society from children to the elderly to the credit cards in our wallets, to the dying, to the unborn. Our man-made laws are extremely complex so much so that you have to practically be a lawyer to understand your credit card agreement. Think about the internet, when this new technology came out we had to sit down and come up with rules and regulations and laws regarding what would be right and wrong on the World Wide Web. Would there be an expectation of privacy? Would it be free and open and not controlled by a monopoly? Would there be penalties for stealing information online? What would happen to child pornography senders and receivers?
We had to sit down and write all these rules about what is right and wrong, and we didn’t need divine intervention. In other countries their rules differ on what is right or wrong. My argument is simple: if we intelligent primates can think up extremely complex laws regarding every aspect of our society then we must have been able to think up the ten commandments or all the morals in the Bible, Torah, and Koran and all the other religious texts.