You are quite wrong abot the Greeks and the Romans. Their ideas of identity and right and wrong were given to them by the gods as was fire and most other things. Read classic literature if you doubt this. The gods gave the ancients everything from law to reason to fire.
Nonsense. Show me anything that has the Greek or Roman gods giving any standard by which humans had to abide. I've read plenty of classic literature -- so telling me to do so really doesn't cut the mustard. But if it is as prevalent as you infer -- just give us five or six examples.
My people (at least the European part of my ancestry) have the incest taboo (as well as many other of the taboos of our culture) *because* of the triumph of the Judeo/Christian ethic. Europeans did not have this taboo until they were "Christianised". This part of American culture is certainly from our European roots.
My point exactly. While it may be a part of the Judeo/Christian ethic -- it certainly was not part of the teachings of most religions. And we are not disscussing just the Judeo/Christian culture here. Most of the gods were incestuous to a fault -- and if they taught anything, they taught that it was okay.
In any case, since you cite the Judeo/Christian teaching of the evils of incest as an example of what religion does for humanity -- why not discuss some of the hundreds of other "lessons" in how humans should behave which is taught by the god of the Bible? Stoning homosexuals to death for their abominable behavior is something you think helps humankind? Stoning adulterers to death for their behavior helps humankind? Stoning disobedient children to death for their behavior helps humankind? Teaching that slavery is acceptable helps humankind? Putting all inhabitants of conquered cities to death helps humankind?
There are so many more, but we'll leave this for now. But I dare say for every citation you have from the god of the Bible that is a positive for humanity, there are five that are a negative.
The basis of civil rights is a religious passage that I am sure you will recognize:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Yeah, that is from the Declaration of Indendence. And it was a smart way to word that thought. The people writing that document were in contest with the King of England -- and Kings supposedly ruled with divine right. So the people who wrote the Declaration simply decided to invoke this god in their favor.
Fact is, the kings invoked the divine right out of thin air -- and the people who wrote the Declaration picked it out of thin air also.
If religion -- especially the Judeo/Christian ethic were to prevail (which it did for a while) -- women and slaves, for instance, would have absolutely no protections.
So even though this is a contrived attempt to tie in individual rights with religion -- it doesn't work on that level.
Besides, most religions, as I mentioned earlier, are anything but for individual rights. The call their flocks "sheep" for a reason -- because that is what they want, sheep.
By the way, that is what they get.
I won't even go into the rest of your post, because it represent mostly wishful thinking -- not reality.
But at the end you did say something else I'd like to comment on:
The fact is is that these things were not developed without religeon.
Aha -- so you can tell what would have happened without religion. How convenient! I can't do that, so I can't actually refute what you say, but I can say that I think you are full of soup for suggesting that you know that to be the case.
Actually the societies without religion didn't seem to last long enough to even be recorded by history.
Then how, may I ask, do you know that they existed?