Whatever criticism we may level against religion, it has to be admitted that it has provided us with a moral framework or compass. Even the most non-theistic societies in the world have derived their sense of morality from religion. In short, there is no evidence anywhere for what morality would look like without religion.
Frans B. M. de Waal, a biologist, has written a fine piece in the New York Times in which he argues that even if we managed to throw out religion from our lives and develop a different framework to advocate a certain moral outlook, the elements of that model will look pretty similar to today’s religion. It is bound to produce its own list of principles, its own prophets, and attract its own devoted followers, so that it will soon look like any old religion.