Saturday, July 13, 2013

Atheists less happy than religious nitwits?

Well, there you go. It's settled: religious nitwits are happier than atheists. But just for the heck of it, let's look at the article. First of all, I jumped the gun. The actual title says: "Christians happier than atheists -- on Twitter". So how did they come to this startling conclusion?
The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tapped Twitter as a research tool and compared the messages of Christians and atheists. 
Hmmmm. Sounds okay, so far.
The conclusion: When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts.
Well, of course they are. Religious people's thoughts are limited to 140 characters or less. They like tweeting because their teeny nitwit ideas fit into the space provided. Praise Jeebus! Okay, let's see what else the article says.
With the help of a text analysis program, the researchers found that Christians tweet with higher frequency words reflecting positive emotions, social relationships and an intuitive style of thinking – the sort that’s gut-driven. [As in "facts ain't got nuthin' to do with nuthin'", I imagine.]

This isn’t to say that atheists don’t use these words, too, but they out-tweet Christians when it comes to analytic words and words associated with negative emotions.
Hmmm. It sounds like the atheists might be, you know, thinking. Gotta love those gut-driven religious nitwits, though. Thoughts seem to play no role in their lives. Let's go back to the article again.
Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.”

Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question,” said Ryan Ritter, one of the students behind the study.
There goes that thinking thing again. Darn those atheists! Why can't they just use happy words in their tweets?
Based on previous studies cited by these researchers, analytical thinking may "diminish the capacity for optimism and positive self-illusions that typify good mental health."
Hypothesis confirmed. Those darned atheists think too much. If they'd only limit themselves to tweeting about love, happiness, family, friends and teams, they might begin to understand the joy that jeebus has in store for us (at some vague, late date - probably after we're, you know, dead.)

If you like this sort of thing, do read the linked article. There's some juicy stuff at the end, when an actual atheist responds to the idiocy of the survey. (I suspect he's one of those darned "thinkers".)

Okay, I'm going to go think happy, pink thoughts for the next hour. About "love", I think. I did "teams" yesterday. And then tomorrow, I'll think about "family". You know, I think I feel better already!