If any of you heard Vocab on the Backpack Radio show tonight saying, if I remember correctly, that someone from this site said there was no way we could tell people that torturing babies for fun was wrong, I would like to briefly answer that.
While we each have our own individual ideas and viewpoints, and they are sometimes misunderstood, I don’t believe that any of our members would say that torturing babies for fun, or for any reason, was acceptable behavior.
We don’t need a god-given moral law to determine that. We know and understand pain and death, and with the exception of sociopaths who are devoid of empathy, we also apply this understanding to other people, and in many cases even to other animals.
Although we can’t say “this is wrong because God says so”, we can say that it is wrong based on our own sense of right and wrong or the general consensus of our society on the issue.
Just like we have generally come to an agreement that the animal and even human sacrifices depicted in the Old Testament are wrong, along with stoning disobedient children to death (which is also in the Old Testament among many other murders of men, women and children), it is only the most aberrant people who would consider torturing babies to be fun or even close to acceptable.
I think that the widely varying ideas of morality, even within a single religion, are a good indication that, as we believe, a person’s sense of right and wrong is built up out of all of their experiences and all of the things that are taught to them (particularly as children) on the foundations of their own minds which are shaped by purely physical processes.
We may not have a god to tell us what is right and wrong, but we do have a sense of empathy and the capacity for rational thought, and that is enough.