Does an angry and vengeful God make for better people? Apparently so according to a new study by University of Oregon psychologists, who found the link between one's willingness to cheat and the belief of a benevolent God:
In line with many previous studies, it found no difference between the ethical behavior of believers and nonbelievers. But those who believed in a loving, compassionate God were more likely to cheat than those who believed in an angry, punitive God.
"The take-home message is not whether you believe in God, but what God you believe in," said Azim Shariff, a psychologist at the University of Oregon. Shariff conducted the study with psychologist Ara Norenzayan, who had been his doctoral advisor at the University of British Columbia.
Doesn't this remind you of the age-old joke of "I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness."