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Readers Respond: Why Do Some Atheists Think the Bible is the Word of God?

Responses: 31

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Is there some way for a person to be an atheist or an agnostic and still believe that the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Torah, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon really is the "Word of God"? Can atheism or agnosticism be reconciled with believing that any book is the word of any gods? According to a 2007 poll, 5% of atheists and agnostics think the Old Testament is the Word of God, 6% think the New Testament is the Word of God, and 3% think the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. Why? Share Your Ideas

Word of a Character?

The Bible, Qur'an, Torah, etc all claim to be the word of a character named God and therefor could be considered the Word of God, just like 'Alas, poor Yorick!' could be considered the Word of Hamlet.
—Guest Ross

Word of God

I don't believe God spoke to any man. The bible is written by man.
—Guest Edward Dupras

The Word of Man

The bible had some good points. Bugs in your grain? Unclean. Burn it. I've even read that milk and meat was forbidden to be eaten together, because it would make people sick. It's a fact that it's harder for the body to digest meat and milk together. There is some decent advice in it, at the very least. However, the bible has been in the hands of men for so long, and it's been edited so many times that you can't really be sure that the bible is even the same as it was originally (I was told in the catholic private school the bible hasn't changed a bit) Each bible is different, and even three different priests reading the same story from the same bible can make it sound different. The bible is the work of men with agendas, and religion is a means of social control. It's not always bad, but it depends on who's leading the pack. But if men are their own gods, does that make the bible the word of god?
—Guest Rosie

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I would agree about the gaps, Halfwise. I think some have claimed "revelations" offreing them knowledge of God or "the truth" - but that's not at all convincing to those who haven't.Beats me, too, how people could have such little doubt. Sometimes I think that if their justifications for slaughter weren't based on religion there'd always be some other excuse. The godless totalitarians of the 20th century found "reasons" to slaughter multi-millions at a go. Something in human nature? Psychopathology of some kind?
—Guest ySTdoaPhDbnqVgIg

Short Sweet

That's logically inconsistent. It's like somebody saying they don't believe in that aliens in flying saucers have visited earth yet simultaneously contending the Nazca Lines and the Pyramids were constructed by extraterrestrials?
—Lary9

Perversity too

Along with Borsia's suggestion, I think some people would give contradictory answers as a kind of joke.
—JPRT

What the bible is

The bible is carbon marks on bleached flattened vegetable fibre. What's the big deal?
—Guest Russell

Atheists can believe there is a God !!

There are plenty of Atheists who believe in the "possibility" of a god(s), however, they do not believe in the popularized version of god(s) as described by the many holy books and believers. Atheists would accept the following: God = whatever that has caused all that is..........to actually be (exist). If empirical proof that the big bang, evolution or protons popping in and out of existence is what is responsible for all that is then that is what Atheists will respect greatly and refer to as God, their Creator. If empirical proof shows that God is truly the god of the Koran, Torah or Holy Bible, then that is what the Atheist will believe and join you in Mosque, Synagogue or church that next Sabbath/Sunday. If all you have is faith then the Atheist will put you on the shelf next to all the other hundreds of faith-based religions and their god(s).
—JDog_90305

Think about this for just a second...

By definition an atheist rejects the concept of a divine or supernatural agent. Therefore, if person A says that they believe a book is the word of "God" then it would be nonsensical to call the an atheist. The question itself is an oxymoron and whoever answered yes to it is either confused, ignorant, or deliberately untruthful.
—Guest Captain Obvious

Possibly due to Biblical literalism

Maybe "is the word of God" is being confused with "is supposed to be the word of God". Many atheists interpret the Bible in a similar manner as fundamentalists. We believe, for instance, that the weird directives in Deuteronomy are supposed to be from God, and not simple law makers. We know that it was from simple law makers, but we argue with non-literal theists as if it was supposed to be from God.
—Guest Tylerious

dirty novels

the bible is the word of primitive,primarily ignorant,people from a part of the world that has never displayed greatness in anything since the fall of the persian empire.the only think the jews do well is take other peoples stuff because they think they are entitled to it.many of the things they wrote in their books justifies this behavior.
—ericizm

atheists buying some god verses, ect

As an Atheist, I believe in NO religious books or gods!!! Any who do, aren't Atheists!
—Guest jim

Polls are unreliable

Polls are not totally unreliable, but I suspect that many persons do not respond honestly. Also many persons are confused by the questions. The word "god" is used in confusing ways, for instance: How can anything be "godless" or how can "god" be removed from anything if god does exist. Yet that is common to the rhetoric of fundamentalists.
—btg144

In the Words of Anglican Bishop Spong:

The people who wrote the books in the Bible did not think they were writing "The Word of God." That is a quite elementary but singularly important place to begin.
—Guest lwaynew@hotmail.com

I think I may have it figured out.

The individual is a lifelong Christian and then finally gets around to reading the Holy Bible, both Testiments! WOW! He/she is shocked by what is to be read about Yahweh and the other characters in the Bible. He/she decides that being a Christian is not so cool, not if you are to be a moral person, so... well, you know the rest. However, the possibility is that he/shee will come to believe the Bible is NOT the word of God. Then that individual might start believing again. Best I coud come up with. Grandpa Grandpa
—Grandpa_In_The_East

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Why Do Some Atheists Think the Bible is the Word of God?

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