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Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

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I think the word you're looking for is literally, not properly.

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@1927880

I'm intentionally trying to make them different because I believe they are- but yeah, unfortunately some people do think that every word is literal.

Sorry to jump in here. (Probably will get slammed for this) but I personally do equate God with Unicorns - as totally mythical and completely without merit. I consider the Bible as no more-or-less factual than Homer's Odyssey.

Back in the 70's I watched a movie about a post apocalyptic society. In that movie, only one book had survived from the world that existed before Armageddon occured. Everyone assumed that it must have been divinely delivered through the hellish brimstone and that it must be the holy book - it described the need to make an arduous pilgrimage to the great spirit in the shining city at the end of the world. The book was filled with heartwarming parables of redemption. It talked of an evil spirit that tempted and enslaved those that wandered from the golden path that lead all who followed it directly to the almighty. When you finally followed the path you would find the city filled with amazing delights and you would be happy forevermore. In the movie, the original book had been copied, printed, translated over and over, because many centuries and cultures had passed since the apocalypse, but the book remained - unchanged and revered. The "original" manuscript was heavily guarded and was regarded as a sacred relic and the true word of god. The book's cover was tattered but appeared with these markings: Z A R D O Z. The people worshiped and prayed to the almighty god and his holy book Zardoz.

Of course the viewers in the audience could clearly see what the film's characters guarded so carefully. What they beheld as sacred text written by god was a tattered and charred copy of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

@VicZinc Sorry to jump in here. (Probably will get slammed for this) but I personally do equate God with Unicorns - as...

Why would you be sorry for jumping in and who is going to slam you? Certainly not I. Experiences and sharing is a huge part of life. We are all on a path of some kind, and every single person has questions and is looking for answers. I can tell people where I am at, how I got there, and give reasons for why I hold to whatever views I espouse at this moment in my life. I only ask for the same from others. None of us knows for certain who is 100% correct, so attacking or bashing others is pointless. Who can yell the loudest or cite the most sources often times only displays immaturity and fear. Many people attack others because of their own insecurities and ignorance. I think there are those kinds of people in every group or community out there. But the point is, we should all find value and worth in every group or individual. We all have something to contribute and we need each other whether we want to admit it or not.
I will be the first to thank you for sharing the story. I had never heard it.

Actually, i think properly read would be in if you read the original Latin versions. Unfortunate they really aren't around. The Bible itself has great knowledge, but it also has some terrible parts that are too blatant for the religious to spin positively.

@HopeImrite Actually, i think properly read would be in if you read the original Latin versions. Unfortunate they really aren't...

The Bible presents life as real life. It does not gloss over the "bad" or "evil" that exists within humanity. I guess it could have left all those parts out, but for what reason. And as far as original languages, you left our Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

I'm an atheist, but I decided to read the Bible just so I have a better understanding of the Christian faith (and therefore can't be accused of ignorance on the subject during a debate)... if anything it's made me more atheist.

@lt2010 I'm an atheist, but I decided to read the Bible just so I have a better understanding of the Christian faith (and...

Just out of curiosity - if you are a true atheist, and do not believe in the existence of any deity, how can reading any book sway you to be MORE atheistic? Can a person be persuaded to think there is more of nothing if he already believed there was nothing?

@freespeechfreelancer Just out of curiosity - if you are a true atheist, and do not believe in the existence of any deity, how can...

Ok, I don't literally mean it made me more atheistic, but that it's put me off the religion even more. For instance, reading about Jesus is supposed to make you idolise him, but he actually came across as rather arrogant. What I'm saying is, reading the Bible has had an inverse effect on me.

This topic has been thoroughly hashed out within various posts on this site. But since an atheist does not believe in a Bible or deity of any kind, the Bible is irrelevant to them. Therefore, the "proper reading" of it would not be something the atheist would entertain or ascribe to - especially not USE as a force of any kind. A person would not read, quote, or formulate arguments against something that they believe does NOT exist. I maintain and propose that by an atheist even mentioning the name of God or Bible they have already lost the argument.

@freespeechfreelancer This topic has been thoroughly hashed out within various posts on this site. But since an atheist does not believe...

You don't need to be a Christian to read the bible. I'm not sure what the OP meant by "properly read", but judging by the post I'm guessing Mr. Asimov was thinking one needs to use reasoning and critical thinking when reading. Assuming this is correct, I would think atheists would be the best equipped for the job.

@PhilboydStudge You don't need to be a Christian to read the bible. I'm not sure what the OP meant by "properly read", but judging...

I never said you needed to be a Christian to read the Bible. But an atheist can not argue about or against something he believes does not exist. If I did not believe there was a God or that the Bible was totally mythical, then I would be either a lunatic or willfully ignorant to go around telling people all the time about how I don't believe in deity and then spending all my time trying to prove it. If it does NOT exist, there is nothing for the atheist to argue about or over.

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@1927919

Fair enough. I have absolutely NO problem whatsoever in what others believe. If someone believes the world was created by aliens or grasshoppers - makes no difference to me. All I know for sure is that there IS a hostility toward those who DO hold to a belief in God, Bible, and a creation account of the universe. And that is as big a problem as a gay person claiming they are not accepted for who and what they are. Intolerance and bias is WRONG wherever it is found or displayed against any group for any reason. I support your right to believe, say, and do as you wish. Do you support mine?

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@1927959

I understand. I know the conservative and Christian communities at large probably do attack the gay or atheistic communities far too much. I was raised in church and know all too well how even Christians can be and are their worst enemies. That is my gripe with them. I was an insider for 40 years, and when I had a personal problem and needed help, they turned on me. So I am extremely sympathetic to those on the outside who see the hypocrisy and ignorance.

@freespeechfreelancer I never said you needed to be a Christian to read the Bible. But an atheist can not argue about or against...

Let me ask you something: do you believe in the big bang theory? Macroevolution? I'm guessing not. Do you argue with people trying to prove those things false? Because if you do then silly you, why would you if it is NOT true and there is nothing for you to argue about or over.

@Caiti Let me ask you something: do you believe in the big bang theory? Macroevolution? I'm guessing not. Do you argue...

Everyone believes something. I am willing to discuss anything with anyone. Nobody knows 100% for sure what is true or the right answer about creation. We all make the best choices based on the information we have been exposed to and processed.
If you think my dialoging with any of these posters is an argument, then you misread where I am coming from. I can say with clarity what I believe and why, but that in no way discounts or discredits the beliefs of others.
I think your post is in opposition to the comments about an atheist discussing a non existent God. My only contention with that whole line of reasoning is the putting God in to the same category as the unicorn. The atheist assumes and even presumes both are mythical never existing entities. But a mythical figure from inception is far different (in my logic anyway) from a God who many believe in and claim to know of His existence. And I gave quite an explanation of that in above comments.
The big bang and macroevolution can all be challenged, as can any belief system.

@freespeechfreelancer I never said you needed to be a Christian to read the Bible. But an atheist can not argue about or against...

Sorry. I thought that was being implied. Regardless, as Logan stated so well, an atheist can evaluate the merits of a Biblical-based assertion. It is these Biblical-based assertions that concern me so much. I am the only atheist in my family, and I hear my share of remarks about the dangers of a secular society. It's one of my "buttons" now.

@PhilboydStudge Sorry. I thought that was being implied. Regardless, as Logan stated so well, an atheist can evaluate the merits...

And I have no problem with that. As long as we understand where each other is coming from and why, we should be able to live with such. We don't all have to agree or see eye to eye on any and every issue. Our differences can make us just as strong as our likenesses. The overall point and big picture is that we ALL believe and support one another's rights to free speech, free religion, free press, a right to bear arms. If we support and fight to uphold the core tenets of our Constitution, we can avoid being over run by tyranny. If we allow one group or belief system to dominate, then we all lose.

@That's Dr. Asimov and he's dead like me. So.. Glory!

Thank you for finally talking to me!!! You've ignored me for so long, I assumed you were either impotent or indifferent.

@PhilboydStudge Thank you for finally talking to me!!! You've ignored me for so long, I assumed you were either impotent or...

Now you are saved. So you can be greedy and hateful and still sit with me next to my dad! Hallelujah!

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@1927877

Now you are twisting things completely out of context and inserting your own bias. I don't believe in a test being passed to read the Bible. But an atheist (a true atheist) maintains there is no possibility of God's existence whatsoever. I contend on that basis that the atheist has no right or grounds to even entertain the notion or topic of God or Bible. Quite frankly, I know many of them spend there time talking about and formulating arguments to bash Christians. Many of them seem more obsessed with God than a lot of Christians. How can you say the name of someone or something that does not exist? If it truly is non-existent, then it can not even be acknowledged. There should not even be a word for such. And if God or a Bible is no threat to an atheist, why do they spend so much time and effort trying to remove all religious symbols from society? If it is not real or existent to them, then it should actually be something they would ignore and go on with their lives.
Most all religion revolves around some deity. If there are no deities, then all people throughout history who have ever believed in such are completely ignorant and unlearned. The modern day atheist would have us all to believe that very thing - but many of the most learned scholars throughout history were believers in God or a supreme being and read the Bible regularly, as well as quote it often.

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@1927917

At least you are well thought and have a good balance towards the issue.
I know the atheist puts God in the same category as the unicorn - and there is a big difference. Some things are mythical from inception, so it is understood that their reality was never intended. Goblins, Leprechauns, Trolls, Gnomes, Fairies, etc. - ALL imaginary characters from inception. God has NEVER been in that category. He has been put in such a classification by a relatively new generation of atheists and scientists who claim to know it all. Their belief is that God is imaginary and that believing in Him is pure insanity and the height of ignorance. THAT is the rub that sets off many believers.
The Bible at least provides a record of men and women who "walked with God," heard His voice, and saw miraculous things done by Him. To put all that in the category of unicorns and such is to call all of them liars and frauds. Believers are not willing to go as far as atheists when it comes to such record. Also, to deny or exclude God's existence as possibility or reality is to wipe out all possible religion and its significance upon humanity throughout civilization. From a believer's perspective, it requires MORE faith and ignorance to say all of those things are wrong or untrue than it does to have the faith required to believe they are true.
I understand that God is not visibly displaying Himself or speaking audibly today (although some Christian groups would take me to task on that one), and the magnitude of miracles occurring in the Old Testament and during the times of Christ on Earth seem absent from daily living. But I, along with many other believers, can not bring ourselves to "throw out the baby with the bathwater." Since all of us has to exercise FAITH in something or someone, it really and truly is a matter of choice. Science has become the religion of those who want to say "imaginary friends" are for little children. But even the wisest of scientists has had to acknowledge that it is a far stretch to say that everything in existence could not possibly be accidental or random chance - especially coming from nothing. Just as the Christian can not "prove" or satisfy the "where did God come from" question, the scientist can not answer for the Christian where did original matter or space come from. It IS the ultimate stand off and will continue being such.

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@1927961

So the record of a God who says He does exist (the Bible), telling how He created everything, what His plan for His creation was and is, including record of people who walked and talked with Him, did miracles by His power and hand, and answered tons of prayers - that record is not MORE substantial or real than the unicorn? It may be meaningless to YOU and countless others, and you may challenge its reality - but IT is the history and record of a whole race of people and their "coming out." The Bible has withstood the test of time and is the all time best seller in history. Even a scientist has to take a second look at such and realize that can not be some chance or coincidence. There is a reason, and I want to stay open to any possibility that exists - not just the ones that can be proven in a laboratory or seen under a microscope.

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@1927964

But I did address the point of the God concept. God was either a myth from the start (as unicorn) or He really existed and the name came about as a result of His existence. Either man invented the concept to satisfy whatever urge or drive he has to seek something higher, or a higher power or being was in fact there, has a name, and exists. I said the above quote to you from what I personally see how it would be if I were an atheist. But I am a believer. I believe God existed eternally and that He told us who He was. I have no trouble acknowledging such.
But the atheist tells me that there is no God, and he dares me to prove it to him. He says science offers no support for such a belief or acknowledgement. And I come back and say that the world itself is one proof of His existence. As far as we know to present date, life has not been found on any other planet. It would be more than odd to think that in an entire universe and with all of our technology and smarts that we would not have discovered something else out there by now if it existed. And yet the Bible gives a Garden of Eden account and actual geographical range of where such could have been. Many archaeological finds have occurred by using the Bible as a guide and road map. That throws the "unicorn" completely out of the picture. The unicorn offers us NOTHING - never has, never will. It was a fantasy/imaginary concept from the beginning. There is backing and proof (indications) throughout history to support a God intervention and involvement.

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