Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Follow up on Fr. Barron and Ex Nihilo post

In my previous post about Fr. Barron and Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit, I commented that Fr. Barron's "God" was a contradiction to the rule Fr. Barron was using to prove the existence of God. Ex Nihilio Fit may not readily appear to be such a contradiction, but it is, and here's how.

On its face, it seems that God is not a contradiction at all, because since "nothing can come from nothing," the universe came from God, and God always was. Thus, there's no contradiction. Or so it would seem.
 There is a hidden contradiction, however, in the idea that the universe came from God. That contradiction is this: If nothing can come from nothing, then the 'contra positive' of this statement is that everything comes from something. But Fr. Barron believes that God didn't come from something. And something that did not come from something contradicts the rule that "everything comes from something." Hence, the contradiction of accepting God as the author of all existence.

Here is the opposite idea:  If we say that everything in existence today came from a previous existence that we have yet to understand - such as is proposed in ideas like the zero-energy universe or inflation - then we are accepting the idea that our existence 'came from something' that preceded it, and hence the rule is validated. Namely, our existence came from "something", which was a wholly different version of existence from the one we now know. Thus,  our investigation as to what preceded this existence can, and indeed is invited to, continue.

On the other hand, if we simply conclude that God preceded existence, and that nothing preceded God and thus God did not come from 'something,' then God invalidates the contra positive of the rule. God, in other words, disproves the rule of Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit. And we cannot use a rule to "prove" the existence of something that "disproves" the rule itself.

 Also, God is an answer that simply dead-ends our inquiry into who we are and where we came from. And since God is infinite, God can be defined in every possible way, with every definition being equally as valid. God, however, is therefore a god we can never hope to fully know until (allegedly) after we die.
In this sense, God is really the road block to knowledge, not the vehicle of it.  Meaning, if the only thing that lies beyond existence is an infinite God and God alone, than the pursuit of knowledge becomes a fools errand. Why? Because the finite can never "know" the infinite in its infinite capacity. The finite only possess the capacity to "imagine" the infinite, in any infinite number of imaginable ways.

The idea of God as the explanation and originator of all things also chills, if not altogether kills, our desire to accumulate a diversity of knowledge. This is because, at least according to Catholic theology, "all things will be revealed to us" after we die. Why study for a test when it's a test you can never "pass" per se, and all the answers will be given after the exam anyway?  As such, all our curiosities become funnelled into a single fear that drives us out of a desire to avoid eternal damnation by knowing God, who is (allegedly) the only one who can save us. This is like giving kindergarten students a calculus exam and telling them that they can only avoid an eternal ass-whooping if I choose to forgive them for failing a test they could never pass anyway. Oh, and by the way, I'll give you all the answers to this exam when you finish it, even though the answers won't make much more sense to you than the questions. Now get to work!

The whole thing simply becomes a rather cruel game of hiding from your children the very things they need to improve and sustain themselves.  I mean, what kind of father hides from his children the things they need the most? 

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