In a recent post investigating the relationship between intelligence, theism, and political orientation, an interesting discussion broke out in the comments concerning the putative correlation between theism and optimism, and the causal nature of that alleged correlation.
I wondered if such a relationship exists. Atheists on average have higher IQs, higher educational attainment, and higher incomes than theists do, after all. These are material reasons for optimism, aren’t they?
In 2016, the GSS specifically asked respondents about whether or not they were optimistic about their futures. The following graph shows the percentages who indicated they were. To avoid racial confounding, results are restricted to non-Hispanic whites:
Maybe the godly know something atheists don’t, or maybe ignorance is bliss.
GSS variables used: LOTR3(1-3)(4-5), RACECEN1(1), HISPANIC(1), GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6)