Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 6th, 2019, 9:58 pm 

No, it is a mystery and I'll tell you why - because no one can explain it. It's that simple.

What do you mean by 'something'? It's rather a meaningless word. Let's start there.
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 6th, 2019, 10:40 pm 

OK, the Something is partially a mystery, but not as much as it used to be, so I'll try to keep unraveling it… and then Neri will appear and hopefully be able to help. We can't say right now what the Something is, but we are busy narrowing it down.

As for Keep_Relentless, I first posted with him in another forum around ten years ago, when he was only about 12 years old. I'm not really expecting him, since he comes and goes at long intervals.

Since the beginningless Something can't have a particular nature given to it as designed into it and since it yet isn't anything particular because it continues ever transforming with never stopping, we can identify 'nothing particular' with Everything, meaning Everything Possible, whether actually or potentially.

Note that Everything Possible is perhaps not that great of a finding out, for its information content of zero is the same as that of the impossible Nothing. Of course, someone may be able to employ this meaningless situation to deflate other proposals or wishes for something or other else.

Still, without much else to do, aside from ferrying regretful souls across the River Styx, or, in my case, flying around ponds, we can get curious as to whether the Everything Possible is all-at-once or all things happen in turn.

In either case, there may be repeats and reruns, but we can't now tell presentism apart from eternalism but for the former actually making use of our senses while the latter accords to Einstein's GR.

Thanks for keeping the thread going, Charon.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 6th, 2019, 11:44 pm 

Don't thank me too soon, I may not. It's rather difficult to talk about something that has no particular nature! How would you suggest I continue?
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 7th, 2019, 1:53 am 

charon » February 6th, 2019, 10:44 pm wrote:Don't thank me too soon, I may not. It's rather difficult to talk about something that has no particular nature! How would you suggest I continue?


We can smoke the pipe dreams of some of my quatrain poems on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gLmkH3a0-Y
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 7th, 2019, 7:44 am 

Oh, very interesting. I'm sure that's an Auzzie accent there plumbing the depths of Being...
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 8th, 2019, 8:23 pm 

In desperation, I call on the great ancient, Parmenides, who shocked the philosophical world (and still does) with his one and only real Something of 'What Is', thus foreshadowing Einstein's Block Universe, all expounded upon in the only surviving fragment of his great poem 'On Nature'.

Since past and future ever exist, Parmenides still exists and can likely traverse his way over to this section of the Block.



Ah, here he is, accompanied by the lovely, heavenly maidens who picked him up in a sky chariot and revealed the Truth to him:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIZSKm2O4Gk
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 8th, 2019, 9:07 pm 

DF -

I'm not belittling the work put into those videos, they're phantasmagorical! But reality it is not :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011
DragonFly liked this post


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 8th, 2019, 10:33 pm 

The video was the least I could do to honor and popularize Parmenides' great words of revelation that are still difficult to go against today, and with his beloved heavenly bodies included too.

Indeed, the TOE will turn out to be very simple, unexciting even.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 8th, 2019, 11:47 pm 

I see you like heavenly bodies :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 9th, 2019, 1:06 am 

charon » February 8th, 2019, 10:47 pm wrote:I see you like heavenly bodies :-)


Yes, there are many, although since your job is Hell, Charon, that is, well, it's many steps away from Heaven and the night skies ruined from too many fires burning. Does your boss, Pluto, give you time off or a vacation? Or has Pluto been demoted due to being underworlded as no longer being a planet?

(I have to go look for my 'Charon' story that I adapted and lengthened from a good short sketch.)
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 15th, 2019, 1:33 am 

Especially for those who note that everything can't happen all at once:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wcRg1i8E18


Meanwhile, I call upon a Muse and a Djinnii to clarify Being versus Becoming and the option of an information bit/monad process…
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 15th, 2019, 9:09 am 

to clarify Being versus Becoming


I 'd say there wasn't much difference. To be means to exist, and what exists is always in the process of becoming since nothing is static.

Only when there's nothing do being and becoming disappear.
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby gentric on February 16th, 2019, 11:53 pm 

I believe that something is what we can apply our identities to. Nothing is an identity that cannot be applied to anything. The only way to contradict the identity of nothing, is to be able to apply it to something. As such, it is merely a concept, and something we cannot apply to reality.
gentric
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 23 Sep 2018


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on February 17th, 2019, 1:20 pm 

Well, there's relative nothing. If I have something in my hand and then remove it there's nothing in my hand.

Whether or not there's an absolute nothing anywhere is something else :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 17th, 2019, 5:44 pm 

I am in Tahiti, on vacation from Hawaii.

Clarity with soon be forthcoming on the time mode of the Something. A large Persian bottle is rolling ashore. I need a djinni, not just a peri or an houri.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Brent696 on February 19th, 2019, 12:37 am 

The first context, Time

As our consciousness is so confined to a mere moment of time, the "now" as it were, so can we perceive the "Identity" of some "thing" we might call something.

If your consciousness somehow was expanded to where you perceived say a trillion years all at once, all of those somethings, those identities such as bikes and cars and even rocks and planets, would simply be energy flowing in and out of temporary cohesion.

Identities merely snapshots of such a flow, "things" which are not really things at all, only momentary faces in a cloud.

If consciousness can perceived the nothingness of the universe, how can it be said to be inferior to it, as if merely a neuro-chemical effect. How can the small so fully embrace the whole.
User avatar
Brent696
Member
 
Posts: 287
Joined: 12 Jul 2018


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby DragonFly on February 19th, 2019, 1:20 pm 

The conclusion from the djinni is 'Now Here; No Where':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8seaR_YS7_A
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2384
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on May 10th, 2019, 5:31 am 

Keep_Relentless » June 26th, 2012, 1:28 am wrote:Because nothing is nothing. It is not anything. Nothing cannot be.
Do not be trapped in the great illusion of language. :)


Because something has you, and one of the products of your relationship to it is nothingness.
Don Juan
Active Member
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: 17 Jun 2010


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Neri on May 26th, 2019, 10:35 am 

DF and Others,

The simple logic is this:

(1) If “anything” at all exists, then “everything” (the world) necessarily exists, for there will always be the sum of all that exists.

(2) The world cannot be bounded by “nothing,” for the latter is that which does not exist and as such cannot serve as a boundary.

(3) To say that “nothing” bounds the world is to say that it is boundless.

(4) Nor can “anything” serve as a boundary of the world; for “anything,” no matter what, will always be included in the world and hence can only serve to expand and not limit it.

Therefore, the world is unlimited, has always existed and will always exist.

If asked why, one can only say, “why not?

This sort of logic presumes that there are “things that exist,” each of which is by its nature “something” and “not anything else.”

However, if one takes Parmenides’ view (as Einstein did), time is completely left out and with it all Happening. [Einstein treated time as an anisotropic space coordinate.] As such, the world is reduced to an impenetrable, immoveable and never-changing geometric object.

But surely this view is preposterous, for it leaves out thought. Indeed, nothing can make a greater claim to reality than our own thoughts. Yet thinking is a dynamic process. If it were frozen without one thought following or preceding another, it would not exist in the first place.

Yet thoughts cannot be determined by instants (points of time), for what we call “one thought” blends seamlessly into what we call “a succeeding thought.” This possibility of succession is the most basic meaning of time. However, this succession is not a geometric one but rather one of experienced immanent differences. That is, individual things are a matter of experience and not a matter of reality

Our thoughts mirror all that we perceive and make us aware of the reality that the world, like our thoughts, is continuously changing. By the latter expression we mean that the world cannot be perfectly delineated by spatial or temporal points. That is, the world is not all that exists but rather all that happens in continuity.

This means that there really are no “perfectly individual things.” The only thing that can claim perfect unity is the world itself. That is, properly speaking, only the world “exists” and all the rest “happens.”

However, it would seem that a world in continuous transition is never any particular thing and cannot really be delineated as such. But, a little reflection will reveal that this is not at all the case.

The world may be understood as analogous to an isomorphic topological space in continuous transition. As such it is unlimited as to the number of forms it may take but is limited as to the kinds of forms it may take, in the sense that any form must be reducible to some “original” form.

Thus, it may be understood that the world remains the same even as it changes. However, this is only an analogy, for no form the world takes can be determined by points of any sort, for the continuous transformations of the world never wait to be captured by any mathematical snapshot.

To put it another way, the kinds of forms the world may take is limited by an eternal essence that makes the world what it is and not what it becomes. The laws of nature are our own myopic concoctions of this essence.
Neri
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Brent696 on May 27th, 2019, 4:50 pm 

Neri » May 26th, 2019, 9:35 am

DF and Others,

The simple logic is this:

(1) If “anything” at all exists, then “everything” (the world) necessarily exists, for there will always be the sum of all that exists.

(2) The world cannot be bounded by “nothing,” for the latter is that which does not exist and as such cannot serve as a boundary.

(3) To say that “nothing” bounds the world is to say that it is boundless.

(4) Nor can “anything” serve as a boundary of the world; for “anything,” no matter what, will always be included in the world and hence can only serve to expand and not limit it.

Therefore, the world is unlimited, has always existed and will always exist.

If asked why, one can only say, “why not?

This sort of logic presumes that there are “things that exist,” each of which is by its nature “something” and “not anything else.”


Lets try a simple analogy,

The room begins in silence, an infinite dimension of nothingness, a void of emptiness. Then you speak a word, each word, a simply vibration, arises from the silence, containing both a beginning and an end, a particle of sound as it were. Does a word exist, of course, or does it. When we speak of existence we refer to reality, what is real. The senses of our bodies, those gates through which we see, hear, observe the universe, are not attuned to the silence, we cannot hear silence, but when we hear a word, to that we apply reality.

A "word" is a "THING", it exists, but only as a finite interruption of the silence, with a breath it becomes and then disappears. Yet the silence remains, logically then, which condition holds the greatest reality, the sound, a momentary ripple, of the silence in which all sound must eventually dissolve.

Every "thing" in this universe, from complex forms to such parts as they are made up from, atoms, subatomic particles, etc. and nothing more than vibrations. We live in the midst of a symphony of vibrations, finite sounds interlacing, overlapping, resonating, harmonizing, but every part is as finite as a single word. Overcome by the sheer multiplicity and the noise we are conditioned to think of them all as real.

As silence is the greater reality than sound, its inherent infinity of nothing, and each word bound within it, "Nothingness" is the reality behind all things we perceive as existing. it may seem like the sun will always rise, but we know it is finite, colliding galaxies create sound throughout the cosmos, no different than the words spoken by all the people who have lived or will live on this planet, but it all will cease. The only thing which can be said to truly exist is nothing.

However, if one takes Parmenides’ view (as Einstein did), time is completely left out and with it all Happening. [Einstein treated time as an anisotropic space coordinate.] As such, the world is reduced to an impenetrable, immoveable and never-changing geometric object.

But surely this view is preposterous, for it leaves out thought. Indeed, nothing can make a greater claim to reality than our own thoughts. Yet thinking is a dynamic process. If it were frozen without one thought following or preceding another, it would not exist in the first place.


Einstein's treatment of "time" as a static dimension such as space, was not a theoretical model, it was an observation of the nature of time and space, DESPITE our intuitive observation which makes it seem like the universe is actually aging. Thus the reality emerges as a "Block Universe" where everything, in space and time is existing at once.

Our intuitive experience, derived from our consciousness, whereby it appears time is actually moving, is an ILLUSION.

In order for us, to experience a sense of self, we must occupy a mere pinpoint of space, as well as time, if we experienced the block universe, the whole universe at once, all time at once, there would be no more us, no "I am", there would merely be the universe. Our individuality is contingent upon us riding a wave on the ocean of consciousness as it were. But the fact that we are limited to merely riding this wave, so that we might experience within ourselves a sense of self, does not change the nature of the universe.

For example, you are moving through space, and so your view is constantly changing, this change actually communicates to you that you are in motion, if you were traveling a hundred MPH in between galaxies, you would have to reference to even know if you were actually moving at all, they would be too vast.

Likewise as we move through time, consciously, our thought changing like the scenery, so we experience a sense of self. Time thus is just as static as is space, the intuitive illusion that the universe itself is aging is merely a projection of your own experience as a conscious being.
User avatar
Brent696
Member
 
Posts: 287
Joined: 12 Jul 2018


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Neri on May 28th, 2019, 12:29 am 

Brent,

I have treated this matter several times throughout the forum. The following is but one example.

“It is well understood that Minkowski Space-time as employed by Einstein is a B-Series (per McTaggart) and as such does not allow for the flow of time.

“That is, if space-time were real in itself and not just an idea, nothing would ever happen. There would be no motion and no change of any sort. This essentially describes a world a la Parmenides--an impenetrable and eternally unchanging geometric object.

“Popper was well aware of this fact and, in his conservations with Einstein, asked him if he actually believed such a thing. Einstein freely admitted that he indeed believed it. Thereafter, Popper took to calling Einstein ‘Parmenides.’

“Einstein took the position that occurrences are not real but only illusions resulting from time slices rising in our consciousness. Popper pointed out [I believe quite correctly] that such a description presumes time for nothing can rise or fall in our consciousness or anywhere else for that matter without time. In other words, Popper argued that Einstein’s description requires an underlying A-Series even as he denies its existence.

“Popper understood, and Einstein agreed, that the time coordinate in relativity theory was in fact an anisotropic space coordinate.

“I have treated this matter at length elsewhere with ample quotes from Popper wherein he sets forth his conversations with Einstein. There is no point in repeating them here.”
Neri
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, USA


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on May 31st, 2019, 11:40 am 

I'll tell you why, although you may not accept it. Which doesn't matter.

The question's wrong. It's not something as opposed to nothing, it's both. There's both somethingness and nothingness. Both exist, yet reality's still not quite that. There is a reality, something which is actually real, but what we see now is and isn't real at the same time, yet it's there.

The idea of a holograph isn't a bad analogy because a holograph is real as a holograph but the content isn't actual, yet it is at the same time.

It's not really something describable, which is not to make a mystery it; it's just that it can't really be put into adequate words.

It's not an illusion, we make illusions ourselves, but the nature of things generally eludes us because of the senses. The senses tell us that things are solid, for instance, but they're not really, and yet they're there.

Time has something to do with it too. For us time is linear, yesterday, today and tomorrow, but actually everything is now, present. It's the same thing put differently.

So reality isn't going anywhere, it just is, although for us, of course, there's ongoing change. So although change is true, changelessness is also true. Again the same thing.

If we could somehow by-pass the physical processes of the brain we'd see it. That's about all I can say :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 1st, 2019, 3:04 am 

Tend to agree with Charon and I may add that with somethingness and nothingness exist at different levels.
Don Juan
Active Member
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: 17 Jun 2010


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby CanMan on June 7th, 2019, 8:36 am 

But it seems this "somethingness and nothingness" has always existed.
User avatar
CanMan
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Jun 2019


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2019, 9:48 am 

It's so obvious!
Because if there was nothing, there could be nobody to ask "Why is there nothing instead of something?"

Does anyone really believe this is a question that can be investigated and eventually answered?
Or is it just a one-hand-clapping exercise in whiling away a portion of the only material life you're ever likely to have? Would it not make more sense to leave contemplation and debate of such questions to such time as you're dead and need to fill all that eternity?
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3558
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby CanMan on June 7th, 2019, 12:12 pm 

Serpent: "Would it not make more sense to leave contemplation and debate of such questions to such time as you're dead and need to fill all that eternity?"

I doubt I will have the capacity to satisfy my curiosity then.
User avatar
CanMan
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Jun 2019


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 7th, 2019, 12:50 pm 

It's been answered. The question is wrongly phrased, it's not either/or, it's both and beyond that.
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby CanMan on June 7th, 2019, 1:00 pm 

Charon: "The question is wrongly phrased, it's not either/or, it's both and beyond that."

Does that mean both are infinite; always existed? Or is it possible that there was nothing before there was something?
User avatar
CanMan
Forum Neophyte
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 02 Jun 2019


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Serpent on June 7th, 2019, 3:25 pm 

Well, of course it can be answered. But does the answer have a standard and method whereby it can be tested and verified?
Coz, otherwise, it's just blowing smoke.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 3558
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 7th, 2019, 6:35 pm 

CanMan » June 7th, 2019, 6:00 pm wrote:Charon: "The question is wrongly phrased, it's not either/or, it's both and beyond that."

Does that mean both are infinite; always existed? Or is it possible that there was nothing before there was something?


Neither, nothingness is inherent in somethingness, they're together. As I said before, this isn't something which is readily describable. It's not ducking the question either, it's just not.

I don't like the expression 'always existed' because it implies some sort of continuity in time. It's not like that, it's just sort of there, but not there either, yet it is there...

I don't think you'll ever get a precise explanation or description. Same thing with 'infinite' although that may be true. But that word can imply something that stretches out in every direction forever, and it's not like that either.

When the gurus/mystics, etc, say it 'is', unfortunately that's probably the best one :-)
charon
Active Member
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


PreviousNext

Return to Metaphysics & Epistemology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests