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