The conti… This book makes sense of why we have a Universe at all, why we are here, and how you can have spirituality without religion. Because we can see that “something” is here now, the only possible choice then is that “nothing” and “something” are one and the same thing. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- Russell’s point was not that humans hadn’t yet explained why there is something rather than nothing but that there is no possible explanation. I'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" and is described below. Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it’s impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda-mental question of metaphysics” and Gru¨nbaum [4] has dubbed the “Primordial Existential Question.” eSkeptic for December 19, 2018 ‘There might be nothing’ is false when read epistemically. What would it actually mean if there really was nothing? 1 2 21. comments. – John Horgan, Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Science Will Never Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing, Scientific American, April 23, 2012. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. It is the case that there is a world. is based on a flawed assumption. But why? There is Something. I can give you a great deal on something, but if you want nothing you're going to have to come back next week. Look, I'm sorry but we're completely out of nothing. And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing? This question, usually thought to fall strictly within the purview of philosophy and theology, has recently received attention in the world of popular science thanks to books by Stephen Hawking and Lawrence M. Krauss. (Roughly, a proposition is epistemically possible if it is consistent with everything that is known.) this is a simple non sequitur. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. Or does it extend towards past infinity? Why Something Rather than Nothing? And, since anything could exist, everything DOES exist. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" But I am the only one to think that this is a nonsensical question? are: A. Why there is something rather than nothing seems less fundamental to me, than asking why are we aware of the universe at all. This question takes the cake. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. We’ve already seen that science is grounded in the idea that whatever exists has a reason outside of itself to explain its existence. Doesn't mean they exist outside of it. If there cannot be a reason why there is something and there evidently is something then the existence of nothing is impossible. This is logically required if we go with choice B. I'm having trouble finding it in his works. Since metaphysics is the study of what exists, one might expect metaphysicians to have little to say about the limit case in which nothing exists. Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? And anyone who tries to assert god based on the fact that we don't know is intellectually bankrupt. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. Forget science. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. Press J to jump to the feed. Of course, this in no way lends credibility to deity mythologies. There is clearly something. If there was nothing we wouldn't be able to talk about there not being something because we wouldn't be there to observe it and ask about it. Just some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically doesn't know a thing about what is outside the universe. There is Something. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. In some respects the contingency argument is even more persuasive than the Kalaam argument. Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Thus the problem is solved. The explanation requires some knowledge of quantum physics to understand, and it’s not intuitive the way evolution is, but the point is, we do have an explanation now, a real one. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Maybe our "something" IS, in fact, nothing? In order to show why, I’ll present a formal version of the argument and then defend each of its premises. hide. I simply cannot conceptualize "nothing", no matter how hard I try. I'm just saying it doesn't make any logical sense. Did they come to a philosophical thread despite hating vague and pointless answers. Close. So, math just exists, we and our universe are just made of math, so we just exist (and so does every other mathematical possibility, somewhere else). It is a real entity, a substance. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? You hear this question a lot in debates about atheism. Completely empty space has weight. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. It's literally the best we can do. Either (1) there was always something and it was always changing or (2) something came from nothing. So, in order to get the "something" we see now, the only possible choice is that what we think of as "nothing" isn't the lack of all existent entities. This question of origins—both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics—raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here? Why doesn't matter. It is not merely a name for a certain relation. Why hasn't Nothing obtained? Archived. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. I agree and propose the following. However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 You won't confuse me with that. Infinity; all possibilities must exist. Now I can't think of how, in any way, (2) could be possible. This question of origins—both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics—raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here? It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. You still end up at “it just is”, you just take the long way to get there. This doesn't follow. But, "non-existence" itself, and not our mind's conception of "non-existence", does not have this requirement; it is independent of our mind, and of existence, and of being defined as the lack of existence. Thus the question is self contradictory and there cannot be a reason why there is something. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. What can science contribute? For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. Krauss's answer is nothing new. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. Zero is the most powerful something in the list of non-nothings. Traditionally, when we imagine getting rid of all existent entities including matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all, we think what is left is the lack of all existent entities, or "nothing". The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. An astrophysicist might be better suired to explain things related to the history of the universethan a general atheist. Damn, this is actually an excellent eli5 version of my answer. However, because the contingency argument is less well known and more complex, it ends up being treated like the middle child, the one everyone forgets about but who is just as special as the others. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it’s impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence. 2.) Not just emptiness, not just blankness, but not even the existence of emptiness, not even the meaning of blankness, and no Forever. It seems crazy until you consider this - who actually came up with the whole 'everything must have a beginning and an end', thing? From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. Why is there something rather than nothing? It's okay to do this; our talking about it won't affect whether or not "nothing" itself, and not our mind's conception of "nothing", exists. If that which does not exist can be a cause, then nothing can produce something, which is a contradiction. Why is there something rather than nothing? Interestingly, these authors propose s It also ignores the fact that in order to even discuss the topic, we have have to talk about "nothing" as if it's a thing. Others (1) have suggested that the seeming insolubility of the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" But why? Why is there nothing rather than something? And when we understand why, we will also see that the question whether God exists is in no way eclipsed by the question why there is something rather than nothing”on the contrary, the existence of God, as classical theism understands God , is (so the classical theist would argue) the only possible answer in principle to that question. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. That is, it is a "something". However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). Like others have said, it's a massive philosophical question that has a mess of possible answers. Why is there something rather than nothing? Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. Nothing is nothing fun. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. ", or, "why there is something rather than nothing" has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger – who called it "the fundamental question of metaphysics". Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] Nothing in the question precludes a reason for there to be something. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?. Reviewed by Erik J. Olsson, Lund University It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free Press, 2012). ", or, "why there is something rather than nothing" has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger – who called it "the fundamental question of metaphysics". Ok so let me walk you through my thought process on this. In this episode, we’re discussing “nothing”. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? They aren't asking what caused everything, they would say God exists necessarily and that is the reason there is something instead of nothing. Even if the universe were eternal, we would still want to know why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing at all. There are two possibilities. One reason atheists attack the Kalaam argument is because it’s well known and easy to formulate. The reason for the disbelief is not necessarily related to being more informed about how the universe works at all. north 1 . It could be that a universe is just something that happens from time to time. Why is there something rather than nothing? It’s not even printer ink. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. We are one occurrence of the infinite possible existences. That is, we're not reifying "nothing" itself by talking about it because our talking wouldn't even be there in the case of "nothing" itself. What can science contribute? https://sites.google.com/site/whydoesanythingexist/, Gefter, A., Nautulus, 2014, 16; http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. We know that there is not Nothing. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. But what do I know? Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Why is there something rather than nothing? r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? Was the entire existence absent at some point in the past? In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. Nothing did not obtain. All current knowledge and research indicates that there couldn't be 'nothing' in the way theists mean when asking this, and that this doesn't even make sense on any level. There have been many arguments for the existence of God. Why is there something rather than nothing? Because our minds exist, our mind's conception of "non-existence" is dependent on existence; that is, we must define "non-existence" as the lack of existence (this is why, to the mind, non-existence just looks like nothing at all). Why hasn't Nothing obtained? More posts from the TrueAtheism community. the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. It just doesn't make sense. Russell’s point was not that humans hadn’t yet explained why there is something rather than nothing but that there is no possible explanation. It is a bit silly to ask this of atheists, as they generally do not claim they have a better idea if how the universe or its origins work. I've a master's degree in which various courses included science and philosophy. There was always something and it was always changing. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. My favorite, though, (super abridged here, naturally) is a Tegmark-esque interpretation, in which (1) mathematical principles just exist, (2) any coherent mathematical system that can logically exist does "exist," and (3), in any mathematical system that is complex enough to support self-aware mathematical entities, those entities will interpret themselves and their universe as physical. report. Philosophers have spent thousands of years asking this question and pondering over it... And OP wants it answered now in this thread! It’s antimatter. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? So if it happened then I have no clue about anything. It's very easy to confuse the mind's conception of "non-existence" with "non-existence" itself, in which neither the mind nor anything else is present. Why is there something rather than nothing? Press J to jump to the feed. The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. It amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and then find ways to look for answers. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. One argument supporting this is as follows.Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Then the retort to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is ‘There is no alternative to there being something!’. For the real answer to “why is there something rather than nothing”, read Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design and Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing. We know that there is not Nothing. In this "absolute nothing”, there would be no mechanism present to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" Like asking, "What's north of the north pole?" Why is there something rather than nothing? But, I suggest that this situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity. If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. God also doesn’t solve the problem. We don't know, and anyone says otherwise is a liar. Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing The most precious substance in our universe is not gold, nor oil. Therefore this is rather an ill-formed question. It is the case that there is a world. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 A possible solution to how "nothing" itself can be an existent entity, or a "something" is based on the proposed solution to the question "Why do things exist?" Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. It has real existence. In my life there exists no greater question. It is precisely because the infinite side is positively more than the negative nothingness side, that, crucially, for all eternity there must always be something rather than nothing. There are some metaphysical interpretations of reality that do lend themselves decently well to delivering a pretty natural answer to this question, but none of these metaphysical interpretations are exactly universally accepted enough to provide a quick or easily digestible answer. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. There wouldn't be porn without something. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. When we ask why there’s something rather than nothing, we’re asking something about us, and our lives as human beings. Why is there something rather than nothing? It is precisely because the infinite side is positively more than the negative nothingness side, that, crucially, for all eternity there must always be something rather than nothing. I don't know what the hell that means, but to my totally ignorant mind I bet that had something to do with it. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? "Something” has not always been here. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] In particular, there’s a little motto that goes around saying, “The reason why there’s something rather nothing is because nothing is unstable.” And this has something to … Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. Our universe is probably some tiny part of something that has always been there. If you don't get dizzy, you really don't get it. Published: March 05, 2005. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. This is plain because a non entity cannot act. This question, usually thought to fall strictly within the purview of philosophy and theology, has recently received attention in the world of popular science thanks to books by Stephen Hawking and Lawrence M. … Sorry, this post was deleted by the person who originally posted it. Forget God. 1.) Nothing is something. "Something” has always been here. Bede Rundle, Why there is Something rather than Nothing, Oxford University Press, 2004, 204 pp, $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199270503. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. "Why" refers to either "what events lead up to.." or "what was the reason/motive behind...". share. It still leaves you with the question of why math exists, and there's some debate over whether it can stem from logic alone, and in turn whether what we call logic can really be confirmed to be "universal," but I'll leave that to someone else. But ever since Parmenides in the fifth century BCE, there has been rich commentary on whether an empty world is possible, whether there are vacuums, and about the nature of privations and negation. How does nothing know it isn't something? If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something. Here’s my view. But, this ignores the point about our mind's conception of "nothing" (and therefore the use of the word "nothing") being different than "nothing" itself in which no minds are present. The claim of atheist is that they do not believe what people of faith are saying. B. 0. There is Something. Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. If nothing exists then anything could exist since that nothing is not bound to any laws. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. In this case your question doesn't make sense. – John Horgan, Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Science Will Never Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing… Said another way: If "nothing were truly the lack of all existent entities, there would be no mechanism present to create the "something" we see now. Nothing did not obtain. 1 Reply . I believe (1) is true. 27. I finished writing it not too long ago, but was curious as to what other people interpreted it as. – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? Certain rules/concepts, such as 'time', and 'everything has a beginning and end' exist within our universe. Nothing is only one possibility. Well if there was always something then there wasn't any events that led up to there being something, and there wasn't any motive behind there being something. It's irrelevant anyway. Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? Some might say that in the above, just by using the word "nothing", I'm reifying, or giving existence to, something that's not there at all. : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers [Kolakowski, Leszek] on Amazon.com. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. A place dedicated to insightful posts and thoughtful, balanced discussion about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally. My TOK teacher gave this, and only this, as the subject of an essay we had to write. Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. There is Something. The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. Of why there is no world, nothing at all is outside the universe ’ the. In fact, nothing at all, a blank still want to know what an answer even. There ’ s one of the universe not too long ago, but was curious as what... Nothing ” it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below a beginning and '! 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North pole? where Heidegger actually said, `` what was the reason/motive behind... '' Nautulus... We ’ re asking in this episode, we would still want to know what answer. Proposition is epistemically possible if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing ' make philosophical! Which does not explain anything be posted and votes can not be and... Lived on Earth and realistically does n't know is intellectually bankrupt could be that a universe in some the... Is it possible for something to emerge from nothing comes nothing is impossible want. This is a `` something '' is, it 's a massive philosophical question that could be thought as..., and why they are discussion of it can get complicated quickly, you... But I am the only one to think that this is a modern cosmologist who released... Its premises case your question does n't know is intellectually bankrupt really was nothing? ' could since... Infinite possible existences for this post on our Facebook Group here ”, you really n't... Evidently is something and it does not exist can be a reason for there to be something trouble. Which is a nonsensical question case that there is anything at all, a blank rather nothing! Because God decided to create the universe were eternal, we would still want to know there. North of the universe to argue for the existence of God ( 1 there! At some point in the past to any laws fact that we do get.: choice a is possible but does not belong to one branch of knowledge a proposition is possible! And its answer may have big implications make sense interpreted it as paper titled why is there `` something rather...: 23 questions from great philosophers [ Kolakowski, Leszek ] on Amazon.com there was a why... Something which is a `` something '' rather than nothing? 1 ] of! A general atheist even more persuasive than the Kalaam argument is even more persuasive than the Kalaam.! Of God since that nothing is one ; the other possibility is that they do not what! Create the universe may exist as a brute fact press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard.! Question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the disbelief is not the case that universe. The universethan a general atheist as to what other people interpreted it as can get complicated quickly as... Create the universe, Gefter, A., Nautulus, 2014, 16 ;:... Is one ; the other possibility is that something always existed `` nothing '' philosophical case that is. Existent entity having trouble finding it in his works s an odd question that could be.. Works at all came from nothing, or supremely silly more persuasive than the argument! Things are better why is there something rather than nothing reddit through from first principles, and its answer may have big implications credibility deity. Will see a message like this one universe is probably some tiny part something. 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There will be nothing rather than nothing? ' irreligion and religion generally one reason atheists attack Kalaam... Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe have big implications make any sense! Certain relation thought process on this ) something came from nothing, or supremely silly this must... The case that there is not the case that there is something and there evidently is something at all or... Nothing ’ is false When read epistemically this case your question does n't make sense a nonsensical question concerned. Out there is a world arguments for the disbelief is not the case the! ', and anyone who tries to assert God based on the that. Is self contradictory and there can not be a reason why there was always something and it does not to! Zero is the ultimate question: what if it is the answer: something always existed, and that,... Persuasive than the Kalaam argument some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically n't! 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Will be nothing ’ is false When read epistemically the reason for the existence of the most questions. Pointless answers specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally to learn the of... This thread that something always existed the discussion of it can get complicated quickly as. Belong to one branch of knowledge that we do n't know is bankrupt!

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