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Can there be nothing without something?

toolpot462
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5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Heven
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5/3/2013 1:10:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In the beginning there was " nothing" but after the creation of the world there became something . But we defined nothing as the absence of something.Thus, we should make deference between what we perceive and what is in fact . It's like the popular myths of chicken and eggs .
Kleptin
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5/3/2013 6:19:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

Most philosophical issues are actually just an issue of semantics. People who struggle with philosophy are usually just struggling with understanding words and definitions.

The first question you ask is actually very different from your interpreted question.

"Why is there something rather than nothing?" is a loaded question. Most questions that start with "why" assume an inherent meaning or intent, and this is a bad assumption to make when discussing existence, which deals with things either being or not being.

The answer is that there is something rather than nothing, simply because. There is no "why", because there is no intent or inherent meaning to existence.

The second question is a semantics issue. "Something" and "Nothing" are words and definitions we apply to describing a concrete philosophical idea. They only become terms of comparison when given a human observer.

We can only understand "cold" through "hot", but "heat" in and of itself is something that exists regardless of what we define it as: the vibration and energy level of molecules.

Similarly, a state of "nothing" is possible without "something". Remember, our definitions do not shape the universe or impact the possibility of things being or not being. Our definitions only describe those possibilities. Most of the time, philosophical conundrums can be solved by fixing problems with our own terms.
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Sidewalker
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5/3/2013 7:39:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.

If there is something then you can't have nothing.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

You are confusing words and the things those words reference, two completely different things. Nothing ceased to be because there isn't a word for it, that's ridiculous. Words aren't reality, they only attempt to represent reality.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
toolpot462
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5/4/2013 3:59:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/3/2013 6:19:58 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

Most philosophical issues are actually just an issue of semantics. People who struggle with philosophy are usually just struggling with understanding words and definitions.

The first question you ask is actually very different from your interpreted question.

"Why is there something rather than nothing?" is a loaded question. Most questions that start with "why" assume an inherent meaning or intent, and this is a bad assumption to make when discussing existence, which deals with things either being or not being.

The answer is that there is something rather than nothing, simply because. There is no "why", because there is no intent or inherent meaning to existence.

This doesn't necessarily disagree with the idea, personally I see the question as meaningless - but that's actually because I cannot see how nothing can exist without something as a comparative factor.

The second question is a semantics issue. "Something" and "Nothing" are words and definitions we apply to describing a concrete philosophical idea. They only become terms of comparison when given a human observer.

We can only understand "cold" through "hot", but "heat" in and of itself is something that exists regardless of what we define it as: the vibration and energy level of molecules.

Similarly, a state of "nothing" is possible without "something". Remember, our definitions do not shape the universe or impact the possibility of things being or not being. Our definitions only describe those possibilities. Most of the time, philosophical conundrums can be solved by fixing problems with our own terms.

I'm not so sure. It's like, if everything is moving together in one direction at the same speed, is really there motion? Likewise, is there motion when there is only one point of reference? Motion is defined by comparative factors. You would say the definition of motion doesn't affect the reality of motion, and I'd agree - it's the reality of it that affects the definition. If there are no comparative factors in reality we can use to define it, the definition ceases to be.

The vibration of energy levels in molecules exists with varying (and thus comparable) levels of vibration. If there were only one level of vibration, the vibrating would cease to be definable. Does that mean it would cease to be? I'm not sure.

Let me compare the ideas of something and nothing to a black spot on white paper. Either the black spot is something and the white is nothing, or the white space is something and the black is nothing. If you remove the spot, are you left with nothing or something? It's impossible to tell the difference. Similarly, a state of nothing without something is a flat state, and can just as easily be called everything without nothing.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.
I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Rational_Thinker9119
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5/4/2013 3:21:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

So I take it you do not adhere to indeterministic views of quantum mechanics?
toolpot462
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5/4/2013 3:42:29 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 3:21:23 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

So I take it you do not adhere to indeterministic views of quantum mechanics?

I suppose I don't. I don't really know much about quantum mechanics, though.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Sidewalker
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5/4/2013 6:01:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Oh please, this is just semantics, the concept of noting existing just isn't that hard to grasp, and these semantics games are just about the words. No possibility means just that, making a sentence with a double negative isn't some kind of profound truth, it's just playing with words. Just because you can make contradictory sentences and incoherent arguments about nothing does not make nothing contradictory or incoherent, it's your sentences that are contradictory and your argument that is incoherent.

It's time to log off and go take a walk in the woods, experience reality without words, the experience you have will be real, maybe that will help you understand that words are not reality, they're just words.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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5/4/2013 6:38:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

Determinism doesn't dictate anything, Laplace's Demon is a failed concept, science has never established the causal closure of the material world, Godel proved it's impossible and quantum physics demonstrated that it is theoretically impossible.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
toolpot462
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5/6/2013 3:03:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/4/2013 6:38:19 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

Determinism doesn't dictate anything, Laplace's Demon is a failed concept, science has never established the causal closure of the material world, Godel proved it's impossible and quantum physics demonstrated that it is theoretically impossible.

That quantum mechanics appear unpredictable to us does not conclude that they are in fact unpredictable, given complete knowledge of their elements. We may not be able to predict how things behave with our limited knowledge, but that doesn't mean things won't behave in a certain way that is deterministic.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).
The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.
This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied. So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
toolpot462
Posts: 289
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5/6/2013 4:22:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied.

What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.

So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something, unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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5/6/2013 4:55:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 4:22:48 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?
What I'm saying is that it is a contradiction. To say that "you have nothing" is to say that non-existence exists or TRUE = NOT TRUE. I am saying that the premise is a contradiction and thus should not be accepted. If you decide to accept it, then you must realize that anything may follow because from a contradiction, anything follows.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.
This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied.
What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.
Existence. Anything that contrasts with existence does not exist.

So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!
It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something, unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.
The problem is that it is NOT reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing; it's actually UNREASONABLE to think so. Ergo, there is "something" because the alternative is unreasonable.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Sidewalker
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5/6/2013 5:14:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 4:22:48 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied.

What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.

Are you back to thinking reality is semantic? Words are not reality, and reality does not have to obey the laws of language.

So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!

Yes, there is something, so there can't be nothing. If something exists, then there is no possibility that nothing exists.

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something,

But there is something, so it is unreasonable to think there can be nothing.

unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.

We can recognize that the idea is contradictory and inane, so it's meaningless...nothing and something can't coexist because then there wouldn't be nothing...that really shouldn't be so hard to grasp.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
AlbinoBunny
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5/6/2013 5:15:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Why is there existence as opposed to non-existence?"
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tBoonePickens
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5/6/2013 5:36:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 5:15:16 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
"Why is there existence as opposed to non-existence?"
"Why IS A = A as opposed to A = NOT A?"
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
cybertron1998
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5/6/2013 6:17:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
yes. the two words imply each other. if there was only nothing than it wouldn't exist in the first place. vice versa
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
toolpot462
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5/6/2013 6:48:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 5:14:22 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:22:48 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.

This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied.

What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.

Are you back to thinking reality is semantic? Words are not reality, and reality does not have to obey the laws of language.

I never thought that. I already said that definitions are affected by reality, not vice versa, and that when there are no contrasting elements in reality there is no definition.

So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!

Yes, there is something, so there can't be nothing. If something exists, then there is no possibility that nothing exists.

I was responding to that and accidentally took out the :

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something,

But there is something, so it is unreasonable to think there can be nothing.

unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.

We can recognize that the idea is contradictory and inane, so it's meaningless...nothing and something can't coexist because then there wouldn't be nothing...that really shouldn't be so hard to grasp.

Yes, nothing and something can indeed coexist. The idea of nothing does not exclude something. If it did, it would indeed be meaningless. Be we know what nothing is in terms of what things are - for example, there is nothing separating my hand from my arm - nothing is in between my hand and arm.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
Sidewalker
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5/6/2013 6:56:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 3:03:12 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 6:38:19 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

Determinism doesn't dictate anything, Laplace's Demon is a failed concept, science has never established the causal closure of the material world, Godel proved it's impossible and quantum physics demonstrated that it is theoretically impossible.

That quantum mechanics appear unpredictable to us does not conclude that they are in fact unpredictable,

Just because things are unpredictable doesn't mean we should conclude that they are unpredictable? That's an interesting approach to conclusions you have there...no wonder you're afraid to debate me.

given complete knowledge of their elements.

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle says complete knowledge of their elements is theoretically impossible .

We may not be able to predict how things behave with our limited knowledge, but that doesn't mean things won't behave in a certain way that is deterministic.

The fact that things don't behave deterministically doesn't mean they don't behave deterministically?

You call that an argument?

I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap a better argument than that.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
toolpot462
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5/6/2013 6:58:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 4:55:45 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:22:48 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:03:12 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/3/2013 11:04:11 AM, toolpot462 wrote:
One common question in philosophy is "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

What I'm wondering is how there could possibly be nothing without the existence of something to define it. After all, we have no "nothing" and can only define it in terms of what it is not (something).

The problem with the question, is that it is a false choice. There can only ever BE something; nothingness is a contradiction in meaning. Nothingness defined as the negation of everything is simply a meaningless concept that boils down to the "existence of non-existence". This is the most basic of all contradictions.

Having nothing without something seems to be like having up without down, or sleep without waking.
One cannot "have" nothing because there isn't anything there to be had!

To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?
What I'm saying is that it is a contradiction. To say that "you have nothing" is to say that non-existence exists or TRUE = NOT TRUE. I am saying that the premise is a contradiction and thus should not be accepted. If you decide to accept it, then you must realize that anything may follow because from a contradiction, anything follows.

No, the word nothing is not an inherent contradiction, sorry to say.

In fact, it doesn't seem like you can have anything without a contrasting element. If white ceases to exist, black ceases to exist. If sleep ceased to exist, there'd be no word for "awake", and thus waking would cease to be.
This is not always so because not all things can be negated or denied.
What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.
Existence. Anything that contrasts with existence does not exist.

Yes, and we have plenty of examples of things that don't exist that we derive from things that do exist: unicorns, wizards, etc. Those are contrasting elements. Besides, what does it even mean to say "existence exists?"

So, what's the answer to "why something instead of nothing"? Because there is no other possibility other than something!
It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something, unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.
The problem is that it is NOT reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing; it's actually UNREASONABLE to think so. Ergo, there is "something" because the alternative is unreasonable.

Alright, I'd say that nothing exists between my hand and arm, but I suppose you think that something must exist there?
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toolpot462
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5/6/2013 7:01:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 6:56:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/6/2013 3:03:12 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 6:38:19 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/4/2013 12:56:54 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/4/2013 11:11:18 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
The very idea of "nothing" is internally contradictory:

If "nothing" existed then this means there was no possibilities. If there are no possibilities then:

i) There is no possibility of: A universe that begins to exist spontaneously

ii) There is no possibility of: A universe that does not begin to exist spontaneously

i) and ii) contradict each other, thus "nothing" is incoherent.

Why do you assume I am talking about something coming from nothing? Besides, possibilities are not concrete things. The very idea of possibility is just a linguistic tool to help us communicate probability and intent. If something doesn't happen, determinism would dictate that it was not possible for it to happen.

Determinism doesn't dictate anything, Laplace's Demon is a failed concept, science has never established the causal closure of the material world, Godel proved it's impossible and quantum physics demonstrated that it is theoretically impossible.

That quantum mechanics appear unpredictable to us does not conclude that they are in fact unpredictable,

Just because things are unpredictable doesn't mean we should conclude that they are unpredictable? That's an interesting approach to conclusions you have there...no wonder you're afraid to debate me.

given complete knowledge of their elements.

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle says complete knowledge of their elements is theoretically impossible .

We may not be able to predict how things behave with our limited knowledge, but that doesn't mean things won't behave in a certain way that is deterministic.

The fact that things don't behave deterministically doesn't mean they don't behave deterministically?

You call that an argument?

I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap a better argument than that.

Clearly you misunderstood. The fact that things appear to not behave deterministically with our limited knowledge does not conclude that they don't. Dice may appear random to someone who doesn't understand physics, but they in fact behave deterministically.
I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
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Sidewalker
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5/7/2013 5:06:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 7:01:24 PM, toolpot462 wrote:

Clearly you misunderstood. The fact that things appear to not behave deterministically with our limited knowledge does not conclude that they don't. Dice may appear random to someone who doesn't understand physics, but they in fact behave deterministically.

Clearly you reject science and logic. The fact is that determinism is not consistent with our observations and it is completely incompatible with our most tested and confirmed scientific theories, the "logical" conclusion would be that determinism is not a valid "scientific" theory.

It is true that we have limited knowledge, but that doesn"t support your dogmatic assertion that we should believe in determinism purely on faith. Hey, it"s fine that this is your religious belief, perhaps determinism transcends science and logic, maybe it is the mysterious ultimate reality in which we live and move and have our being, and you can evangelize your faith all you want, but just so you know, you are wasting your time trying to convert me.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
toolpot462
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5/7/2013 7:49:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/7/2013 5:06:12 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/6/2013 7:01:24 PM, toolpot462 wrote:

Clearly you misunderstood. The fact that things appear to not behave deterministically with our limited knowledge does not conclude that they don't. Dice may appear random to someone who doesn't understand physics, but they in fact behave deterministically.

Clearly you reject science and logic. The fact is that determinism is not consistent with our observations and it is completely incompatible with our most tested and confirmed scientific theories, the "logical" conclusion would be that determinism is not a valid "scientific" theory.

It is true that we have limited knowledge, but that doesn"t support your dogmatic assertion that we should believe in determinism purely on faith. Hey, it"s fine that this is your religious belief, perhaps determinism transcends science and logic, maybe it is the mysterious ultimate reality in which we live and move and have our being, and you can evangelize your faith all you want, but just so you know, you are wasting your time trying to convert me.

I was more leaning toward you don't know that determinism is false, but you seem pretty confident in your assertions. Care to direct me to some sources that show it's "completely incompatible with our most tested and confirmed scientific theories"?
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
toolpot462
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5/7/2013 8:00:00 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/7/2013 5:06:12 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 5/6/2013 7:01:24 PM, toolpot462 wrote:

Clearly you misunderstood. The fact that things appear to not behave deterministically with our limited knowledge does not conclude that they don't. Dice may appear random to someone who doesn't understand physics, but they in fact behave deterministically.

Clearly you reject science and logic. The fact is that determinism is not consistent with our observations and it is completely incompatible with our most tested and confirmed scientific theories, the "logical" conclusion would be that determinism is not a valid "scientific" theory.

It is true that we have limited knowledge, but that doesn"t support your dogmatic assertion that we should believe in determinism purely on faith. Hey, it"s fine that this is your religious belief, perhaps determinism transcends science and logic, maybe it is the mysterious ultimate reality in which we live and move and have our being, and you can evangelize your faith all you want, but just so you know, you are wasting your time trying to convert me.

I just have a thought experiment/question for you in the meantime:

If state A leads to state B, does that mean that if you could reproduce state A exactly, state B would arise again (determinism), or something else would happen (random)? In other words, does state A necessitate state B, or did state B come about randomly?
I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
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I'll be the one to protect you from
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tBoonePickens
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5/7/2013 10:53:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 6:17:13 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
yes. the two words imply each other. if there was only nothing than it wouldn't exist in the first place. vice versa
No, not vice versa. There cannot "be" a nothing, for "to be" is the opposite of nothing and thus to say "was nothing" is to say "not nothing = nothing".

***************

At 5/6/2013 6:58:23 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:55:45 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?
What I'm saying is that it is a contradiction. To say that "you have nothing" is to say that non-existence exists or TRUE = NOT TRUE. I am saying that the premise is a contradiction and thus should not be accepted. If you decide to accept it, then you must realize that anything may follow because from a contradiction, anything follows.
No, the word nothing is not an inherent contradiction, sorry to say.
You should be sorry to say it, as you are incorrect. I demonstrated that "nothingness" the way you are using it here, is indeed a contradiction and you have neither demonstrated that there is any error in my reasoning nor put forth an argument; thus my point still stands.

What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.
Existence. Anything that contrasts with existence does not exist.
Yes, and we have plenty of examples of things that don't exist that we derive from things that do exist: unicorns, wizards, etc. Those are contrasting elements.
I understood your question to be "Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element (that also exists)" as this would support your argument, but it seems not to be the case and thus you've asked the question in a way that supports my argument. Thanks!

I gave you an example of such a something that exists who's contrasting elements do NOT exist to which you gave even more examples of, thus further supporting my point. All of the examples you gave are of things that DO NOT EXIST and this is my point to you: nothingness does not exist. All of these things are things that do NOT EXIST and are defined by contrasting them with their "counter parts" that DO EXIST and it is NOT the other way around.

Besides, what does it even mean to say "existence exists?"
If you do not understand that, then all of this may be way above you. It's like not understanding the most fundamental laws of logic: A = A.

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something, unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.
The problem is that it is NOT reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing; it's actually UNREASONABLE to think so. Ergo, there is "something" because the alternative is unreasonable.
Alright, I'd say that nothing exists between my hand and arm, but I suppose you think that something must exist there?
Obviously, your wrist! Regardless, to say that "nothing exists" is to say nothing at all; it is to say "square-circle" or "ablative falling", etc..

"Nothing" like many other concepts, is defined through negation and depending upon how you are using it (ie what you are negating) it might be a valid/coherent concept or not. For example, if I ask you "what is in the box" and you say "nothing", that's not necessarily "wrong" or incoherent; it all depends on what you mean by nothing. If you mean "nothing" as in "there are no things that you would normally find inside" that's fine, but if you mean that there "is an absence of ALL things" well then that's simply not so. There is air inside the box; even space is filled with particles and energy; etc. So when you use "nothing" to mean the absence of ALL things then it becomes an incoherent term, a paradox. One cannot HAVE the absence of all things because there isn't anything there to BE HAD. It equates to the existence of non-existence.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
toolpot462
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5/7/2013 11:14:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/7/2013 10:53:06 AM, tBoonePickens wrote:
At 5/6/2013 6:17:13 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
yes. the two words imply each other. if there was only nothing than it wouldn't exist in the first place. vice versa
No, not vice versa. There cannot "be" a nothing, for "to be" is the opposite of nothing and thus to say "was nothing" is to say "not nothing = nothing".

***************

At 5/6/2013 6:58:23 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:55:45 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?
What I'm saying is that it is a contradiction. To say that "you have nothing" is to say that non-existence exists or TRUE = NOT TRUE. I am saying that the premise is a contradiction and thus should not be accepted. If you decide to accept it, then you must realize that anything may follow because from a contradiction, anything follows.
No, the word nothing is not an inherent contradiction, sorry to say.
You should be sorry to say it, as you are incorrect. I demonstrated that "nothingness" the way you are using it here, is indeed a contradiction and you have neither demonstrated that there is any error in my reasoning nor put forth an argument; thus my point still stands.

Actually, saying "nothing exists" leads to this problem linguistically. You're misusing the idea of nothing. Non-existence doesn't exist, but there are things that do not exist.

What do you mean? Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element.
Existence. Anything that contrasts with existence does not exist.
Yes, and we have plenty of examples of things that don't exist that we derive from things that do exist: unicorns, wizards, etc. Those are contrasting elements.
I understood your question to be "Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element (that also exists)" as this would support your argument, but it seems not to be the case and thus you've asked the question in a way that supports my argument. Thanks!

"Existence" does not exist, as it is not a thing to exist. If you draw a circle and say everything in the circle exists, the circle it self is not within the circle. All you've done is found an irrational loophole to my question, and that's because you simply couldn't give an example of something within existence that has no contrasting elements.

I gave you an example of such a something that exists who's contrasting elements do NOT exist to which you gave even more examples of, thus further supporting my point. All of the examples you gave are of things that DO NOT EXIST and this is my point to you: nothingness does not exist. All of these things are things that do NOT EXIST and are defined by contrasting them with their "counter parts" that DO EXIST and it is NOT the other way around.

Besides, what does it even mean to say "existence exists?"
If you do not understand that, then all of this may be way above you. It's like not understanding the most fundamental laws of logic: A = A.

Alright, so now existence exists, and the existence of existence exists, and the existence of the existence of existence exists, and look at that, I just touched the tip of my finger with that same tip of my finger! Amazing stuff.

It seems perfectly reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing as there is something, unless you recognize that the idea of nothing is meaningless without there being something.
The problem is that it is NOT reasonable to think that there could just as well be nothing; it's actually UNREASONABLE to think so. Ergo, there is "something" because the alternative is unreasonable.
Alright, I'd say that nothing exists between my hand and arm, but I suppose you think that something must exist there?
Obviously, your wrist! Regardless, to say that "nothing exists" is to say nothing at all; it is to say "square-circle" or "ablative falling", etc..

"Nothing" like many other concepts, is defined through negation and depending upon how you are using it (ie what you are negating) it might be a valid/coherent concept or not. For example, if I ask you "what is in the box" and you say "nothing", that's not necessarily "wrong" or incoherent; it all depends on what you mean by nothing. If you mean "nothing" as in "there are no things that you would normally find inside" that's fine, but if you mean that there "is an absence of ALL things" well then that's simply not so. There is air inside the box; even space is filled with particles and energy; etc. So when you use "nothing" to mean the absence of ALL things then it becomes an incoherent term, a paradox. One cannot HAVE the absence of all things because there isn't anything there to BE HAD. It equates to the existence of non-existence.

I knew you were going to say wrist. Fine. What about between your wrist and your hand? There is nothing between them. You seem to think that there can't be nothing between them, so I suppose according to you there must be something. And whatever it is, there must be something between it and my hand as well, and so on.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons.
I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason.
I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and your choices, son.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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5/7/2013 5:12:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 5/6/2013 6:58:23 PM, toolpot462 wrote:
At 5/6/2013 4:55:45 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
To say there is nothing to be had is exactly the same as to say you have nothing, so what are you even saying?
What I'm saying is that it is a contradiction. To say that "you have nothing" is to say that non-existence exists or TRUE = NOT TRUE. I am saying that the premise is a contradiction and thus should not be accepted. If you decide to accept it, then you must realize that anything may follow because from a contradiction, anything follows.
No, the word nothing is not an inherent contradiction, sorry to say.
You should be sorry to say it, as you are incorrect. I demonstrated that "nothingness" the way you are using it here, is indeed a contradiction and you have neither demonstrated that there is any error in my reasoning nor put forth an argument; thus my point still stands.
Actually, saying "nothing exists" leads to this problem linguistically.
Actually, it leads to a problem LOGICALLY. Whether or not there is a problem linguistically is irrelevant.

You're misusing the idea of nothing.
Actually, I have demonstrated that you are misusing it.

Non-existence doesn't exist...
Finally! Can I get an Amen?

...but there are things that do not exist.
Yes, so long as we understand what you mean by "there ARE things that do not exist." There are WORDS that we use to REPRESENT things that do not exist, but that doesn't mean that those things ARE. For example, we have words like "contradiction" and "square-circle" and "happier fantastic purple" but these things don't actually exist; they are not ACTUALIZED. This is what you are doing when you say NOTHING vs SOMETHING: you are trying to ACTUALIZE that which is UNACTUALIZABLE.

I understood your question to be "Give an example of something that can exist without a contrasting element (that also exists)" as this would support your argument, but it seems not to be the case and thus you've asked the question in a way that supports my argument. Thanks!
"Existence" does not exist, as it is not a thing to exist.
Of course it is. Existence is ALL things that exist; it is the Universe. In it's purest form it is timeless and unbound.

If you draw a circle and say everything in the circle exists, the circle it self is not within the circle.
That is correct. That's because the circle is NOT all of existence. All of existence is UNBOUND. There is no "outside" to existence.

All you've done is found an irrational loophole to my question, and that's because you simply couldn't give an example of something within existence that has no contrasting elements.
You seem to be confused as to what has transpired, for if your question is irrational, then we need proceed no further until you remove the irrationality from your question.

I have answered your question: ALL things that do not exist are FIRST defined BY contrasting things that DO exist, and NOT the other way around. As I explained, we have words and phrase that we use to represent the IMPOSSIBLE but just because we have these words and phrases it doesn't mean that the IMPOSSIBLE is POSSIBLE.

We create these words and concepts FROM existence, not the other way around. You cannot begin with nothing and get something: ex nihilo nihil fit. Not to mention that "begin with nothing" = "not beginning at all" = "nothing".

Besides, what does it even mean to say "existence exists?"
If you do not understand that, then all of this may be way above you. It's like not understanding the most fundamental laws of logic: A = A.
Alright, so now existence exists, and the existence of existence exists, and the existence of the existence of existence exists, and look at that, I just touched the tip of my finger with that same tip of my finger! Amazing stuff.
Indeed! The fact that A=A is the most important thing in the Universe! Without that simple tautology reason and knowledge would not be possible! Mathematics is built upon this, as well as every form of knowledge we have.

Alright, I'd say that nothing exists between my hand and arm, but I suppose you think that something must exist there?
Obviously, your wrist! Regardless, to say that "nothing exists" is to say nothing at all; it is to say "square-circle" or "ablative falling", etc..

"Nothing" like many other concepts, is defined through negation and depending upon how you are using it (ie what you are negating) it might be a valid/coherent concept or not. For example, if I ask you "what is in the box" and you say "nothing", that's not necessarily "wrong" or incoherent; it all depends on what you mean by nothing. If you mean "nothing" as in "there are no things that you would normally find inside" that's fine, but if you mean that there "is an absence of ALL things" well then that's simply not so. There is air inside the box; even space is filled with particles and energy; etc. So when you use "nothing" to mean the absence of ALL things then it becomes an incoherent term, a paradox. One cannot HAVE the absence of all things because there isn't anything there to BE HAD. It equates to the existence of non-existence.
I knew you were going to say wrist. Fine.
I admit it was a smartarse answer, but I did go into detail and explain myself. I wasn't just trying to one up you.

What about between your wrist and your hand? There is nothing between them.
That is incorrect. Your body extends through your wrist and hand. Your body does exist between your wrist and hands, right?

You seem to think that there can't be nothing between them, so I suppose according to you there must be something.
Obviously. People's hands are not magically floating in between their wrists and hands.

And whatever it is, there must be something between it and my hand as well, and so on.
Yes, until there is no "in between." Why do you insist on resisting reason?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.