Interesting piece over at Psychology Today. The comments are the epitome of irony, I think
(Here’s the link if you want to read the piece:
From a logical perspective, the question is impossible to use as a gauge. First and primary would be the demographics; there are far more people claiming to be religious than there are those who claim to be atheist. Then, you would have to calculate the percentage who feel their spirituality or lack thereof is no-one’s business. The question becomes very subjective as a result.
My experience is that religious types, most often Christians are the most hateful of the two sides of the fence. I don’t receive hate mail from atheists – I do, however, receive horrendous hate mail from Christians. Then, down to which denomination gives me the most grief – the Born Again and the Baptists. I have yet to receive hate mail from the United Methodists or, surprisingly to some, Roman Catholics, as I do have a rather sharp axe to grind against the Catholic church and I have a habit of grinding it often.
Let’s take an extreme example, the Westboro Baptist who are, in my opinion, loony tunes. Those are hateful people. Those are people who give new definition to “dirty”. They aren’t alone though, I have met Baptists who just defy all logic and coherent thought. They thump their bibles and do the whole church thing but wouldn’t know the real Christian philosophies if their bible came up and bit them in the ass.
The article isn’t discussing open debate between the Religious and Atheist camps; it is discussing which side is dirtier than the other. Again, I’ve seen examples of inexcusable behaviour on both sides but because there are more Religious folks, I tend to see more of their dirty antics than that of the atheists.
I’ve yet to see an atheist bomb an abortion clinic or shoot a physician because of their non-belief. I have seen and hurt incredible violence perpetrated by the religious.
My conclusion and answer to the question would have to be subjective, based on my experiences of what I’ve seen, on what I’ve experienced: the religious camp, ironically, is the camp where dirty fighting seems to be an acceptable mode of debate.