"If we take the term ‘morally worse’ as purely descriptive, denoting people whose characters generally appear to be morally worse than average, and if we restrict our attention to those who have had some non-negligible degree of education, we find that people who have religious convictions are on the whole morally worse than people who lack them. Are the religious worse because they’re religious, or are they religious because they’re worse?
"The first direction of causation is well known, but it’s the second that is more prominent in everyday life. The religious (sociologically speaking) tend to be religious because religious belief provides them with a framework in which they can handle certain unattractive elements in themselves. In converts – those who take up religion without having been brought up in it, or without having previously taken it seriously – the correlation between religious belief and relative moral badness in the strictly descriptive sense (which is not incompatible with charm) is particularly striking."