Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
Another key issue, and entirely germane to this discussion, is: what constitutes ethical behavior, why would be people be moral without the threat of a deity's punishing hand? Across the world, among many religions and cultures, why are people, overall,... nice?
Because of self interest, self defense, and self preservation. Also partly because of the human (humane) composite makeup of need for acceptance, love and friendship.

In my opinion, religions are "nice", only because the human (humane) element overrides the religion and reigns in the impulses to destroy those they dislike.