How do you come to understand good and evil, right and wrong without a transcendent signifier?
If these concepts are merely social constructions, or human opinions, whose opinion does one trust in determining what is good or bad, right or wrong?
"To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge. Because their declaration is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge." -- Ravi Zacharias
It can not be done without a transcendent signifier. GOD is the one who built into human beings the ability to understand good and evil through their heart and consciousness and know what is right and wrong. Example: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden disobey GOD and instantly they knew that they did wrong by their heart and consciousness and immediately cover up their naked body where as before they did not know that they were naked because the Glory of GOD have been covering them and they had unbroken fellowship with GOD up until this point when they ate from the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden that GOD told them not to eat from lest they die.
What a load of horse doodie. The theist has to say far worse. He has to claim that his opinion is infinite knowledge because he is god's spokesperson because god doesn't say squat for himself.
The atheist claims honest ignorance. The theist is a nutcase who thinks he knows.
"If these concepts are merely social constructions, or human opinions, whose opinion does one trust in determining what is good or bad, right or wrong? "
Good question! What is a social constrict? It is something that a person or a group of people make up in order to say that this is "good" and this is "bad". But then you'd have to ask yourself whether that would be true in ever situation and in every culture.
Think about all of the different cultures in the world and how they have different beliefs of what is right and what is wrong. Who's to say which one of them is right? Are they all right? Are they all wrong?
What it comes down to is that You are the only one to say what is right and wrong, good or bad in your life. The only indicator that you would need is the one that is built-in to your whole being. If it feels good, it's right; if it feels bad, it's wrong.
Society and Religion make all of these rules up about what we can and cannot do. Ask yourself, do you follow every single one of them? I bet the answer is No. Why do you think that is?
I think a lot of 'right and wrong' concepts come from law and government (in modern day society). In early America, when societies were struggling to keep everything together; religion served as an outline for obeying the law. It told you what not to do, and threatened you with godly wrath if you broke those laws. Today, we have state laws, and if we break them, the cops will either give us a ticket or send us to jail. This has reduced the need for religion to define what is right or wrong.
That's not to say that government has the perfect idea either. Every system of law is flawed. But a lot of the core concepts are the same because all of us want to live. For example, if there are only two people left on the Earth; me and some other guy, we're going to develop compromises. Because that's the only options available to us; we can either fight each other to the death (assuming we hate each other) or we can develop a system that boils down to; I won't stab you if you won't stab me, then we'll both be happy. That's an extremely basic example, but our species naturally forms these laws to avoid mutual destruction; we all want to survive.
While I do not believe right and wrong to be social constructs or fabrications of the mind, I do believe that understanding the nature of good and evil comes with awakening the conscience that the creators of mankind gave to us during our creation when they also gave us free will to determine between right and wrong. Handing free will over to Adam and his wife without them having a conscience is the equivilant of someone handing someone else a loaded gun without knowledge of how to operate such a device. Thus Man had to have been created with an understanding of right and wrong, and free will if the deity responsible were to truly have faith that his creation would not turn on him in later chapters of our history and relationship with the lord. While having an understanding of right and wrong is what makes someone conscience, it does not grant them free will, or the grace of the lord, as the granting of following two are determined by the lord himself.
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