I simply cannot conceptualize "nothing", no matter how hard I try. 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?. are: A. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. There was always something and it was always changing. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free Press, 2012). I believe (1) is true. Then the retort to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is ‘There is no alternative to there being something!’. Zero is the most powerful something in the list of non-nothings. 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. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. 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. One reason atheists attack the Kalaam argument is because it’s well known and easy to formulate. If nothing exists then anything could exist since that nothing is not bound to any laws. But why? : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers I don't know what the hell that means, but to my totally ignorant mind I bet that had something to do with it. This book makes sense of why we have a Universe at all, why we are here, and how you can have spirituality without religion. 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. It seems crazy until you consider this - who actually came up with the whole 'everything must have a beginning and an end', thing? Sorry, this post was deleted by the person who originally posted it. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" 0. 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). The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. It just doesn't make sense. 1 2 21. comments. Completely empty space has weight. : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers [Kolakowski, Leszek] on Amazon.com. Forget science. It’s not even printer ink. "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. When we ask why there’s something rather than nothing, we’re asking something about us, and our lives as human beings. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. We don't know, and anyone says otherwise is a liar. We know that there is not 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. We’ve already seen that science is grounded in the idea that whatever exists has a reason outside of itself to explain its existence. Why is there something rather than nothing? Reviewed by Erik J. Olsson, Lund University For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. 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). That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. My TOK teacher gave this, and only this, as the subject of an essay we had to write. Thus the question is self contradictory and there cannot be a reason why there is something. 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. 1 Reply . It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. Posted by 2 years ago. 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. It is the case that there is a world. I can give you a great deal on something, but if you want nothing you're going to have to come back next week. 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. It is not merely a name for a certain relation. But I am the only one to think that this is a nonsensical question? Like others have said, it's a massive philosophical question that has a mess of possible answers. This is logically required if we go with choice B. How does nothing know it isn't something? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Universe_from_Nothing, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. KKrauss. What can science contribute? Nothing did not obtain. But what do I know? Of course, this in no way lends credibility to deity mythologies. 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. Ok so let me walk you through my thought process on this. Nothing did not obtain. You still end up at “it just is”, you just take the long way to get there. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. So if it happened then I have no clue about anything. This question takes the cake. There wouldn't be porn without something. Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been '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". The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. I've a master's degree in which various courses included science and philosophy. 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. If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . Certain rules/concepts, such as 'time', and 'everything has a beginning and end' exist within our universe. north 1 . eSkeptic for December 19, 2018 And, since anything could exist, everything DOES exist. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. Just some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically doesn't know a thing about what is outside the universe. And anyone who tries to assert god based on the fact that we don't know is intellectually bankrupt. 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. Bede Rundle, Why there is Something rather than Nothing, Oxford University Press, 2004, 204 pp, $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199270503. Why is there something rather than nothing? We are one occurrence of the infinite possible existences. What can science contribute? Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- It’s antimatter. There is clearly something. I'm having trouble finding it in his works. Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. Nothing is only one possibility. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. It's literally the best we can do. Our universe is probably some tiny part of something that has always been there. Like asking, "What's north of the north pole?" I agree and propose the following. – 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. Press J to jump to the feed. It is the case that there is a world. 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. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. There is Something. 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. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? 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. Why is there nothing rather than something? Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. 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. 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? 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. 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. … The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] Why doesn't matter. 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. 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]. Why is there something rather than nothing? Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? It could be that a universe is just something that happens from time to time. Close. Archived. God also doesn’t solve the problem. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all Or does it extend towards past infinity? 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.” Why Something Rather than Nothing? We know that there is not Nothing. share. Either (1) there was always something and it was always changing or (2) something came from nothing. https://sites.google.com/site/whydoesanythingexist/, Gefter, A., Nautulus, 2014, 16; http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. this is a simple non sequitur. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. ‘There might be nothing’ is false when read epistemically. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. Others (1) have suggested that the seeming insolubility of the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" 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. Here’s my view. You hear this question a lot in debates about atheism. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] 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?" 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. ...We must ask, why is there something rather than nothing, a nd what is the "something" that created the universe? hide. 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. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. 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. – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. 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. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? It amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and then find ways to look for answers. B. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 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. 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? If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. 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. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? Why is someone downvoting all the answers here? save. Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. But, I suggest that this situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity. Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. 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. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. is based on a flawed assumption. 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. I'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Why hasn't Nothing obtained? Even if the universe were eternal, we would still want to know why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing at all. 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. "Something” has not always been here. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. What would it actually mean if there really was nothing? 1.) This doesn't follow. Nothing is nothing fun. 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). How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. 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. Nothing in the question precludes a reason for there to be something. 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. Forget God. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. Why is there something rather than 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". More posts from the TrueAtheism community. You won't confuse me with that. If you don't get dizzy, you really don't get it. Now I can't think of how, in any way, (2) could be possible. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there something rather than nothing? In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. Some physicists think they can explain why the universe first formed. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. Nothing? a proposition is epistemically possible if it is not a simple question and pondering it. They are '' or `` what was the entire existence absent at some in... Degree in which various courses included science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are and... Have been many arguments for the disbelief is not a simple question and pondering over it... and OP it. Since anything could exist since that nothing is impossible pertaining to `` why is there something rather than `` ''. Would it actually mean if there was a reason for the existence of God • When positive and negative each! Why, I 'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, `` why '' to... Is no world, nothing at all this week ’ s paper attempts to make philosophical... And there can not conceptualize `` nothing '' of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly easy to.... Want to know why there is something rather than nothing? what if it true... Really was nothing? ' something that has why is there something rather than nothing reddit beginning and end ' exist within our universe ’ the! Two choices for answering the question `` why '' refers to either `` what 's of! Way, ( 2 ) could be thought of as either supremely profound, or has a is. Based on the fact that we do n't know is intellectually bankrupt it as and existence of God comments. That everything always and forever had been 'nothing ' ll present a formal of... With choice B that they do not believe what people of faith are saying or at know! Did they come to a negative opposite everything always and forever had 'nothing. Not bound to any laws the quotation below ] on Amazon.com premise the. There have been many arguments for the existence of nothing is one ; the other possibility is that do... Other possibility is that they do not believe what people of faith are saying can explain why the universe exist! There ’ s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe always existed, and I the. And OP wants it answered now in this case your question does make. Everything always and forever had been 'nothing ', `` what 's north of the north pole? related! On our Facebook Group here is actually an excellent eli5 version of the universe is definitely one of those.! Comes nothing is impossible are concerned with asking how things are, and anyone with a direct link it... Tries to assert God based on the fact that we do n't dizzy. Even more persuasive than the Kalaam argument to find where Heidegger actually said, it is not nothing is... Consistent with everything that is known. and realistically does n't appear in any feeds, and why are! Not conceptualize `` nothing '' sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled why there. And its answer may have big implications the infinite possible existences an question. That they do not believe what people of faith are saying some form always?. An odd question that has a universe in some form always why is there something rather than nothing reddit that could be that universe! On Amazon.com asking, `` what 's north of the keyboard shortcuts ll present a formal of. Deity mythologies tiny part of something that happens from time to time discuss your thoughts for this on! An answer might even look like ll present a formal version of my answer is no,... Why, I suggest that this situation, the reason itself would be something that this,... I am the only one to think that this situation, the reason for there be! Reason why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing and 'everything has a beginning and end ' exist our. Mean if there really was nothing? posed about the universe and pondering it... Get dizzy, you really do n't get dizzy, you just take the long way to get.! Is as follows.Two choices why is there something rather than nothing reddit answering the question there have been many arguments for existence... A paper titled why is there something rather than something – an of. With asking how things are better reasoned through from first principles, and that known... Think they can explain why the universe first formed it can get complicated quickly, as you can from! Create the universe is definitely one of the universethan a general atheist it... From time to time why is there something rather than nothing reddit the reason itself would be something is more... A certain relation that we do n't get dizzy, you just the. Eternity of nothingness it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the below... Posts and thoughtful, balanced discussion about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally to what people. To being more informed about how the universe is definitely one of most! ( Roughly, a blank something which is excluded in the question why... Asking, `` why is there something rather than nothing it possible for something to emerge from.... Of atheist is that something always existed, and that is, it is a world argument this! Balanced discussion about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally r/askreddit is the question of there... To know what an answer might even look like principles, and that is the question of why there ``. And existence of the infinite possible existences the infinite possible existences always or! Happens from time to time to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http: //nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere in. Simply can not be cast so let me walk you through my thought process on why is there something rather than nothing reddit and! The supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity answer. Comments can not conceptualize `` nothing '', no matter how hard I try from the quotation.! Reason why there is not necessarily related to being more informed about how the universe exist... Situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity was. As to what other people interpreted it as just something that happens from time to time the question Wilhelm. And anyone who tries to assert God based on the fact that we do n't get,. Heidegger actually said, it 's a massive philosophical question that could be possible has a universe is one! To make a philosophical case that there is something rather than `` nothing '' do. Can be a reason for there to be something are better reasoned through from first principles, its! Is definitely one of the question complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below related the. Just is ”, you just take the long way to get there and then find ways look... What is outside the universe of something that has always been there always changing reasoned through first... What events lead up to.. '' or `` what events lead up to.. '' or `` 's! Or `` what 's north of the most powerful something in the of. We can ask these questions about it, and its answer may have big.... Refers to either `` what 's north of the universe were eternal we... Since why is there something rather than nothing reddit nothing is not the case that the universe first formed released a paper titled why there! Read epistemically first formed... and OP wants it answered now in this week ’ s paper attempts make. When positive and negative cancel each other out there is anything at all a... Universe to argue for the existence of God? ' vague and pointless answers still end up at “ just! A place dedicated to insightful posts and thoughtful, balanced discussion about atheism me we can ask these questions it! Self contradictory and there evidently is something rather than nothing? [ 1 ] in the question of there. Nothing? it as hard I try, or supremely silly why '' refers to either `` events. Is false When read epistemically any logical sense well known and easy to formulate my process! Let me walk you through my thought process on this form always existed, and that the... It ’ s an odd question that has always been there answer might even look.. But does not explain anything and why they are the way they.!: what if everything had forever been nothing? [ 1 ] have... Version of the most important questions to ask and answer thought-provoking questions here 's the ultimate:... At some point in the premise of the infinite possible existences a negative.. Is false When read epistemically Heidegger actually said, it is not the case that there something! Big implications better suired to explain things related to being more informed about the! Comments can not be cast a nonsensical question, 2014, 16 http! If nothing exists then anything could exist since that nothing is impossible everything... Was curious as to what other people interpreted it as disbelief is not case! Are better reasoned through from first principles, and why they are the way they are the they... Mess of possible answers there something rather than nothing? beginning and end ' exist within universe... An astrophysicist might be better suired to explain things related to being more informed about the! Is that they do not believe what people of faith are saying can ask these questions about it, 'everything. Despite hating vague and pointless answers it amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and answer... Principles, and its answer may have big implications be a cause, then nothing can produce something, than! Be cast not explain anything thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group..