I will not say that atheists are all bad guys, but I have routinely run into atheists who are less than civil and hyper aggressive. The oft shouted canard that religious people are irrational has born fruit with Hitchens claim that we poison 'everything' and when coupled with Dawkins call to brand us 'certifiable mental health cases' breeds and attitude of contempt and prejudice that is readily seen in with atheists these days. Worse, the more aggressive they are toward religion, the less informed an accurate their attacks seem to be ... Not that it matters in the face of often sheer anger when one attempts to correct even the most egregious claim.
As a point of fact, atheism is the only faith choice (of which they will certainly lecture me that they don't use faith - but then utterly fail to present anything that would be an alternate - namely evidence to back their claim) I have seen that rejects ALL other faith choices as utterly without merit ... It is a step beyond, "I am right and you are wrong," its a declaration, like the mental health issue, that one is so wrong (all others) so as to be damaged human beings for daring to disagree.
Again, not all atheists are like this, but the ones who are like this are becoming increasingly common. Bigotry in any form is bad, and I am uncertain when it become tolerable or even desirable to be a bigot toward religion?
Of all the atheists I have talked to, not a single one seems to be okay with reasoning with my arguments. The proof I show them never seems to suffice, and they always answer with an arrogant, ignorant answer of why they don't believe. I can understand why people do not follow religion, but cannot fathom the fact that people do not acknowledge the existence of God.
What can I say? Openly, I seem like the guy who would be supportive of any religion. But in my head, I'm thinking things like, "What makes you think a dead guy is gonna be your savior?" And, "What's your evidence that this Jesus guy was the son of god?" Where I live, I might get shot for saying something like that. Seriously, us atheists are more critical than we appear. We are just surrounded by religious people, and are smart enough to keep our mouth SHUT.
When was the last time you saw someone insisting that someone must believe in God, or at least ignore the fact they don't or face legal or disciplinary action. I haven't see someone recently requiring another to state belief in God, (though the Middle East may have that problem) but I have seen many atheists objecting to any mention of religion, even working against the right of individuals to openly practice their religion.
My family, friends, and people in my Parish have said on multiple occasions how they mention God with an atheist in the room, they always say "What God" or "A little old to believe in fairy tales, aren't you?"
Not only do they start the fight, but they usually insult the person. Calling what they have believed in and worshiped their whole lives a fairy tale or joke, is very insulting. It's like insulting your father or mother. Religious people just ignore the person all together.
I don't exactly know if they are MORE discriminatory but, I have run into Atheists who shout that there is no God and that you are dumb if you think there is a God. I don't know if they are more discriminatory but, still both sides have been doing the same tactics to each other it has to stop but, for now it looks like it never will. Because no side is more innocent than the other.
I don't know if it's a good thing or not. I myself am neither, I'm in the "I don't know" camp. Human brains are too small to "know" if there is a God. But I see atheists being pretty aggressive towards religious folk. But just as you can't prove there's a God, you can't prove there isn't one either.
Anti-theism is the outright hatred of religion and religious establishments, and I think that is the real problem. Atheists and anti-theists often justify disrespect towards the religious by using past or assumed examples of a religious individual or group behaving in an undesirable manner or being bigoted. However, bigotry against the religious is still bigotry.
I am an Atheist, and I've seen many more fellow Atheists introduced into this world very recently. Unfortunately, many of these Atheists follow the same amount of ignorance that they point out religious people have. They use the same arguments over and over again that never work. I have many of Atheistic friends, and I can quite simply put them into two categories:
The educated Atheists, and the uneducated ones.
These educated Atheists will defend their point of view, but will not berate the religious people just because they're religious. Meanwhile, the uneducated Atheists will attack a person just for their beliefs. Sometimes, for example, if someone says "God Bless" at the end of a speech an Atheist will shout out that there is no God and that he's ignorant. These types are certainly out there, and becoming increasingly more common throughout the world.
Now, are they MORE discriminatory? Maybe not, but if this trend continues it won't be long at all before they are. As an Atheist, I wish I wasn't grouped with these types of people. The same ignorance we tried to escape as Atheists are blinding many of us as well. Atheists won't befriend many Christians due to them being Christian, and many times will verbally (If not sometimes physically) attack them just for being so. Now, does this also happen with Christians attacking Atheists? Oh, most definitely. We're just nowhere near as innocent as we want to be.
Since theism is making a positive claim that cannot be verified, and considering the mere fact that our world relies on verifying claims with objective evidence in order to determine any claim is a fact or not, puts the theist in the offensive position from the get go.
It's not a matter of being discriminating, it's a matter of staying consistent.
I know of many who have been killed in the name of heresy. That is - to deny a belief in God. These were killings done in the name of religion, for religion. These are routine and repeated in the past, and although the physical violence may not be as frequent (but still very prevalent) there are still social stigmas and mental punishment that take a toll.
I know of no historical incident in which an atheist has killed a believer for the sake of atheism, in the name of atheism. I claim there aren't any such events.
I have experienced and witnessed banishment from homes, schools, and social rings due to non-belief.
I have seen physical abuse and mental punishment inflicted upon non-believers for denying religion, (not to mention suffering and death in other parts of the world and points in time).
I claim, from an atheistic standpoint, I care little about someones beliefs, only that they cannot be allowed to influence my government, education, or laws. I respect and support the right of believers to gather and worship, we find the contesting point is when a religion is considered invasive - a point to which we oft disagree.
Atheists "discrimination" towards others is usually simply asking for evidence. Theists like to preach on street corners and damn people to hell, especially atheists. I see theists attempt to insult atheists all the time, usually I see the atheists take the high road and ignore it. Asking for evidence and pointing out inconsistencies about religion is not discrimination.
From my experience, I would have to say that I've encountered many more atheists who are unwilling to accept others. They are unique, in that they just straight up tell you there is no God, and assume that they are on some kind of default, and everybody else is brainwashed.
But, outside of my little box, there are plenty of reasons to say that religious folks are just as bad. It's that age-old problem of coexistence. Why can't we all get along?
Like in all creeds, sects and groups, there are assholes that are rude & discriminatory but from personal experience, atheists are not the most discriminatory. More atheists I've met support same-sex marriage, women's rights & racial equality than Catholics I've met. I met quiet a few atheists are critical of theism but no more critical than theists are against atheists.
Let's see. There are currently 7 states in the US that have constitutional bans against atheists holding any public or even civil office, 8 if you include Pennsylvania's special protection of theists only.
Across the Muslim world, there are blasphemy and apostasy laws that call for severe, brutal, and even fatal punishments for atheists and non-theists. Just last week, Saudi Arabia declared atheists are equal to terrorists like Al Queda, and the president of Lebanon made a similar statement.
Back in the US, according to the most recent census, the "Non-religious" make up around 14% of the population. This makes this group the largest minority in the country, and growing. Yet, there is no powerful secular or humanist lobby, and no politician dares identify as "non-religious" for fear of committing career suicide.
A study by the University of Minnesota in 2006 showed that, overwhelmingly, anti-atheist attitudes in the United States have either increased or remained consistently high over the last 30 years, UNLIKE the attitudes toward every other minority group, including Muslims. It is suggested that, overwhelmingly, atheists are viewed as un-American, amoral, and the least desirable as potential sons or daughters in law. These findings were corroborated by another study by the University of British Columbia in 2011, which showed that atheists are the most despised, least trusted minority in the United States, equal only to rapists.
Meanwhile, religious organizations enjoy automatic tax exemptions, reverence and privilege, and any questioning or criticism of religious doctrines or dogmas is severely frowned upon and considered taboo discussions. Christians especially constant and unearned admiration for professions of faith in arenas far removed from their private residences or places of worship. Faith is considered a chief virtue, and the erosion of secularism at every level of government is considered by more than 50% of the population to be a just and worthy enterprise.
And none of these facts take into account the fate that atheists will suffer after death, according to the scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths.
I think the evidence is quite clear as to which group is more discriminatory.
Atheists are just stating their beliefs that they do not believe in any god (especially if there is no evidence) and giving their honest criticism on religion while being respectful to people who follows that religion. Criticizing one's religion is not being discriminating. Of course, there are some atheists out there who likes to bash other people's religion, but there of a very small minority.
Not all people that are placed in a certain category, for whatever reason, are alike the others in that category. There are loud atheists and loud theists; there are quiet atheists and quiet theists. This is really important. Some members have commented saying that atheists or theists are aggressive or outgoing, but that is extremely unfair because, again, not all people with similar beliefs are the same. Also, just because something is gaining popularity, does not make it more of a 'bad' thing. Think about this: regardless of whether or not you have ten respectful atheists and one ignorant theist or one respectful atheist and ten ignorant theists, which side will you be impacted by the most? You will almost always be impacted more heavily by the loudest, most ignorant person (or people), essentially giving that group of people a bad reputation.
With that in mind, I do not believe that atheists as a whole express more discrimination towards theists. Religion is currently widely advertised and preached on both private and public property, while with atheism, this is rare. Plus, remember that we are not only referencing the United States. Think of all the places in which religions are mandatory or superior. Again, this lingers in our mind due to the fact that it is so very ignorant and morally wrong where most of us are from. There are many people around the world that believe or do not believe and maintain respect of one another, and they are just that: people.