Can Something Be The Cause Of Nothing?

Can “something” be the cause of “nothing?”

On the surface, it sounds like a silly question. However, the question and its answer have implications for the fields of philosophy and theology.

It is hard to imagine, in a cause-and-effect relationship, an effect that is “nothing.”

Hard to imagine does not mean that something, like a cause causing nothing, is impossible. But impossible seems to be the case, in this inquiry.

A cause, by its nature, brings about an effect, and an effect, by its nature, is always a “some thing,” consequently, by definition, an effect is not a “no thing.”

Can something be the cause of nothing? No.

Another question: Can death be the cause nothing? Closer to home, can my death cause me to be nothing?

Philosophically, it would seem that the answer leans toward no.

Existentially, the body upon death undertakes a transformation and that part of me is no longer present.

But what of the stuff that is not of the body, that is my soul?*

And that’s where theology, in particular the theology of the Bible, makes sense: Upon my death, I am not nothing, my life continues, my soul survives. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live,” John 11: 25.

Death is an ending and a beginning, but not the cause of nothing.

* There are people who do not believe humans have souls, that humans are nothing but material. This article assumes each human has a body and a soul.


About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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