something from nothing or always something

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby origami » Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:48 pm

MagsJ wrote:..not an impossibility, but could be a probability.. considering.


I'm sure it's at least the case some of the times.

MagsJ wrote:..is it also in his heart and in his soul?


It's in the mind, too, of anybody that understands it.

How they feel about it, well, I suppose that's their own business.


MagsJ wrote:That was his choice, to make..


Undoubtedly. As a philosopher, probably at least a valuable one.

MagsJ wrote:..just how close did he get, in resolving Descartes’ open proof to the objection that God does not exist because God cannot exist.

This close? He bolsters the ontological proof by grounding the demonstration for God’s actuality in a demonstration of God’s possibility.

Any further?


God's possibility is what I'm settling for here, out of earnest interest for the discussion. He went further, and shewed rather incontrovertability.

MagsJ wrote:I’m sure such places exist on Earth.. out of the way idyllic-islands and inland-townlets, but probably not big-city life.


Ah, but that is not the excercice. The world, and everything in it, as the best of all possible worlds.

Earstwhile, some of the things often found most objectionable in big-city life have gone on amplified and sustained in isolated island existences, both ocean and land-bound.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Jun 27, 2022 4:50 pm

origami wrote:So the quesiton remains, what does God entail?


Great mystery, a journey, a long searching for, ad continuum.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:09 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
origami wrote:So the quesiton remains, what does God entail?


Great mystery, a journey, a long searching for, ad continuum.


And then of course this part:

...an endless procession of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tornadoes and hurricanes and great floods and great droughts and great fires and deadly viral and bacterial plagues and miscarriages and hundreds and hundreds of medical and mental afflictions and extinction events...making life on Earth a living hell for countless millions of men, women and children down through the ages.


Well, if He does even exist at all.

One thing seems certain. Whatever or whoever brought into existence existence itself has a lot of explaining to do.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:15 pm

One thing seems certain. Whatever or whoever brought into existence existence itself has a lot of explaining to do.



So are you putting the things in this life that we ourselves are responsible for into the hands (metaphorically speaking) of God?

Anyway, I myself would love nothing more than to sit down with God and have a conversation.
BE MELTING SNOW. WASH YOURSELF OF YOURSELF.

YOU WANDER FROM ROOM TO ROOM
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DANCE UNTIL YOU SHATTER YOURSELF!

THERE IS A VOICE THAT DOESN'T USE WORDS. LISTEN!

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:15 pm

hiccup
BE MELTING SNOW. WASH YOURSELF OF YOURSELF.

YOU WANDER FROM ROOM TO ROOM
HUNTING FOR THE DIAMOND NECKLACE
THAT IS ALREADY AROUND YOUR NECK!

DANCE UNTIL YOU SHATTER YOURSELF!

THERE IS A VOICE THAT DOESN'T USE WORDS. LISTEN!

LIFE IS A BALANCE BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO!

LET SILENCE TAKE YOU TO THE CORE OF LIFE!
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Jun 27, 2022 5:35 pm

Iambiguous wrote:

...an endless procession of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tornadoes and hurricanes and great floods and great droughts and great fires and deadly viral and bacterial plagues and miscarriages and hundreds and hundreds of medical and mental afflictions and extinction events...making life on Earth a living hell for countless millions of men, women and children down through the ages.


Part of this is probably what created the atheist because no matter what, God would most probably be viewed as a callous unthinking creator. How could an omniscient, omnipotent God have done this to us? Our only resource then is to disbelief in a loving God or to eradicate a God totally. That then leads to what?
BE MELTING SNOW. WASH YOURSELF OF YOURSELF.

YOU WANDER FROM ROOM TO ROOM
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THAT IS ALREADY AROUND YOUR NECK!

DANCE UNTIL YOU SHATTER YOURSELF!

THERE IS A VOICE THAT DOESN'T USE WORDS. LISTEN!

LIFE IS A BALANCE BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO!

LET SILENCE TAKE YOU TO THE CORE OF LIFE!
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 27, 2022 6:53 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Iambiguous wrote:

...an endless procession of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tornadoes and hurricanes and great floods and great droughts and great fires and deadly viral and bacterial plagues and miscarriages and hundreds and hundreds of medical and mental afflictions and extinction events...making life on Earth a living hell for countless millions of men, women and children down through the ages.


Part of this is probably what created the atheist because no matter what, God would most probably be viewed as a callous unthinking creator. How could an omniscient, omnipotent God have done this to us? Our only resource then is to disbelief in a loving God or to eradicate a God totally. That then leads to what?


Over at the PN forum, Immanuel Can [a devout Christian] and I are discussing this very thing:

Immanuel Can wrote: You'll have to tell me which "questions" you mean. "Revolve around" doesn't tell me much.


Well, let's go back to this question:

How would an omniscient and omnipotent Christian God said to be loving, just and merciful explain this:

"...the endless procession of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tornadoes and hurricanes and great floods and great droughts and great fires and deadly viral and bacterial plagues and miscarriages and hundreds and hundreds of medical and mental afflictions and extinction events...making life on Earth a living hell for countless millions of men, women and children down through the ages."

You respond:

Immanuel Can wrote: Nobody says God "creates" these things. Well, animists do, maybe...they have "gods" that "create" all sorts of phenomena, from crops growing to lightning bolts. But no Christian thinks that's what these things mean.

You need to update your theology.


Prompting me to note...

Let's go to the Bible:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

The heavens that from time to time send asteroids and comets our way bringing about "extinction events". And the Earth which was hard-wired by God to bring about that "endless procession" above.

And who was it other than God that created human biology with its countless terrible medical afflictions that make life a living hell [eventually] for all of us.


Prompting you to note...

Immanuel Can wrote: Christian theology says we live in a broken, disrupted world, wherein mankind has rejected God. Natural disasters are not God getting angry, nor God punishing people, nor any such simplistic idea as that. It's a natural product of our disjuncture from the Source of life, health and goodness, which we human beings have ourselves caused.


Prompting me to note...

Ah, a necessary adjunct of Original Sin. All the rest of us still being punished for something we didn't even do ourselves. Use that to explain away these terrible conditions:

https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/chil ... _sick_kids
https://sph.umich.edu/pursuit/2020posts ... llosa.html
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/chi ... conditions
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:22 pm

origami wrote:The claims substance makes is that it exists beyond existence. Which is preposterous. But some people need magic, superstition is an old disease.

God exists, within existence, as shown by the fact that in a thought of god, God is there.


Our thoughts of God do exist within this world but does that mean that God, in actuality, exists as part of our existence?

As for the first, are you saying that God does not exist beyond our existence? Before the creation of the Universe, where was God?
BE MELTING SNOW. WASH YOURSELF OF YOURSELF.

YOU WANDER FROM ROOM TO ROOM
HUNTING FOR THE DIAMOND NECKLACE
THAT IS ALREADY AROUND YOUR NECK!

DANCE UNTIL YOU SHATTER YOURSELF!

THERE IS A VOICE THAT DOESN'T USE WORDS. LISTEN!

LIFE IS A BALANCE BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO!

LET SILENCE TAKE YOU TO THE CORE OF LIFE!
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:34 pm

Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?
Sean Carroll

It seems natural to ask why the universe exists at all. Modern physics suggests that the universe can exist all by itself as a self-contained system, without anything external to create or sustain it. But there might not be an absolute answer to why it exists.


Again, forget any answers that some might "think up" to explain it to themselves. The point is how they go about demonstrating to others that their own answer is in fact either the optimal answer or the only possible answer that there is.

All the while acknowledging the gap between what they think is true and all that would need to be known about the universe and/or existence itself in order to actually pin down the definitive answer.

Come on, it is both fascinating and fun to explore things of this sort. But who is kidding whom that their answer really is smack dab in the middle of the cosmogeny bullseye.

I argue that any attempt to account for the existence of something rather than nothing must ultimately bottom out in a set of brute facts; the universe simply is, without ultimate cause or explanation.


The brute facticity rejoinder.

In fact the more you think about it, the less implausible the God explanation seems to be. If you need a single source, an omniscient and omnipotent entity would seem to fit the bill. And that you obtain immortality and salvation along with it is all the more reason to join the flock.

As you can see, my basic tack hasn’t changed: this kind of question might be the kind of thing that doesn’t have a sensible answer. In our everyday lives, it makes sense to ask “why” this or that event occurs, but such questions have answers only because they are embedded in a larger explanatory context. In particular, because the world of our everyday experience is an emergent approximation with an extremely strong arrow of time, such that we can safely associate “causes” with subsequent “effects.”


This is often my point. That some provide answers to the questions "why something instead of nothing?", "why this something and not something else?" "Did something come into existence out of nothing at all?" as though it is something that can be tackled given our everyday experiences. As though we can arrive at the same sort of "explanation" in regard to existence itself.

The universe, considered as all of reality (i.e. let’s include the multiverse, if any), isn’t like that. The right question to ask isn’t “Why did this happen?”, but “Could this have happened in accordance with the laws of physics?” As far as the universe and our current knowledge of the laws of physics is concerned, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” The demand for something more — a reason why the universe exists at all — is a relic piece of metaphysical baggage we would be better off to discard.


Right. Like this conclusion in and of itself is not but another component of the staggering mystery of existence itself. Like the "laws of physics" themselves can be grasped ontologically. And teleologically?

That's the really Big Question, isn't it? Not whether everything there is came into existence out of nothing at all...but whether "behind" everything there is, there is a meaning and a purpose. God stuff to most of us.

But what if it is actually other than God?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 09, 2022 8:49 pm

Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?
Sean Carroll

This perspective [above] gets pushback from two different sides. On the one hand we have theists, who believe that they can answer why the universe exists, and the answer is God. As we all know, this raises the question of why God exists; but aha, say the theists, that’s different, because God necessarily exists, unlike the universe which could plausibly have not.


More to the point, once you take a leap of faith to God, you can always fall back on that. You don't have an answer but of course you are not expected to have one. Hense the leap of faith. Or, nearing the end of your life, a wager.

In other words, we are not in the realm of philosophy anymore but of relying on the ecclesiastics to explain it all theologically. There's usually a Scripture here which again we take on faith is the word of God.

Then around and around they go.

The problem with that is that nothing exists necessarily, so the move is pretty obviously a cheat.


No, the problem with that is we cannot possibly know as mere mortals that nothing exists necessarily. That's the beauty of religion. Since neither science nor philosophy can explain the existence of existence itself, why not a God, the God, my God. Here the atheists are no less entangled in the sheer mind-boggling mystery of reality itself.

I didn’t have a lot of room in the paper to discuss this in detail (in what after all was meant as a contribution to a volume on the philosophy of physics, not the philosophy of religion), but the basic idea is there. Whether or not you want to invoke God, you will be left with certain features of reality that have to be explained by “and that’s just the way it is.” (Theism could possibly offer a better account of the nature of reality than naturalism — that’s a different question — but it doesn’t let you wiggle out of positing some brute facts about what exists.)


That's just the way it is.

Sooner or later, both the physicists and the ecclesiastics will come around to this. It's just that there is no equivalent among the theologians of the scientific method. The God folks are always more inclined to quote Scripture. Or to "think up" arguments like these: https://www.edge.org/conversation/rebec ... nce-of-god

God [and thus reality itself] defined and then deduced into existence.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jul 09, 2022 9:58 pm

_
If there was nothing, we wouldn’t know anything, for we wouldn’t exist to be able to know otherwise/to the contrary of that fact.

Something manifested itself into being.. what purpose and why, is another matter altogether.. a debate par excellence waiting to be had, right there.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Jul 10, 2022 12:39 am

MagsJ wrote:Something manifested itself into being..

Don't think so - catch 22.

To exist is to be able to do something - anything at all. Nothing creates itself from nothing.
              You have been observed.
    Though often tempted to encourage a dog to distinguish color I refuse to argue with him about it
    It's just the same Satanism as always -
    • separate the bottom from the top,
    • the left from the right,
    • the light from the dark, and
    • blame each for the sins of the other
    • - until they beg you to take charge.
    • -- but "you" have been observed --

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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Motor Daddy » Sun Jul 10, 2022 1:23 am

There is no concept of "nothing."

"Nothing" is a false concept in your mind that you try to explain.

There is no such animal as "nothing."
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Sun Jul 10, 2022 3:31 pm

obsrvr524 wrote:
MagsJ wrote:Something manifested itself into being..

Don't think so - catch 22.

To exist is to be able to do something - anything at all. Nothing creates itself from nothing.

So you’re saying that nothing is 'a thing’?

It’s a concept/an idea, but ideas aren’t concrete things until they become a reality.. 'nothing’ cannot become a reality, and so will always be nothing because there is nothing for it to be able to materialise from.

Even our thoughts materialise from our mind..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby obsrvr524 » Sun Jul 10, 2022 9:27 pm

MagsJ wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:
MagsJ wrote:Something manifested itself into being..

Don't think so - catch 22.

To exist is to be able to do something - anything at all. Nothing creates itself from nothing.

So you’re saying that nothing is 'a thing’?

:lol: - words ---

I am saying that nothing is no-thing.
And that nothing comes from no-thing.
And if there is ever no-thing -- then there is forever no-thing - because no-thing comes from no-thing.

No-thing cannot create itself -- but it certainly would maintain itself -- if left alone. :D

If no-thing could create any-thing -- that would be some-thing - not no-thing.

MagsJ wrote:'nothing’ cannot become a reality,

I know that is true - but I don't know why you think it is true.

You have to know why no-thing cannot come from some-things.
              You have been observed.
    Though often tempted to encourage a dog to distinguish color I refuse to argue with him about it
    It's just the same Satanism as always -
    • separate the bottom from the top,
    • the left from the right,
    • the light from the dark, and
    • blame each for the sins of the other
    • - until they beg you to take charge.
    • -- but "you" have been observed --

The prospect of death weighs naught upon the purpose of life - James S Saint - 2009
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Mon Jul 11, 2022 4:05 pm

Motor Daddy wrote:There is no concept of "nothing."

"Nothing" is a false concept in your mind that you try to explain.

There is no such animal as "nothing."

Surely anything we can imagine is a concept, so ’nothing' is a concept.. like zero, as zero denotes the ‘lack of' something, yet we believe in and acknowledge zero.

We are able to fathom 'nothing’ with our mind.. an ability that animals most likely/probably lack, but we do not.. we are special in that respect.

I’m sure that most thinkers have imagined/wondered what the world/their life would be like without certain 'elements' not existing in it, at all. We have the ability to do that.. I bet prey wished that hungry predators didn’t exist. :lol:
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Jul 16, 2022 9:12 am

I don't know that you are fully capable of imagining or fathoming nothing. When you think you're imagining nothing, you're usually imagining blackness and silence - blackness isn't nothing, blackness is a visual experience. Imagining anything at all is an experience. Even when you try hardest to imagine nothingness, your imagination is including your own subjective experience in it.

In other words, when you imagine nothingness, what you're probably doing is imagining "what would it be like if I was inside of nothingness?" But if you were inside of it, it wouldn't be nothing

Imo.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jul 16, 2022 9:43 am

_
..it would seem that we all have different notions of what we imagine 'nothing' to feel like.

I’ll stick with mine. ; )
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jul 16, 2022 7:50 pm

_
This guy was certainly incredibly grateful that there was something and not nothing.. because he’d seen what nothing was like.

I would presume, that this is equally so for newborns.. knowing of nothing, until they start becoming conscious, of (some) thing(s).

The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Flannel Jesus » Sat Jul 16, 2022 8:09 pm

MagsJ wrote:_
..it would seem that we all have different notions of what we imagine 'nothing' to feel like.

I’ll stick with mine. ; )
but that's just it. If you think it "feels like" anything, it's not nothing!
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jul 16, 2022 9:41 pm

Flannel Jesus wrote:
MagsJ wrote:_
..it would seem that we all have different notions of what we imagine 'nothing' to feel like.

I’ll stick with mine. ; )
but that's just it. If you think it "feels like" anything, it's not nothing!

I didn’t say that it feels like anything.. that’s where 'imagination’ comes in, in removing the Self from the equation of existence completely.. or actually experiencing a removal from the equation of existence completely, like that guy.

Maybe I have too..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. ~MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something important at some point in time.. Huh!? ~MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a very bad DJ ~MagsJ

Examine what is said, not him who speaks ~Arab proverb

aes Sanātana Dharma Pali: the eternal way ~it should not be rigid, but inclusive of the best of all knowledge for the sake of Ṛta.. which is endless.
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:36 pm

Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?
Sean Carroll

The other side are those scientists who think that modern physics explains why the universe exists. It doesn’t! One purported answer — “because Nothing is unstable” — was never even supposed to explain why the universe exists; it was suggested by Frank Wilczek as a way of explaining why there is more matter than antimatter. But any such line of reasoning has to start by assuming a certain set of laws of physics in the first place.


Yes, the objectivists within the scientific community. As though because they engage the "scientific method" in exploring questions all the way out at the very end of the metaphysical limb this enables them to come up with the optimal [empirical] answers. The scientific equivalent of philosophers here who employ logic in order to accomplish the same thing: resolve it.

Meanwhile, the ontological relationship between something and nothing would seem to remain as elusive as ever. And, in the absence of God, how can there even be a teleological component?

Why is there even a universe that obeys those laws? This, I argue, is not a question to which science is ever going to provide a snappy and convincing answer. The right response is “that’s just the way things are.” It’s up to us as a species to cultivate the intellectual maturity to accept that some questions don’t have the kinds of answers that are designed to make us feel satisfied.


Then those who insist, "that's just the way things are...but this is the way things ought to be instead." And not just in regard to the is/ought world!

But "feeling satisfied" is what I always come back to myself. The part where what we believe is intimately -- and existentially -- intertwined in what comforts and consoles us. And that's the part that gets entangled further in the subconscious and unconscious components of the human mind. And who is to say where the brain ends and the mind begins there. Even assuming human autonomy.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jul 27, 2022 9:02 pm

Why there’s something rather than nothing
By Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post

In the late 1990s I made a list of the 5 biggest unanswered questions in science. All obvious stuff, like how did life originate and how does consciousness emerge from the brain. But number one, the foremost mind-boggler, the ultimate question, was: Why is there something rather than nothing?


That has to be it, right? Even for those who plug a God, the God, their God, they can't really get around pondering if there might have been nothing before God. Other than through yet another leap of faith.

And "mind-boggling" indeed. Especially when you consider that [presumably] whatever our something is, it had been around for billions of years before minds here on planet Earth could juxtapose it to nothing at all. We don't even know for sure [in a free will world] if human minds are capable of grasping "all there is". Before it was nothing at all?

I’d actually tried to do that as a “Why Things Are” item a few years earlier, in about 1995, but my editor thought it too incomprehensible and abstract for a syndicated column. Somewhere in my files is that unpublished WTA item and I wish I could find it, because I want to know the answer to the question. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995.


Of course, to ask "why things are" introduces the element of teleology. Okay, we figure out that everything there is came into existence out of nothing at all. Or we figure out that everything there is has always been around. But why? Is there someone or something in nature that can provide us with a meaning for existence...or a purpose?

And even if the author finds that column what are the odds that his answer to the question is the right one?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:24 pm

Why there’s something rather than nothing
By Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post

Right now I’m halfway through Jim Holt’s terrific book “Why Does the World Exist?,” which is entirely about the something-nothing question. It’s a wild ride, and romping great fun. You get the impression that Holt thought about this issue until his skull began to crack.


Now this is a truly crucial observation. Aside from the objectivists among us who actually do believe that how they think about nothing, something and everything that there now is reflects the whole truth, the more sophisticated minds can't help but grasp just how mind-boggling existence qua existence itself is.

How do you wrap your head around it? In other words, if you don't just take the shortcut to God.

Everything that we note around us once did not exist. Then it did. Then over time it will not again. It might take billions of years before planet Earth is gone but it is predicted that the Sun on the way to its own demise will swallow the Earth whole. At best we can reduce everything down to atoms and to subatomic particulars that do their thing...forever?

But existence itself? In a No God universe? How can it either always have existed or come into existence out of nothing at all? Which rendition seems the most preposterous?

There is an element here of a travelogue, and even a dining guide – the people who wonder about existence tend to drink a lot – but most of all it’s a tireless rumination on a single, unanswerable (sorry) question. Holt describes how philosophers, theologians and cosmologists have tried to shinny up this greased pole for thousands of years.


And we too are all along for the ride, aren't we? Is it an unanswerable question? Hell, we don't even know whether any answer we do come up with isn't the only answer we were ever able to come up with. Why? Because all the matter that encompasses "everything there is" [whether from nothing or always around] is inherently, necessarily subsumed in the immutable laws of matter itself.

Then back to those here who insist their pole is anything but greased. They've climbed all the way to the top. How? By constructing a "world of words" "in their head" allowing them to "think up" the solution.

Then when you ask them to demonstrate it, all they have available for you are yet more "arguments".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=176529
Then here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=185296
And here: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 1&t=194382

"Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

Danny Embling: "People wonder how Hitler managed to get so many followers...it's never surprised me."
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Re: something from nothing or always something

Postby Ichthus77 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:49 pm

MagsJ wrote:
obsrvr524 wrote:
MagsJ wrote:Something manifested itself into being..

Don't think so - catch 22.

To exist is to be able to do something - anything at all. Nothing creates itself from nothing.

So you’re saying that nothing is 'a thing’?

It’s a concept/an idea, but ideas aren’t concrete things until they become a reality.. 'nothing’ cannot become a reality, and so will always be nothing because there is nothing for it to be able to materialise from.

Even our thoughts materialise from our mind..


Is only the physical a something?

Glad to see MagsJ recognizes not all thoughts are thoughts the mind claims as itself, though possibly from itself.

Kinda like the universe materializing as thought from God’s mind, but not all of it (our willful evil and its consequences) claimed as his—though sustained regardless, in the name of love.

Obsrvr was on the right ex nihilo track but spun MagsJ ‘round instead after this. Weird.
Fall semester ends 12/16/22. Apologies if I do not reply immediately.

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