Religious more likely to cheat on exams

Alright, I’ll start off by saying I’m always skeptical of any study that finds any major distinctions between human beings as a result of their religious belief. I simply see no compelling evidence that religiosity makes you more or less moral. Still, it’s quite satisfying when a study comes out that throws cold water in the faces of religious pundits who think their flocks are incapable of immoral action.

A study was conducted of nearly 30,000 high school students in the US, and it found 83 percent of private and religious schools had lied, cheated, or stolen, compared to 78 percent in non-religious public schools.

Now beyond the shaky conclusion you can reach from this survey, it’s also worth noting about a quarter of the students admitting to lying on at least one or two survey questions.

It’s interesting to note the vast majority of these students felt a high self image when it came to ethics. They felt they were able to distinguish right from wrong more than their counterparts. This study seems to indicate none of these students should feel any level of pride at their respective morality, nor should they feel morally superior to anyone else. They are just as flawed as everyone else; perhaps more so.

In the end, I don’t think this study can conclude religious people are more likely to cheat than their non religious counterparts. What we can lament is the fact these kids think of themselves as highly moral when their ethical conduct demonstrates the opposite trend. It’s too early to throw our hands up in the air and declare society is on the verge of collapse. I would argue, however, that schools should be doing more in the way of teaching ethics, logic, and philosophy to offset the obvious ethical ignorance of these kids. I’m sure they aren’t bad people, but it would appear a religious upbringing does nothing to make people better citizens.

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