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The nature of nothingness is negative not neutral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 751 times Debate No: 78136
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




First round is acceptance

burden of proof lies on both parties

I am going to prove that nothingness is a negative that subtracts from existence.

Con has to prove that nothingness is neutral, that is, it does not exist therefore it has no characteristics. (or con can argue for some other characteristic)



To say that the nature of Nothingness is Negative assumes existence in the understanding of the world (to be clear and explicit - this is not given! Nothingness assumes nothing!).

1) Check out Heidegger-An Introduction To Metaphysics. There he makes a good argument (one I expect you know given you raise the question, but still I'll give reference) in rebuttal.

I won't reiterate his argument. Mine is that;
2) If you simply consider a 'universe' in which nothing exists (literally no dimensionality, no time, no space, no objects, no ideas, no mathematical truths, nothing you or I could say to be a god or natural truth) then you immediately realize that this universe can not be negative for it has nothing to be compared to. It is nothingness that exists as nothing, neutrally. What can it be negative to?

You assume existence in your question, which is fundamentally unsolvable if you'll hold to it and really sort of close-minded and predetermining the solution if you won't understand the meaning of nothingness.

OK so you lose nothingness and you admit it's neutral, next you say you didn't mean nothingness nothingness, but nothingness as compared to what exists. What OBVIOUSLY DOES exist.
Now I say, you can not assume "what exists" in questions of metaphysics because you must realize that all of your knowledge is given to you by your sensations, which are liable to lie to you (reference of course Descartes-Meditations 1). You can perhaps say that you exist, but then it's rather ego driven to say a world without you is negative, you are assuming that YOU are an inescapably existent truth. Perhaps in this life and indisputably from the first person, but if you hold onto this first person (which is the hill I'd best make the argument from) you run soon aground (ex. if I ask you to justify existence through time, or whether ideas exist). Is this your argument? Or will you show me what nothingness is made negative to?

At the end of the day though, nothingness is obviously neutral if youre open-minded for it has nothing which exists else to be but.

(Tell me then, what are you really trying to go after? Is this the old call all the existentialists pessimistic? Because it's much easier to point out how unsightly Schoppenhauer's face mole was and how sad that's liable to make a guy and call it a day.)

Cheers, & for love of Philosophy!
Debate Round No. 1


Something: anything that exists

empty space: the absence of everything other than itself. absence of light, heat and matter.

nothing: the absence of everything.

Let's imagine a world with nothing in it....

Can we imagine that? no, we cannot. We can imagine a world absent of light, heat and material existence but this would just leave dark, cold, empty space. empty space is not nothing, it is empty space which is something. What would happen if we remove this empty space? we cannot comprehend what would happen because there wouldn't be anything for it to happen to, thereby making the concept of a world of nothingness paradoxical. But why is it paradoxical? why can't nothing just be if it's neutral? Because it is not neutral. That is why you cannot imagine it because it CANNOT (read, must not) be. empty space is neutral. material is positive and nothingness is negative. If nothingness was neutral or positive then you could imagine it but you can't.

What makes empty space neutral? well, neutral is just a word we use to describe things. In regards to it relationship with nothingness it is neutral because it has a quantifiable value of zero. Zero in maths is a place holder. It holds no quanitifiable value except to denote an increase in numbers. Numbers cannot exist without a 0 present. For example, if i only have 3 zero's prior to the integer 1 I cannot reach 10,000.

0001, 0010, 0100, 1000.

A single 0 had to exist to begin with or else we couldn't even start with 1. But you see if we don't have more than 4 zeros we cannot continue to escalate beyond 1000.

This is the same as empty space. Without empty space to begin with we cannot put a single piece of matter in the universe and without double that empty space we cannot put 2 bits of single matter in the universe, Therefore, empty space has the quantifiable value of 0, each piece of matter has a quantifiable value of 1 and what value lies beneath 0? what would we be left with if we removed all matter then finally empty space? 3,2,1,0... -1 or nothingness. Using this demonstration we can see that nothingness has the same quantifiable nature of -1. that is, if you add it to a positive they will cancel each other out.

Back to my example, zero's are infinite so our 1 can keep escalating just like empty space is infinite which is why things can keep coming into existence. empty space is the first requirement for existence because if there is no empty space there isn't anything for there to exist in. every single material thing is occupying empty space. however empty space is not occupying empty space. that's why empty is neutral and nothingness is negative. i can't prove this with physical evidence of course but based on this simple reasoning it is only reasonable to believe nothingness is subtracting.

The universe exists in opposites. without opposites then things lose all meaning: man - woman. life - death. happiness - sadness. material - immaterial. good - bad.

Everything must have an opposite. so if material existence is a positive (life, matter, actions) then what's the negative? is it anti-matter? no, anti-matter is still material therefore it is a positive even though it destroys matter. A human that kill other humans may be considered anti-human but they are still human themselves.

So what is the opposite of existence? it's nothingness. and we can tell what the nature of nothing is by comapring it to the nature of something (ie, existence)

Something: existence, multiplying, materialization, inside the universe, positive

empty space: a place holder for existence, infinite, neutral

nothingness: non-existence, subtracting, de-materialization, negative

As you can see i've given plenty of reason to believe that nothing is most likely to be negative than neutral. If empty space is neutral then how can nothingness also be neutral? you can't have more neutral or less neutral, something is either neutral or it is not. I've proven why empty space should be considered neutral because it most closely resembles the quantifiable number 0. So if we have reason to believe empty space is neutral then what would that make nothingness? it can't be positive or neutral, therefore, it must be negative.

Even neutral is a characteristic. If i say something is neutral that means it has NO effect on things, therefore i should be able add or subtract from a neutral environment. Can i add to nothingness? can i place an apple in nothingness? no, i cannot, because nothingness implies the absence of everything including empty space and if there is no empty space to put my apple in then where can i put it?

Can i remove nothingness? no, because what would that leave? You cannot go below nothingness; you cannot go below nothingness because now you are in the negatives.

Can i add to empty space? yes, i chuck an apple in empty space and no effect has occured. can i remove from empty space? yes, i can remove an apple and no effect has occured. can i remove empty space itself? in reality, no, but theoretically you can because we can go a step below empty space and into nothingness but once you get to nothingness you can no longer remove anything because there is nothing to remove. This is why nothingness is a negative.

An absolute nagative must exist or else positive and neutral would not exist. everything has an opposite. what's the opposite of existence? non-existence/nothingness.

Just because something does not exist that does not mean it does'nt have a characteristic or else why we even have a name for it? The characterstic of nothingness is the complete absence of everything. now we've concluded it's characteristic then we can assume it has some form of nature. I'm proposing it's subtracting for the above reasons.

Here's a concept that has no characteristics: Jimmiwawabingbong. What are the characteristics of Jimmiwawabingbong? It has no charateristics, it's just a combination of letters, it doesn't mean anything, therefore, it has no nature, it is meaningless. Even nothingness means something: The complete absence of everything. It's a step up from jimmiwawabingbong so it must have 1 greater characteristic than Jimmiwawabingbong. If it has one greater characteristic then it also has 1 greater attribute.

Here are another bunch of concepts with no characteristic or attributes: Commilinga, t8sicles, foggyshimsack, comlickballbag, gotsyshimovelays, coverjsklsd,lnaskf, daslkhaskf;av, slfknafkjs89fy32fb, hviduhve=-efef8efb, f83f783fbekjfndsvc783f, dlkkflsnvkj, buttonmash, aslkfa;kjcbackj, aifakcbadkncvacnldsc, ibdvsbvsvs

Notice how all the above are meaningless and the only thing that seperates them is a varying combination of letters. This is the true meaning of having no characterstic beyod a title. Nothingness stands out from all these meangningless words because nothingness has a meaning.

if nothing has a meaning then it has a characteristic. If it has a characteristic then is has a nature. it's nature is subtracting.

Con must give reason for us to believe that nothingness is neutral. He must explain what makes nothingness neutral. What makes nothingness meaningless. We can not add, subtract or imagine nothingness thereby making meaningless according to Con.

Sorry for the late reply. thanks for joining in.



There is a lot wrong with that. (A) It's really too long. (B) You assume SO MUCH. You stand on a firm ground which assumes ontological fact (i.e. truth), but you are no God and you do not know. So many of the conceptions you assert can well be an illusion of this world, though I don't wish to get into showing you how. I can not fight preconceived notions of the world that you are seeking to hold and justify. Few ontological understandings are the same, even when we agree upon the words we use to describe them. Those who believe in this world will agree with you, and those who see this sight and sound as a passing journey will understand that 'negative' is a structure we impose upon a universe far greater and colder than we are; even in the places where it does not exist.
Just smoke some Salvia and you'll get it.
Debate Round No. 2


Con did not address any of my arguments.

She claims there's a lot wrong with what I said but hasn't specified WHAT and WHY.

CA1: "Too long"

This is subjective. To many it could be too short because they don't fully understand what I mean and therefore want me to elaborate. For other's it is too long because they understood what I'm saying from the beginnin or they didn't care. I assume Con didn't care

CA2: "You assume so much."

What Con does not realize is that EVERYTHING we "know" is an assumption. There is not a single proven fact that isn't an assumption on some level. You could be holding an apple in your hand and it's based on the assumption that you are not hullucinating to believe %100 you are holding an apple. There are NO certainties in life and all we can do is make our best possible assumptions.

This is very true for the assessing the concept of nothingness. In the words of St Augistine: "we should not start at the beginning, nor at the end, but where we are, in the middle. We reach a verdict about the existence of controversial things by assessing how well these entities would harmonize with the existence of better established things. If we start from nothing, we lack the bearings needed to navigate forward" That is, what we don't have immediate access to now we must assess against that which we do have access to in order to understand it. I would not expect a scientist to enter the middle of the sun to be able to tell me what the sun consist of.

We do not have access to nothingness yet scientists continue to debate it's nature so it obviously isn't as redundant an argument as most may think.

However, we do have access to the concept of nothingness. Even the word has an effect on our actions. Allow me to demonstrate:

Let's take the phrase: "I'm placing nothing on this apple"

now, in your imigination what has taken place here? Has the person placed anything on the apple? No, they havn't, in fact they shouldn't even have moved because the reference of nothingness removes that persons intentions of "placing something" from existence. The person may as well have not said anything. By utilizing the word "nothing" they were able to positively remove something; the action of placing.

Let's look at the phrase: "I'm placing empty space on this apple"

Now, what do you imagine the person doing? Most likely walking forward with an empty hand and placing it on the apple. Notice that the person was able to follow through with their action because the application of empty space is possible. Empty space exists all around us. If you hold out your empty hand and apply that to an object you have applied the empty space that was within your hand to the object. This is the equivalent of applying 0 to 1 or 0 + 1. Nothingness does not have this capability. Empty space allowed you to walk forward and follow through with your action. Nothingness does NOT allow this. If you say you are going to apply nothing to this apple then the reference to "nothing" has canceled out your intentions of applying something.

As you can see the concept of nothingness is not neutral. It cancels things out of existence. Empty space is neutral. If nothingness was neutral then i could juggle nothing; But I can't "juggle nothing" because the idea of juggling nothingness cancels out the very action of juggling. If I said "I'm juggling nothing" that would mean I'm just standing there not doing anything. I can juggle empty space which would be the equivalent of miming a juggle. If I said "I'm juggling empty space" then that would mean I'm just standing there miming a juggle; I'm still able to perform the action of juggling when I make reference to empty space. This is what makes empty space neutral.

CA3: "I can not fight preconceived notions of the world that you are seeking to hold and justify".

What is Con's evidence for the concept of nothingness being neutral? I've just demonstrated how even the word has a subtracting nature. Under what pre-text does Con use to come to the conclusion that nothingness is neutral? She just assumes that it is. As I've demonstrated, we have literally no reasons to believe that nothingness is neutral just because it doesn't exist. In fact, we have reasons to believe the opposite of that; If existence is a positive state (materialization, multiplying) then the opposite must be the opposite state (de-materialization, subtracting).

Con herself states in the first round that everything MUST have an opposite, including the universe: "Then you immediately realize that this universe can not be negative for it has nothing to be compared to. It is nothingness that exists as nothing, neutrally. What can it be negative to?"

If nothingness is neutral then what is positive and what is negative? We can assume all matter and energy are positive because they are the addition of something but then what is negative? A negative MUST exist in some form; Con said it herself, an opposite must exist or it loses all meaning.

I look forward to what Con suggest to be the negative of the universe.

As you can see so far I have already answered this question myself in my arguments. Nothingness is negative, empty space is neutral and is curently being occupied by the positive state of matter/time/energy.

The burden of proof is shared so Con must breakdown my argument and construct her own argument in defense of Nothingness being neutral.

CA4: "Just smoke some Salvia and you'll get it."

Thank you Con but I prefer to use the most powerful chemical structure of all to reach enlightenment; My brain. Drugs are for the lazy. Due thought will bring far greater awareness of the truth than any plant. Humans have been given the 3rd tier of consciousness for a reason. I'll leave the intoxicating plant abuse for the wild animals.



JustAdmitAMoronBeatYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Con just forfeited the round.

I'd like to remind the voters that the point of this debate is not for me to prove that nothingness is negative, just for me to demonstrate that it is more reasonable to believe that a state of nothingness would be negative as opposed to neutral. Con must give good reason that contends with my arguments as to why we should believe that nothingness is neutral.

I will carry through my previous arguments and re-iterate them.

I'd also like to elaborate on the term non-existence. For something to be truly non-existent then it must have no attributes at all. For example, (mythical) santa clause exists as a concept. Santa has characteristics and attributes that make him santa. For something to be truly non-existent it must have NO attributes. Jimmiwawabingbong has no attributes at all and therefore can be considered the closes thing to non-existence beyond a combination of letters. Sure, jimmiwawabingbong does exist, it's a combination of letters with no meaning, but it isn't even a concept, which makes nothingness a step up from Jimmiwawabingbong. Nothingness exists beyond a combination of letters, it implies a state of being absent of everything. It may not exist in reality but it still exists as a concept and therefore has attributes and characteristics. Why does nothingness not exist in reality? I'm asserting that it doesn't exist because it MUST not exist not because it is non-existent by nature but by necessity. It's very important that you understand why nothingness must not exist by necessity because it explains why the universe must exist in the first place which answers the age old question, why are we here?

The idea of a state of nothingness is a paradox as it implies a state being absent of everything and if a state is absent of literally everything then how can it be? Therefore, nothingness is a negative that must be filled with something and this is why we have the universe. This is the utimate balance of everything

I urge voters to remember that everything in the universe has an opposite or else it would have no meaning. For example. the opposite of life is non-life. But, still, this not the complete opposite of life as the complete opposite of life would be anti-life. That which removes life from existence. A rock which is non-life would not remove a rat from existence because they are not polar opposites. They both share the similarity of existing as something. However, they are opposite enough to give each other meaning. The absolute opposite of life woud be nothingness. Once we reduce life to it's most fundamental characteristic - something, we find the opposite of that which is nothingness. non-life just means a-life. Something that exists without life. It's the same as a-theism and anti-theism. A-theism is the lack of god (theism) not the complete opposite of theism. Anti-theism is the removal/denial of god, the complete opposite of theism. Empty space would be a-something, because empty space is without everything other than itself, however it is not anti-something. empty space does not remove things from existence. nothingness is anti-something. Nothingness is the polar opposite of something.

This is what makes empty space neutral. It lacks everything, but still retains itself. Nothingness does not even retain itself making it anti-something. and an anti-something must be cancelled with something to maintain balance.

To re-iterate upon the neutral nature of empty space (thereby disquaifying nothingness from being cassified as neutral because only 1 thing can be considered completely neutral or else it would not be completely neutral) emptyspace is absent of everything other than itself. absent of light, matter and heat but it still retains it's area. We can add to emptiness, we can add light, heat and matter but we cannot subtract or else we'd be going into the negatives or the 4th dimension. If we could go beyond/below empy space that would be the same as going beyond time and space-time is considered the 4th dimension. What is beyond space-time? nothingness. If you were in nothingness you could witness the conception of the universe because being in the 4th dimension means being able to see the past and future.

Empty space is like the integer 0 in that we can add numbers to it but cannot subtract without going into the negatives. We can add matter, light and heat to empty space but cannot subtract or else we'd be going into negatives, thereby making nothingness negative.

I can elaborate on everything I said but I'm not sure I need to. I've presented a compelling amount of evidence (that being reason) to believe nothigness is a state of negativity not neutrality.

One may ask what the importance is of knowing this, well I can say it gives a very good expanation as to the cause of the universe. It explains WHY the universe exists and what the nature is of that which lies beyond it. It would explain how nothing, something and infinity all exist at once synergistically.



JustAdmitAMoronBeatYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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Vote Placed by Unbelievable.Time 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF