Re: [asa] Meyer on C-SPAN2

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Thu Sep 10 2009 - 19:52:56 EDT

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 4:50 PM, <> wrote:

> Nothing is "what thew sleeping rocks dream of" (Jonathan Edwards).
> Shalom,
> George
That seemed entirely too short of a sentence for Edwards. :-) Here is the
quote in context from the 1721 brain-buster treatise "Of Being" where
Edwards presents his version of the Ontological Argument. Short version:
since it's impossible to conceive of "nothing" there must be a
non-contingent Being-in-General a.k.a. God.

A state of absolute nothing is a state of absolute contradiction. Absolute
> nothing is the aggregate of all the absurd contradictions in the world, a
> state wherein there is neither body, nor spirit, nor space: neither empty
> space nor full space, neither little nor great, narrow nor broad, neither
> infinitely great space nor finite space, nor a mathematical point; neither
> up nor down, neither north nor south (I don't mean as it is with respect to
> the body of the earth or some other great body, but no contrary points nor
> positions nor directions); no such thing as either here or there, this way
> and that way, or only one way. When we go about to form an idea of perfect
> nothing we must shut out all these things. We must shut out of our minds
> both space that has something in it, and space that has nothing in it. We
> must not allow ourselves to think of the least part of space, never so
> small, nor must we suffer our thoughts to take sanctuary in a mathematical
> point. When we go to expel body out of our thoughts, we must be sure not to
> leave empty space in the room of it; and when we go to expel emptiness from
> our thoughts we must not think to squeeze it out by anything close, hard and
> solid, but we must think of* the same that the sleeping rocks dream of*;
> and not till then shall we get a complete idea of nothing.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Thu Sep 10 19:53:49 2009

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