As we deconstruct and toss into the fire of farce the notions of “omnipotence” and “omniscience”, we need to look beyond these two ideals and towards the greater orthodox presupposition which we are ultimately challenging.
What is that, exactly?
What non-negotiable pillar of Christian faith are we denying, along with omnipotence and omniscience, in service to reason? What ubiquitous belief, which, like MOST doctrinal absolutes of Reformation protestantism (the vast majority of differences being trite and superfluous alterations of universally accepted root premises), transcends the denominations, and is so adored and so commonly conceded that the masses of Christian laity and leadership will outright deny the possibility of anyone’s salvation should they reject it?
The title of this article is an obvious give away. Why, it is the doctrine of “ex nihilo” of course. The notion that God created the world, the universe, the restaurant at the end of it, and everything “out of nothing”. That God spoke, and the universe leapt into existence, not from any pre-existing material, but from nothing at all.
Now, this notion is (or should be) so obviously a rational impossibility and bonafide farce that…well, it is scarce wonder that the pillar of Greek gnosticism, the Church, as it has manifested itself since Augustine, would adopt it as an indisputable “truth”. For as we have come to understand, this is precisely how they are. Give them any morsel of propaganda to keep the masses off their rational feet and indebted physically and spiritually to the ecclesiastical authority…and they will snatch it up with the slobbering ferocity of a hungry wolf; and they will find a way to translate it into heady-sounding language (Latin) and chain it there in perpetuity, shackle the king’s scribes to a bench and have them slap it in into a creed, seal it with the Pope’s signet ring, and declare it a very manifestation of God, Himself on Earth…the veritable Handwriting on the wall, to be worshiped and adored; a doctrinal bed of nails upon which all of us mortals shall be perpetually tossed.
But, put less loquaciously, “ex nihilo”, creation out of nothing, is an impossible scenario as “nothing” by definition cannot give rise to something, not even by the hand of the Almighty, because nothing is a metaphysical placeholder (much like zero is a mathematical one). It is representative of all things that are conceded as the NOT juxtaposed to the IS of the universe and all which resides within it. It is the metaphysical “essence” of what does NOT exist, in order that that which does can be given a conceptual (via language) frame of reference. “Nothing”, by definition, has no actual material representative in the universe…it has no “object” or “body” or “thing” by which it can be valued as a function of its movement relative to the rest of material Creation (that is, Creation, itself…for there is no such thing as a NON-material creation; for what is non-material does NOT exist, because what is NON-material cannot be observed, and thus there is no relative location to its BEING). And therefore “nothing” can only be measured as an infinite absolute, with no tangible boundaries by which it can be known as actual. And if its conceptual value is infinite, and if it cannot by its very definition be accorded an object by which it can be relatively valued, then its practical value as applied to the material universe (the “real world”), is ZERO.
All of this is simply to say that nothing is nothing. Period. Full stop. It does not exist…because if it did, nothing would be something. And this would, of course, completely contradict the entire meaning of nothing. If nothing is nothing, and nothing is absolutely nothing, which it must be, then it can only manifest NOTHING. For anything which is a direct extension of an absolute is the absolute. And so whatever is “created” from nothing IS also irrevocably and inexorably NOTHING, in accordance with the absolute from which it sprung. So if you and I and the rest of the universe are created from nothing, then we are by definition nothing as well. And if that is true then I am not writing this article and you are not reading it; and none of us have anything to discuss because all of our ideas and desires and beliefs are entirely false; illusory…and as such, irrelevant to anything having to do with existence (which is everything) because existence itself, being nothing, has no value and no meaning.