You also wrote:
> But hopefully after any self-analysis, one may
> see the "wisdom" of certain moral tenets -- see
> how they achieve certain goals by implicitly
> recognizing deep truths about human nature. Or
> at the very least we may learn to appreciate
> our human diversity. Indeed, this must be done
> for the sake of common ground.
Will it be the dogmatic religious leaders and scholars or the social scientists and anthropologists who will discover these "deep truths about human nature"?
I think that scientists are our best source of understanding. They are the ones willing to accept that we are animals, for example, with drives derived from nature. The religious will often try to explain human nature in terms of the struggle between supernatural forces of God and Satan, man's spiritual nature, and other non-scientific ideas.
Let me give you an example. Consider the idea of some Flood Geologists (people who believe the Flood of Noah was THE major geologic event causing virtually all the layering, fossils, etc.). Some of them teach that the craters on the moon were formed as a consequence of a battle between the angels of God and Satan. Such religion-based explanations can only be an impediment to the progress of knowledge.
I'm not sure we should continue to support religions because they've managed to preserve some truths about human nature. If science is the much better way, then let's discard the outdated.