That's exactly the trade-off I mentioned: For thousands of years, people ACTUALLY believed what their religious texts said.
The huge backpaddeling only came whith the age of enlightenment and then it all became wishy washy
yeah ok it didn't actually happen it's just a metaphor :^)
Which is just people in the future trying to salvage thousand year old beliefs.
You know how religion used to have a governing function in the past? People thought that if they don't follow the rules e.g. commandments their souls will go straight to hell and that when they're a "good" believer they'll go to heaven. They actually believed that their king was literally (!!) chosen by god to rule ovee them. It wasn't metaphorical, it was firm conviction.
But when humanity found out about evolution, about other solar systems, about dinosaurs etc. these beliefs just became radically implausible. And it didn't even need to be these major scientific discoveries, just the discovery of different cultures on earth:
Who says that our beloved Christianity is more correct than the nature worship some africans in jungle do?
It's the same idiocy with Horoscopes:
For thousands of years hundreds of peoples around the globe have been seeing different shapes in the night skies but that one specific interpretation is supposed to be the correct one ans floating rocks billions of miles away are at fault that Tracy is a bitch?
Anyway, my argument is that without belief - and I mean actual conviction - religion doesn't mean anything. And what's e.g. modern Christianity been doing for 100+ years now?
Uh well ok there isn't actually that specific thing (e.g. pre-hell) we all believed in for thousand years and oh no this isn't to be meant literally it's just a metaphor yknow?
It just crumbles and loses its teeth, its consequences, its meaning
You don't need religion to have a moral code, you can easily explain the importance of laws and moral as a nece8 for our society. You don't need religion to form communities, there's sports, music, work, games, art and politics.
Now what job is left for religion? You don't need religion to govern a country because there's politicians and parliaments. You don't need religion in order to get people to donate money to the poor, there's plenty non religious charities. What's left?
Escapism? The comfort that my soul will go into heaven because I was a good boy?
Yeah good luck getting people to still believe in that one.