Here is another observation from DHay:
Hemant Mehta, in his 22 August 2017 blog post entitled “Christians and Atheists Speak a Different Language on Facebook”, tells us that:
In 2013, a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that Christians seemed happier on Twitter than atheists, judging from the words they used. Atheists also swore a lot more.
And a recent study of information — again, the data set is from several years ago — which Facebook users had been made publicly available found pretty much the same, this time with a ‘word-cloud’ to show the distinctive words which self-identifying Christians used but atheists generally did not, and another which showed the distinctive words which self-identifying atheists used but Christians generally did not. Mehta kindly reproduces those word-clouds:
Yep, Christians seem happier on Facebook, too, and atheists swear a lot.
The most distinctively atheist word on Facebook, and by quite a bit, is “fucking”,
Top atheist words by both how distinctively they characterise atheists (indicated by word size) and how frequently atheists use them (indicated by brightness of word colour) include:
fuck, fucking, fucked, shit, fuckin, bloody, dead, drunk, I’ve, I don’t, …
Mehta surely draws attention to this study and to its results as a damage limitation exercise: if he can pre-load his readers with his spinning ready answer, they’ll blank with that answer when they see the study referred to later. How Mehta spins explains the results is:
[Twitter study] I thought there was a perfectly good explanation for that, and it wasn’t that Christians were nicer, kinder, or less angry. Simply put, when atheists (who identify that way) are on Twitter, we’re likely to talk about problems with religion. We’re reactionary for a reason. Internet Christians, on the other hand, talk a lot about God and their churches. They share images with Bible verses. On the whole, they have little reason to complain.
[Facebook study] In case you see articles about this study online, let’s hope they all note that this isn’t a value judgment. There’s nothing wrong with the words atheists use online. The unique words we use are just different from the unique ones religious people tend to use. And again, remember that atheists tend to vent online. (It’s not like most of us discuss religion in a private setting once a week.) Believers have the luxury of not having to fight for their rights all the time. Their views are represented at the highest levels of power.
No wonder they’re so damn happy.
It’s all very simple, isn’t it: atheists are angry because they are put upon and at the bottom of the pile, Christians happy because they are comfortably at the top. Hmmm, looks to me like Mehta’s provided a rationalisation, spin.
What the study tells me is that the stereotype of the angry internet atheist out on a rant isn’t merely a product of prejudice; it’s supported by science, evidence and reason.