RE: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Mon May 25 2009 - 16:19:35 EDT

I think the difficulty that we will always encounter is that we cannot think of nothingness, whereas that is a natural state for a Creator. Whatever our thoughts, they are always embedded in some sort of spacetime.
Moorad
________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of dfsiemensjr [dfsiemensjr@juno.com]
Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 2:43 PM
To: jarmstro@qwest.net
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience

There seems to be a problem with /nihilo/ or nothing. /Creatio ex nihilo/ indicates that what now is was not. I was going to write "once was not" but that suggests more strongly that there was a time before, which cannot be the case. We are so much creatures of time that we cannot comprehend that creation initiated time, space, matter and energy. Our language does not deal well with the concept of an absolute beginning. The ancients were equally involved in such thought and tended to hold that nothing or chaos was a thing from which things were organized or made. Jim, I note that you have God tinkering in a pretime time, trying things out. One can read John 1:1, "In the beginning was ..." that way, but most exegetes do not consider this the intent.
Dave (ASA)

On Mon, 25 May 2009 10:38:54 -0700 Jim Armstrong <jarmstro@qwest.net<mailto:jarmstro@qwest.net>> writes:
I too am grateful for the presence and consistency of the conservation laws, now that Creation is in place.
But that really wasn't the point.
Whatever God did to initialize Creation is the point, and it seems to me that "ex nihilo" as a process might well be the way it appears to us in our context. But that appearance may not be (and probably isn't) particularly accurate if we were able to access the domain of God's existence. Our context does not span the whole of reality, most particularly not spanning the reality of God's existence. Who knows? He may have a workshop or laboratory, and raw starting stuff in forms of which we know nothing and of which we are incapable of knowing. We would never know the difference from that and ex nihilo. But the posit of ex nihilo just seems inappropriate, more akin to a statement of magic than a descriptor of divine creation. This is just an opinion. Perhaps most users of "ex nihilo" are aware of the implicit limitation. Maybe not.

The use of this expression does offer a convenient shorthand, and I guess I would be hard-pressed to offer a concise substitute at this point.

JimA [Friend of ASA]

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Received on Mon May 25 16:20:09 2009

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