If you intresting in sport Buy trenbolone and Buy testosterone enanthate you find place where you can find information about steroids
  • Resources

  • Book of the Month

  • Shopping on Amazon? Use this search box and support Dangerous Talk at the same time.
  • Blog Directories

    blog search directory Religion Top Blogs
  • AdSense

Why Do Atheists Often Take The Bible Literally?

I got a message today from a fellow atheist asking why so many atheists take a literal view of the Bible rather than argue the Bible from a more metaphorical position. I think it is a fair question to some degree.

For starters, here in America we tend to run into a large number of Christians who do in fact believe the Bible literally. It is not a small number of extremists who claim that Noah’s Ark was real or that despite being all-powerful God actually had to rest on the seventh day. These are the actual people we have to deal with on a daily basis.

With that said, I do on occasion meet up with Christians who take very different views on Christianity and on the Bible. There are lots of Christians who do take various parts of the Bible as metaphoric. The problem is that few agree on which parts are metaphoric and even fewer have any real justification for why those parts of the Bible are metaphorical.

It seems like the Bible is metaphorical only if it advocates something that a particular Christian doesn’t agree with. This is even the case with the literalist Christians. When Jesus talks about how he didn’t come to bring peace, but instead came with a sword (Matt 10:34) all Christians tend to be quick to call this a metaphor. Well shit on a stick, I really didn’t think anyone actually thought Jesus was wielding an actual sword. Of course that is a metaphor! But what is it a metaphor for exactly? To me, I think that is obvious. A sword generally is a metaphor for violence especially when Jesus just talked about not coming to spread peace. But surprisingly no Christian (not even the literalists) see it that way.

The thing is, when we talk to people who take the Bible as a metaphor, they tend to be Christians who haven’t fully read the Bible cover-to-cover and have very little idea of what the Bible actually says. In fact, they don’t even care what the Bible says. They have pretty much made up what they think the Bible ought to have said and call it Christianity.

It is actually easier to argue with Christians who actually claim to take their religion seriously than it is to argue with Christians who have just some vague view of God and who have created their own religion and call it Christianity. I can go to a fundamentalist/literalist and point out to them what the Bible says. But with a metaphoric believer, I have nothing to really point to because their Christianity is so vague and random. They have nothing to really stand on.

Bookmark and Share

Enhanced by Zemanta
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • pmsrhino

    Totally agree. I’d like to add that it is also impossible to address a “metaphorical” reading of the Bible because that leaves it completely up for interpretation. That means there would be a different interpretation of the Bible for almost every Christian. Or that the person can flip flop on their interpretation or simply change it when you present an argument against it. How are you supposed to deal with that? And why have a holy book at all if you’re just going to decide for yourself what it “really” means and what God’s “true” intentions are.

    Also, I can’t imagine wonderful stories like Lot offering his daughters to be gang raped or the rape laws or the approved slaughter or thousands of people (just because they weren’t of the Israel tribe) being any better when taken metaphorically. To me the Bible is horrible whether taken literally or metaphorically. The God in the Bible is a horrible douchebag, no matter how you try to look at him.

  • http://www.politicalopinionarticles.blogspot.com david

    The vague and random guy/girl sounds just like the fundamentalist or literal guy/girl, “they have nothing to really stand on”. God however, did give the guy a third leg and little head, which he apparently hasn’t learned how to use either. The girl doesn’t have this excuse.

  • Archaeon

    I was somewhat disappointed with this article because the title sets the pretense that the author is going to address “Why Atheists Often Take The Bible Literally” and yet then goes on to only express how many Christians have this problem.
    Notice how the article starts with:

    “I got a message today from a fellow atheist asking why so many atheists take a literal view of the Bible rather than argue the Bible from a more metaphorical position. I think it is a fair question to some degree.”

    but then the author pretty much turns the whole reflection back onto the easy target of “them” — i.e. the literalist bible believers… yet I often sense that literalist bent expressed in a sizable population of atheists. Not a big deal, but again, i’m just a little disappointed i couldn’t get a humble reflection from the authors on that very thing…

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Umm, did you read the blog article? I don’t really want to dumb it down for you, but I will if I have to. I did however address the question and I did answer it.
    1. “here in America we tend to run into a large number of Christians who do in fact believe the Bible literally.” I went on to say, “These are the actual people we have to deal with on a daily basis.”
    2. “when we talk to people who take the Bible as a metaphor, they tend to be Christians who haven’t fully read the Bible cover-to-cover and have very little idea of what the Bible actually says.”
    3. “It is actually easier to argue with Christians who actually claim to take their religion seriously than it is to argue with Christians who have just some vague view of God and who have created their own religion and call it Christianity. I can go to a fundamentalist/literalist and point out to them what the Bible says. But with a metaphoric believer, I have nothing to really point to because their Christianity is so vague and random. They have nothing to really stand on.”

    I feel like I am re-writing the blog just for you.

  • Pingback: Why I 1 to be a Christian | Sam's Blogspot

  • Pingback: Companion to the Bible | Shout Joyfully

  • Pingback: Dangerous Talk » How Little Does One Need to Believe to be a Believer?