Cheating and belief in God

Here's an interesting article from the LA Times. This study found no difference in believers and non-believers in their likelihood for cheating on tests – but found that among those who do believe in God that those who envision God as wrathful and vengeful were less likely to cheat than those who envision God as compassionate.
In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God.
This is just one in a long line of evidence that being religious does absolutely nothing to improve one's moral fortitude. Despite the ramblings of fundies who think that all of Western civilization would be doomed without belief in a supernatural superdad, what we observe is quite the opposite. Here in the US, the highest per capita crime, the highest teen pregnancy rates, the highest divorce rates, the lowest education levels, etc., are all in the more religious "Bible belt" states. Abroad, highly secular countries such as the UK, the countries of Scandinavia, and Japan are some of the most peaceful and prosperous nations on Earth. Even in our prison systems, atheists account for less than 1% of inmates. And let's be honest.... you can't throw a rock at an evangelical pastor without hitting some infidelity scandal (and let's not even get started on the priests!).

Oh well. At least religious moral posturing, if it's good for anything, is good for a laugh.

Another note. I'm particularly intrigued by the following statement:
The test takers also answered a 14-question survey to determine whether they believed in God, and if so, what traits they ascribed to God.
What traits they ascribed to God? Hmmm... I wonder what the methodology is for figuring out who is right? Ah, that's right – there is none! God is whatever and whomever the believer imagines it to be.


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