Pew Survey Shows That Even Non-Religious People Are Unhappy About There Being More Non-Religious People

We know the percentage of people who are non-religious (although some of them might be “spiritual”) is on the rise, and has been for a number of years now, as indicated in this graphic by NPR’s Matt Stiles:

The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, knowing the trends, asked people if they thought the rise of the “Nones” was a good thing. Specifically, they asked (PDF):

Please tell me if you think each of the following trends is generally a good thing for American society, a bad thing for American society, or doesn’t make much difference?

[Item C] More people who are not religious

Turns out people aren’t thrilled about it:

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On Twitter, Atheists Swear a Lot More Than Christians Do

I recently posted about a study done by University of Illinois psychologist Ryan Ritter (published in Social Psychological and Personality Science) in which his team compared atheists and Christians on Twitter to discern any differences. You can see my analysis of the paper here.

One of the visuals I mentioned was this one:

I thought that was fascinating. According to the graphic, Christians used the word “know” 211 times per 100,000 words, compared to 198 times per 100,000 words for atheists. Meanwhile, atheists used “thought” more than Christians did (59 times per 100,000 words compared to 44 times per 100,000 words, respectively).

We don’t have context for those words, but it’s interesting to consider why this might be the case. (More on that in a moment!)

Ritter has now created visualizations allowing us to see where there are other language differences between the two groups, and these are even more entertaining than the previous image.

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New Survey: 50% of Americans Find Atheism ‘Threatening’

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is a German non-profit that researches, publishes, and “stimulates debate” on a variety of societal issues. They just released the results of their 2013 Religion Monitor in which they analyzed responses to a 100-question survey regarding religion/politics completed by 14,000 individuals in 13 countries.

What did they find?

Here are the most interesting results found in the report (PDF):

The U.S. loves religion and spirituality… but not as much as Turkey:

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New Poll Shows That 38% of British Youth Don’t Believe in a God

An astonishing new poll from YouGov shows that British youth (ages 18-24) are rejecting religion at levels we’ve never seen before:

When asked if they believe in God, only 25% say they do. 19% believe in some non-Godlike “spiritual greater power” and a further 38% believe in no God or spiritual power whatsoever.

Only a quarter of British youth believe in a God! That’s an incredibly low number, and it’s only slightly higher than the percentage of youth who are “spiritual but not religious.”

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Does It Make Sense for Atheists to Pray?

I’ve known for a while that the percentage of people who pray doesn’t necessarily make sense given the percentage of people who are non-religious, but I always reconciled that discrepancy by reminding myself that a lot of non-religious people still believe in a higher power.

Now, the Washington Post‘s Michelle Boorstein profiles an atheist who prays to a fictional deity:

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