Wednesday, July 02, 2008

When not going to church signals something   posted by Razib @ 7/02/2008 09:43:00 AM

When The Inductivist observed that the unchurched tend more toward criminality, I asked whether social matrix would be a major factor here. In other words, in an area where church going is a major signal of social conformity antisocial oddballs would be far more likely to break the the norm. With a follow up The Inductivist says:
My next step was to estimate the association between arrest and attendance for each of the nine divisions: I did this with logistic regression (sample sizes ranged between 460 and 2,306). I then calculated the Pearson correlation between these logit coefficients and the mean attendance scores displayed above. It is .44. This means that the connection between arrest and never going to church is stronger in areas where churchgoing is most common. So Razib might be right that in religious areas many of the well-adjusted folks feel like they should go to church, leaving a high percentage of antisocial people among the ranks of non-attenders.

A meta-point here (and obvious one to many of you no doubt) is that religion can not be understood simply as a relationship between an individual and their faith in an atomic manner. The social dimension in critical to mass religion.

Related: Good Without God, But Better With God?