Episode 40: Unintelligible God

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Episode 40: Unintelligible God

Post  Admin on Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:14 pm

Episode 40 questions/comments here --
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an argument for the positive non-existence of God(s)?

Post  kakafacade on Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:19 am

I've been slowly trudging my way through all of your past episodes, and I have to admit that this is one of my favorites (with examinations of the four gospels being some of my others). I find myself having conversations and internal monologues along the lines of this episode's subject more regularly than is probably healthy. Indeed, I have more than one acquaintance who groan when the topic comes up.

The whole concept of "nothing" intrigues me. I approach it with some philosophical Taoist leanings (I've always been partial to the writings of Chuang Tzu (and I highly recommend Thomas Merton's transliteration of selected writings)). Talking about "nothing" is an easy way to break down the limits of observation and speech very quickly. We cannot observe nothing. We constantly use the verb "to be" to describe it - which immediately ascribes existence to something that by definition does not exist. I can't help but feel a sense of awe when attempting to imagine or comprehend the concept of nothing. It is entirely outside of my experience - short of, perhaps, the moments before I was conceived, born, or began remembering. Being made of matter, we have no understanding of a complete lack of matter; existing, we have no understanding of non-existence. I'm not sure if I could be convinced that there is anywhere where there isn't anything (i.e., that "nothing" exists - for those who bring up the emptiness of space, I ask them to put themselves there and tell me what they see - the answer, of course, is light from faraway stars and galaxies, and, photons being something as opposed to nothing, they are not somewhere where there is nothing). The only place left for nothing is outside of the observable universe, and we're not even sure if that exists (and now the rant has broken down into mere semantics, as it inevitably must). "Nothing" is the concept that makes me feel a twinge of spirituality. It seems to me that God(s) and "nothing" are the two things that are indescribable and unobservable and unknowable. And I've long had the sneaking suspicion that they are one and the same. You say God doesn't exist? What if God is the only thing that doesn't exist? (apart, to be sure, from all of the other things that we obviously made up) That would make him very special indeed.

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