The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
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Logically speaking, Nothing cannot exist.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/19/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 801 times Debate No: 65492
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)




Why is there something rather than nothiing?

Round 1. Acceptance

Round 2. Arguments

Round 3. Rebuttals/Arguments

Round 4. No new points, further support for arguments, rebuttals and conclusion


Nothing: No things, No things that could be indentified,

Burden of Locical conclusion is shared, proof isn't avaliable

This is primarily a thought experiment type of debate. I've spent three months thinking about nothing. I've come to the conclusion that there is something rather than nothing, because a pure nothing is most likely impossible. I have no idea how this debate will go. Many of these "thought concepts" become hard to follow or even turn back on themselves. It is a fun thing to think about, nothing. If you accept, please be willing to argue for your position. Arguing isn't unsupported assertions, reason must be used.

Good Luck

Lets have a little fun


I accept.

I would like to add a definition. Since my adversary has put the word "Logically" in the resolution, I will state what the word "Logical" means:

Logical: according to or agreeing with the principles of logic :
"a logical inference." [1]

Good luck!

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to begin by thanking Con for accepting this debate.
I look forward to a robustly argued case from Con and wish him luck.

A final house keeping point. I cannot prove nothing cannot exist. Con cannot prove nothing can exist. This debate doesn't carry the burden of proof for either position. I intend to try and use reason, logic, my imagination and yours to demonstrate that it seems likely that nothing cannot exist. This is why in the round 1 acceptance I rephrased the burden of proof, to the burden of logic.

Where to begin? Lets begin with the question that lead me to consider nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing? I will begin with something. Whatever reality is, it is something. We experience it. It is there. Something exists. Something has meant the burden of proof. We know it is a state that is available, it can and does exist, something. But, what about nothing? Is that a state that can exist? We have no examples of nothing. We have no documented case of nothing existing anywhere. Nothing hasn't meant the burden of proof as far as existence is concerned, or as far a possible existence is concerned. Therefore, it is a mistake on our part to simply think nothing can exist. Since we have no confirmed examples of nothing, we must use our minds and try and get to nothing. We will try and figure out if nothing is possible. So lets begin, lets try and get to nothing.

A1. "Nothing is in that glass." Lets imagine a glass with absolutely nothing in it. Not one single atom. Not one single subatomic particle, completely empty. In order for the statement to be true, "nothing is in the glass," a glass must exist. If we remove the glass, the state becomes false. In this case, nothing is spatially dependent on the glass. Nothing needs a place to exist. The space in the glass is where nothing exist. The space in the glass is something, it is space, a location. If nothing is dependent on a location, nothing cannot exist in entirety. A location must exist. Conclusion, nothing is location dependent. A location is something. Therefore nothing cannot exist, unless it has a place to occupy. The space nothing occupies, is something.

A2. Nothing is nonexistence. I don't accept this definition of nothing, which is why I didn't define nothing in this manner in round 1. But I do know that some define nothing this way. So lets look at this definition. The existence of nothing would violate it's own definition of non existence. If nothing exists, then logically speaking, there is some type of existence. Nothing cannot be defined as non existence, while claiming that nothing can exist. This definition violates itself. If we think about nothing not existing, this would be a double negative, implying something exists. This definition isn't logically sound. Both paths from the definition fail. Nothing (non existence) exists, contradiction. Nothing (non existence) doesn't exist, implying some type of existence. The definition doesn't work. This also relates back to the glass. The statement, "the glass has nothing in it" requires the glass to be true. We see a similar issue with this definition. Non existence would remove the glass, but the definition of nothing fails under non existence. Nothing seem like it needs a place to be.

A3. Lets move to the universe. Lets begin, imagine ourselves in the universe, shouldn't be hard. Now lets try and start removing things from the universe, with the ultimate goal of eventually getting to nothing. We begin by removing moons, planets, stars, galaxies, atoms, subatomic particles and any other thing we can think to remove. Lets imagine this as we go. Once we have removed all things, lets imagine what this space looks like. We should be left with complete darkness. No objects, no light, no gravity, just an empty void stretching into the infinite, we think. So we have removed the easy stuff, objects. But we are still left with the space. The space is something, it is space. If we are going to get to nothing, we must somehow remove the space. But how do we do that? Is that something we can do? We are really close to nothing, but not quite there. Frankly speaking, I'm stuck here. How could I remove this empty void? What could be less than this, complete emptiness? Is empty space something that could be removed? I cannot imagine how. Here again, we could say, there is nothing here. But we need here to exist in order for that statement to be true. It doesn't seem like we could remove here. In this example, nothing exists in the empty space. But the empty space exists, so something exists. We are still unable to get to nothing.

A4. So far we have gotten close to nothing, but not quite there. We have been able to get clear down to empty space, but no further. Lets try and remove a location, or space. If we can figure out a way to remove space or a location, then maybe nothing is attainable. Lets imagine one large box the size of a room. Lets imagine another smaller box within the larger box, a packaged sized box. Lets imagine that space comes in square cubes that we can remove one by one. Lets try and remove one cube of space from the smaller box. We reach into the box, grab the center cube of space and remove it from the box. What happens? Is there still a location where the cube of space was? Has the location left? What would that look like? How could the location leave? Did the space around the chunk we removed slide into the vacated spot. That would imply the location remained. Did the other chunks of space stay where they are? They couldn't move into a location that didn't exist. This would imply the location is related to space. Lets think about this a little more. If the walls of the box remained unchanged, the volume of the box would still be the same as it was before we removed the location. If the volume is the same, then the location still exists. It appears as though removing the chunk of space has changed nothing. If that is the case, we should be able to return the chunk we removed to the location we removed it from. That would imply the location remained. Maybe the box shrank down in size equal to the amount of space we removed. This would leave less space inside the smaller box, but more space outside the smaller box. Both would be equal to the amount of space we removed. It appears no change has occurred. We have gotten no closer to nothing. Trying to remove space doesn't seem to work. Space might not be removable. Space is something. If space isn't removable, and space is something, nothing cannot exist.

A5. Lets think some more about space. It seems we have two options. Lets go back to the glass. "The glass has nothing in it." This is space option one, empty space. We tried to remove space itself and that didn't seem to work. Space option 2. Can we remove the space in the glass by filling the glass with water? Not really. The water requires a place to exist. What was empty space has now become space with water in it. Removing space doesn't seem to work. Filling space doesn't remove space, it only occupies it. Space is becoming a real nuisance on our quest to nothing.

A few quotes from "The Hole in the Universe" by K.C. Cole

"nothing is that all important background upon which everything else happens"
"anybody who knows all about nothing, knows everything"
"in physics, the study of nothing lies at the bottom of every burning question"

Nothing sounds incredibly interesting and very important. Nothing sounds like something.

A1. Nothing is spatially dependent. Space is something
A2. Nothing defined as non existence isn't logically sound.
A3. We can remove everything from the universe, except space, leaving us with something
A4. Removing space doesn't seem to hold up logically
A5. Seems like space has two options, space with nothing in it, or space with something in it, either one leaves us with something.

We've tried to get to nothing. There doesn't seem to be a way to it. Logically speaking, Nothing cannot exist, it appears.

Con, the floor is yours. I look forward to your arguments. Lets see if you can get us a little closer to nothing. Lets see if nothing can exist.


I would like to thank pro for instigating this debate. I will jump right into this, with my rebuttals and contentions pretty much mixed in with each other.

Pro's resolution

When pro states that nothing cannot exist, I am assuming he is trying to say three things:

1. The state of nothing is impossible as there must be something in any given area, especially space.

2. Nothing Is impossible even in all forms.

So therefore, if I can state one form of nothing, even a form that wouldn't even relate to what my adversary is talking about (which is physics), my opponent ultimately loses the whole debate.

I will state this very unusual form, which is the only one, after I go over my opponent's arguments extremely quickly..

My opponent argues with detail about how space is something and how it cannot be removed. This seems to be the only thing he argues about and has not thought about other possible forms of "nothing". And it seems once I state my "form" of nothing, there is absolutely no way my adversary can win this debate, unless he has his saving grace up his sleeve which I doubt he does.

And now, I will state the one form of nothing which is...
Nothing. Right there. The form of nothing is itself the word nothing.

And, yes, at first all you readers out there may be confused as to how this corresponds to the debate, but I would like you to take another look at the resolution. It starts off with "logically speaking".

Logically, the word nothing itself is a form of nothing, as it is right in front of our eyes countless times and it exists. It is agreeing with the principles of logic. Had my adversary rephrased that to scientifically speaking or something else that would allow his case to be stronger, I would agree with him entirely.


My adversary has failed to show why nothing cannot exist, and I have proved that there is a logical form of "nothing", which is the word nothing itself.

I hand the floor back to pro.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you Con for your response.

Having said that, I will confess to be greatly disappointed in it. I would much rather have an interesting debate, on what is a very interesting subject, then to try and find a way to just get a win. In other words, the interesting discussion is more important than the win for me. As I read your first argument, it seems to me you have opted to try and get a win, over trying to have an interesting debate. On an intellectual level, I find this to be disappointing. We had an opportunity to debate an interesting topic, you seem to have passed on that. Your round two argument is largely off point, and fails on the whole.

The premise.
1. Logically speaking, Nothing cannot exist.
2. Notice the capitalization of the word nothing. We are speaking of a specific kind of nothing.

Round 1. Further clarification of the premise.
1. "Why is there something rather than nothing?"
2. This phrase identifies the type of nothing we are talking about.
3. This is an age old question that has been ponder by human beings for thousands of years. It is a deep question and anyone reading the round 1 clarification should know the depths of the question, and be familiar what type of nothing we are about to debate.
4. The debate is in the Philosophy category. Philosophy is where we consider deep questions.
5. "I've spent 3 months thinking about nothing." Further clarify that we are discussing a deep subject.
6. "...because a pure nothing is most likely impossible." More clarification on the type of nothing that the debate will cover, notice the word PURE.
7. Round 1 clearly clarifies the nature of the premise. We are debating nothing in the deepest of ways.

1. Con uses round 1 to clarify how he defines Logic. Con is aware round 1 is to clarify the debate. Con should have a good understanding of what type of nothing we are about to debate.
2. There are two response in the comments section that speak to the topic of the debate. Both comments where posted before any arguments were made.
C1. "How are you an Atheist but believe nothing cannot exist?" In general, this commenter understand the topic of the debate and the type of nothing that we will be discussing. This commenter understands the subject is a deep question. Far more deep then typing a word.
C2. "The resolution is only tangentially related to atheism/theism." This commenter also understands the type of nothing that the debate will be focusing on. Both understand the topic is a type of Universe nothing. Both understand the topic is a deep question, not the typing of a word.

Conclusion to this point.
1. Con should be well aware of what type of nothing is to be debated.
2. If Con was confused about the type of nothing we were going to discuss, Con could have asked for clarification in the comments section or in the round 1 acceptance portion.
3. Con has no reason not to understand what type of nothing we are debating. The commenters understand it.

Con's opening argument fails completely because Con doesn't address nothing as described in the premise or the round 1 clarification of the premise. That being said, Con did make a few very light arguments. Since we have gone this far, I will continue the debate and address the failings of Con's argument in what is a larger failed response.

I've identified 2 arguments (one isn't actually an argument) in Con's round 2 response.
A1. "...go over my opponent's arguments extremely quickly."
A2. "The form of nothing is the word nothing."

A1. "...go over my opponent's arguments extremely quickly."
In this section Con doesn't actually make an argument. non, not one, zero. Con makes a very superficial summary of my 8000 character opening argument. Three entire sentences was devoted to my opening argument. There is not one single contested point in this section. Effectively, I argue my house is yellow. Con effectively states that I argued that my house was yellow. This section is a complete failure.

A2. "The form of nothing is the word nothing." This fails on two points.
1. It is off topic. Round 1 clarification, "Why is there something rather than nothing." The debate clearly isn't about something as simple as a word. This is an age old question, debated for thousands of years. It is illogical to think the significance of this question in any way relates to the word itself. It is unreasonable to think that this debate is about the word "nothing" when the instigator of the debate uses the word in the premise. The more logical conclusion is that we are discussing a type of nothing, and that is clarified in round 1. Typing the word "nothing" fails to address the actual type of nothing that is the topic of the debate.
2. It is a juvenile argument. It is equivalent to a premise "The Easter Bunny doesn't exist." Then the opponent writing the words "Easter Bunny" on a sheet of paper and saying "look the Easter Bunny does exist" pointing to the words. Childish. This website is, " online community where intelligent minds from around the world come to debate..." To debate that something doesn't exist, for the rebuttal to be, "I wrote those very words, therefore it does exist" is below any reasonable standard on what should be expected from this type of site. This is an incredibly juvenile argument. I don't even think it deserves a zero. I think it deserves a minus 2.

Summary to this point.
Con's opening response fails in a dramatic way, frankly wasting my time and the readers. It is largely off topic. The type of nothing that is to be discussed is clarified to a very reasonable degree in round 1. With the greatest clarification coming from a many thousand year old question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" The topic is made reasonably clear, but Con argues off point. Con's A1 fails because it isn't an argument, it is a light summary with no contesting of points. Con's A2 fails because it is willfully off topic and juvenile to a fault. To this point, Con has made no serious attempt to address the true nature of the topic. This is very unfortunate. We could've had an interesting debate over an interesting subject, instead we are left with an off topic response, with a juvenile argument.

Con the floor is yours. Are we going to debate the topic or wander around in uninteresting, off topic arguments?


My opponent accuses me of going off topic on my argument. I honestly cannot see why, as according to the resolution, I am to debate about if nothing can exist or not. That is what I did, and I understand my opponent's arguments clearly, and I am being completely serious. I will refute some of my opponent's accusations here.

The premise

In the resolution, the word nothing is not capitalized. It just has a capital letter at the front.

Round 1

My opponent states that he made a clarification on the premise. This is true. However he could have made that the resolution itself, which would basically sound like "Philosophically speaking, there is a something rather than nothing". Only that time can we put this debate in the Philosophy section. My opponent should have thought more carefully about the resolution and which category it really falls under, instead of just making assumptions that the contender will blindly accept.

My opponent also states that he has "spent 3 months thinking about nothing." That does not clarify anything at all. It is possible that he was just thinking about nothing but never deepened his thoughts. Again he is making assumptions.

Finally, my opponent says that the word pure would completely clarify everything that he wants to debate. Yet once more he assumes that it really does, but it really doesn't. After all, we are to debate whatever the resolution says. In debates we must take everything literally.

Evidence in comments

1. I absolutely did use round one to define logic. However that does not do anything to the debate topic. I am merely stating what logic means, and under the circumstances it actually helped me slightly.

2. The comments section does not do anything to the resolution. My opponent is relying on many places to base the resolution, which shouldn't happen in a debate.


A1. I don't understand why my opponent is so greatly upset at my summary of his case. I only said what I said because that was the only thing to summarize. Plus, what I was trying to imply was that my opponent could only argue about one thing and that he could have argued more about others.

A2. Pro loses conduct points for referring to me as "juvenile" and "childish". Just because I made that argument does not mean that I am juvenile, nor does it have to make my argument so. Plus, I argued that because of the faulty resolution. Pro is basically creating a faulty resolution and blaming the whole thing on me. Again, I'd like to say on DDO we take debates literally.

What the resolution says is that logically speaking, nothing cannot exist. Logically, it can exist because we are repeating it countless times not only visually, but when speaking and hearing as well, not to mention mentally.


In conclusion, pro has made a faulty conclusion and not only does he blame it on me, but he actually makes an offensive statement in his argument as well. With all due respect, I would like my opponent to realize he has made a faulty resolution, and that as I am writing this I am realizing he dropped this rebuttal.

And once again, to pro.
Debate Round No. 3


Finally, a conclusion to what has been an utter waste of time.

Lets look at a few things Con has said in his last response.
1. Referring to the resolution, "It starts off with, "logically speaking."
A. Con argues that he has defeated the resolution because he wrote the word "nothing."
B. The resolution contains the word nothing.
C. Lets apply a little logic.
D. If Con is correct, the resolution defeats itself since it contains the word nothing.
E. In Con's round 1 clarification, Con himself defines logic, "a logical inference."
F. What is the most likely correct logical inference?
F1. The resolution is written in a way that the resolution defeats itself, being illogical, while containing the word logic?
F2. Or, the word nothing, written in the resolution isn't pertaining to the word itself?
G. The most reasonable logical inference (Con's definition) is F2.
H. By Con's own definition of logic, a logical inference, Con would know that the word nothing is off topic, being it is contained in the premise, it is contained in the round 1 clarification. Con knows the topic of the debate isn't the word itself.
I. Therefore, Con is willfully off topic.

2. "I'd like to say on DDO we take debates literally."
A. Both Con and I use round 1 to clarify the premise.
B. My first sentence in round 1 clarification of premise, "Why is there something rather than nothing."
C. If Con takes this sentence literally, Con clearly would know the intent of the debate.
D. Con has no excuse to claim the intent of the debate is related to typing the word that is in the premise.
E. Con is willfully off topic.

3. "Pro losses conduct points for referring to me as "juvenile" and "childish."
A. I didn't refer to Con as juvenile or childish.
B. I referred to Con's one word argument as juvenile and childish.
C. This one word argument by Con is juvenile and childish.
D. This is just a accurate description of Con's single word argument. Accurate descriptions don't warrant a loss on conduct points.
E. Tip for Con, if you don't wish to have your argument identified as juvenile or childish, don't make juvenile or childish arguments. Don't fault me for accurately describing it. You had the opportunity to debate the topic in a mature manner. You knew what type of nothing the premise was referring to. You had further clarification in round 1 on what the premise was pertaining to. You chose not to present any well reasoned, mature arguments. Instead, you chose the juvenile approach, typed the word nothing, and said, there is it. At DDO we behave in an adult manner. We make arguments. Quote from general site conduct page, " prides itself on intellectual and thought-provoking conversation." You simply didn't live up to a general standard of conduct in this debate. You provide no intellectual or thought-provoking arguments. You wasted my time and the reads. You also wasted an opportunity to do what prides itself on, "intellectual and thought-provoking conversation" on the topic of nothing. You willfully declined to take an adult approach. You willfully argued off topic. The criticism is an accurate description, not a personal attack.

To the readers
I began by stating that this exercise to work our way to nothing was going to require our imaginations to see if we could get there. Lets do one last, and due to Con's single word off topic argument, far to few exercise with our imagination. Imagine you are a college student, or live near a college. The college decides to hold a debate on the existence of God. Pro takes the position, No God exists. Con takes the position, God exist. Pro writes the premise, God doesn't exist. You decide to go to this debate. The subject interests you. You buy your ticket along with 200 other people. You arrange your schedule so you can attend the debate. You attend the debate, looking forward to and intellectual and thought-provoking debate. For the Pro side, he takes this debate serious. Pro creates his arguments and presents them to the audience. And then it is Con's turn. Con stands up, goes to the black board in the background, writes three letters, G O D. Con steps back, points to the word that the letters create, and smugly says, "God does exist. I've proved it. I've written the word on the blackboard." What do we think of this type of behavior? Do we think Con behaved in an honorable fashion? Do we think Con held up his end of the bargain? Do we think Con has just wasted all our time? Do we think Con has embraced the spirit of what a debate is? How would we grade Con and his "argument?" Do you feel ripped off? This is exactly what Con has done in this debate.

Con has failed in a dramatic fashion in this debate.
Reason 1. Con is willfully off topic.
Reason 2. By Con being willfully off topic, Con has failed to embrace good conduct in debating.
Reason 3. Con's single, one word argument is incredibly juvenile. Typing a word, point to it, is well below any reasonable standard of debating, in any venue. A junior high debater wouldn't stoop to this level.

Finally, I would like to apologize to those who were looking forward to an interesting debate on this subject. If I had known my opponent had no intentions of arguing in good faith, I simply wouldn't have bothered. Our time has been wasted, for that I'm sorry.


My opponent now not only accuses me more of being off-topic, but actually makes some hypocritical statements in this concluding round. In this round I will refute my opponent's final accusations and strengthen my own case.

My last response

1. My opponent accuses me of illogically inferring my opponent's resolution. Instead, what he is really doing is illogically inferring and accusing my argument and his own resolution, when clearly the resolution for us to debate and whether nothing logically exists or not. Of course my opponent has defeated themselves in the first place. If the resolution contained the word "Philosophically" I would not have debated him on this topic.

Therefore, I am not debating off-topic but rather my opponent is debating off-topic from the first round because he literally changed the resolution after it was made. Rather, he is willfully off-topic.

2. My opponent has again illogically inferred my argument. The first thing I took literally was the resolution. Then I read the altered resolution in the first round. If I take it literally, then literally my opponent is trying to change the debate. Therefore Pro is willfully off-topic.

3. My opponent tries to defend his conduct points by stating that he was not trying to insult me. This is an obvious fallacy. Firstly, saying that my argument is juvenile and childish is an insult on its own. Secondly, if that argument was made by myself (which it was), he is consequently calling me juvenile and childish. My opponent cannot disprove this.


I will, for a moment, take time to focus on my own contentions.

The resolution says "Logically speaking, nothing cannot exist".

Logically, nothing can exists, because as I have said before, it is in front of us right now so many times, and we mention it all the time elsewhere. It follows the rules of logic. What's more, basically my opponent is trying to disprove this as he literally points to what I am talking about.

Literally, this point cannot be disproved without changing the resolution and is therefore, under the circumstances, correct.


I will not conclude this debate right away. This conclusion is rather a response to Pro's last paragraph.

My opponent reviews an entire case that reviews my arguments. Unfortunately, he leaves out a few details. He only vaguely describes the resolution instead of actually telling me what the resolution was. Was it simply "God exists"? Or was it "Philosophically speaking, it is a certainty that God exists"? Without these details he has proved nothing.

Pro has failed to prove my arguments wrong and has even tried to make some insults and hypocritical statements. The most glaring one is that he is stating that I am debating off-topic, when he obviously was from the start. Here is why:

1. He has tried to change the resolution.
2. He insists on debating on the altered topic instead of what is actually the resolution.
3. Even after reading my arguments on his faulty resolution, he insists on debating on the different topic.

As you can see, even though Pro seems to understand what I am saying, instead he is woefully misguided.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by IvenMartin 2 years ago
This is like watching a samurai and a ninja fight!
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
Ramos, it is an assumption to believe nothing can exist. We are conditioned to believe this is an option. I don't think it is, because I've spent time trying to think if nothing is possible. I say no. I think something must exist out of necessity. Something natural can, and most likely is, the foundation of everything. Why do I believe that, because I don't think nothing is possible.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
The resolution is only tangentially related to atheism/theism.
Your analogy made no sense, by the way.
Posted by Ramos-7 2 years ago
How are you an Atheist but believe nothing cannot exist? That's like saying a building doesn't have a builder but nothing can't exist & therefore something must exist (which supports agent causation).
No votes have been placed for this debate.