Religious misdirection on bumpersticker

I don’t expect bumperstickers to be of the highest journalistic caliber. That said, I found one spotted yesterday a bit irky. I was driving at the time so I couldn’t take a pic… from memory, it went something like this:

“Dear God, why is there so much violence in our schools? Signed, a concerned student.”
“Dear concerned student, I’m not allowed in schools. Signed, God.”

I reckon that’s misrepresenting the issues more than a little bit, as well as not having a foundation in fact. Australia has plenty of religious schools, in particular Catholic colleges and the like. Are there stats proving that there’s less violence in those schools compared to say State Schools? One diff is of course that private schools can have an admissions policy, which is only possible because public schools are obliged to accept at least anyone in their catchment area. Are religious environments less violent than others? I doubt it.

On a larger scale, most wars have religious “cause”, so there religion is actually triggering violence. There has been research on whether secular societies have a higher crime rate, and the answer is no (in fact the opposite, in some cases). Thus, any claim that non-religious people or societies would somehow lack morals to do what is right is utter nonsense. Morals have nothing to do with religion and everything with general practicalities in any society – the fact that religions also happen to have opinions on morals is of no consequence to that. This assertion can be proven by the fact that some societies -including religious ones- do engage (as a group) in various questionable behaviours which are regarded as ok within the group.

Social Psychology has a concept called “Social Proof”, if you see multiple others do something, it must be the right thing. We tend to look around us for “guidance” when we don’t know what to do in a specific situation. This system usually works well, but it can go wrong as well as be abused. Digressing a bit there… in any case I don’t think the sticker is making any point.

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