Originally posted by @apathist
I hate playing devil's advocate here, but religion was crucial to our rise from muck to civilization (a journey we haven't completed yet).
Our development is not grounded on blind religious beliefs but on the products of our nature alone. Our nature is the nature of the mind (mind understood as mental activity, that is).
Of cource, this nature of ours not only is not sinful, but is also naturally pure of all fleeting stains although under specific causes and conditions it may suffer from emotional obscurations (disturbing emotions and attitudes) and cognitive obscurations (problematic knowables), causing differ problems on certain levels.
These fleeting obscurations of our mental activities (mind) are overcomed solely by means of concrete evaluation of whatever we happen to perceive. The accurate evaluation of the mind is grounded on science, philosophy and deep meditation as regards every single one aspect of reality we happen to perceive in the realms of the Physical World and our Inner World (our feelings and our ideas).
So I argue that the cornerstones of our civilization are Science, Philosophy and Meditation. Religion is simply a problematic mental product of ours, brought on by our struggle to embrace the kosmic chaos by means of answering our deep ignorance over specific issues with blind beliefs and superstitions. The more our societies progress from deep ignorance to concrete knowledge, the more we need religion less.