A strong sense of morality is not necessarily dependent on religious values. There are many atheists among us who hold to strong moral views in society, and many religious theists who are immoral. IMO, that has more to do with upbringing. People who are raised with a strong sense of moral values tend to keep them, even if they lose the basis for it later in life. Some people will remember the proverb:
pr.22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Morality seems to be instilled in people from an early age, even if they reject the values later on. Many sociopaths were raised with strong moral values, & just rejected them. But their lives are in conflict, as interviews with them have shown. They may reason themselves into an amoral mindset, but there is something that nags them from within, that does not approve of their actions. Continued violation of this inner compass leads people down a dark path of anti-social behavior.
There also seems to be a common sense of 'right & wrong' throughout human culture & history. I have said before, that especially in matters of justice & interpersonal relationships, the rights to life & property are the 2 most basic rights of man, & are consistently valued in every culture. Societies & systems of governance that do not value the individual's life & property do not last long. The USSR is a recent example of that. On a global scale, nazi germany & imperial japan are others.
There are some common denominators of values that seem to be in the more successful cultures.
1. right to life (thou shalt not kill)
2. right to property (thou shalt not steal)
3. respect for honesty & trustworthy dealings with others
4. respect for elders & responsibility for family
5. sympathy for those less fortunate
6. fidelity in marriage
7. responsibility & accountability for actions
8. respect for sobriety, disdain for drunkenness
Some of these things are allowed 'indulgences' in some cultural lists. But the basic view is still negative. For example, if someone goes on a drunken binge, it is forgiven by society as long as they keep to the other morals, like responsibility & honesty. but if multiple transgressions are made, that person becomes a pariah, & is looked down upon by society. If the specific moral value is codified into law, the immoral person goes through the justice system.
When a culture is in decline, you see a slow eroding of these moral values. They are redefined as minor slip ups, or even completely changed to virtues. Orwellian language is used to revise morality into blatant immorality. The last ones to go are the first 2: Life & Property. They are the core values of a society, without which no society can function. Cultures centered around murder & thievery never last long, & are generally held in contempt by everyone. We do not see the pol pot regime as a role model for society, or other systems & movements that violate the Big Two.
In America, many of us have seen the slow deterioration of moral values. It became a social movement in the 60s, which sought to redefine & even eliminate any moral compass. God was rejected, & archaic religious views held in contempt. But the result has not been a positive for the culture. Instead of peace, love, & harmony, we have increased crime, bigotry, & hatred. Anti social behavior has increased steadily. The divorce rate has skyrocketed, & what was once considered taboo sexually is embraced as 'normal'. Lying & deception are accepted methods of communication, permeating our highest levels of bureaucracy. Elderly parents, & even children are tossed aside as wards of the state, instead of the personal responsibility of the individual. Sympathy for your fellow man is squelched, & 'the govt' has become the salve for conscience. Drunkenness & substance abuse is rampant, incapacitating many & adding to the state dependency rolls.
Even the Big Two, life & property are fading as esteemed values. Murder & theft are rampant, especially in the most amoral sectors of society: The welfare gulags. There the state & the state's religious values have permeated the culture, & even life & property are not respected.
Morality is the foundation upon which ALL our individual philosophy of life is built. It flavors ALL our actions, words, & interpersonal relationships. It is the basis for humanity. Without a clear sense of morality, no society can function.
We are locked in a downward spiral, & the corruption in govt is just a symptom. Unless there is a major awakening of the basic human values of morality, we will crash as a culture, & our legacy will be our own immorality. We will be just another failed society in human history. Prosperity & production cannot grow in moral anarchy. Those who will not or cannot see the correlation are deceived, & are complicit in the destruction of the culture.