• When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. 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. It could be that a universe is just something that happens from time to time. This question takes the cake. https://sites.google.com/site/whydoesanythingexist/, Gefter, A., Nautulus, 2014, 16; http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. share. Infinity; all possibilities must exist. 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. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. 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). If you don't get dizzy, you really don't get it. Not just emptiness, not just blankness, but not even the existence of emptiness, not even the meaning of blankness, and no Forever. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. Forget science. 1.) It just doesn't make sense. 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. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Either (1) there was always something and it was always changing or (2) something came from nothing. There is Something. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. 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. We know that there is not 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. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. 1 2 21. comments. 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. And, since anything could exist, everything DOES exist. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- It is a real entity, a substance. Why is there something rather than nothing? Others (1) have suggested that the seeming insolubility of the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Nothing did not obtain. Nothing in the question precludes a reason for there to be something. 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. 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. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. There is Something. 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. 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. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. But I am the only one to think that this is a nonsensical question? "Something” has always been here. 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. But what do I know? the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. 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). : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers [Kolakowski, Leszek] on Amazon.com. Press J to jump to the feed. Nothing is only one possibility. Thus the question is self contradictory and there cannot be a reason why 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. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. 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. 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 the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? this is a simple non sequitur. Like asking, "What's north of the north pole?" I simply cannot conceptualize "nothing", no matter how hard I try. Then the retort to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is ‘There is no alternative to there being something!’. Was the entire existence absent at some point in the past? From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. Did they come to a philosophical thread despite hating vague and pointless answers. "Why is there something rather than nothing?" How does nothing know it isn't something? The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? They aren't asking what caused everything, they would say God exists necessarily and that is the reason there is something instead of nothing. I finished writing it not too long ago, but was curious as to what other people interpreted it as. Close. The conti… 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. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free Press, 2012). Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why there is something rather than nothing seems less fundamental to me, than asking why are we aware of the universe at all. 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). What can science contribute? Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? Try again. 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 … Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. We don't know, and anyone says otherwise is a liar. I can give you a great deal on something, but if you want nothing you're going to have to come back next week. Even if the universe were eternal, we would still want to know why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing at all. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. There have been many arguments for the existence of God. r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. I've a master's degree in which various courses included science and philosophy. 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. It's irrelevant anyway. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] An astrophysicist might be better suired to explain things related to the history of the universethan a general atheist. 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 ", 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". Why is there something rather than nothing? 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. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" Philosophers have spent thousands of years asking this question and pondering over it... And OP wants it answered now in this thread! New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. ...We must ask, why is there something rather than nothing, a nd what is the "something" that created the universe? Nothing did not obtain. Archived. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. But why? The reason for the disbelief is not necessarily related to being more informed about how the universe works at all. Forget God. Why hasn't Nothing obtained? – 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… The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. 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. Maybe our "something" IS, in fact, nothing? This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. Posted by 2 years ago. We are one occurrence of the infinite possible existences. It has real existence. I'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" 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. 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. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. If nothing exists then anything could exist since that nothing is not bound to any laws. 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? 0. 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. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Ok so let me walk you through my thought process on this. Why is there something rather than nothing? – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Krauss's answer is nothing new. It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. 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. Or does it extend towards past infinity? 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". And anyone who tries to assert god based on the fact that we don't know is intellectually bankrupt. In order to show why, I’ll present a formal version of the argument and then defend each of its premises. One argument supporting this is as follows.Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Sorry, this post was deleted by the person who originally posted it. It’s antimatter. 27. God also doesn’t solve the problem. 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. Completely empty space has weight. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. 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?. I believe (1) is true. 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.” Of course, this in no way lends credibility to deity mythologies. Why is there nothing rather than something? You still end up at “it just is”, you just take the long way to get there. north 1 . 1 Reply . Why doesn't matter. report. So if it happened then I have no clue about anything. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. You hear this question a lot in debates about atheism. Press J to jump to the feed. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Some physicists think they can explain why the universe first formed. If that which does not exist can be a cause, then nothing can produce something, which is a contradiction. It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. Bede Rundle, Why there is Something rather than Nothing, Oxford University Press, 2004, 204 pp, $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199270503. More posts from the TrueAtheism community. Now I can't think of how, in any way, (2) could be possible. 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]. "Something” has not always been here. If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all 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 is there something rather than nothing? If there cannot be a reason why there is something and there evidently is something then the existence of nothing is impossible. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. You won't confuse me with that. But, I suggest that this situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity. is based on a flawed assumption. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. 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. There are two possibilities. That is, it is a "something". Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- Why is there 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. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. Zero is the most powerful something in the list of non-nothings. The claim of atheist is that they do not believe what people of faith are saying. 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. 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. Here’s my view. are: Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. Why is there something rather than nothing? Reviewed by Erik J. Olsson, Lund University If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. 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. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. Thus the problem is solved. There is clearly something. Why is there something rather than nothing? Published: March 05, 2005. "Why" refers to either "what events lead up to.." or "what was the reason/motive behind...". I agree and propose the following. This doesn't follow. It is not merely a name for a certain relation. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. save. Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. It’s not even printer ink. 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. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. 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. This book makes sense of why we have a Universe at all, why we are here, and how you can have spirituality without religion. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. One reason atheists attack the Kalaam argument is because it’s well known and easy to formulate. 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?" (Roughly, a proposition is epistemically possible if it is consistent with everything that is known.) This is logically required if we go with choice B. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Nothing is something. There is Something. Just some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically doesn't know a thing about what is outside the universe. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. I'm just saying it doesn't make any logical sense. In this case your question doesn't make sense. Therefore this is rather an ill-formed question. eSkeptic for December 19, 2018 – 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. What can science contribute? Interestingly, these authors propose s Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. This is plain because a non entity cannot act. What would it actually mean if there really was nothing? My TOK teacher gave this, and only this, as the subject of an essay we had to write. 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. … And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. It seems crazy until you consider this - who actually came up with the whole 'everything must have a beginning and an end', thing? Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. Damn, this is actually an excellent eli5 version of my answer. From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. It amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and then find ways to look for answers. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. 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? But why? Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? It is the case that there is a world. 2.) We know that there is not Nothing. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. In my life there exists no greater question. B. Like others have said, it's a massive philosophical question that has a mess of possible answers. There is Something. ‘There might be nothing’ is false when read epistemically. 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's literally the best we can do. and is described below. 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 is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. Why hasn't Nothing obtained? Why is someone downvoting all the answers here? I'm having trouble finding it in his works. ", 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". Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . In some respects the contingency argument is even more persuasive than the Kalaam argument. Doesn't mean they exist outside of it. 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. hide. Why Something Rather than Nothing? There was always something and it was always changing. 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. 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. are: A. 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. In this episode, we’re discussing “nothing”. Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Look, I'm sorry but we're completely out of nothing. There wouldn't be porn without something. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] Nothing is nothing fun. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. In this "absolute nothing”, there would be no mechanism present to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. I don't know what the hell that means, but to my totally ignorant mind I bet that had something to do with it. 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. 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). 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. Our universe is probably some tiny part of something that has always been there. A place dedicated to insightful posts and thoughtful, balanced discussion about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally. 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Debates about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally it ’ s.! Or `` what 's north of the argument and then defend each of its premises of.! Are better reasoned through from first principles, and then find ways to look for answers if. Principles, and why they are always and forever had been 'nothing ' to make a case. Easy to formulate says otherwise is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled why is something...