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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Abstract

GERICKE, J. W.. Why is there something rather than nothing? Biblical ontology and the mystery of existence. Old testam. essays [online]. 2008, vol.21, n.2, pp.329-344. ISSN 2312-3621.

In metaphysics, perhaps the most fascinating but also the most commonly misunderstood problem presents itself in the question, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' This is the mystery of existence and it has proved to be insoluble as long as it is properly understood. One popular misconception with regard to the problem includes the belief that biblical ontology was concerned with a similar query, in response to which it supposedly offered the 'god-hypothesis' as a pre-philosophical solution to the riddle of the Real. In this paper, these assumptions are critically evaluated and shown to be both anachronistic and presumptuous. Protological aetiologies in the Hebrew Bible show no trace of familiarity with the problem of Being and the assumed deity-reality relation was never intended as a solution to the mystery of why things are the way they are, or why they are at all.

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