Something From Nothing

Josh, the Original Post (OP) for the thread is here:

There’s a link in the OP for the book we are reading, available to read online for free through Internet Archive, and our reading schedule. There are also links in the OP to slides with resources and “chapter questions” that some of us have posted.

Dig around, You are very welcome to the Forum as well as the End of Apologetics thread.

2 Likes

The most fundamental maxim of all reason, and all science, and all philosophy is the maxim, “ex nihilo nihil fit” out of nothing, nothing comes.

Nothing could be more irrational than the idea that something comes from nothing.

If there was ever a time when there was nothing, the only thing there could possibly be now couldn’t possibly be now. Because the only thing there could be would be nothing and nothing is not something.

Not even a little something, not even a microscopic something, not even a subatomic something—it is nothing. And if there ever was a time when there was nothing, there would be nothing now. So there always had to be something—something that had the very power of being within itself or nothing could possibly be.

I rest my faith on that

1 Like

If we discuss our belief that God created everything, than we are involved in theological matters. If otoh we discuss science, than we are facing difficulties as science deals with what is, and nothing in this context is an absurdity. Philosophically, I am aware with being and non-being, although I think people such as Satre have written on being and nothingness.

My understanding re theological discussions is that the creation is sustained by the Energies of God, and this doctrine has been discussed for many centuries, mainly by Orthodox Christian theologians. It is within these discussions that we may reason on creation from nothing.

Then your faith is on unreasoned, unreasonable, unscientific, non-philosophical ground.

Science and rationality beyond it have no such maxim. The opposite in fact.

Existence is not rational. Nature’s, let alone God’s.

Something and nothing have always co-existed. Nothing is the ground of being. Nothing is the eternal source of being. It is in nothing that quantum noise starts. The signal is silence.

Faith has to rest on that.

The ‘energies’ of God, whatever they are, are not nothing. If God grounds being, from eternity, for infinity, despite their being no rational requirement, that’s something.

Believing not only that a cake can’t bake itself, but that a cake can’t be baked if cake ingredients don’t exist is “on unreasoned, unreasonable, unscientific, non-philosophical ground” ???

Clearly something has always existed. How can that be anything less than a brute fact?

Vinnie

I agree, eternal infinite nature is the brute fact below all.

Piece of cake.

1 Like

Maybe we should talk about an infinite regress of cats.

“Let’s not”, and just pretend somebody did that already and got nowhere with it.

Let’s make it a rhetorical question, since the implication is… implicit.

Oh!! in that case, let sleeping cats lie. :zzz:

Exactly! And just as true whether that be prior existing conditions nestled all the way down like Hindu turtles or a slumbering creator God.

1 Like

Except the sum total of our possible and “probe-able” reality appears to have begun 13.7 billion years ago. All the space-time, matter, energy and dimensions of our universe with physical constants that also appear hardwired for life is not the eternal infinite nature. No proof but I’m a simple man. If it quacks like a duck…

Vinnie

How many fallacies do you see there?

Zero but I see language and human ability to comprehend and describe things at this high of a level breaking down. It’s like we’ve finally reached the end point of what science, real science, can tell us. In other words, we found God:

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” Jastrow

That’s the problem.

Our mediocre universe is obviously an infinitesimal. That is an absolute strongly uniformitarian given. As you know.

I know of no theologian who is up to date with cosmology. And Jastrow belongs to a sad group of physicists including Hoyle, Davies, Dyson, Polkinghorne whose rationality runs out and the fallacy of incredulity takes over and takes their science down the toilet with it. A great tragedy in the case of Hoyle.

Please point to a physicist, like Guth, or may be even Einstein, who was met by any theologian. There is no convergence in Kierkegaard or Barth, which is why they are proper theologians. Not inevitably failed apologetes.

I think Stephen Hawking* said something about the beginning of time, at which point the regress of cats stops. XD And the idea that QM may be hinting that the fundamental reality of the universe may be information still has its appeal, God’s mind having a couple of bytes to spare. Imagining that there is necessarily anything material ‘before’ that beginning is just that, imagination.
 


*The Beginning of Time

The energies of God doctrine provide an understanding of how God sustains His creation; it is absurd to say they at not nothing or whatever. The beginning is when God (the Word) creates all there is. Since this encapsulates time and space, we would argue that the beginning is just that, a beginning of time and the rest.

The notion of nothing is required by how we use language - since there is a beginning, there cannot be something prior to that. Also the creation is a gift (it is not necessary) from God, and our capacity to comprehend it, study, provide scientific insights, also speak to our place within the Creation.

I cannot make sense of some of your statements concenring rationality, eternity and what have you. :laughing:

Josh
Just saw this discussion in response to your post. Some of the replies are way “above my pay level”, but I just want to say, on a more basic level - isn’t “ex nihilo” – the doctrine of “out of nothing” just that - a doctrine formulated by early theologians? Where do the writings in the Bible actually say that this universe and form of existence we know was created “out of nothing” or that "nothing (material) existed before it? (whatever “before” means here :face_with_diagonal_mouth:)
That theologians came up with the term was understandable - they were actually stating that God was the “first cause”. Today we have some physicists theorising the existence of other universes – early theologians can hardly be blamed for having a more limited awareness!
Should Christians take the actual wording of such doctrinal terms as divinely inspired and infallible even given the limitations of human knowledge and language? And then spend so much time and effort on them?

Where should we draw the line?

In the same way and for the same reason, can we be sure exactly what “in the beginning” means in each place it occurs in the Biblical texts? In Genesis, can’t it be seen as referring specifically to the origins of our own world/universe? Whereas in John 1 it might have a more fundamental meaning?

1 Like

Early theologians didn’t just make it up however.
 

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:3

…and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
Hebrews 1:3

Those echoing this nicely:

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
Psalm 33:6

 

I like your catching that. :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.