Question with 7 notes
Anonymous asked: Is it necessary for an Atheist to read the Bible? If so, which are the Bibles he/she is supposed to read? Do they have to read any other holy books like the Quran? One last question: what books would you recommend an Atheist MUST read? Thank you, hatefulatheist!
It is certainly not necessary to read in order to be an Atheist but I have come to the point where I do recommend it to most people, in order to be better informed. It is impossible to deny that the bible is the most influential book of all history. I would say it is nearly impossible to have a strong grasp of history and English literature without some knowledge of the bible. It has seeped in to so many areas of our culture and our world it will serve someone well to at least know the basic information.
As for which version of the bible it is a bit of a toss up. No one familiar with the bible would say that the King James’ version is the most accurate but it is the most read and the version that has most directly influenced so much of literature and history. I have been told the New International Version is good for keeping close to Greek translation and that versions like “The Living Bible” or “The Message” are toned down and simplified to the point that they lose a lot of their message. Pretty much whatever version you pick you will find slightly different translations and wording in other versions, it is unavoidable since all the manuscripts in existence have discrepancies.
As for other holy books it is more of a matter of person choice. If you wish to discuss the topics and be better informed I would say absolutely. Even just reading the holy books though is only a base. Someone could spend a good portion of their life studying any one religion and likely still have questions and concerns about what they’ve learned. If you wish to discuss the topics though it is best to have the basic knowledge. People seem to want to speak out whenever I discuss Muslims as it is and the simple fact that I’ve read the Qu’ran usually does little to help it.
As for books in general there are so many out there it is hard to say. I honestly don’t think there are any that an Atheist must read because Atheism is a view people can simply arrive at with no outside influence. It is the default neutral position. The classics people refer to are Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and (although I’m not a huge fan of his) Dan Dennett. Beyond that this site has a few good suggestions for intermediate Atheist reading: http://www.atheistrev.com/2009/12/atheism-210-intermediate-reading-list.html