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ETpro's avatar

If God made everything out of nothing, how come there's still so much nothing left about?

Asked by ETpro (34552points) February 18th, 2011

Giving credit where credit is due, this question is inspired by a Paul Valery quote, “God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.” When I ran across the quote today, I thought we could have some fun with possible answers to this perplexing conundrum. So let your creativity and wit run free in supplying the explanation.

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33 Answers

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

If I remember correctly all the Science Channel documentaries I’ve watched over the years, scientists theorize that there isn’t “nothing” in space. I believe they call it dark matter.

And, there is the fact that God doesn’t exist, which makes the whole premise of your quote invalid.

Interesting question, though!

absalom's avatar

He has yet to clean up the leftover materials.

Or something…

iamthemob's avatar

Besides dark matter (which there is good evidence for) and dark energy (which we’re still struggling with), there’s all the other energy. It really only seems empty on the macroscopic scale – and considering that background radiation raises the temperature of the darkest regions of space such that there doesn’t seem to be any place where the temperature is absolute zero, I’m inclined to think that there really isn’t “nothing” – just shit we ain’t really seen yet.

blueiiznh's avatar

We are just blind to what the nothingness really is. Keep your mind open.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro Pretty simple answer here….he was nice enough to leave us some to play with. After all ,the good followers will have all of eternity to do something with all that nothingness. ;)

kess's avatar

God is all things whose origin if there be one caan only be nothing.
if one is able to reognise this nothing , then he will also recognise the Father.

When the father is recognised he is able to recognise himself…when he recognise himself , he is now able to recognise all things.

But since to most this topic is merely an exercise for vain debates where none actially seeks to kbowt he truth about nothing, then they would forever walk in the darkness of their own ignorance in seeking after the wisdom of men.

wundayatta's avatar

God is a rather sloppy carpenter. Have you ever looked at a construction site? Ever notice all those scraps of wood and heating duct and insulation and God-knows-what lying around on the ground? Some of it is pretty big and sometimes there is an awful lot of it.

Or maybe God’s just a big baby. They make quite a mess, too. Ohh. And they slobber all over it, while they’re at it. Yeah. One of those giant babies, sitting on the…. nothing in his diaper, picking up everything and putting it in his mouth and putting it down again.

So, he’s playing with nothing, and twisting it this way and that, and tasting it to see if it might be good to eat…. Well, no, not really. Babies taste stuff to learn about them, not necessarily to eat them.

Did you ever wonder what nothing tastes like? I mean, before there was anything to compare it to? Nothing was the only game in town, and God was definitely into it.

So babies do what babies do. Pooh.

Basically, God ate nothing and poohed out something. How’s it feel to know you’re a piece of shit balancing on the cusp of nothing?

But God, like I say, pretty messy. Left a lot of leftover nothing lying around, while he went on to grow up, attend Oxford and The Sorbonne and get an engineering degree. Or maybe it was a linguistics degree.

Unless he went to MIT and is now working on the large Hadron collider. Seems he’s trying to figure out what exactly he did when he was a baby. I think he thinks that if he can get the grand unified field theory of the universe before anyone else, he’ll be able to rein in all that nothing and put it to good use.

Or maybe he’ll buy Google stock with it.

gailcalled's avatar

The French is more axiomatic:

“Dieu a tout fait de rien. Mais le rien perce.”

Thanks for introducing me to this lovely quote.

marinelife's avatar

Because there was more nothing than he needed to make everything.

Coloma's avatar

Because it takes space to create something out of no-thing.

A room is not a room unless it has walls to contain the space that creates the room.

Just as our bodies contain the space which encompasses our essence that is part of the infinite.

There must be infinite space for the never ending expansion of all things.

downtide's avatar

He only had six days to get it all done, there’s no way you can use up all of that nothing in only six days.

choreplay's avatar

M = e/C2 (squared)

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s a work in progress.

Summum's avatar

Not even a God could or can make something out of nothing.

PARAprakrti's avatar

Creation ex nihilo is incorrect. God is eternally accompanied by His multifarious energies. If He weren’t, then He wouldn’t be God (since an energy-less being is a powerless non-God.) Moreover, God’s creation is a manifestation of a portion of those eternally existing energies. Creation does not come from absolute nothing. There is no such thing as absolute nothing.

As far as that quote goes, I have no idea what the “nothingness” that “shows through” is supposed to be.


Simply, because God made nothing too. He’s the creator of all things, things which are tangible and real and things that are invisible and which are seemingly non-existent (nothing). ;)

ETpro's avatar

@ParaParaYukiko Thanks. And I agree that the nothing concept applies well to the creator

@absalom Most likely :or something, don’t you think?

@iamthemob So it’s all a matter or dark matter and something’s the matter with dark energy/ As a matter of fact. that’s as clear as nothing to me. :-)

@blueiiznh My wife tells me my mind is a vast nothingness as it is. Is that still too much? What should I put in place of nothing to have an even more “open” mind? :-)

@Cruiser All eternity, yeah, but it bites that I got a late start.

@kess That tells me nothing, which is exactly what I asked about. Great Answer.

@wundayatta I knew it! I’ve been in God’s mouth.

@Season_of_Fall What is the speed of the light of nothing? :-)

@Summum I believe you are right, only nothing can do that.

@PARAprakrti Thanks for exposing the nothingness of that quote.

@MRSHINYSHOES Oh cool. I started off with plenty of nothing; but then out.

KonanBarbarian's avatar

Actually there is no nothing. Everything is something, even the stuff you think isn’t.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Assuming your premise is correct, there would have to be more nothing if everything else is made from it, wouldn’t you think?

@KonanBarbarian Are you sure? One could argue that a thing only becomes a thing once we acknowledge it’s existence (think about it) and label it or make it concrete.

ETpro's avatar

@KonanBarbarian Scientifically, you are right. Outer space is described as follows: “It is not completely empty (i.e. a perfect vacuum), but contains a low density of particles, predominantly hydrogen plasma, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos. Theoretically, it also contains dark matter and dark energy.” My question was more of a whimsical nature.

@SABOTEUR It’s actually Paul Valery’s premise, which I think he advanced to be silly. Just for the record, I don’t think the premise is correct.

choreplay's avatar

Well @ETpro, Thanks for Nothing! lol

phoebusg's avatar

The concept of “nothing” exists only in our brains/language – to communicate the absence of something. There is no absence of everything – always something left behind – whether we can see it or not.

As far as god creating the universe would entail that he too must have a creator – and his creator a creator ad infinitum. But if we accept that he has always existed – and will always exist – then why can’t we simply accept that the universe has instead. It’s a much simpler answer (and less anthropocentric).


Nothing is nothing. And God is its creator too. Just like you open a box, and there’s nothing inside except space. That nothingness, that empty space, is part of God’s creation too. ;)

ETpro's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Ha! Touche.

@phoebusg There you go getting all logical and stuff.

@MRSHINYSHOES And you know this how?


@ETpro I don’t have to have scientific evidence or “know” it is such. That is the power of faith. Just like I know there is a God. Now do you understand my friend?

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Yes, I understand faith. I know its fallibility, but I respect its existence.


@ETpro There is no fallibility in faith. That is an oxymoron.

Summum's avatar

Faith is belief in something unseen or unknown. You do not see falibility in that? Just curious I have faith in many things but it really doesn’t make it so.

Summum's avatar

Do you know how many have faith in things that don’t exist?

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES If fallability in faith is an oxymoron, you have some very tall explaining to do. Are you saying that all those who believe that Mohamed is GOd’s proohet and the only way to heaven are right—and that all those who believe the Jesus was the Messiah, God incarnate on Earth and the only route to heaven are right—and that all those who believe that the Messiah hasn’t come yet and than only by following all the laws of the Talmud can one get to heaven are also right. Those are mutually exclusive beliefs. They cannot possibly all be right. And yet large numbers of people believe each of those contradictory things, and many more like them, by faith.

Faith cannot be proof of truth. If it were, then all religions are right even when they say all the others are wrong. And the world used to be flat, but suddenly transformed into round when enough people’s faith in that alternate shape kicked into play. The Sun used to orbit the Earth, but somewhere along the way, people’s faith about that changed and whamo, the sun jumped to the center of the solar system.


@ETpro You don’t have to be religious or be a follower of any of the religions you mentioned, to have faith in nothingness as God’s creation. Having faith is the truth. Faith and believing in something are two different things. With faith, you don’t need proof. I think I’ve explained myself here very clearly, and there’s no need for me to keep re-visiting this comment thread. Fallibility means the potential for falsehood. With faith, there is no such thing. It’s really a no-brainer my friend. It’s too bad you cannot see that. But enough said. So long. ;)

ETpro's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES You are hedging the issue. The contradiction still denies the validity of faith as a legitimate substitute for evidence. If atheists have faith that nothingness was NOT created by God and theists have faith it was, then we still have a conflict where faith cannot possibly make both parties right.

“God created nothingness!” is either true or false on its own merits. How many people may have faith in it at any given time has nothing whatsoever to do with its validity. If it is true, it was true before man even existed to have faith in it. If it is false, no amount of faith will transform it to a truth.

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