Read your damn Bible, atheists!
It’s not often I’m in agreement with believers regarding religious education, but I have to admit that I found myself partial to the arguments of one William Ingram. In this National Post article, Ingram argues Biblical illiteracy is something to be combated. I agree; there’s no better way to be an atheist than by carefully studying the Bible. It’s also extremely necessarily to have Bible literacy, as Ingram points out, to understand the narratives fundamentalists subscribe to.
So much of our society is awash in Biblical parables and metaphors that a proper scholarly pursuit of the Bible is highly desirable. The difference between Ingram and I, obviously, is I approach this book the same way I do the Iliad, or the Koran. All of these texts are nothing more than mythological and allegorical, and many of their moral tales are antiquated and even cruel by today’s standards. It does not mean, however, they have no value. They are a window into a different world, and the very fact the Bible still has so much sway in society is a testament (pun intended) to the reverence we place on traditions or anything that’s “really old”.
So if you haven’t yet read your Bible, but want to have a great analysis along the way, try reading the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. It almost makes the job bearable…