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Demosthenes's avatar

Atheists: What value do you place in religious texts, teachings, and dogma?

Asked by Demosthenes (13538points) February 10th, 2020
23 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Do you think there’s anything of value to be learned from them? Do you have any interest in reading religious texts and studying religious teachings? And I don’t just mean the Bible and Christianity. Any religion and its teachings is a valid source here.

I know there are a lot of atheists on this site, so I am addressing them specifically. My previous question is aimed at anyone.

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Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I personally don’t have an interest but I think there are things that can be taken from it. There is some important historical context that can be taken from it also. The positive cultural and social aspect is often ignored by atheists. The positive effects of churches on the community is something that could use a nonreligious counterpart. I know closet atheists that attend church just for the community.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Ditto ^

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t have an interest in reading them except to understand those who do, or to be able to be knowledgeable in a debate. Not so much to use religious text against someone, but more when their is a debate of the meaning of the text. Although, I will pull out scripture to make a point if I am arguing with someone who is religious, and I feel they are cherry picking to justify being hateful.

I think a lot of religion is stories that are valuable. Talk about being patient, persistent, loving, charitable, you just have to pick out the nice stuff.

I’ve seen religion do a lot of good and I’ve seen it used for bad. It’s a tool.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I will elaborate more later, when I don’t have the sun blinding me.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m not an atheist, but I really enjoy learning about all religions. The Quran and Mormon bible are both very interesting, but I’m more fascinated with the Native American Indian religious concepts.

MrGrimm888's avatar

The only value, I place on religious ideology, is to learn more about other cultures. Which does have value…

Anything that gives us insight into why people are the way they are, is valuable…

Patty_Melt's avatar

A lot of the rules Jews have for life had a lot of basis for medical and hygienic practice. Not serving certain foods together, cross contamination, refrigeration issues. Less vital now, but relevant.
Circumcising, reduce changes for infection, and a by the way, gives sex partner better sensation.
All religions have some hoops to jump through, like holiday traditions, etc. Mostly those practices are memorable through repetition actions.
Use of candles, incense, wine ties to olfactory for memory stability. Our sense of smell is our strongest tie to memory.

Some people NEED a god to help them resist temptation.

God’s aren’t all good, but neither are they all bad. For some, they are essential.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are many important lessons promoted within religions. Some people need religious consequences and rewards to help them make favorable choices.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course I accept what I perceive to be the good things, in any religion or in any book, for that matter. Lot’s of good stuff in Mark Twain!
As an atheist, though, I get to call hogwash on much of it. I could do that as a practicing Christian, but I’d be ostracized, unfriended and blocked.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t have any problems with texts as long as they don’t teach about God or Jesus, or whatever deity. Teachings about how to be a good decent human being, like The Golden Rule teaches. Basic non-deist involved good stuff.

Pinguidchance's avatar

What’s not to believe?

Any site full of atheists is a godsend.

I’m also fond of instructive fairy tales.

josie's avatar

They are entitled to their beliefs. To the extent that they assign value to those beliefs, I respect that.

I am also entitled to my beliefs.

raum's avatar

I’ve read multiple versions of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, parts of the Torah, Talmud and Quran on my own. And took a English Lit class that pulled from several other religions.

You don’t need to be religious to appreciate the historical and cultural significance of these texts.

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LogicHead's avatar

Christopher Hithchens’ atheist brother became a Christian and CH himself said that anyone who does not have an academic understanding of the Bible is ignorant.

See Christopher Hitchens love letter to the King James Bible
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/04/atheist-christopher-hitchens-writes-love-letter-to-the-king-james-bible/73329/

Demosthenes's avatar

anyone who does not have an academic understanding of the Bible is ignorant.

I would agree with that. It’s essentially to understanding Western culture and philosophy.

The KJV is a wonderful achievement of prose, whatever one thinks of its theological content.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Religious studies are part of a well rounded education. Religions shape cultures. Which is one of the reasons it is so dangerous.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^It’s the interpretation of such things, that makes them so dangerous.
The “value,” is minimal, compared to the negatives. IMO.

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