I'm not a religious follower and don't believe in Gods pulling strings. Yet I do see the value and sense in some religious doctrine as being essentially useful to societal stability at large. Regardless of the name of religion and it's idealogy the common thread is that they all warn against human vices and encourage the development of virtues that restrict those vices. Let's call those human vices loosely these destructive behaviours.
Selfishness/Lack of empathy.
Obsession with sensory experience (sex/food/alcohol/drugs).
Obssession with material objects and power.
Acts of violence.
The tenents of most religions state that constant vigilance and the active cultivation of virtues is the way to avoid the destruction brought by these things. I can see where in a largely violent and imbalanced world such broad guidelines on people's behaviour would for the most part promote stability within a society. Human's don't have a good track record of knowing when something is enough. We are poor judger's of when our needs are fulfilled and it's merely our desires which are screaming out for attention. Ironically it seems to be that the further away from needs a human gets the greater the list of wants that present themselves. On the one hand we do desire progress and an increasing quality of life as the ages move forward, I am not arguing against that. But there seems to be no limit to where the desire for more goes.
Accordingly were the doctrines really created as warnings to ourselves that without developing temperance and learning to rein in desire, we will ultimately cause the breakdown of society? I theorise that the creation of a judging entity overseeing that scheme is a human construct to put more power behind the warning. I recently read this treatise on the collapse of large societies throughout history. And the indicators of decline and collapse seem to correlate with a culture that no longer puts a an effective limiter on it's vices.
I do not intend to create a God debate here. More a discussion of the general principles of living and having stable society. I don't want to get into a discussion about whether or not a particular religion is hyprocritical. More so just human's ability or inability to place a check on it's own inclinations and behaviour. Are we missing a trick here or do we have effective personal and societal control of our natural inclination to want ever more than what we have?