That's why a lot of people in the Western world have moved away from organized religion, because it's about laws and rules someone wrote down, (no matter how lofty), and it involves a self-appointed human hierarchy. An educated person in the West can follow everything to the letter, and still feel a lack of spirituality. For me, personally, I don't feel God punishes in any way, shape or form. He's genderless, and formless, and emotionless. He has no memory, no history, as past is present is future. What ever is left of me, of my spiritual essence, which existed prior to my birth, will return back to wherever it originated. It won't matter what laws I followed or didn't follow, and whether I was a jew, gentile, deist or atheist. Because these religions depend on either our birth, geographical location, or our environment, and we don't have choice or control over any of that.
You're pointing to the real reason organized religion exists. It's uncomfortable for many people to imagine life without religion, for various reasons. If you're a woman, you may feel religions keep criminals in check. If you're a man, you may feel it instills much needed discipline, keeps your kids from talking back to you, and is an important institution for civilization. If you're closeted, you may feel it's a refuge. If you're Southern, it's part of your culture. If you're black, it's part of your music and political platform. And I can go on and on....with our religion as well as other religions around the globe, and none of it has to do with salvation.If some "Law" wasn't written down we would have what we read in the "The Lord of the Flies" -accept there would be no rescue -> Piggy's out there would all be dead -> because they are dying anyway with the blueprint and the revalation
As far as the "Piggy's"...that's sociology. It's up to us to evolve to the point where we recognize the value and individuality and worth of every person. To maintain concepts of fairness, and tolerance, and egality, and teach it to every generation. Religion is not going to teach us that. Religion teaches concepts of sameness, of group-think, and familiarity. Within religion we are also shown hierarchy, and power structure. That is why it marries so well with nationalism and dictatorship, because when folks are already used to obeying religious leaders, they will do the same thing with political leaders.
I've always felt that religion lost it's golden opportunity, to be the exact opposite of all that. To not be about obeying, and to not be about hierarchy, and not about money, or land, or culture. If religion simply filled in the missing void - how to be free of fear, and how to forgive others and ourselves, would be a great thing. We are afraid, for example, to let Mike Sam in a locker room. We are afraid without religious structure the criminals will run wild. We are afraid that if we close churches, they will re-open as mosques. We are afraid of terrorists, so we allow ourselves to be lorded over. If we conquered our fears, think of what we could accomplish! And what if religion actually taught us how to do that?