Why is there something and not nothing?

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Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 9:59 am 

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

Postby Serpent on May 12th, 2017, 10:58 am 

How do you know there is something rather than nothing?
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Katrin on May 12th, 2017, 11:04 am 

because there is hope and although nothing lost
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Lomax on May 12th, 2017, 11:04 am 

If there was nothing, you'd still be complaining.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Braininvat on May 12th, 2017, 11:17 am 

Another something/nothing thread. Truly a question that can only be generated by the facility we have for abstract thought.

LoL, Lomax.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 12:01 pm 

The scientific fact of causality means that every event has a prior cause, We know that the universe is not eternal and had a beginning and will have an end.

The primordial event was as far as we know the Big Bang and from it emerged all reality. However many scientist will tell you that before there was a something their was nothing at all, no casualty for the universe.

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?
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Serpent on May 12th, 2017, 12:02 pm 

"It depends on what your definition of 'is' is." BC
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby DragonFly on May 12th, 2017, 12:44 pm 

One can deduce the Truth that something/existence is Necessity (no alternative) because 'Nothing'/nonexistence cannot be as a thing; there is no contrast class to the eternal existence of something basic. Why eternal? It can't have come from 'Nothing'.

In the Big Bang, something banged, and that is what the universe came from, this event based on, at some deeper point, the Eternal (which can't have a "come from").

The meaning of 'is' is that the Eternal 'IS' is ever what it is, unchanging as the basis, yet never still and ever and always energetic/transforming/moving.

Being causeless, the Eternal can't have any created/inputted design to it, adding this to a hopefully growing list of Necessities that we can get more out of.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 1:07 pm 

Everything we know or do first starts with a thought. So is it so silly to believe that there is an eternal transcendent mind and the result of its thinking is our universe,

The astronomer Sir James Jean once quoted that the more he looked at the universe the less like a great machine it became and more like a great thought.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 1:09 pm 

Serpent » May 12th, 2017, 4:58 pm wrote:How do you know there is something rather than nothing?



By pinching myself hard , you should try it and then you will know there is something!
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby DragonFly on May 12th, 2017, 1:17 pm 

Alan McDougall » May 12th, 2017, 12:07 pm wrote:Everything we know or do first starts with a thought. So is it so silly to believe that there is an eternal transcendent mind and the result of its thinking is our universe,


There is much going on before a thought forms, and beneath any system, such as a system of mind. So, there can be no Mind as First, for the parts would always be more fundamental than the system.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Heavy_Water on May 12th, 2017, 1:30 pm 

If there was nothing, you would not exist and thus be able to post this. Nor would we in turn be here to read your post and try to offer an answer.

The human mind is incapable of imagining or truly understanding the term "nothingness." This is why the godists invented, well, gods and an afterlife. They cannot conceive of the idea--and it in fact scares them--of true death and the attendant nothingness that follows it.

It is also who Creationists, deniers of the Big Bang, deny the entire theory out of hand since they claim, "But you can't explain what existed BEFORE the Big Bang!" Thus, they posit their gods. Not knowing, all the while, that such an invention really asks still more questions that it answers.

There did not need to be anything before the Big Bang. At least, before the FIRST Big Bang. (I add this caveat in view of the hypothesis--one I sort of like--that this last Big Bang some 13.7BYA was simply the latest in a series.)
Because, TIME itself was created along with all the matter and energy that burst into fruition with the BB.

So...if there was no TIME before the BB, we need not speculate further as to what there was. There was nothing.

It is a bit ironic in a way that the two terms the homo sapien mind can't fathom are in many ways at opposite ends of the spectrum: "Nothingness" and "Eternity."

But we cannot really cognitively grasp either word, since we have no experiences with either during our very short and finite lives.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 1:39 pm 

Nothingness is impossible to describe.

You cant say that nothing is the absence of everything

You cant say that nothing is the absence of everything

You have to remove "THAT" nothing "IS" "THE" absence "OF" everything

Nothing "absence "everything

'NOTHING =NOTHING

VANISH POINT SINGULARITY .O O O O O O . . .
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on May 12th, 2017, 2:56 pm 

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.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Braininvat on May 12th, 2017, 4:24 pm 

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."
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Serpent on May 12th, 2017, 4:26 pm 

Alan McDougall » May 12th, 2017, 12:09 pm wrote:By pinching myself hard , you should try it and then you will know there is something!

Doesn't sound like an intelligent thing to do.
I'm content to let sleeping Something lie.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 12th, 2017, 6:01 pm 

Why something and not nothing?

"why"
adverb
1.
for what reason or purpose.


At first, because of the above definition, I was tempted to suggest that the question is nonsensical. How can there be a reason or purpose before there is anything at all? But then I realized that I was trapping myself into the bounds of time-ordered causality with the assumption that reasons and purpose must exist before the thing. But as an existentialist, I already believe that existence precedes essence and thus reason and purpose quite often only comes afterwards. Certainly we as human beings (and I would automatically extend this to all living things) discover our purpose and raison d'être in the experience of our own existence. Thus why should we assume the same could not be the case for all of existence as a whole? In other words, is it not for us as participants in existence to decide for ourselves what the purpose and reason for it all is, and could it not be that what we ourselves (and others like us) choose is all the purpose and reason there is for existence.

Now it is true that I am a theist and I believe that a singular God created everything, but even if one does believe such a thing, it is not very effective in answering the question in the title of this thread, is it? It only brings the question to back to God -- why should such a thing exist at all? To be sure, theists have their canned typical responses using words like "self-existing," but I have to wonder if this doesn't boil down in the end to much the same conclusion that God (assuming such thing) also exists first and the purpose and meaning which He sees in His own existence (theists usually equating His conclusions with truth and His perceptions with reality) is something which He also discovers or decides upon for Himself. But does this as many theists conclude mean that His decisions are all that matter? That is only the case if God sees no value in love and freedom and would thus only creates tools to serve His own ideas. But there is another possibility that God has decided that discovering meaning and purpose for ourselves is quite worthwhile. If so, I not only think it would explain a great deal, but I think I would have to agree with Him.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Dave_Oblad on May 12th, 2017, 6:16 pm 

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 :^)
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Swiss_Guard on May 12th, 2017, 6:22 pm 

Serpent » May 12th, 2017, 9:58 am wrote:How do you know there is something rather than nothing?


The solipsist question. I like it. Particularly since there's absolutely no answer possible. Any evidence you could possibly produce for a solipsist that something does exist will be met with the response "but, how do you know THAT exists?" And the truth is, you can't prove it. The closest I've ever seen to a rebuttal of the solipsist position is George Moore's famous "here is one hand...here is another" argument, which was technically just an assertion.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Swiss_Guard on May 12th, 2017, 7:29 pm 

Heavy_Water » May 12th, 2017, 12:30 pm wrote:If there was nothing, you would not exist and thus be able to post this. Nor would we in turn be here to read your post and try to offer an answer.


Descartes would have a bit of an issue with that one. How do you know that other minds and exterior things like this forum actually exist? You assume that, of course, as do we all, but then again schizophrenics frequently believe that the purple dragon crawling on the ceiling is real as well. We're perfectly willing to accept that their perception of the world ("phaneron", to use to pompous technical term) is invalid, but assume that ours is not.





The human mind is incapable of imagining or truly understanding the term "nothingness." This is why the godists invented, well, gods and an afterlife. They cannot conceive of the idea--and it in fact scares them--of true death and the attendant nothingness that follows it.
godist, eh? That's a new one to me. Don't know what was wrong with "theist". xD Also, I think your statement here is a tad too universal. For instance, the person or persons who originally penned Ecclesiastes in the Bronze age clearly understood and accepted the idea of post-mortem oblivion. Different topic altogether, but I think the roots of religion were probably a bit more complex than simply trying to evade nothingness.



It is also who Creationists, deniers of the Big Bang, deny the entire theory out of hand since they claim, "But you can't explain what existed BEFORE the Big Bang!" Thus, they posit their gods. Not knowing, all the while, that such an invention really asks still more questions that it answers.
Personally, I don't see why an intelligent cause that arbitrarily always existed inherently raises more questions than an unintelligent cause that has equally arbitrarily always existed. Six of one. (Probably not the right thread for that question either, but still.)


Because, TIME itself was created along with all the matter and energy that burst into fruition with the BB.

So...if there was no TIME before the BB, we need not speculate further as to what there was. There was nothing.


So how, to quote Blackadder's Baldrick, did we get from one state of affairs to the other? I mean, even before something existed, something clearly changed in that the status quo "nothing" of the pre-Big Bang was undeniably was replaced by the "something" of the present universe. So here we arrive at the OP's question again: Why is there something rather than nothing? Personally, I at least somewhat disagree with the idea that it's not worth speculating about. While we have some notion of what things were like moments after the Bang, that just appears to support the perception that the Expansion was an event caused by some change in the "nothing," as bizarre as that sounds. Unless "nothing" is inherently unstable, as I've heard some (like Lawrence Krauss) argue. But that also raises questions about Krauss' notoriously unique usage of the word "nothing," which has been accused of being more philosophical than physics-based. And then if nothingness is a creative force, than one might ask how that came to be. And if it is a creative force, which somehow triggered the BB, should it really be called "nothingness"?
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 12th, 2017, 10:42 pm 

At least we know there is something and by extrapolation that something must have existed forever.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on May 13th, 2017, 1:58 am 

Alan McDougall » May 12th, 2017, 9:42 pm wrote:At least we know there is something and by extrapolation that something must have existed forever.


This is founded on a concept of absolute time which is highly suspect in the light of modern science. The one temporal ordering (locally Minkowsky) which we actually know by measurement began 13.7 billion years ago. Any extension of time beyond that point is speculation and imagination, which pretty much tends toward what one wants to believe.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby DragonFly on May 13th, 2017, 12:50 pm 

Mitchell, et al,

We might better rephrase the Necessary Eternal's traits as being ever and always, unable not to be and unable to go away. Further, then, it is unable to have any designation put into it since it is not generated/created/chosen/elected. It is chained to Necessity/Default, whatever that is, as the Ground of Determination (G.O.D).
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 13th, 2017, 1:52 pm 

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
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Serpent on May 13th, 2017, 2:03 pm 

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?
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Alan McDougall on May 13th, 2017, 3:57 pm 

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?


I do not need your permission to ask a question in this forum, simply because I have asked it elsewhere!

And I did not say that I agreed with that statement. In my opinion there is something because there is an eternal transcendent being outside of time or space caused all things to come into existence, in which our universe is but a thought in his/its infinite mind.

I call this being Almighty God and I hope you do not find my belief in God offensive to your delicate ego?
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Serpent on May 13th, 2017, 4:20 pm 

Alan McDougall » May 13th, 2017, 2:57 pm wrote:[AM -- One cannot really describe something that does not exist]

[S -- Then why are you asking this question all over the place?]

I do not need your permission to ask a question in this forum, simply because I have asked it elsewhere!

Permission? Ego?
You asked: "Why is there something and not nothing?" and nobody got all snippy about it, even though, as philosophical questions go, it's kind of redundant.
I simply asked why you ask the same question, over and over, when you already seem to have an answer that satisfies you.

It's not personal for me.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Dave_Oblad on May 13th, 2017, 4:42 pm 

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 :^)
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby Braininvat on May 13th, 2017, 4:59 pm 

Alan has started around a dozen new threads in 24 hours, about 4 of which he asked me to delete, as they were not really fitting a discussion MB format. I think it's best for him to use the search function and follow threads already on these topics, and take it from there. No more new threads. No more just posing conundra and then waiting for answers. Study, learn, develop a theory, then present your theory. If it's "God did it" then it will go in Religion. If it doesn't have a brief abstract at the top, I will remove it. This is not a manuscript dump.

ALSO -- 3 threads have merged into "Early Universe Questions...." (in Astronomy & Cosmology) Discussion will be on scientific theories, conjectures, research, and such, in keeping with the SCF format. Thanks.
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Re: Why is there something and not nothing?

Postby someguy1 on May 13th, 2017, 6:35 pm 

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?
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