The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an atheist?

Use this forum to discuss the October 2016 Book of the Month, The Voice of Creation by J. Hudson Mitchell.
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DavidLatimer
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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by DavidLatimer » January 10th, 2017, 2:09 am

I agree the book has no hope of convincing an atheist. It could help some people become atheists or agnostic. As an argument, it's a broken mess - much like what a real-estate agent would say trying to sell a derelict house: "About the cracks in the wall, our brochure says the wall is perfect." Well done to those who took the time to explain in details, but intelligent responses are not being heard. The postings of Josefina demonstrate why it's wise to not get involved in Christianity. Not all Christians are like this, however there is ample evidence of not being malevolent, causing suffering, and some are dark and insulting. In some countries, it's necessary to put up with it, and I feel sorry for those in such situations.

Atheists often respond by finding flaws and absurdities in what Christians write. I think that's not a duty. It's more useful to examine the psychology of why children cling to faith-based religion, as they grow into adults. They may be afraid of the loss of social status, fear worry about their moral compass, or wish to keep their fear of death (or irrelevance) under control. Perhaps in ancient times, religion was the only way for the poor and enslaved to find any room for happiness. Even today, the truth of our nothingness is a bitter pill to swallow.

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Felix Lyric
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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Felix Lyric » January 10th, 2017, 4:35 am

previous cmment of mine was not accepted and I can sort of understane why. If this one is not accepted I will step out of this dialogue.

That extract from the book could not possibly convince me of the existence of God because it is entirely absurd. I hasten to add that absurdity can contain elements of truth. This God and the other various Gods and Goddesses are creations of the human imagination; they do serve a purpose sometimes for the better but mostly for the worse. In our Western world there used to be a death sentence for atheists and for people who were catholic or protestant. In the South Africa I grew up in there was a time when men who didn't go to church were keel-hauled. When my mother was a teacher she was denounced for blasphemy because she told her pupils that every person had to decide for themselves what they believed in. Among the commenters above there are some who call atheists idiots. One woman writes that you have no choice; either you go for heaven and if you don't you go for hell. This woman represents the hell we already have on earth. Shelley was an atheist and he certainly did not go for hell; on the contrary he opposed they tyranny of imposed religion. Brahms - though an avid reader of the Bible - was an atheist but heaven shines through his music.
The idea of 'God' can and should represent something that goes beyond the empirical lives in which we are trapped with various types of social and political repression but often enough it goes in the opposite direction.. By cutting Paradise off as a separate domain, religion goes into a pact with the status quo. Jesus nevertheless also said said, "I have come not to take you away from the world but so that your joy might be fulfilled."

I think it would be counter-productive to simply deny the Idea, not the Reality, of deity because in doing that we are cutting off our desire for a better reality than ours. Schubert wrote, "The music of Mozart makes us dream of a world better than the one we live in." Religion passed through phlosophy into the arts becoming gradually secularised.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 10th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Creation is not human imagination. Your existence is real proof of that. You are given a gift of imagination. The Bible says that everything was made from nothing. We are something now. We did not remain "nothing." Is that not silly that you say we are nothing? You even have a name and commented on this forum. I want you to give a reason for nothingness not just condemn the author for writing about God and His creation. Creation came from nothing and became something and that is a vessel to contain our spirit that is the portion of our maker to be like Him which you cannot see. The Bible says, "The Words that I give you are spirit and they are life." But it is something, I repeat. It is the spirit that makes us alive and something of importance. Nobody can create life other than God. What does the word "nothing" mean to you?

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Togo1 » January 10th, 2017, 12:43 pm

Mason243 wrote:What's the difference between an open-minded atheist and and an agnostic? Aren't both open to new information while quietly waiting for it rather than actively seeking or taking active interest in it?
I'd have have thought so. Although there are some Agnostics who are not so much waiting for information, as they are denying that they or you or anyone else has the information necessary to make such a determination, or could ever have such information. Often quite loudly.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 10th, 2017, 12:52 pm

Atheists don't believe in any god especially the Christian God. Agnostic doesn't care whether there is a god or none at all.

-- January 10th, 2017, 12:59 pm --

The author has read books by atheists. She has even quoted some in that book. How could she know the futility of atheism is she hasn't read that. There is a chapter in the book that is titled The Futility of Atheism. You need to read that, too, not just chapter 1 of the book.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Eduk » January 10th, 2017, 2:04 pm

[quote]That seems a clear, concise, reasonable description of the atheist position, with the exception that you forgot to mention that the atheist applies this methodology only to other people's positions, but not to their own.

Where are the high quality independent studies which prove that human reason is qualified to credibly analyze questions regarding the most fundamental nature of all reality (the scope of god claims)?

If you can link us to such studies, that would be great. If you can't do so, then it seems reasonable to label you a heretic to your own position. You would not be a heretic however, if you could show evidence of applying your chosen methodology of reason in an even handed manner to all claims and all positions, including your own.[quote]
I would argue the birth of the scientific method came out of using the scientific method to test theories revolving around bias and other human faults and how to remove them or allow for them. Which were then proven effective or ineffective by the scientific method and the scientific method evolved. I assume I don't really need to link studies showing the effectiveness of the scientific method?
I guess the meat of your argument is that your version of God exists outside of empirical evidence and thus empirical evidence is a useless tool to study God? I hope I don't mischaracterise your viewpoint? My argument would be that just because YOU define something as outside of empirical evidence doesn't mean it is. You would have to prove that. To my mind this is an extraordinary claim and would need extraordinary evidence. I have extraordinary evidence on the effectiveness of the scientific method, you are sat reading this message on that proof right now. Do you have evidence of any non empirically proven things. Like a non empirical heat source? Or mode of transportation? Or a way to get bruised by something non empirical?

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 10th, 2017, 4:59 pm

The Word of God is my basis for my belief. Scientific method is testing and testing until they can prove their hypothesis. But until now the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang are still being tested and they will keep testing to prove that their theory is no longer just a theory but a fact. Recently, they have tried to prove the Big Bang with the collider and the weeks and days before the test began, scientists were already celebrating. But did they prove it? If you know, tell me where it is written that they have proven that the universe originated with a Big Bang. But you can also prove the Spirit by testing as a matter of fact. If you are loving and gentle, and all kinds of good fruits of the Spirit, then you have peace in your heart and if you have peace in your heart you will be an agent of peace to your fellowmen. But you cannot have that peace if you don't even believe in the Prince of Peace. Everything has a beginning and if there is a beginning it is destined to end. Atheist don't have real facts of the beginning because they are going backward in time to prove from fossils. But they could never prove that. They just ignore talking about the missing link because they cannot find it. How would they know the parents of those fossils that they have found and are proud of? How would you explain that only a human being can speak? How would you explain the relationship of the regular movement of the earth and the moon, the rotation of the earth on its axis at a regular occurrence. Who gave the laws of nature such as gravity, water cycle, magnetism, and other things we just take for granted? Don't you know that if there are laws there must be a legislator? Do you think nature created its own laws? God doesn't want his people to bury themselves in proving the consistencies of His creation because then you become a naturalist and ignore His almighty power. But now, what science cannot explain is thrown aside and they say "that's the doings of the God of the gaps. The only reason people don't want to believe in God is that they don't want to obey His commandments. Tolerance is the rule of modern secular society and they label it "civil rights."

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Pelegrin_1 » January 10th, 2017, 7:03 pm

Mason243 wrote:What's the difference between an open-minded atheist and and an agnostic? Aren't both open to new information while quietly waiting for it rather than actively seeking or taking active interest in it?
Here's how I define my difference, including what I think a true Agnostic to be. First off, I consider myself to be primarily an Agnostic, but more specifically to be an Atheistic Agnostic. An true Agnostic, as I identify the meaning, is someone who believes that we, as mere humans, cannot possibly know the answer as to whether there is a Universal God, and as such we can neither define ourselves as believers in the existence of a God nor people who believe that no such God exists. I'm not just someone who's "waiting" for evidence to convince me one way or the other, because I "believe" that as mere humans do not have the capacity to ever determine, beyond the potential of human fallacy, the ultimate answer to the question. As humans, we should always maintain skepticism about our ability to truly "know" things about Gods and whether or not something could be a universal god or not. Now, I identify myself as an atheistic Agnostic because I do strongly think that there simply isn't any need in, or beyond, the universe for there to be a "God". I consider it to be an Occam's razor type of argument in that if it's not necessary then it problem doesn't exist; thus the introduction of a "God" into all that exists in and/or beyond the universe just goes to complicate the matter unnecessarily. But then again, I, as a mere human, cannot prove that there is no Universal God, so therefore I must first be an Agnostic, but one with atheistic leanings, so-to-speak.

-- Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:13 pm --
Josefina1110 wrote:Creation is not human imagination. Your existence is real proof of that. You are given a gift of imagination. The Bible says that everything was made from nothing. We are something now. We did not remain "nothing." Is that not silly that you say we are nothing? You even have a name and commented on this forum. I want you to give a reason for nothingness not just condemn the author for writing about God and His creation. Creation came from nothing and became something and that is a vessel to contain our spirit that is the portion of our maker to be like Him which you cannot see. The Bible says, "The Words that I give you are spirit and they are life." But it is something, I repeat. It is the spirit that makes us alive and something of importance. Nobody can create life other than God. What does the word "nothing" mean to you?
I again think that you demean the whole essence of what a true universal God would be, and you do so by implying that our human capacities somehow necessarily identify us with the need for the existence of a God. Our capacity to "imagine", and to even imagine the existence of a God, doesn't proof anything about whether a Universal God exists or not. All it proofs is that we are creates evolved enough to have develop the capacity to imagine, reason, dream, etc. A Universal God, IF such were to exist, would have powers and capacities far beyond anything that we have and perhaps even far beyond anything we can imagine. And aren't in any way close to such a God, and even with all our abilities we are still much closer to our planetary ape relatives. But I know, you refuse to accept that, because you're one of those almighty humans who believe that you are closer to some God than you are to other earthly creatures.

-- Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:17 pm --
Josefina1110 wrote:Atheists don't believe in any god especially the Christian God. Agnostic doesn't care whether there is a god or none at all.
Don't try to define what you don't know. I care, but even more I care that humanity doesn't rule itself by false faith, and in so doing create havoc throughout the world as different (unprovable) faiths battle each other for world dominance, or at the very minimum set up prejudices against each other which further enhances the divides that exists between people.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 10th, 2017, 10:21 pm

You just describe God as He is. He has powers and capacities far beyond anything that we have and perhaps even far beyond anything we can imagine. Whereas we are formed out of dust. God saved us by becoming like us so He would die to save us from burning in hell. He was punished for our sins. But He was resurrected and became victorious and conquered death so that we will also have everlasting life. "For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life " (John 3:16). He remembers that we are dust that is why you say we aren't in any way close to such a God, and even with all our abilities we are still human. I disagree that we are apes. Apes cannot talk. Apes live in the wilderness or at the zoo in cages or enclosed places because they are animals without the values that humans have. We rule over the animals because God commanded us to rule over them. They don't have the soul that God gave to us humans so when they die they will just turn to dust. That's what you think would happen to us, too. But we are on a journey and we have a destination. Either we go to heaven or to hell when we die because there is a part of us that will not die and that is our soul. Who is creating havoc around the world now? They are killing Christians and I believe you are happy about that because you are an agnostic who cares and sympathizes with those who say that there is no God. There is only one God and He is the God of the Christians, Jesus Christ.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Pelegrin_1 » January 10th, 2017, 11:12 pm

Pelegrin_1 wrote:I again think that you demean the whole essence of what a true universal God would be, and you do so by implying that our human capacities somehow necessarily identify us with the need for the existence of a God. Our capacity to "imagine", and to even imagine the existence of a God, doesn't proof anything about whether a Universal God exists or not. All it proofs is that we are creates evolved enough to have develop the capacity to imagine, reason, dream, etc. A Universal God, IF such were to exist, would have powers and capacities far beyond anything that we have and perhaps even far beyond anything we can imagine. And (we) aren't in any way close to such a God, and even with all our abilities we are still much closer to our planetary ape relatives. But I know, you refuse to accept that, because you're one of those almighty humans who believe that you are closer to some God than you are to other earthly creatures.
I really need to stop posting when I'm in a rush and take time to truly proof-read before submitting. :oops:

doesn't prove
all it proves
creatures
we

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Taylor449 » January 10th, 2017, 11:30 pm

This work would never convince an atheist because it is based on a theist premise, and that is that the Bible represents truth. The only god the author is trying to justify is the Judeo-Christian version of a god. The author does not even discuss what god is outside of the premise that the Bible is truth and no other truth exists.

Many atheists believe in the human experience that is called god. But do not believe in the theist representation that god is a omnipotent being that lives in some "Other Place," whether it be Mount Olympus, under the earth, above the sky or in a different realm. Because these places are merely representations of a concept, just like a painting of a chair is not a real chair, but a representation of what we call a chair. You simply cannot sit in it because it is not concrete and does not occupy 4 dimensions like humans do. So atheists understand the concept of god, that it is as real as the chair in the painting, but not physically real and you cannot sit in it.

There are many theist representations of god, from the one single god with three different hypostases (after centuries of the "Single God" brand, they were loath to create two other gods, thus the hypostases were born) the vedic gods, the spirit gods and on and on and on. All of these gods do not exist in the physical world in any of these representations, but live in a magical place outside of concrete human reality, outside of the perception of the human sensory experience. These representations of "stuff happens" helped and still helps mankind place meaning on random events that probably have no meaning, eg. volcanoes, death; and feelings that are difficult to work through, eg sorrow, rage, joy and on and on... These theist deities provide comfort, explanation, and act as a moral compass to amoral humans. Basically a giant blankie that provides comfort to anxiety, and warmth in the cold, etc.

As far as the creation story, the six days creation thing. In the history of human kind, predating the written word, when different peoples and cultures met, there was typically an exchange of stories, including creation stories, designed to convey the morals and values of the people and create a higher level of understanding between cultures. Many indigenous peoples around the world still cling to the creation stories, whether it is a giant turtle, a star from the sky, or emerging from the earth, these stories convey the values of the cultural and how meaning is conveyed. In short, creation stories describe the ontology of the people. But most indigenous people do not think these stories describe actual events or that they are factually accurate. To bad the Judeo-Christian theists have not received the memo.

If you apply the creation story as a description of the ontology of the people, the wording in the book of Genesis describes a people who were slaves and really, really wanted a day off (6 days and rested...), blamed women for male arousal (Eve snake apple...), and that if you screwed up you and your entire people would be die (flood story-common among many peoples) and describes the values of 6000 A.D. Because there are many congruencies between the Israelites and current mankind brought about by that whole “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" part later in the book, the creation story of 6K B.C. continues to define moral values for amoral people and shapes cultural norms to this day.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 11th, 2017, 2:13 am

You are just in a hurry to prove me wrong as a believer in God. You don't have any reference that you know anything more or believe in the Bible. I don't doubt you have read the Bible but you probably just sneer at God's words. You don't have any reference either about your so called proofs that we are no better than animals. That is the direction the secular society is heeding now. To each his own rule. Animals are actually better than humans as far as their God-given natural instincts which they don't violate. Is there a homosexual animal that you know? Does a female animal abort her baby when she is pregnant? They follow their God-given instincts to procreate. Humans frequently use their sexuality for pleasure outside marriage. If we evolved to be better human beings than animals why are there so many people that are worst than animals as far as behavior is concerned? It is because they have no moral standard that God had designed for man to possess.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Eduk » January 11th, 2017, 5:35 am

Is there a homosexual animal that you know? Does a female animal abort her baby when she is pregnant? They follow their God-given instincts to procreate. Humans frequently use their sexuality for pleasure outside marriage.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... l_behavior
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_effect
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-repro ... in_animals
I don't think it would be particularly hard to find video of homosexual animals. But maybe even a video of two male animals having sex would not be enough evidence for you?

-- January 11th, 2017, 5:41 am --

Whoops betraying my own biases. Two same sex animals having sex, homosexuality is not reserved for males. This also ignores my bias for binary genders.

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Pelegrin_1 » January 11th, 2017, 9:12 am

Josefina1110 wrote:You are just in a hurry to prove me wrong as a believer in God. You don't have any reference that you know anything more or believe in the Bible. I don't doubt you have read the Bible but you probably just sneer at God's words. You don't have any reference either about your so called proofs that we are no better than animals. That is the direction the secular society is heeding now. To each his own rule. Animals are actually better than humans as far as their God-given natural instincts which they don't violate. Is there a homosexual animal that you know? Does a female animal abort her baby when she is pregnant? They follow their God-given instincts to procreate. Humans frequently use their sexuality for pleasure outside marriage. If we evolved to be better human beings than animals why are there so many people that are worst than animals as far as behavior is concerned? It is because they have no moral standard that God had designed for man to possess.
I don't need to nor can I truly prove you wrong with regards to whether there is a universal god or not. My only purpose, if it should be called that, is that neither believers nor non-believers can "prove" anything about the existence of a universal god, and that everyone should just stop insisting that they actually know something about the existence of such a god. All you 'know' is what you personally "believe", but that doesn't make it necessarily true.

-- Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:28 am --

Oh, and to add... I have no evidence that the Bible contains the words of some God. Simply because it says that it does means nothing. It's a book written by people who "believed" that they were inspired by their God to write those words. How can you, or I, or even they (who wrote the Bible) really know what inspired them to write those words. The most logical interpretation would be through their own inspiration and thought processes, which they believed to be attributed to something beyond themselves. Certainly though, if they actually intentionally attributed what they wrote to have come from a God that their culture believed in or from a god that they could convince others to believe existed, then that too would be another reason for them to call it the word of God. But again, who knows. However, I'll say this, that any "god" as described or defined my humans is certainly no true God. There may possibly be some universal god entity, but it's certainly nothing that humanity knows anything about nor that has ever communicated in any way directly with humanity. We possibly may at one time (or on numerous occasions) have been contacted by superior non-Earthly creatures, which we may have interpreted as being "Gods", but just being superior to us doesn't make such to be a universal god. But once again, what do humans truly 'know' about such things?

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Re: The Voice of Creation-- Would Chapter 1 convince an athe

Post by Josefina1110 » January 11th, 2017, 1:19 pm

God came down in the person of Jesus Christ to tell us personally and to prove that He is God. He established the nation of Israel. Do you know why such an ancient city and its people never banished or if it had, it was only temporary? God owns the whole world so he can put his people anywhere he wants to. Why do Jews prosper wherever they are and they maintain their citizenship in Jerusalem. Do you know anything about Armageddon why it will start in Israel when it cannot defend itself anymore? First of all, let me let you know that Israel was founded by God through the descendants of Abraham so that He could make its people be in charge of telling the whole world about Him. He wanted Israel to be a nation of priests. Therefore most if not all of the writers of the Bible are Jews and Jesus Christ was a Jew. He was a prince from the line of King David. Do you understand why since Jesus was born, Israel has never been out of the radar compared to other prosperous ancient nations around it. Besides, it is a source of heated conversations all over the world? So don't tell me that nobody knows anything about God. Almost half of the world are Judeo-Christians. Is it not important to you that our calendar was based on the birth of Jesus Christ?

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