"If the original function of moralising gods in world history was to hold together fragile, ethnically diverse coalitions, what might declining belief in such deities mean for the future of societies today? Could modern secularisation, for example, contribute to the unravelling of efforts to cooperate regionally – such as the European Union? If beliefs in big gods decline, what will that mean for cooperation across ethnic groups in the face of migration, warfare, or the spread of xenophobia? Can the functions of moralising gods simply be replaced by other forms of surveillance?"
People make the gods in their own image, when they hunted and gathered in the wild, the spirits of the wild were what mattered. When they lived in organized settlements, where law enforcement and social organization arranged by kings mattered, they made kingly gods of law and organization. But religion has to find its place in the market of ideas, and compete, so that the conflict between the secular kings and the sky kings in the temple is well recorded, and was bound to be. (Even in the bible.)
Now we no longer have kings, but the rule of law, democracy (if it can survive) and a growing global moral consensus. And where is religion going to provide an alternative narrative it can market, except by become the champion of organized crime, everything from white supremacy to snake oil and crystal healing will become its home.