"My picture of the world is drawn in perspective, and not like a model to scale. The foreground is occupied by human beings and the stars are as small as threepenny bits. I don't really believe in astronomy, except as a complicated description of part of human and possibly animal sensation. I apply my perspective not merely to space but to time. In time the world will cool and everything will die; but that is a long time off still, and its present value at compound discount is almost nothing. Nor is the present less valuable because the future will be blank. Humanity, which fills the foreground of my picture, I find interesting and on the whole admirable. I find, just now at least, the world a pleasant and exciting place. You may find it depressing; I am sorry for you, and you despise me. But I have reason and you have none; you would only have a reason for despising me if your feeling corresponded to the fact in a way mine didn't. But neither can correspond to the fact. The fact is not in itself good or bad; it is just that it thrills me and depresses you. On the other hand, I pity you with reason, because it is pleasanter to be thrilled than to be depressed, and not merely pleasanter but better for all one's activities." - Frank Ramsey, Epilogue
I've always found this to be a succinct and elegant "credo" of "optimistic materialism" with which I can largely agree. I think two of the most useful axes along which to categorise belief systems are theist/atheist and optimist/pessimism about human experience in this world. When theists attack atheists, or vice versa, they usually contrast their own optimistic view with a caricature of a pessimistic view from the other side.
So an angry atheist may paint a picture of a Christian terrified of death, regarding experience in this world as an empty rehearsal for the next life, despising physical pleasure, concerned only with staying on the right side of an angry deity; a defensive Christian may paint a picture of atheists as mindless hedonists, living moment to moment in a selfish life of atomic individualism. Whereas, of course, there are positive, optimistic people who appreciate beauty and do their best for their communities in both camps.
What's interesting about this quote from Ramsey (mainly a technical philosopher whose admirers would see this foray into ethics as a lapse of taste!) is that it is addressed from an optimist to a pessimist within a shared framework of atheism. I expect there are similar passages from better-humoured theologians critiquing the bleak outlook of fire and brimstone preachers.
The point I am getting at is that most of the intellectual and other virtues can be displayed by those from a religious or atheistic background, as can the corresponding vices. A willingness to engage with those who think differently to you is something which I consider to be a virtue, hence I see Nerburn's article as an argument for the vices of closed-mindedness and selfishness, just as I would an article by an atheist saying "Just leave the godbotherers to their fantasies. They're too dumb ever to see sense." When you change the language around like that, you can see that this piece is at its heart a mixture of flattery and abuse, not a good diet for anyone's spiritual journey.