Dr. PZ Myers demonstrates the educational shortcomings of the professorial class:
I’ve often wondered what these “positive qualities” of belief might be. They’re always assumed to be there, so no one bothers to iterate them — but seriously, I see no virtue in unfounded faith in weird old superstitions.
1. Longevity: People with religious faith live seven years longer. I suppose this may not be seen as a benefit if you’re a fat, lonely atheist with a drug problem.
2. Psychological health: People with religious faith suffer less depression, are less likely to require medication for mental illness and are far less likely to kill themselves.
3. Evolutionary fitness: People with religious faith are more likely to marry, more likely to have children and have more children.
4. Happiness: People with religious faith are happier.
5. Health: People with religious faith are less likely to be obese. They also recover from surgery faster.
6. Sex: People with religious faith are more content with their sex lives.
7. Art: Religion inspires better, longer-lasting art than non-religious inspirations.
8. Good government: religious regimes are far less likely to murder large quantities of the citizenry than non-religious regimes, much less atheist regimes.
There’s more, such as the lower incidence of drug and alchohol dependency, but that should help PZ get started. With the exception of 7 and 8, there are plenty of scientific studies to back up all of these assertions. And there’s massive quantities of historical data supporting 8.
Now what, I ask, are the positive qualities of atheism that make up for being an unhappy, unmarried, chubby, short-lived alchoholic in therapy and contemplating suicide over a lackluster love life?