Friday, 24 April 2009

Ex nihilo

The ex nihilo thing has been a problem for thinkers. Hard to stomach the idea that everything was created out of nothing; and an easy step from the difficulty into thinking ('...creating ex nihilo would be really really difficult; therefore creation must be an act of overcoming difficulty, and so the act of an entity that's so powerful really really difficult stuff looks easy to Him ...')

But when we look at the universe we see it’s mostly nothing. It’s vacuum and emptiness and barrenness. If the sun were scaled down to the size of a golfball the earth would be a speck of dust smaller than a printed full-stopmany metres away, and the nearest star would be hundreds of kilometers further off. In other words the somethingness of the cosmos is a kind of thin crust over a vast cauldron of nothingness. It might be better, rather than saying, for instance, God created the universe out of nothing, to say God scratched the edge of nothingness with a sparse culture of something. Or it might be better to ask: If God created something out of nothing, then why did he do such an incomplete job?’

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