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 June 13th, 2019, 12:58 pm 

By default the Mover of all things? What is that?
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby bangstrom on June 13th, 2019, 1:33 pm 

charon » June 13th, 2019, 11:58 am wrote:By default the Mover of all things? What is that?


Here is Isaac Asimov’s classic story about how the Mover was prompted to reverse entropy in “The Last Question.”

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/sear ... ction=view
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Serpent on June 13th, 2019, 3:08 pm 

charon » June 13th, 2019, 11:58 am wrote:By default the Mover of all things? What is that?

It is the answer to your question:
The One who moves/removes: what I have left after I have removed all things.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 13th, 2019, 6:24 pm 

Ah, you mean like Pickfords...

https://www.pickfords.co.uk/international-moving

What's usually left is a lot of dust and the bill :-)

No, hang on -

The One who moves/removes: what I have left after I have removed all things


You mean YOU remain - because you're not a 'thing'. You might have a point there.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 13th, 2019, 7:15 pm 

What do you guys think are assumed or presupposed when one asks the question:

"Why is there something instead of nothing?"
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 13th, 2019, 7:39 pm 

I don't think it assumes or presupposes anything, it's a perfectly straightforward question. You may as well ask 'What is a tree?'.

In any case, the question's rubbish. Who said there was something instead of nothing?
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Serpent on June 13th, 2019, 7:43 pm 

charon » June 13th, 2019, 5:24 pm wrote:[The One who moves/removes: what I have left after I have removed all things]

You mean YOU remain - because you're not a 'thing'.

No, that isn't the reason. My corporate being is a thing, just like yours and those of all the other sensate objects I move.
I parsed the sentence for you. What's the problem?
I must remain, because I am the one instructed to "remove every thing" and asked "what I have left." When I have removed all things and have nothing left, I must be present to have that nothing.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby ronjanec on June 13th, 2019, 8:28 pm 

charon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:39 pm wrote:I don't think it assumes or presupposes anything, it's a perfectly straightforward question. You may as well ask 'What is a tree?'.

In any case, the question's rubbish. Who said there was something instead of nothing?


“the questions rubbish”!? I cannot believe some of the wacky things you say in your posts Charon!

No less an authority than Stanford University(ever hear of them?) obviously thinks otherwise, and goes into the same question in great depth;
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/
Last edited by ronjanec on June 13th, 2019, 8:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 13th, 2019, 8:40 pm 

charon wrote:I don't think it assumes or presupposes anything, it's a perfectly straightforward question. You may as well ask 'What is a tree?'.


My point of view is different on this aspect. One cannot NOT assume or presuppose. At least the question presupposes something or someone who asks a question. It presupposes a thinking entity with all its model of the world and conditions.

In any case, the question's rubbish. Who said there was something instead of nothing?


Possibly yes, that is one of the many possibilities to think about the question. I wish to point out a different path of inquiry - penetrate into the question deep into its assumptions and presuppositions.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 14th, 2019, 12:10 am 

But assumption and supposition aren't good thinking. Sticking to facts is good thinking. If I assume one thing and you assume another then we argue over our assumptions, but that has nothing to do with the question.

The question itself is an assumption. Put it the other way round: There is something rather than nothing, why?

Of course there is something. WE are the 'something'! But who says it's instead of nothing? Who says nothing doesn't exist as well?

I'm saying that's the nature of reality, both something and nothing. The two go together, and there's probably something beyond that too. Must be, in fact, otherwise there's no explanation for it.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 14th, 2019, 5:09 am 

charon wrote:But assumption and supposition aren't good thinking.


What do you mean by good thinking? Would you agree that you have beliefs that you are not aware of or you are aware but left unexamined? Would you agree that even good thinking (in your sense) would have assumptions and presuppositions?

Sticking to facts is good thinking.


The question suggests complexity, and yet we cannot have all the facts to consider the question in depth.

If I assume one thing and you assume another then we argue over our assumptions, but that has nothing to do with the question.


We cannot be sure about our assumptions are the same or different unless we bring them into the open and discuss them explicitly. We can argue over our positions, but it is not always possible to argue our assumptions about our positions especially when we are not aware of them or have not expressed them explicitly.

The question itself is an assumption. Put it the other way round: There is something rather than nothing, why?


The question itself can be an assumption to another argument, but I would like to point out that it is an expression of a thinking entity and thus it was made with some understanding of the world. I wish to point to that understanding, what is it. What are those preconditions that made this entity ask the question.

Of course there is something. WE are the 'something'! But who says it's instead of nothing? Who says nothing doesn't exist as well?


The question is 'Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?'. The question presupposes the existence of something, and experience of nothingness with a limited extension but wanting to expand beyond that of something. Every proposition or question is a door to a world of assumptions and presuppositions. A proposition or question is like a fruit and I would like to know from what tree it came from.

I'm saying that's the nature of reality, both something and nothing. The two go together, and there's probably something beyond that too. Must be, in fact, otherwise there's no explanation for it.


We are similar in opinion except that I tend to think nothingness is emergent from something.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 14th, 2019, 8:39 am 

...

Don Juan -

What do you mean by good thinking?


Intelligent thinking, thinking that doesn't assume, pre-judge, that proceeds factually, that doesn't leap to conclusions. Thinking that is logical, rational, and founded in reality, not illusion or fantasy.

Would you agree that you have beliefs that you are not aware of or you are aware but left unexamined? Would you agree that even good thinking (in your sense) would have assumptions and presuppositions?


Anything is possible.

The question suggests complexity, and yet we cannot have all the facts to consider the question in depth


Ah, in that case no one can ever answer the question because no one knows everything.

We cannot be sure about our assumptions are the same or different unless we bring them into the open and discuss them explicitly. We can argue over our positions, but it is not always possible to argue our assumptions about our positions especially when we are not aware of them or have not expressed them explicitly.


But I'm saying they're not relevant.

You and I could assume all sorts of things about, say, the moon but they have nothing to do with the moon. The moon remains what it is regardless of any assumption; it's unaffected by anything we say.

I would like to point out that it is an expression of a thinking entity and thus it was made with some understanding of the world.


Or not, as the case may be. Leibnitz's answer was that God did it so he was still in a state of belief and conclusion, and belief and reality are not the same thing.

What are those preconditions that made this entity ask the question.


Exactly. He was a clever man, a religious philosopher in Germany in 1714 - which isn't actually relevant. It's whether he could think straight or not. And I don't think 'God did it' is a good enough answer. Anyone could say that.

The question is 'Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?'. The question presupposes the existence of something


No, things really do exist, it's not a presupposition. This earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, they all exist. They're not an illusion, they exist. Unless you're mad, of course.

experience of nothingness with a limited extension but wanting to expand beyond that of something.


Sorry, I don't know what that means.

Every proposition or question is a door to a world of assumptions and presuppositions.


Then we're lost because we've gone into a world of non-realities. Assumptions, conclusions, beliefs and opinions aren't factual.

A proposition or question is like a fruit and I would like to know from what tree it came from.


Fair enough, but I don't think the question 'Why does anything exist at all?' is a foolish question. But answering it with a conclusion isn't the answer. We have to find out, if it's possible, not just assume things. I mean, this is simple, isn't it?

Certainly we should know what lies behind the question, what motivated it, but I don't think that's difficult, it's an insightful enough question. But not when one examines it closely.

We are similar in opinion except that I tend to think nothingness is emergent from something.


Absolutely, I said that. Reality is both something and nothing, but reality isn't all there is.

Reality means what is real, not illusionary or imagined, but what is actually there. What is actually there is all we see - nature and what man has made. But who has put it all there?

It's easy to say 'God' but it doesn't explain why God did anything at all. Why produce anything? Especially a mad world like this.

So either God did it or we did it, right? :-)
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 18th, 2019, 11:14 am 

charon » June 14th, 2019, 2:39 pm wrote:...

Don Juan -

What do you mean by good thinking?


Intelligent thinking, thinking that doesn't assume, pre-judge, that proceeds factually, that doesn't leap to conclusions. Thinking that is logical, rational, and founded in reality, not illusion or fantasy.


So you do not assume, pre-judge, leap to conclusion and that is factual? How far have you gone into your own thoughts to notice uncertainty? Intelligent thinking without illusion or fantasy, what is that? It seems to be more of a limited thinking.

Would you agree that you have beliefs that you are not aware of or you are aware but left unexamined? Would you agree that even good thinking (in your sense) would have assumptions and presuppositions?


Anything is possible.


In what context? In all contexts? Can you turn your body inside-out?

The question suggests complexity, and yet we cannot have all the facts to consider the question in depth


Ah, in that case no one can ever answer the question because no one knows everything.


What do you assume? Do you assume your statement is 100% true? or You are 100% sure you understood the question perfectly?

We cannot be sure about our assumptions are the same or different unless we bring them into the open and discuss them explicitly. We can argue over our positions, but it is not always possible to argue our assumptions about our positions especially when we are not aware of them or have not expressed them explicitly.


But I'm saying they're not relevant.


Suppose I remove some that which is pressuposed: Instead ? Nothing of Why is Something There. Still not relevant?

You and I could assume all sorts of things about, say, the moon but they have nothing to do with the moon. The moon remains what it is regardless of any assumption; it's unaffected by anything we say.


What do you assume with these statements? Then one day man went to the moon - things do not end in what we say.

I would like to point out that it is an expression of a thinking entity and thus it was made with some understanding of the world.


Or not, as the case may be. Leibnitz's answer was that God did it so he was still in a state of belief and conclusion, and belief and reality are not the same thing.


That is not all that was said. There were concepts of 'something', 'nothing', God, understanding, etc....so what do you ASSUME by claiming all those that you said?

What are those preconditions that made this entity ask the question.


Exactly. He was a clever man, a religious philosopher in Germany in 1714 - which isn't actually relevant. It's whether he could think straight or not. And I don't think 'God did it' is a good enough answer. Anyone could say that.


I am more interested about why he said what he said. What is in his mind. What are the propositions that made him move to his conclusions. What are the insights in there. Not anyone could say that, so what do you ASSUME?

The question is 'Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?'. The question presupposes the existence of something


No, things really do exist, it's not a presupposition. This earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, they all exist. They're not an illusion, they exist. Unless you're mad, of course.


Not only things exist, but existence has in it mental processes, with its emergence, history and development. So what do you ASSUME with your words?

experience of nothingness with a limited extension but wanting to expand beyond that of something.


Sorry, I don't know what that means.


https://www3.nd.edu/~maritain/jmc/etext/logic-18.htm

Every proposition or question is a door to a world of assumptions and presuppositions.


Then we're lost because we've gone into a world of non-realities. Assumptions, conclusions, beliefs and opinions aren't factual.


What do you ASSUME with that? What do you specifically mean by 1) assumption, 2) conclusion, 3) belief and 4) opinion?

A proposition or question is like a fruit and I would like to know from what tree it came from.


Fair enough, but I don't think the question 'Why does anything exist at all?' is a foolish question. But answering it with a conclusion isn't the answer. We have to find out, if it's possible, not just assume things. I mean, this is simple, isn't it?


What do you ASSUME with these statements? Do you assume that you understand every statement 100%?

Certainly we should know what lies behind the question, what motivated it, but I don't think that's difficult, it's an insightful enough question. But not when one examines it closely.


My model of the world did not led me to that path of the question. It would be interesting to know with the network of concepts that I have, and those behind the question, the difference that makes the difference.
We are similar in opinion except that I tend to think nothingness is emergent from something.


Absolutely, I said that. Reality is both something and nothing, but reality isn't all there is.


I said similar. Reality is not both something and nothing - but the context of nothing is something.

Reality means what is real, not illusionary or imagined, but what is actually there. What is actually there is all we see - nature and what man has made. But who has put it all there?


What is reality?

It's easy to say 'God' but it doesn't explain why God did anything at all. Why produce anything? Especially a mad world like this.

So either God did it or we did it, right? :-)


For a man like Leibnitz, I wonder if it easy for him to say 'God', but I am more interested in his thoughts more than his conclusions that serve as doors to his map of the world.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby charon on June 18th, 2019, 1:00 pm 

If I look out the window now it's not raining. It may be raining somewhere else but it's not raining here. That's a fact. And you will ask me what I ASSUME by it.

Nothing.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby Don Juan on June 18th, 2019, 3:31 pm 

charon » June 18th, 2019, 7:00 pm wrote:If I look out the window now it's not raining. It may be raining somewhere else but it's not raining here. That's a fact. And you will ask me what I ASSUME by it.

Nothing.


There are lots presupposed in there: your knowledge and understanding of the words 'raining', 'window', 'look', how you structure your statement, etc. Your statement "And you will ask me what I ASSUME by it" is an assumption. It doesn't follow that if I ASKED repeatedly before, I would ASK the same about your statement now. If you look out the window you may find that it's not raining, but you are also assuming you will be safe - assumptions do not have to be conscious, what if there's a crazy guy hiding immediately below outside waiting for a victim, suddenly appears in surprise in front of you, and stick a needle on your eye in a Mister Fantastic act? We do not know anymore whether not raining is a fact because the fact is there is a needle on your eye prompting you to seek immediate medical attention. Well you may be assuming that to your left is clear, but someone actually left a small stool and so to your haste you rushed to the left and tripped on the stool sending you down, and your head ended on the edge of another chair injuring your other eye, and so now you become effectively blind by the course of events. If you only knew you would probably not look out, or probably wear a protection and say to the guy when he shows up "got yah bitch, eat my lance!" It is not easy to see our own assumptions. For example, exposure to new culture different from ours make us aware of some of our beliefs and assumptions we are not aware of before.
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Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?

Postby henriette on July 9th, 2019, 7:04 pm 

Re: Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?
Dear,
The mass, the angels, the gods and Moon do not exist for sure because we gave them a name.
Many things are unspeakable and there are not even limits to the basic and unspeakable taste of a banana. Hence language is a very limited tool to investigate the world. Because the unspeakable includes major issues about truth , including your topic , language may be considered the strict opposite to the unspeakable truth, I mean pure lie.
In some sense Science is building the finest lie, the closest opposite of the unspeakable truth.
" Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?" in this perspective unmasks the language as a liar, reason being more apophatic, telling what the world is not, then cataphatic.
When it is about this kind of question, perplexity is a welcome state, as with Pessoa in the TABACARIA. Anyway without you thinking about this question, how poor would be an unspeakable god's life, reduced to a fairground of its own.
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