Originally Posted by Willy
Science progressed us to this point. Without religion we wouldn't have had: the Holocaust, 9/11, the Crusades, girls who get raped in the Middle East getting stoned instead of the rapist, etc, etc.
Without religion we wouldn't have lot of things. Like civilization. Humans as individuals in the wild are useless. We are soft and made of meat. It's through numbers that we triumph. Religion is a unification. There are other unification (race, sexual orientation, etc.) but religion is the only one that forces a morality based on common acceptance in order to belong as opposed to a commonality.
Religion has also done a lot of really great things. Dietetic law for instance kept us from dying when we didn't know about the micro world.
It also funded the arts that led to the Renaissance, which broke the strangle hold if ignorance that was the Medieval ages. Granted that was a religiously inspired time, but there were environmental factors leading to the destitution of the period, not just religious persecution.
Lets not at all forget about the joy and compassion it inspires in people. For every act of terror or hate, there is an act of kindness and generosity. They don't put those stories in the paper. Not saying religion is the only impetus for kindness, but it definitely greases the wheels.
The list can keep going, the point is to get us here it took it all, not just parts of it, regardless of faith that is a truth. Everything got us here. Here is pretty great, and tomorrow ain't looking so bad.
To sum up, religion got us the first 6,000 years of civilization, science is covering the last 500, with constant interruption. We men of science have some catching up to do.