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DANTE: A SCANDALOUS THEIST

Theists love to say that their God is absolutely different from Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. The God dealt with in the Bible (they point out) did create matter out of nothing, while the Greek deity did nothing more than help matter, already existing, trasform and improve itself. That’s what they usually think while confessing “I believe in one God, Creator of heavens and earth”.

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Would they repeat this same formula, if they happened to do it in front of saint Peter himself? They sure do, and more firmly than ever.
But, listen, looks like there’s a voice out of tune in the heavenly choir. Who’s that rascal?
He IS in front of saint Peter, and he DOES confess his faith in the presence of the first Pope in the very kingdom of God, but – but – but he is CHANGING the words of it! He is outrageously mixing the christian Creed with Aristotle’s Metaphysics! Who’s that madman?
Dante. Dante Alighieri, and that’s what he dared describe in “Paradiso”, ch. 24.
He began in the proper way: “I believe in one God…”
Good.
“… The only one, the eternal one…”
All too well, so far.
“… Who moves everything, without being himself moved”.
The Unmoved Mover! Can it be?
How could he put the God making the universe out of nothing and the philosophical Final Cause on the same level? According to both the Old and the New Testament, in fact, God did not find any matter to be shaped: He himself at the same time created and shaped matter out of nothing… out of nothing… out of nothing…
Wait a minute. A witness comes out and defends Dante. “Out of nothing, yeah” he says. “But, did you ever read what’s been written in Albert Einstein’s books? That matter and energy are the same thing. That means, matter IS movement. So, God just had to move that primordial nothingness, and air water land trees beasts popped up. I see, you theists still look unconvinced. Let me show it by means of a mathematic proof:
– (no thing) = – ( – some thing) = + (some thing)

So, it turns out that to create the world out of nothing and to produce it by moving matter, i.e. by modifying nothing, exactly coincide. Let this man free, he is innocent”.

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