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Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter
In 140 characters or less, Christians seem to be spreading love and joy more than atheists.
June 28th, 2013
08:02 AM ET

Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head, according to a new study.

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.

The conclusion: When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts.

Two doctoral students in social psychology and an adviser analyzed the casual language of nearly 2 million tweets from more than 16,000 active users to come up with their findings, which were published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The team identified subjects by finding Twitter users who followed the feeds of five prominent public figures. In the case of Christians, those select five were Pope Benedict XVI, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and Joyce Meyer, an evangelical author and speaker.

In the case of atheists, the five followed feeds included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Monica Salcedo and Michael Shermer - the latter two respectively being a self-described “fiercely outspoken atheist” blogger, and a science writer who founded The Skeptics Society.

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.

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.

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.

While not perfect – for example, this sort of word examination can’t account for sarcasm – word choices, Ritter and his colleagues argue, reflect something about a person’s mindset.

An analytical thinker (atheist) is more likely to be skeptical or critical, for example, whereas an intuitive thinker (Christian) is guided by emotion and certainty.

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."

Likewise, mentions of social connections, which they say are often provided in a “tight-knit moral community,” suggest stronger relationships among Christian tweeters and are, they add, often an indicator of happiness.

The takeaway, Ritter wrote in an e-mail, is “not that religion is associated with more happiness, per se, but why?”

“If we can understand the factors that facilitate happiness (e.g., increased social support), ideally we can use these insights to increase well-being for believers and nonbelievers alike,” Ritter said.

But the Twitter study doesn’t fly with everyone.

After reading an article about the study on Pacific Standard magazine’s website, Richard Wade, an advice columnist for the blog Friendly Atheist, called it “useless and misleading” and based on “sloppy research.”

He wrote, “The take away for most lay people is ‘Atheists are unhappy people.’ … How do you quantify ‘happiness’? How do you quantify ‘analytical thinking’?”

“Even in their acknowledgments about the possible biases in their study, the authors still use absurd and meaningless terms like ‘militant atheist,’” he added. “This study suffers from the same negative stereotypes about atheists that most of society has, and it has simply reinforced that prejudice with more muddled thinking.”

Ritter, who happens to describe himself as a happy atheist, said in hindsight he wishes they hadn’t used the word “militant” and that no ill will was intended. They simply wanted to describe those who have “extremely negative attitudes” when it comes to religion.

“I am a friend of the atheists! My response to Richard would be that he should apply the ‘principle of charity’ when interpreting other’s research (i.e., that it’s possible we’re NOT incompetent,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“This is not an assumption; this is the pattern we observed in the data.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Technology

soundoff (1,317 Responses)
  1. Floating babies in heaven

    The bill now make its way to Perry, who will sign it into law.

    Yes, exactly. Now wait for the smile, that is pure love, when you see the smile... you know it... the smile... it's everything.

    July 13, 2013 at 5:40 am |
  2. mzh

    I always think something that why a human born as Muslim (as per teaching of Islam, the word Muslim means to submit to The Oneness of The Almighty) and than raised as per the parent’s faith and then they become something totally different…

    Question to my Atheist friends – before you come to a conclusion that there is no God or Creator, did you read all the books that we have or just the one you had available through your parents?

    What I find is most of the human are lost when it comes to the understanding of The Creator. As in Christianity they say a Human is Lord, or Jews through Genesis says, Lord God walks on the heaven with Adam (here also the concept is human or some creature who walks around us), in Buddhism – a big statue who has no power to move even itself, in Hinduism – thousands, and so on…

    I think there will not be any Atheist whose background would be Islam and I am not talking about someone Muslim with just name and has not knowledge of Islam… because the concept of The Creator in Quran is different than any other books.

    July 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Many former muslims have become agnostic/atheist. Research is your friend.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious:

      Its because they did not taste the sweetness of the Islam.... or there was some material benefits involved... I myself know few examples but very few…

      If you see the Christians goes to poor area of the third world country and they make them to accept Christianity by providing the necessities...
      But if you in America – the one who accepts Islam is by knowing and by heart and not for poverties...

      Two can not be Truth… The Truth is always ONE… now we all have to put an effort to figure it out by studying and understanding the real meaning of The Creator…

      July 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Zeus

      "Question to my Atheist friends – before you come to a conclusion that there is no God or Creator, did you read all the books that we have or just the one you had available through your parents?"

      You mean books written by humans, lying, greedy, biased humans?
      Let's look at the nut job known as Abraham that would have killed his son for his god. Or Mohammed the pedophile, what reason would a man pushing 50 need with a wife under 10 years old. Don't answer everyone knows why.
      I could almost agree with the teachings of Jesus if it wasn't for the fact the gospels were written 100s of years after his death and if Constantine didn't just throw 4 of them together (discarding the ones he didn't like) and then forcing it on everyone.
      Old books prove nothing. There is an old saying, actions speak louder than words, and all gods are silent.

      The battle between gods on this planet will be decided by the group that breeds the most and brainwashes their children the best.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Ah, that's your excuse. I guess any excuse will do. When you ask Christians about atheists who used to believe in Christianity, most Christians say that those people were not "true Christians," so the Christians have an excuse just like you do.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear friend Zeus:

      “You mean books written by humans, lying, greedy, biased humans?”

      This makes me thinking that you have very limited knowledge about the words or Quran… I do not expect you to believe in me by reading one like that I just wrote here in this blog… I met people who spent ten plus years to finish reading the Quran and to understand it but not to accept it… and eventually the knowledge or understanding made him to say that ‘this book can not be written by any human no matter how much intelligent that human is’… and also to understand something you have to go to someone who knows it very well so that you will not be misguided as we chose the best mechanic when it comes to fix our cars…

      You have no idea about the life of Muhammad which is why you are saying what you are saying… there is a British Religious Lady Scholars of Religions and her name is Karen Armstrong… she I think wrote a book about Muhammad and you can always get her lecture about the life of Prophet Muhammad in youtube… please spare sometimes to know about Muhammad before you blame with something which are not correct or incorrectly understood… but you have to be able to get out of the well you are in now…

      Peace be upon you...

      July 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious:

      This is not an excuse but it is a fact… the concept of God is incorrectly inserted to human brain which is why they do not see the truth…

      Otherwise what makes a human to believe a dead person will cure from any illness? And human promotes a dead person to a deity and makes others to listen to it? Actually the one who listens is not be forced to listen but he is listening by his own and these listeners can’t blame other but himself…

      What makes a human to go and ask an idol where this idol itself can’t move or save itself if u want to break it?

      What makes a human to believe in a monkey is a God where that monkey has no ability to chose what it wants to do but to listen to its human master? And so on…

      Peace be upon you…

      July 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, mzh, the fact is that the god believer (Christian or muslim) will put forth some rationale as to why some believers leave the faith rather than consider that those apostates might have used logic in leaving behind their beliefs. It's is far easier to make excuses to continue believing in something unprovable than to consider why that thing is unprovable.

      A muslim suicide bomber and a Christian terrorist use the same math, chemistry, and physics because they must use them in the same way, but they believe different things about god because they can. On the one hand, they must agree on math because math only works if the Christian and muslim (and everyone) use it the same way, but on the other hand, they believe different things about god because there's nothing that one belief does that the other belief can't do. Why won't god be as clear about himself as he is about math and chemistry? Why does god allow people to "get it wrong" when it comes to him, but he does not allow people to "get it wrong" with math or chemistry?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious:

      The concept of God contradicts itself in the any book other than Quran, if you study and be honest to yourself then you will find no contradiction within the Quran about the Believe in Oneness of Almighty Lord. I will let you do some research in Quran…

      Now regarding what human does regardless of background (suicide or terrorizing): among the entire creation human is the only creature who is given the ‘Free Will’ to chose what to take as your God or ILAH or LORD and this where every single human will be questioned that how did you use the ‘free will’? if the free will is not there then there will be no justice, right?

      In mathematics or any other subject – teachers follow a certain criteria/rules and students are obligated to follow it other wise they will fail the exam. If the same concept was applied to human in terms of worshipping One God then there will not be thousands of faiths but only one as Quran teaches that ‘if Allah wanted to make it one nation, He could have’ then there is no tests to judge on that day.

      What could be clearer than that about Himself? Its just one but there are full of verses like this:

      Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. – 2:255

      Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, Nor is there to Him any equivalent." – 112:1-4

      Peace be upon you...

      July 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      mzh, there are many contradictions in all holy books. That's one thing that they all have in common. Of course, if everyone followed one code, they'd all be following one code, but the reality of nature does not lend itself to any one belief system. No belief system helps chemical reactions happen better or math problems solved faster or more accurately.

      A belief system just helps a person to deal with the good and bad of life. There is no method to "solve for x" to determine which belief is correct. It just turns into people's opinions over competing philosophies. Philosophies cannot be "proven," they are just mental models; religions are just philosophies. None can be demonstrated to be "more correct" than any other.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Cpt. Obvious:
      Well… it was of you to have your kind words… its time to leave… I hope you have a wonderful and blessed weekend with ur loved ones…

      Peace be upon all of you…

      July 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • A kind non-believer

      It's funny you know ahead of time if you are going to be interested in a religious book or not. There are so many I've turned down just for lack of interest in general. I'd rather read some eastern philosphy.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      No one has read all religious texts. I have read the primary Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Christian and Islamic texts among others, and a great deal of anthropoligical research including detailed descriptions of the beliefs of many small tribal cultures. I've lived with wiccans, Unitarians ans Satanists (the atheist kind) and read pantheists back to Spinoza. I don't know the answers of the universe, but will continue to act on the assumption there is no god until I see a plausible description of one.

      My parents, btw, did not share beliefs on the ultimate reality of the universe, and this was never an issue, nor was it expected I share either of their beliefs.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      mzh, I read the Quran and found it rather tedious and repeti tive. I do not, btw, think there is any such thing as the "free will" that Muslim's and Christians claim to defend the cruelty of their gods. It is an illusion used to defend the instinct to hate and praise. Many have moved passed this by understanding human evolution and how these instincts were needed yet conflict with the ideology of these religious beliefs, requiring the false sense that there is free will.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  3. Zeus

    Now Christians spread mostly joy (except for a few pedophile priests, etc) but there was a time when Christians killed in gods name. The reason some Atheists are angry is because people like me have had religions crammed down our throats all our lives and now see how blind they make us to the truth about our planet and it's origins. Oh we don't know all the answers but we are open to more info that science can give, religions are generally not. And the worst part about religions is they brainwash their children, never giving them a choice. By the time they are adults not too many escape.
    Anyway....
    BOW!!!!!
    YIELD!!!!!
    KNEEL!!!!!
    AND GIVE ME YOUR MONEY, ERRR UMMMM, I MEAN DONATIONS!!!!

    July 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Friend Zeus:

      Human are so vulnerable to make mistakes and especially when it comes to power, and when someone greedy of power, will be surrounded by different types of human and mostly with the desire of pleasing themselves only… whether its early Christianity during the time of crusade or during the time of Hitler or these days what have been witnessing regardless of faith.

      Its always good to look deep into the core message of the books and chose the correct one by using God gifted intellectuals rather than pointing to anything happened in the past which does not seems to be correct way as human point of view… as no one can change the past but we can try to change the future by using the experience of the past…

      For example: lot of us go to Egypt of visit the pyramids and the mommy of the tyrant pharaoh and we say wow but very few or none of us really think why this happened to him. We do not think that this is an example kept for the mankind to correct ourselves… no one really think that he is like that because he called himself a God and tortured/slaved Children of Israel (Jews) for centuries… I think one should take advantage to correct oneself when they see this in the museum… but unfortunately among human call himself or obey other human as God…

      Peace !!!

      July 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  4. NIck S.

    Know that I am pretty sure I know you, you ignorant, spineless troll. Can you say callow? Your small brain missed the point of the post, anyway.

    July 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  5. NIck S.

    Know I am pretty sure I know you, you ignorant, spineless troll. Can you say callow? Your small brain missed the point of the post, anyway.

    July 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  6. NIck S.

    I linked this story and my comment to my personal facebook profile, so something tells me that Slugs are Atheists perhaps knows me on that website but is keeping unknown. So if one wants to actually grow a spine and debate on that website, go ahead, but I wouldn't act like this there It might trip your small brain up.

    July 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      The point was simple, you can't claim atheism = brilliance, by the shear fact that atheism is ignorance of God.

      Ignorance does NOT equal brillance.

      By the same token, you can't claim knowledge = brillance, because an encyclopedia has all kinds of knowledge, but can't think.

      The prophets of God described their interaction with God. They were brillant, they lit up the places they went to with that brillance. They brought people to God and helped them know he's there and what he's like.

      God exists. God is not stupid. God is not a fable. God is intelligent beyond your imagination, creative, loving, all powerful, witty, and he spans across time and space, and can walk right through them. He does what ever he wants, and some of what he's done, they detailed in the bible.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Athy

      How did god get to be so smart? Did he go to god school?

      July 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  7. GOOD NEWS

    Happy are those

    who can unmistakably and clearly see

    and truly believe in GOD.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    July 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  8. Steve

    Slugs are Atheists,

    Thanks for showing the bible-belting unintelligent part of our beliefs. Hell is not reserved for the non-believers, but rather the hypocrites and haters. May YOU burn in our hell whlle all the lovers go to heaven.

    July 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      The atheist claims that atheism is a sure sign of brillance, intelligence and intelect without compare. They want others to know it and accept it. What better place to find such atheistic brillance, than in a slug?

      Or an orange, they are even smarter (wink wink).

      July 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      Non-human talking animals believe in God if we can believe the Bible. Probably unicorns too since atheists usually don't believe in them, although the Bible does.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Athy

      At least we can spell brilliance and intellect.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are Atheists,

      "God does what ever he wants, and some of what he's done, they detailed in the bible."

      Yes. And that's a source of embarassment for many Christians who think they are very intellectual.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are Atheists,

      "God does what ever he wants, and some of what he's done, they detailed in the bible."

      Yes. And that's a source of embaras$ment for many Christians who think they are very intellectual.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Sorry for the dupe. It looked like the first one didn't take.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are Atheists,

      It's a sure sign of problems when you try to talk about brilliance and intellect when you don't know how to spell them.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      To spell check or not to spell check, that is the question. Whether tis nobler... nobelier... nobeller... I'm not sure...

      July 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      To know or not to know, that is the question.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      Yes, God exists. The people in the bible said it over and over again. I'll tell you, others tell you, but your desires for him to be there, or not, that is the question... and that gives you your answer... right or wrong.

      Believe Jesus, he said it with his life, and again with his life. He said it twice. Once giving his life for others, then again raising up the third day.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Slug
      The bible is not verifiable evidence for a god. I have no desire to find a god or to deny one – there is no evidence of a god. What else in your life do you take on pure faith? I'd be surprised if you don't verify property, investments, insurance, and vehicles before purchasing. There is no evidence to support Genesis but plenty of evidence to show that the foundational parts are wrong.

      Do you really think we'd believe in these superstitions if our ancestors in their ignorance didn't interpret eclipses, thunder, lightning, floods, droughts, etc as signs from the gods. We understand those phenomena and know they are not signs from the gods.

      July 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You were atheist once, Slug. How is it you know now that God exists?

      July 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • required

      Believers have something you don't have: evidence.

      Say it to yourself, you as an atheist, have nothing. You have nothing. There is not one shred of evidence that nothing did anything, ever. There is no person saying nothing did anything. No one is claiming nothing told them something. Over all history, by now someone for sure would say that nothing told them something, or nothing did something right in front of them... but there are no such accounts. There are no repeatible universe formations. ZIP, that's all you have. You have liars claiming nothing can do something in equations they made up, but when asked to prove it, they never do. They could just as well write an equation saying they have trillions of dollars in their pocket, or gold bars forming instead if they're off by a decimal point. How likely is it that math formed the universe? It's not likely at all, but you believe them, because you want nothing to do nothing for you.

      You yourself for instance, you can't prove nothing can do anything, even to yourself, let alone someone else. So you hound believers to prove something else, because nothing never does anything, and you know it.... like we do.

      A believer has eye witness testimony, page after page of it, and history that matches the accounts given. A believer has even more, if God wants to do anything he wants to do. Paul for instance being blinded temporarily, the people with him hearing Jesus, Stephen seeing heaven open up, Daniel, Moses, Jacob, lots of accounts where they saw and heard God or angels. You beliving or not, does not change their accounts. A believer in God also has people dying over history rather than deny God, a long string of these people, and it's no accident. They didn't stop after the first instance, why not?

      July 12, 2013 at 5:13 am |
  9. Nick S.

    * 'Isn't' a clinical term, I meant to type (Sorry.... on a cell phone in class. and can't edit or delete)

    July 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Nick S.

    Agreed. It is a clinical term. However, higher iq, more education, etc often runs more in atheism according to many studies. So therefore, one could say they are 'deeper thinkers'. Happier is an intangiable term too, by the way. That was my point. .

    July 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      So are oranges

      July 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists

      "So are oranges"

      So part of your wisdom is derived from knowing what slugs and oranges think.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      "Slugs are atheists"

      So CNN Editor this is offensive, please delete it.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      Both slugs and oranges have little and no intelligence, so they truely are ignorant of God... atheists.

      Claiming ignorance of something and being proud of it, is not intelligence, it's ignorance.

      God exists.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      It's good to see that you use the intelligence of slugs and oranges to support your beliefs.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      It's a fairly common misconception, that because someone has no knowledge of God, they have to be brillant. No, they do not. Lack of knowledge is not brillance, it's ignorance. It is nothing to be proud of or rally around. You don't deserve an honorary university degree if you claim you're ignorant. Else slugs everywhere would leave caps, gowns, and wall plaque trails everywhere.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      I've found that it is not unusual for non-believers to know far more about the Bible than believers. It's ignorant hypocritical believers who trash others for not believing every word of the Bible when they don't believe every word of the Bible themselves.

      July 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      Theoretically Pharoah knew more about the bible than I do, but he still rejected God, because God did not draw Pharaoh to him.

      Who am I to argue with God about who he'll draw to himself. I love God, what he wants to do, is fine with me.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      According to the Bible, talking animals are believers.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • I wonder

      Slugs are atheists,

      Which Pharaoh? His name and the years he ruled, please... and anything else from doc.umented history that you know about him.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      Animals do talk. Atheists pride themselves on being derived from animals... more talking animals.

      What is wrong with the bible saying it? We talk, God talks, angels talk, Jesus talks, apostles talk, prophets talk.... same old.

      How this works: atheists make claims against the bible, then don't correct after being proven wrong... a huge waste of time.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are Atheists,

      Sorry. I thought you had actually read a Bible. If you aren't famliar with a Bible, maybe an atheist could tell you.

      Numbers 22:28 "Then the Lord opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"

      July 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      There is a vast difference between us:

      1. YOU look for and gladly trip on anything in your path, land on your face, say it hurt, but you're happy now and want to do it again. If someone points out the error you're tripping on, you don't acknowledge it, remember it, or understand why it's holding you back. A lot like Pharaoh.

      2. I look for the clear path to God and gladly head towards him, note the stumbling blocks and tell you to enjoy your trip.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are Atheists,

      "If someone points out the error you're tripping on, you don't acknowledge it, remember it, or understand why it's holding you back."

      I'll do that if you ever prove an error that I've made. So far, just charges and zero facts.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      It's like the other poster asking about Pharoah, then it'd be Moses, Herod, Jesus, Paul, Peter, Pilate... the list is long. And one by one, they get found. To you, that's painful when it should have been happy. When you trip, that's painful, but you're happy instead.

      There is a reason for this, YOU do not want God to be there, you hate the idea of him being there, but unlike you, I love that God is there and that he is God. I love that! I want him to be God. I want him to be so utterly powerful and intelligent, creative, and everything he is, because to me, that's how it should be. I want that, I wan HIM to be God... so I can be myself, one of many he created and cares about. That's what I want, and I got it. I got what I wanted and I'm happy about it. I don't want it any other way.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists

      "YOU do not want God to be there, you hate the idea of him being there,"

      Totally wrong AGAIN. I'm an agnostic. If anyone could PROVE God exists, I'll go along with it. So far: zip, zilch, nada, nothing, nil, nix, nought, zero.

      July 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      Oh yes, you really want to know God is there... right.

      The angel talked and stood in the way of the donkey.

      Angels do talk...

      July 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists

      "Oh yes, you really want to know God is there... right."

      I told you the truth. Obviously you don't care about the truth.

      July 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists,

      Do you believe EVERY word of the Bible or just pick and choose what you like and ignore the rest like probably every other Christian does?

      July 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Slugs are atheists

      What parts of the bible? Pick and choose? There are so many parts of the bible that are astounding! There is no other book anywhere like the bible, because God isn't talking in those. God does things, he's there, and what he's said and done, some of it is recorded by prophets of God, in that bible. You are totally missing out if you reject God, and that bible is right in your reach, you are so close to it, yet don't want it. That's a connection to God... what's stopping you?

      July 11, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists

      "What parts of the bible?"

      Yep. Obviously you just pick and choose what you like. Just like all hypocritical Christians.

      So do you criticize others for not believing everything in the Bible?

      July 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Slugs are atheists

      "that bible is right in your reach, you are so close to it, yet don't want it. That's a connection to God... what's stopping you?"

      I've read too much of it.

      July 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  11. Nick S.

    Agreed. It is a clinical term. However, higher iq, more education, etc often runs more in atheism according many studies. So therefore, one could say they are 'deeper thinkers'. Happier is an intangiable term too, by the way. That was my point. .

    July 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  12. Nick S.

    A friend pointed me to this… and while it is interesting, but as the article points out, not sure how you can always gauge happiness from an impersonal platform. I am a non-believer- not sure if I would say atheist, but close–and I would say I am and perhaps we are just more honest and open with emotions on social media than most– if one reads my profile you can probably tell– also as the article points out since atheists are more typically deep thinkers we display often stronger, more complex and much more balanced opinions, as well. Even if organized religion is the key to happiness– which is a long debate if you have an afternoon sometime, as for example atheists may not believe in heaven…. Yet that also means we don’t spend our life conflicted about thinking we still might go to hell, we rather just want to live our one life in content- you still can’t believe in something if you have no reason to and there is no evidence to support it, outside of hearsay. I have many more strong opinions on this matter– for instance, religion is the feel good opium of the masses created out of fear of death and uncertainty of after– but I will spare you the diatribe

    July 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  13. NIck S.

    A friend pointed me to this… and while it is Interesting, but as the article points out, not sure how you can always gauge happiness from an impersonal platform. I am a non-believer- not sure if I would say atheist, but close–and I would say I am and perhaps we are just more honest and open with emotions on social media than most– if one reads my profile you can probably tell– also as the article points out since atheists are more typically deep thinkers we display often stronger, more complex and much more balanced opinions, as well. Even if organized religion is the key to happiness– which is a long debate if you have an afternoon sometime, as for example atheists may not believe in heaven…. Yet that also means we don’t spend our life conflicted about thinking we still might go to hell, we rather just want to live our one life in content- you still can’t believe in something if you have no reason to and there is no evidence to support it, outside of hearsay. I have many more strong opinions on this matter– for instance, religion is the feel good opium of the masses– but I will spare you the diatribe.

    July 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You can't prove atheists are deeper thinkers than religious so why would you make a statement like that if you claim your philosophy is based on scientific facts and logic? Geez

      July 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Bill, you idiot, it's impossible to ever prove if anyone is more or less of a "deep thinker" because "deep thinking" isn't a clinical term. It'd be like asking someone to prove that one baby was "more precious" than the other one.

      July 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  14. Nick S.

    A friend pointed me to this… and while it isi Interesting, but as the article points out, not sure how you can always gauge happiness from an impersonal platform. I am a non-believer- not sure if I would say atheist, but close–and I would say I am and perhaps we are just more honest and open with my emotions on social media than most– if one reads my profile you can probably tell– also as the article points out since atheists are more typically deep thinkers we display often stronger, more complex and much more balanced opinions, as well. Even if organized religion is the key to happiness– which is a long debate if you have an afternoon sometime, as for example atheists may not believe in heaven…. Yet that also means we don’t spend our life conflicted about thinking we still might go to hell, we rather just want to live our one life in content- you still can’t believe in something if you have no reason to and there is no evidence to support it, outside of hearsay. I have many more strong opinions on this matter– for instance, religion is the feel good opium of the masses– but I will spare you the diatribe.

    July 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  15. GOOD NEWS

    Real Happiness is only possible with a Real GOD.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    July 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  16. Perpetua

    In Chinese, Xian means "refined" or "elegant", so take it as a compliment :)

    July 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  17. HarryGP

    Put me down as being happier than atheists.

    July 10, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  18. tony

    I've yet to see anyone who was deliriously happy doing what they liked on earth, come back after death to continue doing it.

    July 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Dokken

      If you did you'd have proof of reincarnation

      July 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  19. Justin

    Just like children are happier before they find out Santa isn't real.

    July 10, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • mzh

      I wonder why would a faith teach human in their early age this UNTRUE story... and human believes in this false... I hope these human would ask questions about their own faith to their prechers so that they can figure out the truth... but unfortunately they don't....

      July 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

      It's because Christmas, Santa and current organized Christian religions in America are worshiping, through their actions, a different God than they think...

      July 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Floating babies in heaven

    Don't get a bubble nose.

    July 10, 2013 at 5:12 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.