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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Religion is propaganda its just the spreading of ideas people like to believe in the bible and god and the after-life because it makes them cope with the thought of dying more easily.
Exactly. They read the bits their preachers tell them to and think they know what they believe in when they have no idea...
I show my friends some of my favorite bits and encourage them to read the whole thing.
Skimming the replies so far, a lot of people are mentioning one obvious reply, "So, by that logic, you couldn't be a Kaffir (non-Muslim) if you haven't read the Koran. Similarly for all the other religions on the planet, of which there are thousands." I have a different reply. "You can't be a Christian if you haven't read the Bible." Which many have not. I'd challenge then to do as I did, to read through the four gospels, writing down everything Jesus says about what his followers should DO.

I've been an atheist for almost 30 years, it may seem odd that I even HAVE an opinion about what "real" Christianity consists of, and even odder that I would care. But I do; it seems to me that an elementary respect for the man would require that if you are going to claim to be a follower of Jesus, you should at least KNOW what he taught, and make some serious effort to DO the things he told his followers to do. And most do not; modern Christianity does not remotely resemble what Jesus taught, at least as reported in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. See my essay at
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: 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."


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