You can't be an atheist if you haven't read the bible

Someone said on an other site "You can't be an atheist if you haven't read the bible".  How can you disagree with something you know nothing about?

Seems like a good question to discuss.  I've never read the bible.  I know stories from the bible. I've read about the bible.  People have been preaching to me since I was a kid. But, I spent my youth playing, studying and being surrounded by a loving family.  I'll take those experiences over the bible study and church going any day.  I'm still an atheist. 

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The OP raises a good challenge. But it is not hard to counter. I would say the following: I don't need to read all the "inspired teachings" of god in order to be confident that there isn't one. Being satisfied with my reasoning on the matter, I can now replace "inspired treachings" with "self-delusions".
Yeah that totally makes sense! I mean, how can someone say they disagree with murder if they've never commited it?
I wasn't an atheist until I read the bible. It goes both ways.
wait... did they study every world religion in depth before deciding not to believe in them?
I would start by asking that person if they were an atheist before they were born. If they were an atheist after they were born but before they gained a grasp of whatever their native language is, and subsequently were told about the god myth that they were then raised in. Belief is not the default position, ignorance is. After ignorance has passed (because you have been informed of the topic), then you always start from a lack of belief and progress to a belief (or retain the lack thereof). This is true even if that progression is practically instant (which would happen if for example you had 100% trust in the honesty or infallibility of the person telling you this story). So you are at first ignorant of a concept or claim, then are informed of it, then subsequently either accept (or fail to accept) that claim as true. I would challenge them to produce an example of anything working in a different way.

I guess they have extensively studied everything referenced here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_myth as well as the millions of other such mythologies too obscure to be included on Wikipedia?

Finally, you do not need to know all of the claims about a concept, entity or feat before being able to make a conclusion that the thing being described to you is inconsistent with your current understanding of reality, or even logically impossible or inconsistent. MOST of those people who self-identify as 'christians' have a ridiculously poor knowledge of their bible, especially of its origins and evolution. However you only need a very basic garden-variety knowledge of Xtianity to realize it has fatal flaws; the claim of omnipotence on its own has illogical implications, and certainly the 2 premises of omnipotence (or just superpotence), omnibenevolence (or just a 'good' nature) and the supposed requirement of a bloody human sacrifice are wholly incompatible - and this notion is at the center of practically all sects of the christian death-cult.

If someone starts telling you about a square circle, you don't need to be told what color or how heavy they think it is before you know they are misled, mistaken or just plain daft.
You can certainly disregard ANY supernatural belief by examining the evidence at hand. The Bible provides exactly ZERO evidence for the validity of it's content.
...but you can believe in animated characters if all you have watched is cartoons on TV...
Unfortunately, a lot of kids do think they are real - after all that's their babysitter.
Guess the flip answer would be, "I'm not an a-bibleist, I'm an a-theist."
What about other gods/religions/holy books? In other words, it is not a “holy” book(as there are many) that make one an atheist or not, but whether that person lack a belief in a god or gods.

To also quote Stephen Roberts: "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours" ;O)

Katalyzt
A good start is to pick up a copy of R. Crumb's The Illustrated Book of Genesis. It's word for word accurate and the profuse illustrations are faithful to the text - and it's hilarious.
You won't want to burn it.
I'm reading it again for the second time. At the very least buy one and highlight all the horrific parts. I don't think you need to read the bible to reject supernatural nonsense. Ask them why the bible? Ask them why they haven't read the Koran, Poetic and Prose Edda, The Threefold Lotus Sutra, Tao Te Ching, Zend Avesta, The Book of Mormon, and so on. How is it one can read only the bible and know they're right? You don't need to know the specifics about the teapot to doubt it's existence.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens

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