There is another thought that popped into my head regarding the atheists in prison statistics. What does the form look like that produce these numbers?
Suppose, for instance, that, on being admitted to a British prison, a new convict have to fill in a form with tick boxes under the heading “Religion.” There are tick boxes for “Christian”, “Muslin”, etc., and the last tick box say “None.” Below all the tick boxes, there is a line with the wording: “Other (specify)” Suppose that there is no tick box for “atheist”, and the atheist could choose whether he want to tick “Religion: None” or write in “atheist” on the last line. Most would do the simpler thing: Tick “None.” If that is the case, it would explain why the “no religion” group is so large compared to the “atheist” group in both the British and American statistics.*
This hypothesis can only be tested by knowing what the forms looked like at the spot where religious view had to be entered. So, please, if anyone has access to the forms that produced the American data in this link, or the forms that produced the British data in this link, could you please tell me: What religious possibilities did they have tick boxes for? What, exactly, is the wording and possibilities you could choose from in that section of the form?
If this hypothesis is wrong, and the non-religious who do not define themselves as atheists are really and fairly concluded to be much more criminal than atheists and believers alike, it would be another reason why militant atheists should not ask for religion to be abolished. A world with no believers would not abound with “high church atheists,” actively denying God’s existence. It would be filled with “non-religious people”, who do not think about God, and are, statistically speaking, more likely to give in to their criminal proclivities.