I read another article this morning on the relative merits of societies predicated on religious belief and those which are secular. (It was in the CHE; you can find it at aldaily.com.) It was learned and dispassionate and even handed. It entirely missed the point. Such articles almost always do, because their unstated premise seems to be that whether we believe or not depends on what we would find most useful. Left undiscussed is truth. If there are no intellectually respectable arguments for the existence of God--and there aren't--what difference does it make whether we'd be better off in an Age of Faith? As Bishop Butler said, "Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: why then should we desire to be deceived?" Our preferences don't really figure into the matter.
Perhaps we should end with another famous believer. Johnson said, "the mind can only repose on the stability of truth." Of course Johnson seems to have spent much of his life muttering to himself, "I do believe. I do believe. I do, I do, I do."