Let me give my opinion: I think religion helped define what we understand as right or wrong, and, as it is not going to simply vanish in the next few generations, it will still have a role in the changing sense of morals. Religion has affected, and will affect, morals both ways, with good things (like kindness, even if only for fear of hell) and bad things (such as discrimination and such).
Do you think that religion has helped shape our current sense of right and wrong? Will it still affect it afterwards? Has it added more good or bad ideals?
Looks like I'll need to be clearer about what your position is if I'm to say if I agree or disagree.
Are you saying that religion has played a role in the process of getting us to where we are today and in that sense religion has "helped"? Or are you saying that would not have gotten to this point if it weren't for religion and so in that sense religion has helped?
If the first, sure, I think that's self evident. Our discussions as humans about morality have traditionally involved religion and in that sense religion has played a role.
If the second, I think, no. We are where we are today because secularism has dragged morality out of the Dark Ages from the clutches of religion with religion fighting every step of the way. Religion, far from helped in this second sense, has actually been an impediment to our moral development as a species. If we're moral today, it's largely because we've abandoned religion and religious notions of what is moral, not because of religion. (And this is true even though secular morality and religious morality have moral precepts in common. We've still left behind a divine basis for morality and adopted more defensible rationales for our moral precepts which improves our determination of what is and what is not moral and leaves us on
There's also the vagueness in the notion that religion is or isn't simply going to vanish in the next few generations. I don't think there's any question that religion is going to "simply vanish", but with the advance of secularism it's not a question of religion simply vanishing so much as it being actively replaced by a better mode of thinking. That said, that religion may disappear completely, whether because it simply vanishing or because it's actively replaced, seems to be out of the question. But that's not because it won't simply vanish, it's because religious thinking appeals to a few of our evolved cognitive mechanisms; religious thinking is just plain natural. (Just don't confuse "natural" with right, good, or important.)
Finally, just because it doesn't disappear completely doesn't mean that it will have a role in the changing sense of morals. I look forward to a day when religion is so marginalized and in such a minority as a mode of thinking that, even though still around, it has no role in the changing role of... well, changing the toilet paper roll, much less in deciding what is right and what is wrong. But maybe I won't live to see that.
About that "helping" thing, what I meant is the first case. I meant it has taken part in the discussion, and I agree that we only are were we are because of secularism.
About the "religion vanishing", I hadn't thought about what you said, and I also hope to see religion marginalized on such matters. Bu it may take a while before that happens.
I think religion helped define what we understand as right or wrong.
I disagree. Our sense of right and wrong was codified into religious dogma.
Do you think that religion has helped shape our current sense of right and wrong?
Practically every culture, irrespective of religion, or even lack of religion, believes that it is wrong to kill your brother so that you may marry his wife. That it is wrong to rape your children. That it is wrong to betray your friend. Society does not need religion to come obtain those values. We simply have a tendancy to claim these values are divine or spiritual in origin, when they are not.
Interesting. Hadn't thought about it that way...