Religious beliefs are holding back progress in the most important aspects of life. While there are certain benefits attached to religious belief, they are soundly outweighed by the costs of holding them. Scientific advancement is required if we are to sustain the rate at which our quality of life has been improving over the decades of the 20th century and if we are to address the challenges that face us in the 21st and beyond. To the extent that religious beliefs stifle scientific literacy and stifle the desire for scientific enquiry, to the extent that religious beliefs impose on personal freedom, to the extent that religious beliefs divide societies, religious beliefs are a net drain on society. A fair assessment?