Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity,refused to endorse many views on creation and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering. Rather, Buddhism emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe which constitute the natural order and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of matter. According to the doctrine of the Buddha, a human being must study Nature in order to attain personal wisdom regarding the nature of things. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Buddhism Where exactly do you see anything "mythical" in that synopsis? Not all god concepts include ideas of "redemption or final disposition". Neither does mine rely on either of these as an "operating principle". Who said anything about "governing"? I specifically assumed a god does not exist, so there would be no entity to "govern" anything. You need to learn something about moral relativism. It is not about the variety of morals, but only how those who espouse it approach questions of morality. Since you seem to be saying that you view these various moralities as equal, you do espouse moral relativism, but each of these moralities do not share your sense of equality. Moral relativism is how a person views all morals, not just those they espouse. You only associate "depravity" with a concept of god because you conflate it with religion. This post is the best I have ever seen from you. And yes, I was fully aware of the natural hurdles of such a discussion. I do not really expect any atheist to get it. I see you have finally read enough of my posts in this thread to find "more detail" yourself, so I will address your comments to those below. Why not? Is it not true that a large majority of atheists, who claim morals to be valid at all, assume that the basis for those morals are largely dependent upon circumstances and/or culture? Is this not how they view most moralities? Now you may think that understanding a god concept is only coincidental, but that does not change the general trend. It is trivially true from a moral relativism point of view, especially considering in-group vs out-group. Again, I have specifically assume that a god does not exist, so there would be nothing to believe in. I will repeat for your benefit. Moral relativism is how a person views all morals, not just those they espouse. While you may very well view a variety of moralities as relative, I assure you those who espouse any give religious morality do not. "Religious relativism" is thus a nonsense phrase. Again, why? You seem to like opining without backing it up in the least little way. Are you saying that human institutions can instill conscience? How, other than by threat of consequences? Without alternative explanations your opinions are vacuous. Really? You are the one who said conscience was innate. So how can you not understand the relationship between the self and conscience? Would it not simply follow that, if conscience were innate, the better one understands themselves the better they utilize conscience? You seem to be sketchy, even on your own beliefs. Again, no assumption of an existing god, thus no "believing in the existence of a god". You do not seem to know what you are talking about. Again, your philosopher name-dropping simply makes you seem like you have no idea what you are talking about. Elaborate or do not bother. Justification is easy, most people do it all the time. Personal objectivity must be cultivated and can often run counter to our desires. The objectivity is cultivated through a pattern that is not liable to human limitations. Belief is not necessary, but perhaps expedient, especially considered the trouble atheists seem to have with things like conscience and universal ethical principles (in contrast to moral relativism). So you seem to be affirming a moral relativism ("culture-specific"), but idealistically ignoring moral relations to out-groups. If your vague "virtues" were as ubiquitous as you imply, then why does that not explain why morals often do not apply equally to out-groups? And I have already said, repeatedly, that things like empathy and compassion have social pressures/motivators.