That Than Which


Without the creation of a word to name it in the late sixteenth century, did the doctrine or belief that there is no God have existence? What prompted the active rejection of God leading to the refusal to believe in that than which no greater can be conceived  let alone have the ability to even conceive of a being greater than oneself at all? Was it the hubris of an impatient heir on the brink of committing parricide?

Some three hundred years after the word was created Friedrich Nietzche proclaimed "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

A self-avowed atheist, did Nietzche mean that there was once a God who had actually died, or rather that the collective idea of one had? Following the so-named Enlightenment, the idea of a universe entirely subject to laws of physics instead of divine providence was now reality. Philosophical discourse had shown that governments did not need to be based around the idea of divine right to be legitimate, but rather formed by the rational consent of the governed — that it was possible to develop a full-scale and consistent human morality without reference to God. It seemed that the human adventure no longer needed God as the source for all morality, value, or order in the universe; philosophy and science now seemed capable of doing that for us.

Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design states "M-Theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law. .... Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

Are we the words we make flesh from?

my shadow follows
the sun to the edge
of the earth