Nothing Exists

David Cowles

Sep 17, 2021

“What’s the good of anything? Nothing!”

These 6 words, placed in the mouth of 12 year old Archibald Rennick in a 1892 play, “The New Boy”, may be more philosophically important and ontologically revolutionary than Nietzsche’s entire corpus. How so?

“What’s the good of anything? Nothing!”


These 6 words, placed in the mouth of 12 year old Archibald Rennick in a 1892 play, “The New Boy”, may be more philosophically important and ontologically revolutionary than Nietzsche’s entire corpus. How so?


The bedrock premise of Christian ontology (and many other Western ontologies) is that Being and Good are indissolubly linked. Something is only to the extent that it is good. Conversely, something is not good only to the extent that it’s being is incomplete (or incompletely is).


Since we seem to live in a world of perpetual becoming & perishing, it is not too much of a stretch to say that ‘evil is all around us’; yet we cannot pick evil up…or even point to it. It is not a being but a ‘lack’ (in the existential sense).


Therefore, ultimate evil is the dissolution of being (mortality, entropy, cosmic heat death).

Rennick stands this formulation on its head: there is no good in anything…and therefore nothing exists!

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