Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning out of or from nothing. A quick Google search will reveal that the word is normally associated with creation. But I contend that worlds and universes are not the only things that are ex nihilo.
As it pertains to creation in modern day discussions, ex nihilo highlights the collision of the material and spiritual worlds. The strictly material worldview scoffs at the idea of a world created ex nihilo because it denies the existence of anything that cannot be known via the five senses. But no sooner than a person adopt this worldview than he becomes cognitively dissonant in the arena of morality. From the materialistic standpoint there is simply no foundation from which to assert any morality. Still, those who approach our beginnings from a strictly materialistic point of view are no less prone to preaching oughts than the most fervent of the faithful.
We can see this when we ask the question "why" to any kind of ought. Following this line of reasoning will always lead to nothing. Why ought every American have health care? Why ought I care if the planet overheats? Why ought I not shoot a bunch of kids in a school? Why ought I care about diversity? Why ought I not be a bigot? Why ought I not impose my beliefs on others? Why ought it matter that the electrical signalling generated in one skull causes it to turn away from the sick and hungry and to self indulgence? The fact remains that for the materialist, any appeal to ought HAS to be made ex nihilo.
It is impossible to connect the dots from scientific facts brought about by materialisticly based thinking to moral values, and it is of the utmost importance to realize this. The material world, as interpreted by randomly involved intelligence, can only produce facts. Facts are not moral. They tell us nothing of oughts. To make the leap from 2+2=4, to thou shalt not murder, is a leap ex nihilo. Facts, the discovery of which is the ultimate goal of real science, (real science as opposed to the a priori pseudo science that is so common today) do not and can not produce moral values. No matter how complicated or sophisticated our science becomes, or how arrogant it makes us, or how much it can increase our faith in death being the end, a wall exists and will ever remain between cold facts discovered and moral codes that dictate how we ought to behave. The Ultimate and cruel reality then is that if there is no God; and even if there is a God and we can't know him, any "oughts" asserted by anyone are oughts ex nihilo.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
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