“Stop telling God what to do with his dice.” A response by Niels Bohr to Einstein’s assertion that “God doesn’t play dice with the universe”; a similar statement is attributed to Enrico Fermi.

— popular anecdote in physics with many
claimed sources but the original unknown


In this essay, I will contemplate the role of epistemology and ontology in nihilism with knowledge and truth not limited to a realist or phenomenological sense but deal with them in a holistic nihilist sense that includes a contemplation of the arbitrary and random nature of reality, truth, and knowledge and therefore of the concepts of luck, fate, gods, and God for the absurd nihilist individual who has made a leap to morality in Technological Society. The essay will be divided as follows:

1) A further description of an existential philosophy of language as necessary to contemplate truth and knowledge in language as an expression of the individual person as god along with the gods and the God available for worship by the individual;
2) An existential epistemology by which existential truth leads to pragmatic truth and by which epistemology is gained through holistic reasoning based on acceptance of its arbitrariness and randomness;
3) the nature and comparison of nihilism’s God and the other many gods available.

The essence of nihilist truth and knowledge is in seeing the importance of language and its descriptive “rule-following” that I will call Rule Following to meta-ethics and to the power of ethics to create an aesthetic world more real than reality because language binds even the gods and God. As Wittgenstein asked:

What harm is done e.g. by saying that God knows all irrational numbers? Or: that they are already there, even though we only know certain of them? Why are these pictures not harmless?
For one thing, they hide certain problems.

Suppose that people go on and on calculating the expansion of π. So God, who knows everything, knows whether they will have reached ‘777’ by the end of the world. But can his omniscience decide whether they would have reached it after the end of the world? It cannot. I want to say: Even God can determine something mathematical only by mathematics. Even for him the mere rule of expansion cannot decide anything that it does not decide for us.
We might put it like this: if the rule for the expansion has been given us, a calculation can tell us that there is a ‘2’ at the fifth place. Could God have known this, without the calculation, purely from the rule of expansion? I want to say: No.

For either our gods or God to understand us as we demand they must do, the gods and God must follow the rules of our language games. If God wants to do mathematics, She must follow the rules of mathematics; if she wants to understand and speak English, She must learn English. This is the same for the Other as it is for the Other of me. This power to bind the Other and God is great power, delusional power most likely but great power none the less that nihilism cannot ignore. As with many classical adages, Technological Society forces those adages regarding God to be updated. Voltaire’s “if there was no God, it would be necessary to invent Him” needs to be updated to “if there was no [Christ][Covenant][Prophet][Insert whatever version of God coming to earth as one of us you want], it would be necessary to invent Him, Her, Whatever”. Not as pretty but just as true — which is as it should be because nihilism is not about aesthetics.

The book is available at Nihilism’s Epistemology, Ontology, and Its God

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