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Religious or Spiritual: Who is more likely to Commit Crime?

finger-print-150x150A research conducted on who is more likely to commit crimes. Two fields of thought, spirituality and religion, recent sociologists’ study, published in the journal Criminology, ages ranged from 18 to 28, directed that “spiritual but not religious” have a higher tendency to commit crimes than those who deem themselves as either “religious and spiritual” or “religious but not spiritual,” according to Baylor University researchers.

Interestingly, the question is how is being spiritual is different from being religious? Is Being ‘Spiritual’ Enough Without Being Religious?

Sung Joon Jang, Ph.D., an associate professor of the said University noted that until the 20th century, the terms “religious” and “spiritual” were treated as interchangeable. Religion is spiritual and spirituality can also be considered religious.

One research showed that people who say they are religious have lower levels of crime and deviance. Religions are bound with the fear of “supernatural sanctions” as well as criminal punishment and feelings of shame. These individuals exercise high self-control in part because of parents who also are likely to be religious; and associate with peers who reinforce their behaviour and beliefs.

On the other hand, spiritual people would have underlying thoughts of an independent identity and may turn out to have antisocial characteristics. Significantly, people who are “spiritual but not religious” tend to have lower self-control over the other.  Factors are the exact opposite of what the religious individual has – negative peers who use and abuse alcohol, depression and anxiety and this may lead to criminal behaviour.

One tends to be more personal and private while the other tends to incorporate public rituals and organized doctrines.

The researchers analysed data from a sample of 14,322 individuals from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.


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Dadhichi