Religion encourages morality
On a personal level, religion provides people with moral codes to guide their actions. On a broader scale, it can promote compassion, kindness, and peace within entire cultures.
Most religions prescribe followers with a specific moral code, dictating an acceptable way to act and treat others. Though these definitions of morality vary from religion to religion, many have the same basic principles. For example, most promote ideals like compassion, kindness, altruism, faith, peace, and love. Needless to say, people who internalize and replicate these virtues will become model members of society, functioning well in the schoolroom, the workplace, and their personal lives. Thus, religion becomes a way to create morally upstanding-and thus, productive-members of society. On a broader scale, once religion becomes a key component in a given culture, its values will inculcate the social institutions of the society, from education to politics to the economy. In this way, even people who do not practice their culture’s dominant religion will likely internalize at least some of the moral code it promotes. This effect can be seen especially in America, where Christianity is the most common religion, and its unique conceptions of morality, sexuality, and the family have permeated the country as a whole, allowing it to work as a constituent whole following roughly the same moral guidelines. Evidently, religious morality, regardless of the faith it comes from, has a unifying effect on societies, allowing them to work together to improve.
While a shared definition of morality could benefit society, this is only true if that definition is actually a good one. Since many religions have flawed, outdated positions on modern issues like women’s rights, LGBT equality, abortion, and the death penalty, accepting their views on a societal level could be extremely detrimental, especially for minorities.