Modern humans i.e. the ones since the advent of religions practiced today, have a tendency for teleological reasoning. As such, it takes considerable intellectual discipline to override this with logic.
Most of these modern humans cannot function without some sort of worldview whereby teleological reasoning is applied, even though teleological reasoning is inconsistent with how the universe actually functions.
Religions provide a systematic and semi-coherent worldview that appeals to the teleological reasoning of the human mind. How well or poorly the particulars of a religion cleave to reality is irrelevant. What matters is natural selection, on the civilization level. Those religions that reinforce functional behaviors within a society are selected over those which do not.
It is not therefore surprising that a few religious traditions (Abrahamic, Confucian, Hindu) have come to dominate. Though none of these religions provide believers with any real understanding of the universe, they do provide societies with a set of norms that lay the foundation for sustained growth.
What you see in slow-motion collapsing civilizations, from Rome to the US, is a rejection of the norms that brought them success in the first place. It is based upon a flawed belief by intellectuals (in modern terms this includes both leftists and libertarians) that, once freed from religion, the populace will somehow magically become a beacon of logic and reason.
As those of us here all know, all that happens is that the established religion is simply replaced with another one. However, the upstart dogma has not been subject to the selective pressures of the more ancient one, and is almost always degenerate. Thus, instead of heroes like Hercules and martyrs like Jesus, whose stories (true or not) exemplify the better aspects of human nature, you instead get Columbia’s Mattress Girl, whose tale is nothing short of glorification of vice.