Does Religion Prevent Crime?

posted Feb 18, 2013, 1:36 PM by Professor Katz   [ updated Feb 19, 2013, 10:44 AM ]
posted by The Economist, 3 September 2012

The point of the paper from which the data in the above chart is drawn is that if you come from a country in which belief in Hell is strong, then you are more likely to be law-abiding, since crime ultimately doesn't pay.  If, however, you come from a country in which belief in Heaven is strong, then one always has the hope that all will be forgiven, even if you continue to commit crimes.  You could argue that the crime rate in Saudi Arabia is lower than that in Norway for other reasons, but let's not complicate things....
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