Rev wrote:

"I have a great deal of respect for atheists who find it possible to be happy, moral, ethical and loving people under all circumstances."

Oh come on Rev--ALL circumstances-- it would take Jesus Christ, Buddha, The Dalai Lama (possibly!) and Mother Theresa to be nice under ALL circumstances. And now I come to think of it Jesus had a bit of a temper tantrum in the Temple at the money changers.

Kevat-- I think the need to believe is summed up by Rev here----

"It prompts me to ask: What is it that gives you the strength and moral courage to do it, seemingly, without any invisible means of support?"

Many people seem to need to have a support on which they can depend as a reason or excuse for their moral behaviour. This was cruelly mocked by some comedian or other as "the devil made me do it"! Add a system that promises life after death in some form or other and it becomes very attractive to believe.