Re: Try that with mythology (aka Religion)
"Err, no, "dude". What is done about each of the problems you list is *not* a matter of science because science has already provided the answers."
Quite. Religion had no answer for a few thousand years apart from either 'sorry' or 'good!'. Science enabled the technology that has driven away those problems for much of the world. Or would you prefer to live in the religiously-driven bygone times where you had no freedom of speech and you buried half your children?
"What is done about the problems is a matter of morals and sentiments, and how they determine what a suitable course of action is."
And capitalism, economics, and power. Plus: Self-actualisation. You are very optimistic as regards the reasons why we have these things. Those of us who have them (The First World) do NOT have them because any religious organisation handed them our gratis. We have them because we demanded them, and because someone made a buck from it. Whereas those who cannot afford such things do not have them on the whole. What religious charities have done pales into insignificance next to the mighty dollar. Indeed: Religion has often opposed these advances and hindered them.
"Let me put it this way: supplying potable water is not a matter to be solved by science, because the technology exists to solve the problem."
That technology stemmed from scientific progress. That's the point of applied science and engineering. Is that not self-evident? Plans for desalinisation plants didn't just fall on the factory floor from the heavens.
"Right, because atheists are so well-known for their great humanitarian efforts to help the poor, while organized religions have never done anything. Oh wait..."
Plenty of people give to charity without thought of religion. Look at the efforts of Live Aid and all the other secular charities. Organised religion contributes, but you can't scoff at what secular charities achieve. That's provably drivel.
"There's a Salvation Army Mission over on Skid Row here. I have also frequently various church groups distributing food and clothing to the poor. Somehow I have never seen any atheists get together to do anything similar."
Never heard of OXFAM. How about...y'iknow... the Red Cross? Can you just take off your blinkers for a moment. Religion is not some world-saving charitable organisation that is the only one giving a toss about these people. Charity and social conscience does not depend upon a religious leaning. We were social, caring creatures long before someone herded us into a temple and told us to give the bloke at the front some money so that he could give it to the poor (and by the way support his own lifestyle of sitting on his backside while everyone else sweated in fields).
"And as for religious organizations that work to ameliorate social ills, well, I guess in your world, they don't exist at all."
They exist alongside the numerous secular ones. Although the religious ones sometimes [I won't say alway: That would be unfair] have a life-changing agenda that they want to convert you to.