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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I have to admit, I am something of an Atheist Bible geek. You would be surprised how many of us are out there. Check out former evangelical now atheist Robert M Price's website.

No, I have not read it from cover to cover. If our culture were to become suddenly rational, it would be read as literature of our western tradition and otherwise just a curiosity of cultural anthropology. Sure, there are some timeless bits of poetry, but honestly, the more I study it, the more I am just amazed that people think it holds some special provenance of wisdom and mystical guidance for the betterment of the human condition. The excuses moderate Christians make for the chapter and verse that are just crass tribal chauvinism are just astounding (and fascinating :P).

To be reasonably well informed about our origins as western peoples, we should read it here and there. I am not the only one who thinks so. Richard Dawkins espouses reading the Bible in one of the final chapters of the God Delusion and elsewhere.
I'm a bit of a bible geek myself, although, I can't quote chapter and verse - which is the passion of the terminally anal retentive. I can say it is the most laborious and boring thing I have ever read.
There is no wisdom that can't be found in most cultures, the moral messages of the bible are either irrelevant, totally stupid, sociopathic or common sense behaviour. However, allusions to the bible are found throughout western literature and in one way or another are part of our common mythos.
Ok I admit it, I haven't read the bible, I haven't read any religious text, I barely got through Crumbs version of genesis. I did read a lot of norse, african and greek mythology when I was a teen so I get the idea of what gods are suppose to be.

However I would argue that a fair number of theists are as educated about their holy texts as I am.
Gerald Scott: Someone said on an other site "You can't be an atheist if you haven't read the bible".

Ask them, does this mean that you can't be a Christian unless you have read the Qur'an, the Torah, the Bhagavad Ghita, the Atheist Manifesto, Mein Kampf etc., etc.?

Does this also mean that you can't be a Muslim unless you have read the Bible, the Torah, the Bhagavad Ghita, the Atheist Manifesto, Mein Kampf etc., etc.?
I use this crazy little thing called logic to deduce that there can be no god, therefore making the Bible and all other religious scriptures moot.

That's my answer to anyone who might say that to me, if I hadn't actually studied the Bible.
Like others in here, I suspect most Christians haven't completely read their bible either. Otherwise they would have their own doubts and horrors.
What a stupid argument...Its like:in order to disprove the existence of the flying spaghetti monster i must first read the holy book of Pastafarianism? (Richard Dawkins words)
I prefer to read books that actualy make sense and are entertaining. Not mountains of old information that may or may not be true. When I have all of he popular religous texts I may begin studying them, or more likely I'll watch a good movie.
How can you disagree with something you know nothing about?

All I need to know is that I don't believe in a god. No matter what stories I might find in that book, it wouldn't change the fact that I don't believe in a god.
I've read the Bible ... Myths and Morality tales. That's all you need to know.

However, I have not read the Iliad though, so maybe those Greek gods are real and Achilles was indestructible.

All Hail Zeus.
What's astounding to me is that, having studied the Bible rather extensively myself, I know more about it in terms of content and history than many of my friends who identify as Christian or Jewish. Which annoys them to no end.
Few things are more vexing and humiliating for a would-be mugger than when you shoot him with his own gun.
: )




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