As a compulsive history buff, I tend to dwell on what the hell is wrong with the world and how did it get so damn screwed up. I'm not alone in that but a lot of people think they know and most of them haven't a clue.
We started to get screwed up when crafty con artists and would be mafia-don-type leaders set out in early societies to lord it over their fellow primates and appropriate to themselves the lion's share of everything so they could live in opulent ease while the lesser peons (I like to picture that as literal pee-ons) groveled along in abject subservience, having to bow and scrape to their now exhalted masters.
The myths of religions and manufactured imaginary gods kept everybody in properly cowering fearful mode because none of those gods could be seen. They just lurked there in the imaginary but oh so powerful background and every time some disaster came along, either individually or enmasse on the whole populace, the bombastic gurus were quick to make sure everyone knew it was because they had angered one of those oh so powerful entities.
By the time things had evolved into the Roman Empire, that marvel of crass militaristic oppression and amalgamated chaos, so many cultures and religions had been absorbed that the plethora of supreme gods and saviors extant became a confusing morass of bombastic and mutually condemnatory, duplicatory and totally confusing and divisionary empire endangering stupidity that old emperor Constantine had to do something to get the "family" straightened out, At least, he was pragmatic enough to know that all that confusion was bad for the overall family business. Any respectable "don" with a lick of sense could have seen that.
The answer! Imperial decree, of course!
By decree backed up by a still very impressive and ruthless military, he ordered all those warring religious "authorities" to hie their behinds off to Nicacea and have themselves a conference and they'd better get it settled once and for all what was to be the only religious faith and doctrine to be tolerated in the empire.
It took months of arguing and fighting, but what came out as an amalgamation of the most influencial and dominating of the "leaders" present is what the western world struggled along under as the Catholic Church through all those oppressive times we refer to as the "dark ages." All the scientific progress made in the ancient world was pretty much buried under a totalitarian system of superstitious ignorance and oppression.
Human progress came to an almost total halt for more than a thousand years! That's what religion does for a society!
Not too long after that, a deranged camel jockey called Mohammad came on the scene and soon set up a competing religion known as Islam and through terror and ruthless conquest, it imposed itself on a great deal of the world and still lusts for the rest of it.
The enlightenment did a lot to reverse things in the western world, but the minions of superstition and groveling obedience to imagined all powerful beings still holds the majority of people in our country and many others in its oppressive sway. Reason is kicked to the gutter and replaced by stupid fairy tales while the rich and powerful love to have it that way. People who have no idea how to really think and reason are easier to keep under control.
It has always been so and the miserable course of history shows what is the inevitable result any time "faith" takes over. I'd like to be optimistic, but I have qualms when I look at the real situation.