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Why is there something rather than nothing?

dylancatlow
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7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.
dylancatlow
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7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?
dylancatlow
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7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.
Saint_of_Me
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7/13/2015 9:22:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

I thought you were leaving?
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Saint_of_Me
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7/13/2015 9:25:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:22:36 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

I thought you were leaving?

Oh, BTW: the reason there is something other than nothing is because Science Created It!

In a way, we created your god, as well.

Here's how...........

Since man is a product of Science-based Evolution, and the homo sapien brain is a product of man, and god and religion is a product of the brain--well, a diminished one--than ipso facto: Science Created god!

And then went on to prove he does not exist.

Thanks!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/13/2015 9:26:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

So, if I see a bottle, and describe it as a "bottle", what is the actual bottle a description of then?


Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Why believe that though? Why must the object being described have to be descriptional too?
Saint_of_Me
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7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.

How illogical is that? And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/13/2015 9:32:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

It it isn't, then we have a problem. There is nothing preventing your statement from being both true and not true, as the law of logical non-contradiction is not necessary.


Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.


How illogical is that?

Bizarre and unlikely maybe, but there is nothing illogical about that.

And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

This is a horrible argument. If logic is not necessary then there is no reason to believe you both exist, and not exist. It undermines any argument.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/13/2015 9:33:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.

How illogical is that? And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

no reason NOT to believe.......I mean
Saint_of_Me
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7/13/2015 9:37:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:32:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

It it isn't, then we have a problem. There is nothing preventing your statement from being both true and not true, as the law of logical non-contradiction is not necessary.


Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.


How illogical is that?

Bizarre and unlikely maybe, but there is nothing illogical about that.

And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

This is a horrible argument. If logic is not necessary then there is no reason to believe you both exist, and not exist. It undermines any argument.

Illogical reply!

LOL.

Because, after all, "logic" is a subjective term. What I call logic you may not. It is merely a label. A description that we use for a type of thought process.

Thus: the Universe could get along just fine without it. As it could with the deletion of any sort of manmade ideal or principle.

Que no, vato?
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/13/2015 9:39:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Maybe I'm not understanding it fully, but why can't there be a zombie world where definitions exist? The zombies write dictionaries and define terms when you ask them to define terms, so definitions exist. But minds don't.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/13/2015 9:41:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:37:56 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:32:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

It it isn't, then we have a problem. There is nothing preventing your statement from being both true and not true, as the law of logical non-contradiction is not necessary.


Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.


How illogical is that?

Bizarre and unlikely maybe, but there is nothing illogical about that.

And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

This is a horrible argument. If logic is not necessary then there is no reason to believe you both exist, and not exist. It undermines any argument.

Illogical reply!

LOL.

Not even close.


Because, after all, "logic" is a subjective term. What I call logic you may not. It is merely a label. A description that we use for a type of thought process.

You are confusing the laws of logic with the logical process, and this is a category error on your behalf.


Thus: the Universe could get along just fine without it. As it could with the deletion of any sort of manmade ideal or principle.

This is false. If there are no laws of logic then there is no reason to believe that when the Earth existed before us, no Earth existed before us. Rocks could be also not rocks. Spacetime could have been also not spacetime. Something could have existed, but nothing could have ever existed.

Without the law of non-contradiction being necessary, then there is no reason to believe that contradictory things couldn't be the case. Without the laws of logic, why can't the planet Earth NOT be the planet Earth?


Que no, vato?
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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7/13/2015 9:43:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:26:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

So, if I see a bottle, and describe it as a "bottle", what is the actual bottle a description of then?


It's not clear that there's a distinction to be made here.



Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Why believe that though? Why must the object being described have to be descriptional too?

It simply is insofar as you can refer to "it".
Saint_of_Me
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7/13/2015 9:49:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:41:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:37:56 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:32:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

It it isn't, then we have a problem. There is nothing preventing your statement from being both true and not true, as the law of logical non-contradiction is not necessary.


Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.


How illogical is that?

Bizarre and unlikely maybe, but there is nothing illogical about that.

And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

This is a horrible argument. If logic is not necessary then there is no reason to believe you both exist, and not exist. It undermines any argument.

Illogical reply!

LOL.

Not even close.


Because, after all, "logic" is a subjective term. What I call logic you may not. It is merely a label. A description that we use for a type of thought process.

You are confusing the laws of logic with the logical process, and this is a category error on your behalf.


Thus: the Universe could get along just fine without it. As it could with the deletion of any sort of manmade ideal or principle.

This is false. If there are no laws of logic then there is no reason to believe that when the Earth existed before us, no Earth existed before us. Rocks could be also not rocks. Spacetime could have been also not spacetime. Something could have existed, but nothing could have ever existed.

Without the law of non-contradiction being necessary, then there is no reason to believe that contradictory things couldn't be the case. Without the laws of logic, why can't the planet Earth NOT be the planet Earth?


You are confusing "logic" with "science" in that last question.

Without the laws of SCIENCE Earth would not be Earth. The 8,000 mile diameter chunk or rock that orbits the Sun some 90 MIllion miles away at a speed of 65,000 mph cares not a whit about logic. Nor "knows" what it is. Only the denizens of it do.

It is SCIENCE that our planet could not be here without.

And with that, I am done here. Off to the gym!!

Hope that helped.

mas tarde, amigo!
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/13/2015 9:54:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:49:04 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:41:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:37:56 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:32:15 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:28:07 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

Faulty premise.

Logic is NOT necessary.

It it isn't, then we have a problem. There is nothing preventing your statement from being both true and not true, as the law of logical non-contradiction is not necessary.


Desirable, perhaps. But certainly not necessary.

Example: look at all the believers in god and a living itinerant jewish carpenter who rose from the dead 2000 years ago and now sits up in heaven and listens to your prayers.


How illogical is that?

Bizarre and unlikely maybe, but there is nothing illogical about that.

And there are scads of them here on DDO.

Ergo.....logic is not necessary.

Next?

This is a horrible argument. If logic is not necessary then there is no reason to believe you both exist, and not exist. It undermines any argument.

Illogical reply!

LOL.

Not even close.


Because, after all, "logic" is a subjective term. What I call logic you may not. It is merely a label. A description that we use for a type of thought process.

You are confusing the laws of logic with the logical process, and this is a category error on your behalf.


Thus: the Universe could get along just fine without it. As it could with the deletion of any sort of manmade ideal or principle.

This is false. If there are no laws of logic then there is no reason to believe that when the Earth existed before us, no Earth existed before us. Rocks could be also not rocks. Spacetime could have been also not spacetime. Something could have existed, but nothing could have ever existed.

Without the law of non-contradiction being necessary, then there is no reason to believe that contradictory things couldn't be the case. Without the laws of logic, why can't the planet Earth NOT be the planet Earth?


You are confusing "logic" with "science" in that last question.

Not even close.


Without the laws of SCIENCE Earth would not be Earth. The 8,000 mile diameter chunk or rock that orbits the Sun some 90 MIllion miles away at a speed of 65,000 mph cares not a whit about logic. Nor "knows" what it is. Only the denizens of it do.

"The 8,000 mile diameter chunk or rock that orbits the Sun some 90 MIllion miles away at a speed of 65,000 mph cares not a whit about logic."

Without the laws of logic, there would be no reason not to think that the 8,000 mile diameter chunk or rock that orbits the Sun some 90 MIllion miles away at a speed of 65,000 mph doesn't both exit, and not exist.

How can you say the Earth exists, but doesn't also does not have non-existence? You clearly aren't well versed on the law of non-contradiction [https://en.wikipedia.org...]. If there was no laws of logic, then there is no reason not to believe that A can be not A, and B can be not B. Without the laws of Logic, the Earth can also not be the Earth at the same time.


It is SCIENCE that our planet could not be here without.

Without the laws of logic, it could be both true that:

(i) The Earth Exists
(ii) The Earth does not exist

Without the laws of logic, there would be nothing stopping both of those statements from being true.


And with that, I am done here. Off to the gym!!

Hope that helped.

mas tarde, amigo!

It didn't help a bit, not only do you know nothing about Virtual Realities, Physics, but you lack basic knowledge with regards to the laws of logic.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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7/13/2015 9:56:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:39:24 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Maybe I'm not understanding it fully, but why can't there be a zombie world where definitions exist? The zombies write dictionaries and define terms when you ask them to define terms, so definitions exist. But minds don't.

I never said that human minds necessarily exist. Your "mindless world" is still mental insofar as it conforms to a description. And in any case, something is not defined just because words are on a page; a meaningful definition requires mental interpretation. If there were no one (or nothing) around to conceive of such things, they could not be said to exist, since "they" would correspond to no definition.That doesn't mean that humans are necessary in order for reality to have a description (reality is self-describing, so human models are logically secondary and merely "tap into" this description).
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/13/2015 9:58:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:39:24 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Maybe I'm not understanding it fully, but why can't there be a zombie world where definitions exist? The zombies write dictionaries and define terms when you ask them to define terms, so definitions exist. But minds don't.

In the Zombie world they would only be acting as if there were descriptions that existed. The markings in their dictionary may correlate to certain things, but just because X correlates with Y doesn't mean X describes Y. There would need to be an idea that the words and markings actually represent what they are correlating with. Without that, as I said, the Zombies would only be acting as if there were desciptions, but descriptions do not exist. Just like how in a Zombie world they would act as if they had consciousness, but consciousness does not exist.
n7
Posts: 1,360
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7/13/2015 10:05:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:56:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:39:24 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Maybe I'm not understanding it fully, but why can't there be a zombie world where definitions exist? The zombies write dictionaries and define terms when you ask them to define terms, so definitions exist. But minds don't.

I never said that human minds necessarily exist. Your "mindless world" is still mental insofar as it conforms to a description. And in any case, something is not defined just because words are on a page; a meaningful definition requires mental interpretation. If there were no one (or nothing) around to conceive of such things, they could not be said to exist, since "they" would correspond to no definition.That doesn't mean that humans are necessary in order for reality to have a description (reality is self-describing, so human models are logically secondary and merely "tap into" this description).

I see, you seem to be assuming linguistic internalism. That needs to be justified.

Also don't definitions come from describing an object? They are descriptions of. It's a world to mind direction of fit, would that do anything to the argument?
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
dylancatlow
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7/13/2015 10:21:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 10:05:19 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:56:10 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:39:24 PM, n7 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:15:39 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:06:29 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 9:02:25 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/13/2015 8:37:05 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

If there was nothing there would be no laws of logic. The laws of logic are necessary. Therefore, existence is necessary.

The laws of logic are only necessary in the presence of information. That is, they only describe the rules that information must conform to in order to be informational. They're only necessary in the sense that it is impossible to think without them, so they are a necessary condition of any meaningful statement (which doesn't establish that thought exists, only that if it exists, logic does as well).

I know this is off topic, but I'm curious, I've seen your argument for Idealism and as an Idealist I don't understand it... There is a difference between a description and that which is being described and even though a description is in mind that doesn't mean what is being described has to be. How do you get around that?

If there is an in fact a difference between a description and that which is described (which depends on how you interpret them) it's not because one is descriptional and one is non-descriptional, it's because they are descriptions of different things entirely.

Everything is equivalent to its definition in an abstract sense. It's perfectly fine to make a distinction between description and that which is described, so long as they are different in the way implied, and so long as one realizes that if this is the case, then each simply has a "new" description that it conforms to.

Maybe I'm not understanding it fully, but why can't there be a zombie world where definitions exist? The zombies write dictionaries and define terms when you ask them to define terms, so definitions exist. But minds don't.

I never said that human minds necessarily exist. Your "mindless world" is still mental insofar as it conforms to a description. And in any case, something is not defined just because words are on a page; a meaningful definition requires mental interpretation. If there were no one (or nothing) around to conceive of such things, they could not be said to exist, since "they" would correspond to no definition.That doesn't mean that humans are necessary in order for reality to have a description (reality is self-describing, so human models are logically secondary and merely "tap into" this description).

I see, you seem to be assuming linguistic internalism. That needs to be justified.

Also don't definitions come from describing an object? They are descriptions of. It's a world to mind direction of fit, would that do anything to the argument?

If there really is a difference, then they must be defined differently. If they are defined differently, then they must conform to their different descriptions (otherwise, their actual "difference" has not been described). On the other hand, if you want to merely push the problem back a step further by saying that the different things are different from their descriptions, then you're faced with the same problem, and have to push the problem back yet a step further. Since this regress never ends, nothing ever gets defined, which is a problem for those wishing to claim that they've found an example of something non-mental.
dylancatlow
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7/13/2015 11:14:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:22:36 PM, Saint_of_Me wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

I thought you were leaving?

I still plan on leaving, but I'm going to do it bit by bit. I'm going on vacation for a week in about 6 hours, so that should help things.
slo1
Posts: 4,318
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7/14/2015 9:32:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist."

I don't understand how you make the distinction of Atheist when Atheism and Theism make the same claim, that a state of non-existence can not exist. The Theist just gives it a name of God who is intelligent and the Atheist gives it the name of some state which would allow the universe to arise from not requiring intelligence.

Same coin, different sides.
dylancatlow
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7/14/2015 9:59:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 9:32:13 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist."

I don't understand how you make the distinction of Atheist when Atheism and Theism make the same claim, that a state of non-existence can not exist. The Theist just gives it a name of God who is intelligent and the Atheist gives it the name of some state which would allow the universe to arise from not requiring intelligence.

Same coin, different sides.

In my experience at least, theists don't usually claim that God exists because non-existence cannot. Instead, they think God exists by virtue of his nature.
slo1
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7/14/2015 10:07:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 9:59:15 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/14/2015 9:32:13 AM, slo1 wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist."

I don't understand how you make the distinction of Atheist when Atheism and Theism make the same claim, that a state of non-existence can not exist. The Theist just gives it a name of God who is intelligent and the Atheist gives it the name of some state which would allow the universe to arise from not requiring intelligence.

Same coin, different sides.

In my experience at least, theists don't usually claim that God exists because non-existence cannot. Instead, they think God exists by virtue of his nature.

Yes, which means, to quote you, "a state of non-existence can not exist", which you attributed as a concept only attributable to atheists when it clearly is applicable to theists as well.

There is no such thing as a complete state of non-existence in atheism and in theism. Something existed that gave arise to the universe and mankind in both.
sadolite
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7/14/2015 5:14:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
To live is to experience things, not sit around pondering nothing.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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7/14/2015 7:48:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

You may just be asking the wrong question. When you ask "Why is there something rather than nothing", you are asking what is the purpose of something rather than nothing. It implies a premise which you haven't explicitly stated nor supported. You're implying that there is a purpose to existence. Purpose, however, may not be a part of existence.

If there is no purpose, then the question as to "why there is something" is meaningless. You must first establish that there is a purpose before you can ask what that purpose is. Asking "how is there something rather than nothing" is a much more appropriate question.
dylancatlow
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7/14/2015 8:35:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 7:48:38 PM, Sosoconfused wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

You may just be asking the wrong question. When you ask "Why is there something rather than nothing", you are asking what is the purpose of something rather than nothing. It implies a premise which you haven't explicitly stated nor supported. You're implying that there is a purpose to existence. Purpose, however, may not be a part of existence.


That would be off topic for this thread. This thread was mainly intended to refute the atheist's explanation, as well as to show why the question is flawed from the get-go, and to describe what an explanation must look like if it were to exist.

If there is no purpose, then the question as to "why there is something" is meaningless. You must first establish that there is a purpose before you can ask what that purpose is. Asking "how is there something rather than nothing" is a much more appropriate question.
Sosoconfused
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7/14/2015 8:57:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/14/2015 8:35:26 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 7/14/2015 7:48:38 PM, Sosoconfused wrote:
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

You may just be asking the wrong question. When you ask "Why is there something rather than nothing", you are asking what is the purpose of something rather than nothing. It implies a premise which you haven't explicitly stated nor supported. You're implying that there is a purpose to existence. Purpose, however, may not be a part of existence.


That would be off topic for this thread. This thread was mainly intended to refute the atheist's explanation, as well as to show why the question is flawed from the get-go, and to describe what an explanation must look like if it were to exist.

Is it really off topic? If this thread is there to refute the Atheist's explanation as to "why there is something rather than nothing" then the explanation being refuted should be the dismissal of the question. What intellectually honest atheist would even answer this question? The answer an atheist must give to this question is the dismissal of the inquiry. It's the only intellectually honest response. This is similar to the "when did you stop beating your wife?" question for atheists.

If there is no God, then there obviously can't be a why. So, you are either purposely misrepresenting the views of atheists, you are not willing to consider the dismissal of the question as a valid answer, or you have been misinformed as to what atheists believe on the topic.


If there is no purpose, then the question as to "why there is something" is meaningless. You must first establish that there is a purpose before you can ask what that purpose is. Asking "how is there something rather than nothing" is a much more appropriate question.
Death23
Posts: 779
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7/15/2015 3:19:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 7:48:27 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
When posed with this question, atheists frequently resort to the argument (assuming they give an answer at all) that "existence is explained by the fact that non-existence cannot exist." It can't be denied that the argument has a certain logical appeal. Usually when we think about what it means for something not to exist, we're talking about its absence *within* reality, which amounts to the existence of its nonexistence. But not so for existence itself. When talking about the absence of existence, it obviously won't do to characterize it as a "state" of absence (at least not in the usual sense), because then we'd still be talking about existence. Rather, it must be characterized by a complete (and thus superficial) lack of informational constraint. After all, if there's nothing "about it" which is a certain way (since it is superficially unconstrained) then it can't really be said to "exist". Indeed, there's nothing *to* exist.

The argument that existence must exist because non-existence cannot exist is therefore a total non-explanation which begs the question it was intended to answer. It amounts to the assertion that "the only proper way to characterize existence is as existence", which is no doubt true, but fails to explain why there's anything in the first place. In fact, the question itself is flawed. Instead of asking "Why is there something rather than nothing" one must ask "Why existence as opposed to the alternative" i.e., a complete lack of information. The question thus becomes "what compels the recognition of informational distinctions"? Obviously, the only possible explanation is that reality is a self-configuring system which compels itself to make informational distinctions for a self-defined reason. In this sense, the existence of "reality" is implied by the definition of reality, since it is *by definition* self-constraining. The answer to the question "why is there something"? is thus hiding in the question.

I'm an atheist. Here's my answer: I don't know.