Good questionWell stated!
It is something 'else' that keeps these societies stable and successful.
What is it?
Stable and successful - relatively.
Perhaps it is the reduction of fear (a.k.a. stress?) that comes from knowing that the state will support in times of need. That there is an effective social safety net.
The reduction in fear that comes from relying more upon evidence and reason and less mysticism and superstition. Even the superstitious nonsense that remains tends to be more of the milder reiki/acupuncture/dreamcatcher type than the coarse, bullying hell and damnation type.
Musing - a thought - just come to mind so not thought through -
The more stable/successful societies (as measured by their citizens comfort and prosperity) are mainly democratic socialist states - though the degrees of democracy and socialism inevitably vary one-to-one.
Socialism can only exist in a society where people feel that they can afford to care for each other - including strangers. (?)
Most religion is sold by appealing to natural selfishness - either through personal reward or personal punishment. Such as.............
The undemonstrable concept of a "soul" facilitates the equally unevidenced ideas of Heaven and Hell.
The insistence upon a loving God who consigns its creatures to eternal pain.
The chosen advertising logo of of the cross (occupied or not) with its symbolism as an instrument of torture and agonising death.
The creation of irrational guilt by the use of John 3:16 as emotional blackmail (whilst hoping that no-one notices that you are being asked to admire an incompetent God who committed filicide to cover up his inability to fix his failures).
- all intended to focus the unbeliever's attention on their own condition rather than that of others.
Perhaps life is better when we return to our happily interdependent (mimicking as best we can our hunter/gatherer origins?) societies. Maybe we are naturally more when we co-operate than when we fixate upon ourselves?
You might not be surprised to know that I sometimes wear a facemask which bears the legend