Social Science Data Needed


Thesis: Active involvement in religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church, is strongly correlated with lower rates of criminality, divorce, addiction, and failure in education.

I need evidence to support this thesis. Preferably social science sources. Anecdotal evidence won’t fit the bill.

– Mark L. Chance.


Emile Durkheim’s work on suicide and insanity in the late 19th century (Durkheim, a French Jew, is concidered the founder of Sociology) would be an interesting star.


[quote=mlchance]Thesis: …

If you find such sources, I’m curious what you think it will demonstrate. Will you say that religion is a cause of more socially stable lifestyles?

Because it could be argued that people who are naturally more socially stable are more likely to be attracted to religion (so their faith is an effect, not a cause).

I’m reminded of a “study” conducted by a vitamin manufacturer that found that people who take their product are more healthy than a random sample. The implication is that the vitamins are a factor. However, people who take vitamins are also more likely to eat right and exercise, so the “study” really proves nothing. Only a placebo test (preferably double-blind) could hope to make the correlation - and you can’t do a placebo test with religion!


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