Sunday, April 15, 2007

Black atheists think cheating on taxes is okay: Today marks the beginning of the second year of this blog. Last April 15th, I showed that, of all American ethnic groups, Puerto Ricans are most likely to think that cheating on your taxes is not wrong. This year let's see if this attitude varies with belief in God. Using the General Social Survey (which I have done about 250 times in the past year), I calculated the mean score for thinking cheating on taxes is wrong. Respondents were given a 1 for "not wrong" and a 4 for "very wrong."

"Cheating on taxes is wrong" mean score--whites

Doesn't believe 3.20
No way to find out 3.05
Some higher power 3.01
Believes sometimes 2.98
Believes but doubts 3.01
Knows God exists 3.23
All whites 3.14

"Cheating on taxes is wrong" mean score--blacks

Doesn't believe 2.11
Now way to find out 2.71
Some higher power 2.92
Believes sometimes 3.11
Believes but doubts 2.82
Knows god exists 3.01
All blacks 2.96

First, there is an overall racial difference. Blacks are probably more likely to see nothing wrong with cheating the system since many of them believe it is designed to victimize them. A common belief among blacks is, "Are you going to be a predator or the prey?"

Black and white atheists are very different. White non-believers are the second-most moral, while black atheists have the lowest mean. This suggests that whites in this category are the principled type and that blacks are the nihilist type.

As I showed in previous post, among whites, atheists and confident believers have the most positive answers. They seem to have unambiguous views in general: being dishonest with taxes is not a little bit wrong, it's very wrong; I'm not kind of happy, I'm happy. Those with squishy views in one area seem to be squashy in another area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Religiousness interacts with race in strange ways. I just came across an abstract indicating that, unlike whites, the more religious African-American adolescent males are the more likely they are to lose their virginity.

Perhaps in some places going to church is a nice place to meet women.