Why is there something and not nothing?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Alan McDougall, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    But that's not true in reality. Nothing is also the absence of limiting forces, so anything can happen. Particle pairs cancel each other out and so can come from nothing.
     
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  3. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    I said, depends on the point of view.
    Depends what you mean by nothing.
    For me nothing is nothing, period.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Vernacular language is not well-suited for discussing arcane concepts. That's why every discipline has its own jargon. Your sentence is virtually meaningless in the context of this thread.
     
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  7. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    I do not understand what you mean.
    You dispute my opinion, clearly expressed that nothing means anything?
    Can you give any example where nothing is changing into something or something is changing into nothing?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I'm not so much disputing your opinion, but I do disagree with the "clearly expressed" part.

    Cosmologists say that the Big Bang didn't just result in the existence of the bosons, leptons and quarks that make up the universe--the matter and energy that we observe today. They say that it resulted in the "existence" of the space-time continuum itself. That there was no time or distance before the Big Bang occurred, which of course begs the question of how the word "before" can even be defined if there is no time.

    Just as there are several orders of infinity, apparently they're telling us that there are several orders of nothing. (And there's a certain symmetry to this, since "nothing" can be construed as negative infinity.)

    Which nothing are you referring to? Or do you understand this stuff any better than I do? That's my point. You're using a word that makes good enough sense in vernacular conversation, but is inadequate for a discussion of cosmology. I've got three perfectly normal words--nothing, existence and before--in quotes, indicating that in this context they don't mean the same thing they did in our lunchtime chats with our coworkers.
     
  9. woowoo Registered Senior Member

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    Perhaps it would help to understand nothingness by considering
    a piece of arcane jargon, Sunyata, a Sanskrit word meaning nothing,
    zero, emptiness, void. It's a core Buddhist philosophical teaching that
    in some schools equates to Nirvana, a union with absolute, while in other
    schools it refers to the material realm and shows that all objects are
    empty of existence.

    The beauty of Buddhism is that these ideas can be explored in a philosophical
    context without the need to take on board all the religious
    baggage that could compromise your atheist credentials.

    OM
     
  10. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    2,801

    For an agnostic is so hard to have some fixed points.
    For me one of them is "nothing".
    So allow the energy conservation law (energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another)or the mass conservation law (Nothing is gained or lost everything changes from one state to another state) to exist without doubt.
    I do not know what it was before the Big Bang and I do not know what it was when Big Bang happened.
    Because we do not understand certain phenomena should not change the meaning of the word "nothing".
    To be more understandable,
    in my opinion something and nothing, remains the same something.
    Mathematical expression: a+0=a


     
  11. Pete It's not rocket surgery Registered Senior Member

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  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    if you assign a (maximum) state to "nothing", you certainly have something
     
  13. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    kind of strange to expect potential from an absence of anything
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I'll ignore the stream of logical fallacies in the OP and just try to respond to the thread title/question...

    To me the question is like trying to draw the line of an equation on a graph when you only have a single point as reference and don't even know the equation.


    To me there is therefore only one response to the question asked in the OP that makes any sense:

    We don't know.

    We don't know if it did or not, and if it did we don't know how.


    Some might argue that this therefore makes the question meaningless... and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with them.

    Some have answered with reference to what can happen inside our universe... but to them I would ask them to demonstrate the relevance it has to anywhere else.
     
  15. X-Man2 We're under no illusions. Registered Senior Member

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    We are all just giving our opinions of course and so mine is this. I believe "something" always existed and is the rule not the exception.This something has no beginning nor an end,no time.The fact that us humans have a beginning(born) and an end(dead) automatically causes us to think in same terms for the "Something" I believe what were made of is eternal but simply changes form,when we die our ingredients don't end but only change form.I don't believe "Nothing" exist or ever has existed.I find it meaningless to think or image "Something form Nothing" I mean you can't borrow from a nothing to get something since nothing isn't there to borrow from.Lastly I believe at most we can only give the concept of Nothing a thought or image to,nothing more.The moment you think,imagine or try to explain Nothing you already give this Nothing existence,which of course is no longer Nothing is it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  16. woowoo Registered Senior Member

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    In this analogy to imagine is akin to making an observation,
    the wave function collapses and the wave becomes a particle,
    the Universe comes into being. OM
     
  17. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, you have a description.
    But a description need not have a definite object it refers to....
     
  18. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

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    Thank you.


    Astute, and correct.




    The class "some" including me as a member.

    Or any relevance at all for that matter...
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    The absence of anything is also the absence of limitations. Reality is strange.
     
  20. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

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    If there wasn't anything, then nothing wouldn't be. You can't have nothing isn't.
     
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    That's a good point. Nothing is meaningless without something relative to it. Like you can't have up without down. And how long is nothing? If there's still time, isn't that something?
     
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    there's a subtle difference between an absence of limitations and an absence of everything per se
     
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Then you are describing an illusion/hallucination.

    We then have to answer why we would aspire for descriptions that have no definite object they would refer to.
     

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