The doctrine of ex nihilo–creation from nothing; God spoke, and the universe just “was”, from “nowhere” by “nothing”–is full on gnostic determinism. There is no way to argue sensibly this idea; and I apologize if this offends some of my readers. If you know anything about me by now, it is that I deny, from the utter depths of my soul, that the root of the existence of man and the universe is founded upon irreconcilable ideas. Indeed, insanity is the only legitimate definition of a world view that posits existence from presumptions which make existence impossible.
I hold that if there is a Creator and a Creation, then the understanding of how this Creation was built must be based upon ideas that do not contradict everything man observes MUST be true for him to BE himself. And if man’s existence depends upon an understanding of reality that is not epistemologically or metaphysically self-destructive, then so does God’s. Meaning that if man cannot argue rationally for his own existence, he cannot pretend to argue that there is a GOD by which he was created.
The very attempt to reconcile a REAL God with an ILLUSORY man (man that has no reasonable foundation by which he can even accept the actual IS of his own SELF) is laughable. And if it were not for the ongoing “orthodoxy” of gnostic-rooted Christianity, which even the best and brightest are unwilling to shrug off, hoping against hope that they can have their metaphysical cake and eat it too, because they can think of no other rational explanation for how all this shit got here (I call this “shrug” theology; as in, “fuck it…we’ve got nothing else, so this must be true”)…yes, if it were not for 2000 years of culturally de facto Platonism which is the very bedrock of Western civilization, it wouldn’t be so ever-loving hard and ever-loving frustrating (as the comments thread of my last article can attest to) to try to convince people of what should be, frankly, obvious to anyone who’s awake. And what is the obvious thing? It is, again, this axiom: “Nothing” cannot, by definition, give rise to “something”, because if nothing begets something, then nothing is NOT nothing, by definition. Instead of being a metaphysical placeholder to conceptualize the relative NOT of objects so that they can be quantified/qualified as separate from other objects man observes, nothing becomes an actual “thing” from which something else can spring. This is total contradictory thinking! Nothing cannot be an IS. It can be given no boundaries, no value, no location. Period…full stop. The universe could not be “not” and then “is”, because IS cannot be a direct function of NOT. These two concepts “being” and “not being” are entirely exclusive of one another. They cannot be reconciled at all in the literal/material/actual sense! Only in the conceptual sense…and conceptual reality is entirely a product of man’s mind; it does NOT materially exist to create something material which man can then observe as actual and label, “nothing”, as if nothing can be given a distinct, practical, material value. The whole notion is patently ludicrous.
In the comments thread of the last article, commenter David said this:
“Out of nothing simply means that there was nothing and then God created something.”
I quickly pointed out that there is no significant difference between that explanation and the idea that God created the universe out of nothing. In fact, both ideas say precisely the same thing: Out of NOWHERE, which is NOTHING, there was something. This is impossible for all the reasons I have described…beating the dead horse even more now with the idea that NOWHERE is not a place; it is not a location, by definition. Therefore, it is impossible for anything to come from there, because “there”, in this case NOWHERE, doesn’t actually exist. It is a conceptual placeholder, nothing more.
Like wise, look at David’s explicit contradiction as he attempts to defend ex nihilo. He says: “there was nothing”.
“There was nothing” is a complete contradiction in terms. “Was” and “nothing” are mutually exclusive. What was, was once an IS. And what was once an IS, could not, of course, be NOTHING. The only time you can use the phrase “was nothing” is when you are speaking purely conceptually. For example: “There was nothing going on at the party, so I left”. Obviously nothing doesn’t actually exist, so the “nothing” referred to is understood not to mean the thing of NOTHING was happening at the party (that would never cross anyone’s mind, but ex nihilo makes perfect fucking sense), but that the person found the party uninteresting and bailed.
What David means, I submit, is that there was God and then Creation joined him. There was not nothing, again, because God is SOMETHING. There was God, and then there was Creation. But that is NOT ex nihilo. But–and this is important–this is precisely what they call ex nihilo. Why? Because they haven’t yet discovered a rational explanation for creation’s manifestation (but take heart, Christians, because the scientists don’t have one either). So they take this relationship, God = God + Creation, and–in order to avoid the obviously false idea that Creation is a direct function (extension) of God, making Creation God, Himself, and thus denying Creation–they twist this false theory of how the universe came to be and call it ex nihilo. Or, Creation out of nothing. But it isn’t. Because God = God + Creation leaves no room for a value of ZERO, or NOTHING. There is no NOTHING in that equation. So ex nihilo is a patently irrational, and therefore a false, interpretation of the idea of God existing before Creation came to be.
And to call that scenario the “true” version of ex nihilo is a complete distortion of the creation event. There was not “nothing” before Creation, there was God. So, the question remains: Where did Creation come from if there was only God before it? The only answer they think is “ex nihilo”. But that is not an answer, that is madness. It is not reason, it is insanity. It is not even mystery. The real problem is that the fundamental premise, the idea that there was God, and then God (somehow) became God+Creation, with Creation being a completely physically and metaphysically distinct entity from God, is fatally flawed. The idea is wrong. The root biblical interpretation that is almost universally assumed is an impossible lie. And just because you have not yet been able to formulate a rational explanation for how the universe began does not give you license to declare impossible and mutually exclusive ideas the “truth”, when, in fact, mutually exclusive ideas violate the “truth” at its very root.
The best anyone can come up with is an appeal to “God’s mystery”; and then claim that I’m trying to “explain” God. First of all, so fucking what if I am? Is that a mortal sin now? Oh…here we go; one more thing the lightning bolts home in on. “Figuring out God” is grounds for divine punishment. KNOWLEDGE = SIN is the tyrannical equation. Well, there are only two kinds of knowledge in existence, and mystery is not one of them…I hate to break it to you. There is only rational truth and propaganda. There is no neutral zone.
Would a father smack the hand of his child for trying to learn what dad’s job is and how he does it? Why is not our first response towards someone who is interested in how his heavenly Father orchestrates life and the universe: “I admire your motivation; I admire your ambition”. Why should we not assume that God might be gratified at the interest taken in Him? Even Paul Dohse scolded me for attempting to strip all the “mystery” from God. But his accusation is flawed. It is not mystery I am interested in unraveling, for any mystery as a mystic defines it is irrelevant. (I’m not accusing Paul of being a mystic, btw…but he has tendencies). If we can’t understand something because our very existential nature inexorably prohibits it, then it is pointless information. It is not mystery, it is, as John Immel might say, metaphysical madness.
Second, let me say that appealing to God’s mystery has gotten us into nothing but bloody trouble ever since the very first threat of punishment was issued by the Roman civil authorities to anyone not bowing to the name of Christ. And neo-Reformed/Calvinist hoards naively applaud and dance in the streets at government exercising the moral “absolute” with such razor sharp force; and they pray and wail and gnash teeth, wishing that the government would turn statist proclivities upon the flag burners and the homosexuals and the atheists and the female pastors, never once understanding that we have had governments many times over in the history of the world do this very thing! And guess what? There was no thousand year reign of peace and love and acceptance and Christian collectivism where all the roses bloomed in perpetuity and everyone had according to his “need” (who gets to say what is needed for someone else, is my knee-jerk question) and everyone extended a hand and a kiss of friendship and bid each other blessings from above and harmony was threaded through the fiber of all living things and the lambs and the lions laid down together, and both boys and girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice.
No. There was none of that.
What was there?
There was bloodshed. Bloodshed and piles of limbs and torture and oppression and caste systems and the divine rights of kings…kings who used their power to single-handedly lead legions of slavish young men into bloody death to extend the reign of their power and influence…all in accordance with God’s will, of course.
I have a question.
Have you ever actually seen a real iron maiden? Have you ever laid eyes upon this appalling instrument of human torment? It is truly a terrifying sight. Even the strongest of men will likely recoil as he lays a finger upon one of the dozens of spikes which line the inside of the sepulcher; spikes which are filed to dagger-like points. The iron maiden is, of course, made of very thick iron, and it is shaped and molded into the image of a large, grotesque woman…hence the “maiden”. It is about coffin sized, and is placed upright, and the front of it opens on hinges. There is no opening in the device save for a small hole about eye level, where the poor slob can look out and be tormented by the mocking open spaces where he used to roam. Both the front and back of the metal box are lined, as I said, with dozens and dozens of sharp spikes, and the idea is that the victim is locked inside the maiden, standing up, with barely a centimeter separating his body from the spikes.
I hope he or she isn’t too claustrophobic. Because they are going to be in there for a while.
Now, this is where the fun really gets going. The marvelously malevolent and cruel idea is that as the victim tires his body will wax and wane inside the metal coffin. As he moves, and his body becomes slack with weariness, he will begin to impale himself more and more upon the spikes which are all too willing to bear the weight of his soft flesh for him. Over time, the puncture wounds get deeper and deeper, and ever more painful, until eventually he either bleeds to death or pierces a vital organ.
Obviously, the amount of suffering, both physical and psychological, cannot be overstated.
And now,all of you who long for a return to a time when “good” Christian men held the monopoly on civil authority, tasked with the divine mandate to rule society for the production of a “godly” citizenry…yes, all of you who long for such a time, and praise the stalwart and uncompromising ways in which the theocracies of the past and present dictate morality with the righteous fist of God’s perfect will…all of you must look at that iron maiden–that symbol of man’s irrational worship of human death in the name of “godly” life–and ask yourselves how many times that fucking thing was used on “heretics”.
Oh…woe to us should the “elect of God” rule the land! We should all flee for our lives in such an instance!
But, Argo, you will ask…of what relevance is the iron maiden and the state-sanctioning of torture to the doctrine of ex-nihilo?
The answer is quite simple:
It is a short distance between a philosophy founded upon premises which are irreconcilable and therefore deny the actuality of humanity, and the gas chamber. It is but a short hop between a philosophically and ideologically broken moral standard and the mass destruction of humanity in service to that standard.