## Why is there something and not nothing?

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

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Hi Someguy1,

My definition for "Existence" is something that can be confirmed by multiple independent observers.

So if I say there is a specific Rock out in the desert at a specific location, it doesn't really exist until multiple observers go and look. If they all confirm my statement, then the Rock's existence has been confirmed.

In a funky Universe where there are no observers, one can not state that it truly Exists until independently confirmed (even if it does Exist).

Meanwhile, we all independently observe each other and agree on said observations, thus we "Exist".

The question posed by the OP is about how we (or this particular Universe) came to "Exist".

How do we get Something from Nothing?

That is the tricky question everyone wants answered. My personal answer is that our Existence is purely a Matter of Boolean Logic in the Field of Mathematics. It's just my opinion and it may be wrong. But in a World of differing opinions, it suits me just fine for now. In my eyes, it provides a framework that answers all my questions.

Highest Regards,
Dave :^)

Resident Member

Posts: 3225
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dave_Oblad » May 14th, 2017, 8:51 am wrote:My definition for "Existence" is something that can be confirmed by multiple independent observers.

So if I say there is a specific Rock out in the desert at a specific location, it doesn't really exist until multiple observers go and look. If they all confirm my statement, then the Rock's existence has been confirmed.

Hi Dave,

This is some pretty far-out, totally-rad, super-groovy, SoCal metaphysics you're selling here, dude. I'm fascinated. Thanks to you my morning coffee is now sprayed all over my muesli and alfalfa!

But seriously, Dave, I just wanna make sure that you're sincere about this, that you accept the consequences -- counterintuitive to say the least -- of what appears to be a conflation of metaphysics and epistemology; i.e., what there is amounts to no more and no less than what can be known.

For example, given your comments above, would you not be committed to the position that prior to observation and confirmation (by humans or otherwise), Ayers Rock in central Australia did not exist?

Come to think of it, your philosophy would seem to imply the landmass we now call Australia did not exist either until someone peeked. Australia was brought into existence by the act of observation?

Anyway, think I need something stronger than coffee now. Croikey and streuth!

P.S. Lemme guess: you're a quantum physics major? :-)

NoShips
Banned User

Posts: 1855
Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Location: Taiwan

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dave_Oblad » May 13th, 2017, 10:42 pm wrote:Hi Alan,

I posted a response to your OP question. It contained a few questions. Did you want to engage with me or do you prefer to ignore me?

Is a Purely Mathematical Existence Something or Nothing?
What does it mean to "Exist"?

Regards,
Dave :^)

I am not ignoring you David, you made a lot of points for me to think about before coming back to you with my response. I regret it if it seems like I was ignoring you, sorry for that.
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dave_Oblad » May 13th, 2017, 12:16 am wrote:Hi Alan McDougall,

Oh Goody.. new meat... lol.

I take a different view on our Reality as this:

I started playing with 3D Fractals. Wonderful Geometries but static (No Time).
I switched to Cellular Automatons (CA).
These have Interactive Geometries and can evolve through a sequence of new generations.
They have a Beginning and Time and can Evolve.

Since CA's are just a Set of Relational Rules.. how many CA's can Exist?
Answer: There is no arbitrary limitation on the total possible. (most will be pure Garbage or have issues)

Suppose you had a fantastic computer to explore these CA's in great depth.
Suppose you saw this Matrix of 4D Cells as being an underlying Fabric with Patterns.
Suppose you saw the Interactive Patterns as having characteristics of Particles.
Suppose you saw the patterns demonstrating emergent properties akin to Matter.
Suppose you saw this Matter join a Star and become complex Molecules.
Suppose you saw these Molecules dispersed into this CA Universe when a Star went Nova.
Suppose you saw these Molecules form Planets with Chemistry.
Suppose you saw this Chemistry evolve into Life Forms on said Planets.
Suppose you saw Life evolve into a race of self-aware beings (and a variety of Life forms).
Suppose you focused on one individual, you called John, who had a Farm, Wife and Children.

Now.. Given an Infinite Array of possible CA's, what is the probability that some will Evolve as described above?

Did John's Universe have a finite beginning? Yes.
Does John believe his Universe is Real and Solid? Yes.
Since John's Universe is Purely Logical Math, does it take up any Real Space? No.

Bottom Line: Johns Existence is Purely a Mathematical Construct as a Solution to one specific CA.
Is a Purely Mathematical Existence from Nothing more than Nothing?

Does a CA Solution have to be physically computed to Exist?
Do you believe your Existence is more Real than John's?
If so.. then Why?

What does it mean to "Exist"?

Note: This above is the short version.. lol.

Note: A CA is a Logic Network (much like a Neuron Network) and might evolve into a self-aware "Cosmic Mind" that then might alter, or create, some Geometries that enhance the formation of Matter (for the Theists out there). The Universe may be watching you.. lol.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)

Hi Dave,

Geneses of the Eternal God

By Alan McDougall

Existence -was -Existence-is -Existence-will be.

Within the writhing cosmic cloud of magnetic flux energy, that the always was, it took on new form, evolved and coalesced again into a dense oneness of primordial glowing energy, which is and was and will be, the primordial source that moves between the everlasting cycle of order to chaos and chaos back to order.

It became thought.

Within a Timeless zone before existence came to be, a pool of infinite pure thought it held within it all the hopes, dreams,  for creating new order within the realms of existence and reality and these immense waves of pure magnetic thought gradually coalesced and a mighty sentient consciousness emerged out of previous chaos.

It knew itself and called itself contemplated and said to itself I am who I say I am.

Back before anything was conceived, I am Infinite pure "mind" and "thought" there is no dark only light within my infinite domain, so I moved upon the great void of dark I created and said "let there be" light' and there was light. From the light came love and life.

I experienced time only in my dreams and the cup of my dreams ran over as do rivers that overflow their banks. I dreamed infinity of dreams in the first instant, and infinity multiplied by infinity out from the timeless zone of now. I thought and created the programs and processes of all possibilities in one awesome moment.

I awoke and thought the first creative thoughts within my infinitely primordial mind and out of the realm of previous chaos I began to recreate outside the absolute timeless realm and started the first realities based on new planes realms dimensions and textures and set the linear clocks of time to run forever.

Now I became aware of infinite potential within vast unploughed fields of nothing, I strode with great beams of Radiant Light toward the infinite horizon of eternity, sowing seeds of existence, before the timeless moment of creation.

I walked down the road of forever and sat down on the throne of infinity. I am the light being and my everlasting purpose is to create and cause existence, I am both nothing and everything I am the light that dispels the dark.

I evolved into spirit and in agony twisted boiled dissolved reformed writhed and shook before existence or creation were and began to organize itself into a mighty being of thought and infinite intelligence.

I grew out of nothingness by my own will, before anything was and with the mobility of its original thoughts and will created all that ever was, all that is, and all that will ever be.

As spirit I drifted ever in and out of awareness and within the fluxes of thought out of my mind of pure energy. I tossed out the foams of singularities started the flow of time and withdrew into myself outside time or space and sustaining creation as a static force of infinite power.

At the moment of the thundering dawn of creation, I sent out the primordial heat and energy to light up the universes for the seeds of life to be planted within them. I waited and watched my creation grow and expanded and this filled my being with joy and satisfaction and I knew my workmanship had been good.

After my creative event at the dawn of existence I withdrew of myself to allow for the void to come into existence and great incandescence's blazed outwards as I set entropy and time into motion.

Polarities separated and the sons of light and the sons of dark flew apart and set up the tension enmity between good and evil forever. A deep and infinite chasm came between my perfect and the depravity of the terrible one, who served only himself and love and hate were came to be.

I separated existence and withdrew myself into everlasting light and let it, the evil one exist in its darkness.

The opposing forces split the chasm light blazed to banish the dark and the dark flowed like evil tar to blot out the light forever.

I experienced time only in my dreams said God. God first dreamed. The cup of dreams ran over like unto rivers that overflow their banks. For God dreamed Infinity of dreams in an instant, and the Infinity multiplied by infinity for an Eternity created all possibilities in one awesome now. It was the Realm of Chaos. I began to create outside the Absolute Realm and started the first realities based on dimensions and textures.

There was no cause to my existence I simply, existed forever in the glory of my light. Having no Cause I am therefore both the effect and affect and maker of everything.

On the panorama of bleak blackness," I am" "The Absolute", sowing seeds of universal radiant energy. Reality is the gem of my creation and the beauty of my achievement. I am he who lives, forever and forever, I illuminated the darkness with beams of dazzling light, radiant and translucent glory to share it with those who love me.

My acts of creation were the first event of my purpose reason for my existence. I formulate everything in the thoughts of my Mind and knew the first numbers and called them "Zero" and "One", With these primordial simplicities and realities of the fundamentals, "I made everything".

I took these first fundamentals and weaved them into the fabric of the reality, creating all the limitless universes on the infinite timeless foam where before there was but nothing. I am the Almighty One. If you are wise, do just one thing respect me for I am The Lord of creation and reason you exist?

I am the great Infinite Ocean that contains all things.

I sang the songs of creation and the new universe began to vibrate with countless frequencies of light, glory translucent and everlasting with the vibrations of the song of existence. The singer sang the song, the painter the painting, the creator the creation.

The universe then began to weave, dance, and vibrate flux and vortex into one colossal maelstrom, spiral in perfect order from the mind of the eternal one The Universe danced and sang with joy. The dancer danced and sang along with his new creation.

I am life giver. Back before anything was conceived , I am Infinite pure "mind" and "thought" there is no dark only light within my infinite domain, so I moved upon the great void of dark and said "let there be" light' and there was light.

I am life which the Lord created in the beginning of his works, before all else, when he set the heavens in their place, I was there, before he made the earth, I was his darling child and played the creation game, in eternal joy with him. I was his craftsman and his companion and delight. Wisdom and word is my name and I was with him before all creation. He is the ancient of days and I am his life and wisdom.

We together created mighty super-strings and weaved them together with colossal strands of energetic light colored in beautiful magnificent opalescence into the very fabric of reality and a new unimaginably beautiful universe was born in glory and delight.

What am I, I am who I say I am!

Any comments I tried to imagine how god came to be and avoid infinite regression

Regards

Alan
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Braininvat » May 12th, 2017, 10:24 pm wrote:A current cosmologist might amend that with "the quantum vacuum, and its latent energy, has always existed and random quantum fluctuations within that vacuum are eternally giving rise to universes in the greater multiverse." There are no logical causal objections to an eternal universe which has always had a vacuum potential for 'something.' As HW pointed out, our hominid brains just aren't well equipped to grasp a causal scheme that is open at "both ends". But it logically more coherent than a posited "first cause."

Maybe, but how could something exist forever, especially if confined to linear time?

Why there is something is the most profound question ever asked, in my opinion!

If that were no the beginning, time would be pushed back into the infinite eternal past, and thus we would never have come into existence in the first place (If you get my drift)
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall » May 13th, 2017, 8:35 pm wrote:
If that were no the beginning, time would be pushed back into the infinite eternal past, and thus we would never have come into existence in the first place (If you get my drift)

This is William Lane Craig's Kalam cosmological argument again, that there can be no infinite regress of causes. It's essentially a theological argument.

As a mathematical model to the contrary, consider the real number line. It goes on forever to the left and forever to the right. And here we are, at the point x = 2017 by the Gregorian calendar. Why does this idea trouble people so?

I don't know if time is infinite. It's hard to reconcile the idea with known physics. But to say that "we would never have come into existence" doesn't seem obvious to me. It seems like an assumption.
someguy1
Member

Posts: 640
Joined: 08 Nov 2013

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Old Rasputin » May 12th, 2017, 8:56 pm wrote:
Alan McDougall wrote:We know that the universe is not eternal and had a beginning and will have an end.

How can we possibly know this?

Alan McDougall wrote:If we say God was the cause of the universe coming into existence there of course is no proof and we are confounded by the idea of infinite regression. If take God out of the equation and replace it with energy, which we know cannot be created or destroyed only changed in form, we still sit with the problem of infinite regression. How then energy to come into existence out of the primordial nothingness?

So then, the only plausible answer it seems, is that the universe has 'always' existed.

You have a point, but based on the fact that the universe is expanding it must have begun that expansion at some point far back in time, which most theoretical physicists agree was an infinite point called the singularity from which our universe emerged. It is wrong to call it an explosion or Big Bang when it was in reality something emerging out of primordial nothingness (based on the best evidence)
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Hi all,

@ NoShips..

I'm merely taking a stand that many things may Exist that we know nothing of. Until something is confirmed by multiple reliable witnesses, everything else is just pure speculation. For example: It is highly probable that there exists Intelligent Life Forms outside our Solar System. But until we establish communications or meet them, it can only be a speculation.

But even with multiple witnesses, the existence of something can be misinterpreted. Does Time Exist? A lot of witnesses will claim Yes. It is a one way progression of Causal Events from past to future. But in the Quantum, experiments have shown that Causality can be bi-directional Time-Wise. So obviously, our definition of Time is a bit lacking. So even with Multiple Witnesses, some things can still just be speculative.

So defining "Existence" can be a slippery slope. Do you have a better definition? One that works in all cases? If so, I'd love to adopt it.

@ Alan..

Nice rhetoric, but still, nothing explanatory.

Such raises more questions, such as the Origin of God. And if one claims a God is Eternal, were we the last thing on God's bucket list?

Does God have Freewill? Meaning if God knows everything, then God must know the Future and all Future Godly decisions. If so, then God can't change the Future and thus has no Freewill. Without Freewill, such a God cannot be All Powerful. But if God can change the course of God's future events, then why didn't such a God see those changes? If God can't know those those Future events, then such a God can't be All Knowing.

So is your God "All Knowing" or "All Powerful", because such a God can't logically be both.

Basically, I see a Mathematical Existence for our Universe as being far more simple than invoking a Godly Creator. Did I replace God with Math? I think if I created a Church on such a premise, I doubt many folks would line up to give me money.. lol.

On the other hand, my premise does allow for the Emergence of a "Cosmic Mind" from the Mathematical Creation of the Universe. So there may still exist some wiggle room.. if I am right.

Regards,
Dave :^)

Resident Member

Posts: 3225
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Blog: View Blog (2)

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dave_Oblad » May 14th, 2017, 9:48 pm wrote:Hi all,

@ NoShips..

I'm merely taking a stand that many things may Exist that we know nothing of. Until something is confirmed by multiple reliable witnesses, everything else is just pure speculation. For example: It is highly probable that there exists Intelligent Life Forms outside our Solar System. But until we establish communications or meet them, it can only be a speculation.

But even with multiple witnesses, the existence of something can be misinterpreted. Does Time Exist? A lot of witnesses will claim Yes. It is a one way progression of Causal Events from past to future. But in the Quantum, experiments have shown that Causality can be bi-directional Time-Wise. So obviously, our definition of Time is a bit lacking. So even with Multiple Witnesses, some things can still just be speculative.

So defining "Existence" can be a slippery slope. Do you have a better definition? One that works in all cases? If so, I'd love to adopt it.

Hi again, Dave

It still seems to me that there's some unintended conflation of metaphysics and epistemology in your comments. Now when you say ...

"I'm merely taking a stand that many things may Exist that we know nothing of."

... I think that's exactly what most of us intuitively feel; this is the commonsense realist position -- objects (including those we know nothing about), rocks, Australia, the Moon, etc., have an existence independent of what we happen to think/believe/know/speculate about them. Having said that, though, it appears to contradict what you said in your previous post, namely:

"... if I say there is a specific Rock out in the desert at a specific location, it doesn't really exist until multiple observers go and look."

In this case, you're telling us that prior to the rock's existence being known to us, it does not exist. Why can the rock not be one of these "many things [which] may Exist that we know nothing of" that you mentioned above? Why can't the rock exist independent of any observation or confirmation from us?

Consider your remark: "It is highly probable that there exists Intelligent Life Forms outside our Solar System. But until we establish communications or meet them, it can only be a speculation."

Surely what we want to say is, "Intelligent Life either does or does not exist out there as we speak right now. There is a determinate fact of the matter about this -- it's just that we don't know what it is."

Surely what we do not want to say is, "The facts about Intelligent Life out there are indeterminate. Right now there is no fact of the matter. The event of our learning about intelligent aliens, if it happens, will make it the case that they exist." -- just like your rock in the desert!

There are people out there -- antirealists like Michael Dummett, I believe -- who knowingly conflate epistemic claims with metaphysical claims (nothing exists that we can't verify, at least in principle), but I suspect it's not a position you'd want to endorse yourself, Dave. The consequences of such a stance are massively counterintuitive.

Oh yeah, Niels Bohr and that mob do it too :-)

NoShips
Banned User

Posts: 1855
Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Location: Taiwan
 Braininvat liked this post

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dave you said
Such raises more questions, such as the Origin of God. And if one claims a God is Eternal, were we the last thing on God's bucket list?

Some say humanity is Gods creative, but I sometimes look at it differently in that we could also be taken as a a miserable failure as indicated in the Noah's Ark myth.

Regards

Alan
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall » May 14th, 2017, 12:27 pm wrote:Some say humanity is Gods creative, but I sometimes look at it differently in that we could also be taken as a a miserable failure as indicated in the Noah's Ark myth.

I note that 'God' is already very unlikely, with these failure stories of the 'Perfect One' adding to that. After the 'flood' didn't help, neither did the 'Ten Commandments' nor the arrival of the 'Savior' nor 'Fatima' nor anything else.

DragonFly
Resident Member

Posts: 2276
Joined: 04 Aug 2012

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

someguy1 » May 13th, 2017, 5:35 pm wrote:Isn't this a question that demands an anthropic response? The only universe in which the question can be asked is a universe in which something exists to ask it. In fact, in a universe that exists! The question can't be asked in universes that don't exist. Whatever that means! What's a universe that doesn't exist?

To expand upon this... (invoking a weaker anthropic principle)

Does there need to be a reason for something rather than nothing if it is in fact not one or the other but both? And if there is both nothing and (several possibilities of) something, then it is of no surprise that those asking the question are aware of something rather than nothing.

mitchellmckain
Active Member

Posts: 1150
Joined: 27 Oct 2016

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

mitchellmckain » May 14th, 2017, 11:47 pm wrote:
someguy1 » May 13th, 2017, 5:35 pm wrote:Isn't this a question that demands an anthropic response? The only universe in which the question can be asked is a universe in which something exists to ask it. In fact, in a universe that exists! The question can't be asked in universes that don't exist. Whatever that means! What's a universe that doesn't exist?

To expand upon this... (invoking a weaker anthropic principle)

Does there need to be a reason for something rather than nothing if it is in fact not one or the other but both? And if there is both nothing and (several possibilities of) something, then it is of no surprise that those asking the question are aware of something rather than nothing.

When scientist talk about nothing they do not mean and absence of everything, rather a primordial soup of pre-fundamentalist particles
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall » May 12th, 2017, 8:01 pm wrote: If take God out of the equation and replace it with energy, which we know cannot be created or destroyed only changed in form, we still sit with the problem of infinite regression.

This is an Oprah-Winfrey "facebook" understanding of energy.

How then energy to come into existence out of the primordial nothingness?

"...energy come into existence...".

Lets consider a more nuanced understanding of how energy, is handled in physics. Popular maxims, such as "light is pure energy" and "energy is neither created nor destroyed" are little myth-tales we tell to high school students to get their minds in the right place. These myth-tales may have pedagogical uses, but should never have been taken literally.

But after you leave high school, it's time to gain a more sophisticated, adult understanding of how energy is handled by the discipline of physics. It turns out there is a quantity of energy associated with a photon, and it is proportional to the photon's wavelength. There is no a priori association of the photon itself with energy. This gets worse in other parts of physics. All we can say for certain is that energy (E) is a quantity in physics that remains invariant. INVARIANCE is the only thing you can state for certain. Big mathy words turn off the high school kid -- so instead we speak to the young folk with words like "create" and "destroy".

Noether's theorem takes this idea to its apotheosis. In this version of physics, energy (E) must be invariant because of the fact that the laws of physics do not change from second to second. If they do not change between seconds, nor do they change between half seconds. Nor between 10ths of a second. Nor do the laws change between ticks of a nanosecond, a picosecond .. and et cetera.

This invariance under any translation in time t, regardless of how far down we shrink the length of t , is called a continuous symmetry in textbook jargon. For every continuous symmetry, there will exist a conserved quantity. For temporal symmetry, the associated conserved quantity is called "energy" and is denoted capital E.

Now this is me typing to you on an internet forum. On the other hand, if you read a book about this topic, and (it hit you the right way) it will become quickly impossible for you to return to your high-school-level ideas of energy being some sort "watery substance which glows". Some sort of stuff which shoots from the end of Buck Roger's ray gun.

If you are paying attention and still reading --- we can coral the wagons and come full circle. If it is not the case that the universe is "made of energy", then what is the universe made of?

Well that question is now far more difficult than it was for you when you began this thread. Under this new perspective, the question is startling.

hyksos
Active Member

Posts: 1267
Joined: 28 Nov 2014

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Nothing has no properties and and cannot be describes by use of any language on earth
It can be used in mathematics as an imaginary number.

For a very long time in human history the idea of a zero was taboo, because it you divided multiplied or added zero to anything it would remain unaffected with the same value you started with.

In it's most literal interpretation nothing can't exist in this universe.

The moment something becomes defined as nothing it becomes something.

Space has measurement, heat and gravity.

Air is composed of trillions of atoms and molecules.

Voids in space between galaxy are even growing and changing, implying that there is something there, dark energy perhaps, that is the "something" out there

To summarize there is no such thing as nothing, but oddly you can have less than nothing as a mathematical construct such as used in calculus.
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Why Is There Something And Not Nothing?

Until a better explanation of why there is something and not nothing is due to to the creative effects of an eternal transcendent non-physical entity I can Almighty God I will rest my case, because the jury is still out debating this primordial enigma.

Why is there something instead of nothing? The interesting conclusion of this ultimate puzzle is that, we can be sure of, it that at least something exists.

There is a Universe, we see people, and things, and light, and while we may debate what it means, how it came into being, and how it works, we can be sure that there is at least `something'.

Many physicists search for the most elementary laws of physics, and believe that a law is more likely to be true, when it is simpler, more elementary.

Some think that at some moment, humans will understand how the Universe and everything works, and, even more, that we find out why the Universe is necessarily as it is. (Ridiculous nonsense).

I cannot believe that, indeed, I believe humans cannot ever give a satisfactory or final answer to this ultimate of all questions. Why is there something instead of nothing?

With nothing, I mean the non-existence of everything. No people, no earth, no milky way, no universe, no laws of nature, no space, no time a total non-existence of everything. A mind-boggling, brain-, brain-numbing and brain- twisting overwhelming concept, terrifying, frightening, too awful to contemplate and impossible think about, without going insane and totally beyond understanding of any human genius.

Making a mathematical model of nothing is actually easy. (Take an empty set, with no operations on it, and nothing else.) Nevertheless, one thing we can be sure of: this nothing is not correct: we do not have “nothing”, but definite and absolutely do indeed have ‘SOMETHING’.

This shows that the simplest model is not always the correct one.
The universe is almost unimaginably complex and to me this points to the simple logic that it is the creation by an infinite, intelligent power.

Nothing is the very most basic of all concepts and if there were nothing, there would be no creator, of course.
Some people may argue that the universe was created in the Big Bang ( but whom and what pressed the button of the big bang in the first place, so to speak?), and that positive matter and positive energy are actually negated by the simultaneous creation of negative matter and negative energy. However, this doesn't answer the other question, where do matter, energy and laws of physics then come from in the first place?

Does this question have an answer?

If something exists because it either was a modification of something or else, Something or Somebody else created it, then what caused that to exist? It seems that our logic is unable to deal with the question; indeed, I think the question shows there is a limit to our understanding of things by the very best minds of the human race.
There are simply mysteries out there that will never ever be solved by mere mortal man.

You see the universe has a strange Goldie locks condition about it, i.e., it cannot be too hot, or too cold etc., etc., etc., but it has to be just absolutely correct, precise and right in every way, or life would not have come into existence and we would not be around to contemplate, debate or dialogue on this ultimate enigma. We would not exist.

Life hangs on and depends on this knife- edge of harmonies conditions that have to be sustained over countless billions of years, for us to have come into existence and continue to exist. Makes one think, does it not?

Why do we have a Universe? My answer is that God created the Universe. However, then, one can ask, who/what created God? I believe God was not created and this ‘FACT’ IS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING AND MUST BE ACCEPTED ON FAITH. God is far and beyond our understanding, everlasting, without beginning or end, eternal and ever -existing, but was (and is, and will be) always existed.

He/she is indeed the very author of all existence.
Indeed, God is so mighty, Omni-All that he/she exists, forever, far above our reasoning and above the ultimate reaches of our logic. Something we and all the scientists, philosophers, etc., who do not believe, will just have to accept in time.

We will, at the end of the day have to, relent and acknowledge that somewhere out there is an awesome, colossal, mighty, great infinite intelligence that in comparison that we are as a microbe is to a universe or even much further remote, from the Omni-all power we call God.

It will indeed be a most humbling experience for us to finally realize and acknowledge, that there are things and mysteries that will; remain forever, absolutely, totally beyond human comprehension understand and reside eternally in the mind of our creator God.

It is a fact the finite can simply never ever comprehend the mind of the infinite; this should be logic to anyone
Thus for me God Exists as inescapable fact of logic.
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Serpent » May 13th, 2017, 8:03 pm wrote:
Alan McDougall » May 13th, 2017, 12:52 pm wrote:One cannot really describe something that does not exist

This quote is from another forum in which I posed the same question.

I know this! A null set is an imaginary concept, used by mathematicians in their equations , but not found in reality

Then why are you asking this question all over the place?

Maybe because it is the most profound question any human can ask. You seem to be stalking me all over the web and reading my posts on other forums (of which there are thousands by now) and I am quite chuffed that you find me so interesting.

But as for now I am confining myself to this forum(If I have your permission to do so)
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall » May 15th, 2017, 4:16 am wrote:[Then why are you asking this question all over the place?]

Maybe because it is the most profound question any human can ask. You seem to be stalking me all over the web and reading my posts on other forums (of which there are thousands by now) and I am quite chuffed that you find me so interesting.

But as for now I am confining myself to this forum(If I have your permission to do so)

I've never heard of you before, and I find quite enough of your 'profound questions' here - you filled up the entire 'new posts' page on one recent visit - without seeking you elsewhere.
However, I have certainly encountered the same 'questions', posed on other sites, under various monikers, sometimes with similar walls of text pasted in, pretending to be responses. Once I've identified the genre, I don't read them elsewhere, either.
Rest easy: I am not stalking you - quite the opposite.

What's with the personal chip, anyway?
Serpent
Resident Member

Posts: 2922
Joined: 24 Dec 2011

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Some people may argue that the universe was created in the Big Bang ( but whom and what pressed the button of the big bang in the first place, so to speak?), and that positive matter and positive energy are actually negated by the simultaneous creation of negative matter and negative energy. However, this doesn't answer the other question, where do matter, energy and laws of physics then come from in the first place?

I see you persist in asking where does "energy come from in the first place". It is like you didn't even read my post at all.

It is like you didn't even read other respondents posts who said that time itself arrived at the big bang. (at least the common-sense notion of "time" did). At a very superficial level ("superficial" indicates you are not going to press the issue of time), the literal answer to this question has literally been posted : Time came from the big bang.

It seems that our logic is unable to deal with the question; indeed, I think the question shows there is a limit to our understanding of things by the very best minds of the human race.

We are more than capable of dealing with these questions using logic, as I will soon show you.

There are simply mysteries out there that will never ever be solved by mere mortal man.

The only mystery I am aware of which fits this bill is : Why are things the way they are?

That is the only question I would raise to a "never ever".

Life hangs on and depends on this knife- edge of harmonies conditions that have to be sustained over countless billions of years, for us to have come into existence and continue to exist. Makes one think, does it not?

Most of the universe is hostile to human life.

Why do we have a Universe? My answer is that God created the Universe. However, then, one can ask, who/what created God? I believe God was not created and this ‘FACT’ IS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING AND MUST BE ACCEPTED ON FAITH.

First you say this must be accepted on faith, then a few paragraphs later you say it is an "inescapable fact of logic". Well which one is it?

God is far and beyond our understanding, everlasting, without beginning or end, eternal and ever -existing, but was (and is, and will be) always existed.

And how do you know this?

He/she is indeed the very author of all existence.
Indeed, God is so mighty, Omni-All that he/she exists, forever, far above our reasoning and above the ultimate reaches of our logic. Something we and all the scientists, philosophers, etc., who do not believe, will just have to accept in time.

What exactly are you demanding we have to accept in time?

We will, at the end of the day have to, relent and acknowledge that somewhere out there is an awesome, colossal, mighty, great infinite intelligence that in comparison that we are as a microbe is to a universe or even much further remote, from the Omni-all power we call God.

It will indeed be a most humbling experience for us to finally realize and acknowledge, that there are things and mysteries that will; remain forever, absolutely, totally beyond human comprehension understand and reside eternally in the mind of our creator God.

Are insects and bacteria species which evolved on earth? Do stars form naturally? Did the earth form from natural processes? Did our sun form by natural forces? Do all existing species of insect which exist today have a common ancestor?

It is a fact the finite can simply never ever comprehend the mind of the infinite; this should be logic to anyone Thus for me God Exists as inescapable fact of logic.

Sorry to break up your sermon here -- but in philosophy, the existence of something given with no explanation has a name : It is called a brute fact. Your overweening religious revelations are demanding we accept a creator God's existence as a brute fact.

In some episodes of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, he makes some points which suggest that Brute Facts are an intellectual foul : and should be avoided.

On the other hand, you should know that some metaphysical naturalists are out there. Those people say that the existence of the universe is the Brute Fact. That is to say, ( contra Sagan, ) they admit Brute Facts into their epistemology. One example person would be Sean Carroll.

Despite your attempt at saying this subject transcends logic, we can break up the basic claims until two branches. (1.) That the transcendent God exists is the Brute Fact (2.) That the universe existing is the Brute Fact.

At least for us people typing on this forum, there is unlimited evidence for (2.) and no evidence at all for (1.). At this juncture, the existence of a transcendent God is looking terrible as a theory versus the existence of an eternal universe as a Brute Fact. We have evidence for a universe existing.

hyksos
Active Member

Posts: 1267
Joined: 28 Nov 2014

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

I have a lingering suspicion that I was mistaken to try to level with Alan McDougall. He has already exhibited an undesire to respond to people's posts.

I was mistaken to try to discuss philosophy with him. It appears he has come here to proselytize at us -- in a one-way manner of a street preacher.

hyksos
Active Member

Posts: 1267
Joined: 28 Nov 2014

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Dear,

Among things that do not exist, some are possible and some are not. Among things that do not exist but are possible, some exist potentially and some do not. I strictly do not know what such a thing as "nothingness" could be as a topic of thermodynamics, thus it does appear misleading to point out that there is existence because "existing things" are more stable than "not-existing" ones.
Anyway, is not there some kind of ontological existence in things that do not exist but are still possible and potentially exist?

henriette
Member

Posts: 364
Joined: 30 Oct 2007

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Serpent » May 15th, 2017, 4:01 pm wrote:
Alan McDougall » May 15th, 2017, 4:16 am wrote:[Then why are you asking this question all over the place?]

Maybe because it is the most profound question any human can ask. You seem to be stalking me all over the web and reading my posts on other forums (of which there are thousands by now) and I am quite chuffed that you find me so interesting.

But as for now I am confining myself to this forum(If I have your permission to do so)

I've never heard of you before, and I find quite enough of your 'profound questions' here - you filled up the entire 'new posts' page on one recent visit - without seeking you elsewhere.
However, I have certainly encountered the same 'questions', posed on other sites, under various monikers, sometimes with similar walls of text pasted in, pretending to be responses. Once I've identified the genre, I don't read them elsewhere, either.
Rest easy: I am not stalking you - quite the opposite.

What's with the personal chip, anyway?

Those other similar posts are not mine, under various monikers are not mine I always use my own name on any forum I have participated in over the past 17 years my real name is Alan McDougall
And thanks for not stalking me, if I irritate you just ignore my posts, but better still think up something original so that we can debate what interests you and not my imaginary nonsense
Alan McDougall
Banned User

Posts: 137
Joined: 07 Dec 2010
Location: Johannsburg South Africa

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall » May 15th, 2017, 10:53 am wrote:[S - Rest easy: I am not stalking you - quite the opposite.
What's with the personal chip, anyway?]

Those other similar posts are not mine, under various monikers are not mine I always use my own name on any forum I have participated in over the past 17 years my real name is Alan McDougall
And thanks for not stalking me, if I irritate you just ignore my posts, but better still think up something original so that we can debate what interests you and not my imaginary nonsense

Okay, it's not a mere chip; it's outright hostility.
I still wonder why, but I don't expect an answer.
Serpent
Resident Member

Posts: 2922
Joined: 24 Dec 2011

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Alan McDougall wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote:So then, the only plausible answer it seems, is that the universe has 'always' existed.

You have a point, but based on the fact that the universe is expanding it must have begun that expansion at some point far back in time, which most theoretical physicists agree was an infinite point called the singularity from which our universe emerged. It is wrong to call it an explosion or Big Bang when it was in reality something emerging out of primordial nothingness (based on the best evidence)

I am baffled at how many people actually think that Science can refute Logic. Note: Logic always trumps Science! -- Science cannot refute Logic. But Logic can refute Science.

1. Logical Truths are more certain than Scientific Truths.

2. Scientific Truths are post-experiential (a posteriori), whereas Logical Truths are pre-experiential (a priori).

3. Science relies upon the 'uncertain' objects of our experiences, whereas Logic (and math) do not.

Although I have great respect for science, it pales in comparison to the certainty/truth of logic (and math).

Truth hierarchy:

1. Absolute truth -- an undeniable truth (i.e. the experiential exists).
2. Logical Truths -- pre-experiential (i.e. math and logic).
3. Scientific Truths -- post-experiential (i.e. scientific conclusions) are contingent upon the 'uncertain' nature of experiential objects.
4. Religious Truths -- fantasy; having no logical or scientific basis; requires “blind faith".

Alan McDougall wrote:Until a better explanation of why there is something and not nothing is due to the creative effects of an eternal transcendent non-physical entity I call Almighty God I will rest my case, because the jury is still out debating this primordial enigma.

So, you don’t believe in an “eternal” universe (i.e. has always existed), but instead, prefer to believe in an “eternal” God (has always existed) that created this universe??? Occam would not be pleased with you!

Alan McDougall wrote:Why do we have a Universe? My answer is that God created the Universe. However, then, one can ask, who/what created God? I believe God was not created and this ‘FACT’ IS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING AND MUST BE ACCEPTED ON FAITH. God is far and beyond our understanding, everlasting, without beginning or end, eternal and ever -existing, but was (and is, and will be) always existed.

Alan, no offense, but this is just ‘religious’ (feel-good) talk here. Beliefs based on “faith” are just feel-good non-sensical justifications. Any of us can claim anything (no matter how ridiculous or impossible) as true, based on “faith”. Faith provides no logical/rational justification, but only feel-good (religious) justification.

Alan McDougall wrote:Thus for me God Exists as inescapable fact of logic.

Religion (and "faith") is NOT "logic".

Old Rasputin
Banned User

Posts: 237
Joined: 02 Feb 2016

### Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

hyksos » May 15th, 2017, 7:14 am wrote:I have a lingering suspicion that I was mistaken to try to level with Alan McDougall. He has already exhibited an undesire to respond to people's posts.

I was mistaken to try to discuss philosophy with him. It appears he has come here to proselytize at us -- in a one-way manner of a street preacher.

I appreciate the various tries to philosophically engage with the OP, but ultimately it seems to me that Hyksos is correct in noting that there is a theological agenda here which is not much responsive to analytic philosophy and rational argument.

I had considered moving the thread to Religion, because of this agenda, but maybe it's better to just lock it and move on.

I would suggest that anyone starting another thread that touches on the "fine tuning" of physical constants for biological life, please look up "weak anthropic principle" before proceeding.

Braininvat