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Is nothing a possible state?

NoMagic
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2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.
RuvDraba
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2/22/2015 6:27:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

NM, we know that while our intuitions about the commonplace work very well, our intuitions about very low probabilities or very high numbers of incidents, the immensely large and the unthinkably small, the improbably fast and the unspeakably massive, profoundly long time-frames and vastly great distances are very poor.

But size, mass, time, distance, speed, and counting are all the fundamental measures by which now we share a precise understanding of reality. So might it be that early in the universe's existence there was not nothing, but simply nothing we could comprehend? Might words like 'always' or 'never', or 'zero' or 'one' or 'big' or 'small' be less meaningful when space, mass and time were not the things we are now used to?

Perhaps we can't imagine that, but we might imagine something else. There was a time when our ancestors had no words for distance, mass, time or counting, even as now some stroke victims can suffer from this loss.

Can we imagine what it is like to be without those words? As odd as it may be, can we accept that this is a reality for some minds?

Then can we accept the prospect of the beginning of a universe for which we have no language, and can construct no language from our current experience, and therefore have no easy way to discuss it? And that this is not some scientific evasion, but a fundamental limit of either our present language, or of our minds themselves? Our minds and language are well adapted to the lives we live, but what has ever required them to capture the experience of the beginning of the universe as part of our survival?

I believe that before we demand an answer, we must be confident that the question is meaningful and suited to our intelligence. I'm not confident this one is.

Hope it helps. :)
NoMagic
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2/22/2015 1:48:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 6:27:47 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

NM, we know that while our intuitions about the commonplace work very well, our intuitions about very low probabilities or very high numbers of incidents, the immensely large and the unthinkably small, the improbably fast and the unspeakably massive, profoundly long time-frames and vastly great distances are very poor.

But size, mass, time, distance, speed, and counting are all the fundamental measures by which now we share a precise understanding of reality. So might it be that early in the universe's existence there was not nothing, but simply nothing we could comprehend? Might words like 'always' or 'never', or 'zero' or 'one' or 'big' or 'small' be less meaningful when space, mass and time were not the things we are now used to?

Perhaps we can't imagine that, but we might imagine something else. There was a time when our ancestors had no words for distance, mass, time or counting, even as now some stroke victims can suffer from this loss.

Can we imagine what it is like to be without those words? As odd as it may be, can we accept that this is a reality for some minds?

Then can we accept the prospect of the beginning of a universe for which we have no language, and can construct no language from our current experience, and therefore have no easy way to discuss it? And that this is not some scientific evasion, but a fundamental limit of either our present language, or of our minds themselves? Our minds and language are well adapted to the lives we live, but what has ever required them to capture the experience of the beginning of the universe as part of our survival?

I believe that before we demand an answer, we must be confident that the question is meaningful and suited to our intelligence. I'm not confident this one is.

Hope it helps. :)
Why there is something rather than nothing, seems to be a very profound question we humans have been asking for a very long time. A quote from one book I read, "He who understands nothing, understands everything." In this book "nothing" was being referred to as a vacuum. But the author seems to also think "nothing" is a subject worthy of much consideration.
Your other points on intuition and what we can imagine are valid points. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't contemplate things that don't follow our intuitive thinking. Einstein's Relativity isn't an intuitive concept. What is going on in a Black Hole isn't an intuitive concept.
Maybe intuitively we think nothing is a possible state. Maybe when we think deeper about nothing, we conclude nothing doesn't logically hold up. Maybe the answer to why is there something, is that nothing isn't possible. I'm incline to think, nothing cannot exist.
gingerbread-man
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2/22/2015 2:17:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

Of course it is....its called Minnesota
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RuvDraba
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2/22/2015 2:27:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 1:48:34 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why there is something rather than nothing, seems to be a very profound question we humans have been asking for a very long time.

It certainly is, NM, but I'm not sure it's a valid one. 'How' is a valid question, because we live in an empirical reality where consequence follow causes and nature plays scrupulously fair.

But 'why' isn't an empirical question; it's a political one. 'Why' means 'be accountable to me': why won't you come to the movies? Why do you never clean your room? Why don't you like the dinner I cooked?

Our reality is indifferent to us, and consequence has no regard for sentiment or morality. So it upholds no sense of political accountability to us. 'Why is there something rather than nothing' is a meaningful question if there is an authority to ask it of -- but what authority?

But 'how is there something rather than nothing' isn't meaningful, because any how is answered by the somethings around us, and they are the only somethings we have. :)

Your other points on intuition and what we can imagine are valid points. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't contemplate things that don't follow our intuitive thinking. Einstein's Relativity isn't an intuitive concept. What is going on in a Black Hole isn't an intuitive concept.

Yes, that's true, but we can think about those things at all because we have a frame in which to explore them (mathematics), and some helpful analogies (Einstein's famous 'gedunken' experiments, for example.)

But what is the intuitive basis for nothing? If nothing lacks size, mass and time, how can we even understand change?

Maybe the answer to why is there something, is that nothing isn't possible.

I'd like to draw your attention to two very different meanings of the word possible:

1. "I cannot categorically exclude it under unforseeable circumstances, so it's possible"; and
2. "I can see how this might be achieved, so it's possible"

The first meaning is philosophical. We see it in religious and epistemological arguments, political arguments and in fiction -- anywhere rhetoric is used, but virtually nowhere else in human discourse.

The second is practical. It's the meaning of possible adopted by scientists, engineers, police and criminal lawyers, managers, parents and schoolteachers.

Under the first meaning, God is possible; under the second, God is not possible. Under the first meaning, 'nothing' is possible; under the second 'nothing' isn't even meaningful.

There's only one meaning of 'possible' that I think properly applies to physics, and that's the second meaning. Else we're playing with philosophy and the rhetoric of ideologies and I'm not clear how it helps.

As you may know, there are multiple contending Big Bang theories, and one is that the proto-universe 'always' existed, but didn't always explode. And another is that vastly many proto-universes come into existence, and only some explode into a universe like the one we have.

And although I'm attracted to the "bubbling water" model of proto-universes, I'm not sure we can talk about them constructively outside mathematics -- because even if they existed, their space is not our space, their time is not our time, and their information is not our information. So what is it we're talking about other than 'possible' in that first sense?
RuvDraba
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2/22/2015 2:30:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 2:27:22 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
(Einstein's famous 'gedunken' experiments, for example.)

Sorry -- I meant 'gedanken': 'thinking', not some bizarre pseudogerman word for 'dunking'. :D
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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2/22/2015 3:12:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 2:27:22 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/22/2015 1:48:34 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why there is something rather than nothing, seems to be a very profound question we humans have been asking for a very long time.

It certainly is, NM, but I'm not sure it's a valid one. 'How' is a valid question, because we live in an empirical reality where consequence follow causes and nature plays scrupulously fair.

But 'why' isn't an empirical question; it's a political one. 'Why' means 'be accountable to me': why won't you come to the movies? Why do you never clean your room? Why don't you like the dinner I cooked?

Our reality is indifferent to us, and consequence has no regard for sentiment or morality. So it upholds no sense of political accountability to us. 'Why is there something rather than nothing' is a meaningful question if there is an authority to ask it of -- but what authority?

But 'how is there something rather than nothing' isn't meaningful, because any how is answered by the somethings around us, and they are the only somethings we have. :)

Your other points on intuition and what we can imagine are valid points. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't contemplate things that don't follow our intuitive thinking. Einstein's Relativity isn't an intuitive concept. What is going on in a Black Hole isn't an intuitive concept.

Yes, that's true, but we can think about those things at all because we have a frame in which to explore them (mathematics), and some helpful analogies (Einstein's famous 'gedunken' experiments, for example.)

But what is the intuitive basis for nothing? If nothing lacks size, mass and time, how can we even understand change?

Maybe the answer to why is there something, is that nothing isn't possible.

I'd like to draw your attention to two very different meanings of the word possible:

1. "I cannot categorically exclude it under unforseeable circumstances, so it's possible"; and
2. "I can see how this might be achieved, so it's possible"

The first meaning is philosophical. We see it in religious and epistemological arguments, political arguments and in fiction -- anywhere rhetoric is used, but virtually nowhere else in human discourse.

The second is practical. It's the meaning of possible adopted by scientists, engineers, police and criminal lawyers, managers, parents and schoolteachers.

Under the first meaning, God is possible; under the second, God is not possible. Under the first meaning, 'nothing' is possible; under the second 'nothing' isn't even meaningful.

There's only one meaning of 'possible' that I think properly applies to physics, and that's the second meaning. Else we're playing with philosophy and the rhetoric of ideologies and I'm not clear how it helps.

As you may know, there are multiple contending Big Bang theories, and one is that the proto-universe 'always' existed, but didn't always explode. And another is that vastly many proto-universes come into existence, and only some explode into a universe like the one we have.

And although I'm attracted to the "bubbling water" model of proto-universes, I'm not sure we can talk about them constructively outside mathematics -- because even if they existed, their space is not our space, their time is not our time, and their information is not our information. So what is it we're talking about other than 'possible' in that first sense?
You raise the problem of definitions. Nothing clearly has that problem. First if it can be define, then it has properties that are definable, if it has properties that are definable, then it is something. Second, if it can be identified (look there is nothing), than it has properties that are identifiable, if that is true, than it is something. Third, if nothing exists or did exist, it would seem that existence requires properties, nothing existing would be something. As an example, "where would nothing exist?" If there is no place for nothing to exist, how can nothing exist? My point is that I think we are making an assumption mistake when we treat nothing as a possible state. What justification do when have to think that nothing could possibly exist? We cannot even define nothing in a coherent manner. This alone should call the idea of nothing into question.
RuvDraba
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2/22/2015 3:16:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 3:12:28 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I think we are making an assumption mistake when we treat nothing as a possible state. What justification do when have to think that nothing could possibly exist?

That's fair, but to what valid question is 'nothing' a constructive answer, and why is that question valid?

If the question is invalid, then we shouldn't concern ourselves with the invalidity of possible answers.
NoMagic
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2/22/2015 3:58:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 3:16:46 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/22/2015 3:12:28 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I think we are making an assumption mistake when we treat nothing as a possible state. What justification do when have to think that nothing could possibly exist?

That's fair, but to what valid question is 'nothing' a constructive answer, and why is that question valid?

If the question is invalid, then we shouldn't concern ourselves with the invalidity of possible answers.
Maybe that is my point. Not so much the question, but the notion of nothing, maybe what I'm saying is that notion isn't valid. I raise the subject because I think many people assume nothing as a possible state of existence. Yet when I think about nothing I find it to be incoherent. My primary point is that we should stop with assuming nothing is possible. Maybe it is possible or maybe it isn't. There seems to be good reasons to think that it isn't. This topic is generally directed at those who say, "the universe didn't/can't pop out of nothingness." This statement assumes nothing as a possible state. My point is that I think the assumption is flawed. If nothing cannot exist, then this question, that seems to have a fair amount of weight within society, is a flawed question. The question is flawed because the concept of nothing is incoherent, at least based on my thoughts. Which is why I posted it. I would like to have someone who thinks nothing can exist explain why they think that is possible.
Iredia
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2/22/2015 5:13:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

The BB posits a singularity state from which the universe expanded. Laws of physics break down as we approach this singularity. I would add that this could support a state of absolutely nothing since laws of physics would also break down as we approach such a state.

Also, while absolute nothing doesn't exist at the moment, nothing does. Nothing exists in tandem with the universe as is seen in the suspension of the universe in space (or nothing). If nothing cannot exist then it follows that the universe is eternal, always having existed in some state or form not necessarily the same as now. I don't believe this.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
NoMagic
Posts: 507
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2/22/2015 6:25:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 5:13:45 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

The BB posits a singularity state from which the universe expanded. Laws of physics break down as we approach this singularity. I would add that this could support a state of absolutely nothing since laws of physics would also break down as we approach such a state.

Also, while absolute nothing doesn't exist at the moment, nothing does. Nothing exists in tandem with the universe as is seen in the suspension of the universe in space (or nothing). If nothing cannot exist then it follows that the universe is eternal, always having existed in some state or form not necessarily the same as now. I don't believe this.
I've arrived at the same conclusion you reject based on the implications of nothing not being a possible state. I do think the universe is eternal. I think this in part because nothing doesn't seem to be logically consistent. If nothing cannot exist, then something must exist always. Conclusion the universe is eternal. I do agree with the implications you see.
If you define nothing as an infinite vacuum, (infinite empty space) than I would agree that the universe is suspended in nothingness. But the issue here is that a vacuum is something. It is empty space. If we are to think of a pure nothing, something less than a vacuum, then I would need some reasoning to conclude that is a possible state.
Lets imagine a jar in a box, both sealed. The jar is otherwise empty, so is the box, except both are filled with empty space. Can we remove the space from the jar? If we did, the jar would have to collapse, but what happens outside the jar? The jar collapses, but space is transferred from inside the jar to outside the jar. The volume of the box remains the same. It seems as though space hasn't been removed. My guess is that empty space cannot be reduced any further.
You state that you don't believe the universe is eternal. Is this belief supported by reasoning or logic? Why do you believe the universe isn't eternal?
PolyCarp
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2/23/2015 11:15:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

A state of nothing clearly cannot exist, because in order for something to have a state, it must have some properties already, and something with properties is a thing, not no-thing. A state of nothing is a logically impossible concept, like a square circle.
"Perhaps the atheist cannot find God for the same reason the thief cannot find a policeman"

--G.K Chesterton
R0b1Billion
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2/24/2015 12:34:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At the mercy of only being able to observe what's around us (if that limitation has any meaning), nothingness absolutely cannot exist. The fundamental reason behind it is the Uncertainty Principle, and if there's one thing you cannot cross it is Mr. Heisenberg. It's one thing to create a vacuum regarding matter, but at the quantum level there must be variation in the various fields present. If there were nothing, then we would know the precise values of such fields (i.e., zero) and that would violate the UP. The more I learn about physics, the more it seems to me like uncertainty is the most fundamental aspect there is. When one first learns about uncertainty, that we cannot know the velocity and position of a particle for instance, we automatically assume we just don't have the technology (i.e., a small-enough, passive-enough particle to bounce off of the fundamental particles) yet. But this simply isn't true at all. Assuming God exists in all his glory, even he could not know the precise position and velocity of a particle - the universe just does not work that way. The most fundamental aspect of the universe is that it is absolutely unknowable in the most intrinsic sense, and if you don't follow me on that then just research quantum entanglement, the 2-slit, or Schrodinger's Cat. It's just as impossible to "know" the quantum properties of the world around us as it is to know the thoughts inside somebody else's head. And that analogy to consciousness might be closer to the truth than we might realize...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
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Sidewalker
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2/24/2015 11:48:57 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something.

Presumably you mean "nothing" in the sense of "nonexistence" rather than nothing in the sense of "Why is there something rather than nothing" in the refrigerator.

The unexamined assumption in that question is that nonexistence is the default state, but that is a contradictory and self refuting assumption. Existence is the default state, and since nonexistence has no features and contains no possibility, then it certainly cannot include a first cause. Since nothing can come from nothing, assuming nonexistence is the default state, as if nonexistence somehow preceded existence, entails the denial of any possibility of our present existence.

That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing.

I think the faulty assumption that there can be "nothing" is a semantics thing; the problem is that if you define nothing as "something that does not exist" the syntax of the phrase makes no sense.

Existence and nonexistence are somewhat necessary cognitive concepts in the sense that fundamentally we think in a series of binary oppositions. Implicit in a word or concept is both what it is, and what it is not, the word tree implies two binary categories, a set of things that are trees, and a set of things that are not trees. You can"t have a left without a right or an up without a down, likewise, the concept of "existence" is cognitively transactional with the concept of "nonexistence", so for "existence" to have meaning, there needs to be a mental concept of "nonexistence". When you say the word tree you are saying that there are things that exist that are trees and things that exist that are not trees and this bifurcation implicit in language applies to every word except one, "existence". The same bifurcation of the word existence sets us up for the self-referential paradox, and violates the primary first law of logic, the law of identity, A cannot equal not A, and consequently, nonexistence cannot exist. Consequently, we make the faulty presumption because of our language; it's a matter of habit because in every other instance, and with every other word, there is the existence of what it is, and the existence of what it is not, but that is not so in the case of the word existence.

What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

Nothing isn"t a "state" and it can't have any characteristics, it can't be "possible, and it can"t "exist", and Occam's Razor doesn"t apply because it is not simple or complex. the word is only meaningful as a negation of the word something.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Iredia
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2/24/2015 4:02:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/22/2015 6:25:46 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I've arrived at the same conclusion you reject based on the implications of nothing not being a possible state. I do think the universe is eternal. I think this in part because nothing doesn't seem to be logically consistent. If nothing cannot exist, then something must exist always. Conclusion the universe is eternal. I do agree with the implications you see.

Why do you think nothing is logically inconsistent ?

If you define nothing as an infinite vacuum, (infinite empty space) than I would agree that the universe is suspended in nothingness. But the issue here is that a vacuum is something. It is empty space. If we are to think of a pure nothing, something less than a vacuum, then I would need some reasoning to conclude that is a possible state.

There can't be something less than a vacuum. You either have matter of some sort or empty space (or vacuum).

Lets imagine a jar in a box, both sealed. The jar is otherwise empty, so is the box, except both are filled with empty space. Can we remove the space from the jar? If we did, the jar would have to collapse, but what happens outside the jar? The jar collapses, but space is transferred from inside the jar to outside the jar. The volume of the box remains the same. It seems as though space hasn't been removed. My guess is that empty space cannot be reduced any further.

The box has a jar and so isn't empty. And yes, empty space is irreducible.

You state that you don't believe the universe is eternal. Is this belief supported by reasoning or logic? Why do you believe the universe isn't eternal?

I believe it was created by God. Furthermore, the BB precludes it.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
NoMagic
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2/24/2015 9:31:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/24/2015 4:02:16 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/22/2015 6:25:46 PM, NoMagic wrote:
I've arrived at the same conclusion you reject based on the implications of nothing not being a possible state. I do think the universe is eternal. I think this in part because nothing doesn't seem to be logically consistent. If nothing cannot exist, then something must exist always. Conclusion the universe is eternal. I do agree with the implications you see.

Why do you think nothing is logically inconsistent ?

I like this question. Three reasons, if you could define nothing, then nothing would have properties that are definable, this would mean that nothing is something. If you could identify nothing (example, "look there is nothing"), then nothing would have properties that are identifiable, again nothing would be something. If nothing existed, existence requires properties that exist, again nothing would be something. I also cannot figure how a pure nothing would be. It doesn't seem possible. I spent 3 months trying to imagine or logically get to nothing. The best I could get to was an infinite vacuum. Have a little fun with the thought experiment. Try and get to nothing. Maybe you can do it. I couldn't.

If you define nothing as an infinite vacuum, (infinite empty space) than I would agree that the universe is suspended in nothingness. But the issue here is that a vacuum is something. It is empty space. If we are to think of a pure nothing, something less than a vacuum, then I would need some reasoning to conclude that is a possible state.

There can't be something less than a vacuum. You either have matter of some sort or empty space (or vacuum).
I agree with this. I think an infinite vacuum is the foundation of all of reality. An infinite vacuum, I think, exists out of necessity.

Lets imagine a jar in a box, both sealed. The jar is otherwise empty, so is the box, except both are filled with empty space. Can we remove the space from the jar? If we did, the jar would have to collapse, but what happens outside the jar? The jar collapses, but space is transferred from inside the jar to outside the jar. The volume of the box remains the same. It seems as though space hasn't been removed. My guess is that empty space cannot be reduced any further.

The box has a jar and so isn't empty. And yes, empty space is irreducible.

You state that you don't believe the universe is eternal. Is this belief supported by reasoning or logic? Why do you believe the universe isn't eternal?

I believe it was created by God. Furthermore, the BB precludes it.

I understand you believe that. My question is, is that belief supported by some line of reasoning, or just belief itself?
The BB issue, this gets a bit confusing here. I think here we should acknowledge what we don't know. We have a limited horizon as far as peering out into the universe. We have a time horizon issue as well, we cannot see before the BB. So, we don't know what is beyond our visual horizon and we don't know what was before our time horizon. We should be careful with our thinking here. We should acknowledge what we don't know and just think of the BB as referring to our local area within the universe. Our local region could be universe one of one, or it could be universe one of an infinite number of universes. Us human beings simply are in no position to know this answer. It is a mistake to assume the BB refers to the entire universe, or the BB is the only one that has ever occurred. We have no justification to make this assumption.
Earlier you stated that you cannot have less than a vacuum. I agree with this. But, if this is true, than a vacuum wouldn't require a creator. It would exist out of necessity. Would you agree with that?
NoMagic
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2/24/2015 9:39:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/24/2015 11:48:57 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something.

Presumably you mean "nothing" in the sense of "nonexistence" rather than nothing in the sense of "Why is there something rather than nothing" in the refrigerator.

The unexamined assumption in that question is that nonexistence is the default state, but that is a contradictory and self refuting assumption. Existence is the default state, and since nonexistence has no features and contains no possibility, then it certainly cannot include a first cause. Since nothing can come from nothing, assuming nonexistence is the default state, as if nonexistence somehow preceded existence, entails the denial of any possibility of our present existence.

That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing.

I think the faulty assumption that there can be "nothing" is a semantics thing; the problem is that if you define nothing as "something that does not exist" the syntax of the phrase makes no sense.

Existence and nonexistence are somewhat necessary cognitive concepts in the sense that fundamentally we think in a series of binary oppositions. Implicit in a word or concept is both what it is, and what it is not, the word tree implies two binary categories, a set of things that are trees, and a set of things that are not trees. You can"t have a left without a right or an up without a down, likewise, the concept of "existence" is cognitively transactional with the concept of "nonexistence", so for "existence" to have meaning, there needs to be a mental concept of "nonexistence". When you say the word tree you are saying that there are things that exist that are trees and things that exist that are not trees and this bifurcation implicit in language applies to every word except one, "existence". The same bifurcation of the word existence sets us up for the self-referential paradox, and violates the primary first law of logic, the law of identity, A cannot equal not A, and consequently, nonexistence cannot exist. Consequently, we make the faulty presumption because of our language; it's a matter of habit because in every other instance, and with every other word, there is the existence of what it is, and the existence of what it is not, but that is not so in the case of the word existence.

What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

Nothing isn"t a "state" and it can't have any characteristics, it can't be "possible, and it can"t "exist", and Occam's Razor doesn"t apply because it is not simple or complex. the word is only meaningful as a negation of the word something.
I read through your comments and I'm not entirely sure where you stand. It seems as though you have similar conclusions that I do, however I'm not entirely sure. I don't think nothing is a possible state. I think you don't think nothing is a possible state. Is this correct?
Also, the nonexistence aspect. I've heard some define nothing as nonexistence. But that only begs the question what is nonexistence and can nonexistence exist? Is that even logical, nonexistence existing? Can nothing exist? I don't think so. Can nonexistence exist? That seems like a logical violation. What is your take on nonexistence? Is that a possible state? If you think it is could you explain why you think so?
NoMagic
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2/24/2015 9:43:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/23/2015 11:15:46 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
At 2/21/2015 10:53:29 PM, NoMagic wrote:
Why is there something rather than nothing? We clearly have something. That part is easy. But, it is an assumption that there can be nothing. We have no samples of absolute nothing. What if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing," is that nothing cannot exist. Therefore something must exist. I don't think nothing can exist. Do you think nothing is a possible state? If yes, please explain.

A state of nothing clearly cannot exist, because in order for something to have a state, it must have some properties already, and something with properties is a thing, not no-thing. A state of nothing is a logically impossible concept, like a square circle.

I agree. Funny thing, I've used the square circle also. Not here, but in other examples. I call it a squircle. I've been known to say, "I have a squircle in my closet. Do you believe me?"
Itani
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2/24/2015 10:01:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I think true nothingness would be empty space, where there're no particles whatsoever, just... nothing.
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2/25/2015 5:15:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Despite it being difficult to investigate "nothing" there's actually a long history of thought on whether "nothingness" can exist.

Anyone in this forum who is interested in finding out more about the question of nothingness can find info on academic thought on nothingness here http://plato.stanford.edu....
"Perhaps the atheist cannot find God for the same reason the thief cannot find a policeman"

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Iredia
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2/25/2015 12:22:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/24/2015 9:31:27 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I like this question. Three reasons, if you could define nothing, then nothing would have properties that are definable, this would mean that nothing is something. If you could identify nothing (example, "look there is nothing"), then nothing would have properties that are identifiable, again nothing would be something. If nothing existed, existence requires properties that exist, again nothing would be something. I also cannot figure how a pure nothing would be. It doesn't seem possible. I spent 3 months trying to imagine or logically get to nothing. The best I could get to was an infinite vacuum. Have a little fun with the thought experiment. Try and get to nothing. Maybe you can do it. I couldn't.

I agree a bit. My way of putting it is that if it is nothing it shouldn't be known nor should it exist. Its paradoxical to me that nothing exists. Your take needs to take into account that nothing in its most general sense means the lack of any property. Nothing to me would be a dark void.


I understand you believe that. My question is, is that belief supported by some line of reasoning, or just belief itself?

Just belief itself. I think its impossible to use a line of reasoning for such a question since it can't be experimentally proven. There's no way we can know for sure if the universe is eternal or if it began.

The BB issue, this gets a bit confusing here. I think here we should acknowledge what we don't know. We have a limited horizon as far as peering out into the universe. We have a time horizon issue as well, we cannot see before the BB. So, we don't know what is beyond our visual horizon and we don't know what was before our time horizon. We should be careful with our thinking here. We should acknowledge what we don't know and just think of the BB as referring to our local area within the universe. Our local region could be universe one of one, or it could be universe one of an infinite number of universes. Us human beings simply are in no position to know this answer. It is a mistake to assume the BB refers to the entire universe, or the BB is the only one that has ever occurred. We have no justification to make this assumption.

I've seen an argument similar to this here: https://m.youtube.com... but I don't see how such is consistent with the current iteration of the Big Bang in which there is no before the BB and in which our concern is with the observable universe. To posit that given limits to our visual and time horizon there could be a larger multiverse is an argument from ignorance. And if such were true, then at the very least the BB theory would require some modification. Keep in mind that before the BB the prevailing belief was in a steady-state, eternal universe.

Earlier you stated that you cannot have less than a vacuum. I agree with this. But, if this is true, than a vacuum wouldn't require a creator. It would exist out of necessity. Would you agree with that?

Yes. Given its nature, God can't create a vacuum.
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NoMagic
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2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 12:22:17 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/24/2015 9:31:27 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I like this question. Three reasons, if you could define nothing, then nothing would have properties that are definable, this would mean that nothing is something. If you could identify nothing (example, "look there is nothing"), then nothing would have properties that are identifiable, again nothing would be something. If nothing existed, existence requires properties that exist, again nothing would be something. I also cannot figure how a pure nothing would be. It doesn't seem possible. I spent 3 months trying to imagine or logically get to nothing. The best I could get to was an infinite vacuum. Have a little fun with the thought experiment. Try and get to nothing. Maybe you can do it. I couldn't.

I agree a bit. My way of putting it is that if it is nothing it shouldn't be known nor should it exist. Its paradoxical to me that nothing exists. Your take needs to take into account that nothing in its most general sense means the lack of any property. Nothing to me would be a dark void.
I would agree with nothing being a dark void. Heck I guess I made that argument so I must agree. Often though, nothing is used in a sense that is even less than a void. It is this usage that I don't think is logically consistent. Which I think we agree on.


I understand you believe that. My question is, is that belief supported by some line of reasoning, or just belief itself?

Just belief itself. I think its impossible to use a line of reasoning for such a question since it can't be experimentally proven. There's no way we can know for sure if the universe is eternal or if it began.
I agree that there is no way we can know for sure if the universe is eternal or began. I do think there are logical reasons to think it is probably eternal. And from a naturalists perspective it must be on some level. I think the infinite vacuum holds up to logic. We also find vacuum energy in the universe. This provides the ingredients for the universe we see. I think there are good reasons to think this is true. Although you are correct, it is probably beyond our ability to conclusively prove.
The BB issue, this gets a bit confusing here. I think here we should acknowledge what we don't know. We have a limited horizon as far as peering out into the universe. We have a time horizon issue as well, we cannot see before the BB. So, we don't know what is beyond our visual horizon and we don't know what was before our time horizon. We should be careful with our thinking here. We should acknowledge what we don't know and just think of the BB as referring to our local area within the universe. Our local region could be universe one of one, or it could be universe one of an infinite number of universes. Us human beings simply are in no position to know this answer. It is a mistake to assume the BB refers to the entire universe, or the BB is the only one that has ever occurred. We have no justification to make this assumption.

I've seen an argument similar to this here: https://m.youtube.com... but I don't see how such is consistent with the current iteration of the Big Bang in which there is no before the BB and in which our concern is with the observable universe. To posit that given limits to our visual and time horizon there could be a larger multiverse is an argument from ignorance. And if such were true, then at the very least the BB theory would require some modification. Keep in mind that before the BB the prevailing belief was in a steady-state, eternal universe.

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

Earlier you stated that you cannot have less than a vacuum. I agree with this. But, if this is true, than a vacuum wouldn't require a creator. It would exist out of necessity. Would you agree with that?

Yes. Given its nature, God can't create a vacuum.
Iredia
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2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.
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NoMagic
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2/26/2015 8:09:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.

I think you aren't getting exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't take the position that the BB is the beginning of everything. We don't have evidence that supports a conclusion like that. How is that special pleading? It seems to me that it is an acknowledgement of our ignorance. I'm not arguing that there are definitely other "universes," or that a larger universe does exist. I'm saying we cannot know that what we see is all there is.
In addition to that, we have made this assumption mistake before. Originally, we believed there was one star (the Sun) a planet (the Earth) and some points of light, some stayed stationary, some wandered (other planets). Then we figure out that those points of light are other stars, those wandering points are other planets. Then we find may other stars, notice they are in a star city we call our galaxy. At this point, we believe only our solar system has planets and one galaxy exists. All these are assumptions that what we see is all there is. We then figure out there are other galaxies, billions of them. We then start finding other planets near other stars. We began with the assumption that a star and planet existed. We were wrong. We assumed one galaxy existed, it was all we could see. We were wrong. Even Einstein assumed the universe was static, he was wrong. I'm thinking we should stop assuming things we don't and can't know.
Are we going to continue to assume what we see is all there is? How many times must we make this mistake? I'm saying we don't know what is beyond our horizon, or before our time horizon. If you think you know or disagree, maybe you could make that case. This seems fairly obvious to me. Do I know the BB is the beginning of everything? No, how could I possibly know that? How could anyone possibly know that?
Let me ask you a question. Let's say astronomers can see 14 billion light years away from our location. (actual number isn't important) Can you tell me what is there at 16 billion light years away from our location?
Iredia
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2/28/2015 6:11:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 8:09:10 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.

I think you aren't getting exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't take the position that the BB is the beginning of everything. We don't have evidence that supports a conclusion like that. How is that special pleading? It seems to me that it is an acknowledgement of our ignorance. I'm not arguing that there are definitely other "universes," or that a larger universe does exist. I'm saying we cannot know that what we see is all there is.
In addition to that, we have made this assumption mistake before. Originally, we believed there was one star (the Sun) a planet (the Earth) and some points of light, some stayed stationary, some wandered (other planets). Then we figure out that those points of light are other stars, those wandering points are other planets. Then we find may other stars, notice they are in a star city we call our galaxy. At this point, we believe only our solar system has planets and one galaxy exists. All these are assumptions that what we see is all there is. We then figure out there are other galaxies, billions of them. We then start finding other planets near other stars. We began with the assumption that a star and planet existed. We were wrong. We assumed one galaxy existed, it was all we could see. We were wrong. Even Einstein assumed the universe was static, he was wrong. I'm thinking we should stop assuming things we don't and can't know.
Are we going to continue to assume what we see is all there is? How many times must we make this mistake? I'm saying we don't know what is beyond our horizon, or before our time horizon. If you think you know or disagree, maybe you could make that case. This seems fairly obvious to me. Do I know the BB is the beginning of everything? No, how could I possibly know that? How could anyone possibly know that?
Let me ask you a question. Let's say astronomers can see 14 billion light years away from our location. (actual number isn't important) Can you tell me what is there at 16 billion light years away from our location?

No, I can't. To use this line of thinking against you, how can also be equally sure that nothing isn't a possible state. There's no way you could know this for sure.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
NoMagic
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2/28/2015 6:44:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 6:11:15 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/26/2015 8:09:10 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.

I think you aren't getting exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't take the position that the BB is the beginning of everything. We don't have evidence that supports a conclusion like that. How is that special pleading? It seems to me that it is an acknowledgement of our ignorance. I'm not arguing that there are definitely other "universes," or that a larger universe does exist. I'm saying we cannot know that what we see is all there is.
In addition to that, we have made this assumption mistake before. Originally, we believed there was one star (the Sun) a planet (the Earth) and some points of light, some stayed stationary, some wandered (other planets). Then we figure out that those points of light are other stars, those wandering points are other planets. Then we find may other stars, notice they are in a star city we call our galaxy. At this point, we believe only our solar system has planets and one galaxy exists. All these are assumptions that what we see is all there is. We then figure out there are other galaxies, billions of them. We then start finding other planets near other stars. We began with the assumption that a star and planet existed. We were wrong. We assumed one galaxy existed, it was all we could see. We were wrong. Even Einstein assumed the universe was static, he was wrong. I'm thinking we should stop assuming things we don't and can't know.
Are we going to continue to assume what we see is all there is? How many times must we make this mistake? I'm saying we don't know what is beyond our horizon, or before our time horizon. If you think you know or disagree, maybe you could make that case. This seems fairly obvious to me. Do I know the BB is the beginning of everything? No, how could I possibly know that? How could anyone possibly know that?
Let me ask you a question. Let's say astronomers can see 14 billion light years away from our location. (actual number isn't important) Can you tell me what is there at 16 billion light years away from our location?

No, I can't. To use this line of thinking against you, how can also be equally sure that nothing isn't a possible state. There's no way you could know this for sure.

As I stated earlier, I try and be a careful thinker. I'm not sure I exist. I think with a high degree of probability I do, but I can't be certain. I think, from the human perspective, the best we can do is what is likely to be true. I don't think nothing is a possible state. ("think" being the important word) I've made an argument in support of this position, but I haven't claimed I know it is true.
Your quote, "There's no way you could know this for sure." I'm in complete agreement. I've tried to make the argument that that, "There's no way you could know this for sure," also applies to the BB, beyond our visual horizon, and before our time horizon. Earlier you said I'm making an argument from ignorance. What I'm actually making is an argument that we acknowledge our ignorance and don't make statements that go beyond our knowledge.
The belief that nothing is possible is beyond our knowledge, so we shouldn't assume it is possible. The claim that the BB is the beginning of everything would require us to know everything about the universe. You've acknowledge you cannot say what is located at 16 billion light years from our location. If you don't know what is there, you couldn't say the BB is responsible for it.
I don't think nothing is a possible state. That isn't the same as saying I know nothing isn't a possible state.
Which more accurately represents what we know?
1.The Big Bang is the beginning of the universe. (in this context the universe means all that exists)
2. The Big Bang is the beginning of our local area in the universe.
Item 1 has a hidden assumptions, everything we see is everything there is and was. Is this something we can know?
Item 2 has no assumptions. It allows for things outside or before our visible universe, while not making claims that things outside or before our visible universe exists.
I find phrase 2 to more accurately represent what we know and don't know. What do you think?
Iredia
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2/28/2015 7:01:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 6:44:40 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/28/2015 6:11:15 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/26/2015 8:09:10 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:

I don't think it is an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance would be to say, "How did the universe get here?" "I don't know" "Well a god did it." I'm simply acknowledging what we can't and don't know. I'm not trying to claim other universes existing now or before, my point is we have no justification to rule it out. As for the common understanding of the BB, I watch quite a few physics and cosmology lectures/documentaries/popular programs and within the field, they don't hold the perspective the BB is the beginning of the entire universe. I could list several physicists off the top of my head who don't think of it like that: Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, Brain Greene, and the faces of others who's names I can't remember. They aren't thinking the BB is the beginning of everything. String theory predicts a multiverse. There are many people working on string theory. Eternal inflation predicts a multiverse. Inflation is generally accepted as a way to explain the uniformity of the CMBR. I would bet if we walked into a university physics or cosmology department, we wouldn't find people asserting the BB is definitively the beginning of the entire universe. I was watching a debate with Sean Carroll in it, during the debate he presented a slide of Guth (Guth Professor at M.I.T., Carrol Cal Tech) holding up a sign reading, "the universe is probably eternal." Not that this answers the question, Guth is only offering a "probably." But those in the field aren't viewing the BB as the beginning of everything. I try and be a careful thinker. Think it is best just to say the BB is the beginning of what we see in our local area. This is a statement about what we observe and it allows for the unknown that we should acknowledge.

I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.

I think you aren't getting exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't take the position that the BB is the beginning of everything. We don't have evidence that supports a conclusion like that. How is that special pleading? It seems to me that it is an acknowledgement of our ignorance. I'm not arguing that there are definitely other "universes," or that a larger universe does exist. I'm saying we cannot know that what we see is all there is.
In addition to that, we have made this assumption mistake before. Originally, we believed there was one star (the Sun) a planet (the Earth) and some points of light, some stayed stationary, some wandered (other planets). Then we figure out that those points of light are other stars, those wandering points are other planets. Then we find may other stars, notice they are in a star city we call our galaxy. At this point, we believe only our solar system has planets and one galaxy exists. All these are assumptions that what we see is all there is. We then figure out there are other galaxies, billions of them. We then start finding other planets near other stars. We began with the assumption that a star and planet existed. We were wrong. We assumed one galaxy existed, it was all we could see. We were wrong. Even Einstein assumed the universe was static, he was wrong. I'm thinking we should stop assuming things we don't and can't know.
Are we going to continue to assume what we see is all there is? How many times must we make this mistake? I'm saying we don't know what is beyond our horizon, or before our time horizon. If you think you know or disagree, maybe you could make that case. This seems fairly obvious to me. Do I know the BB is the beginning of everything? No, how could I possibly know that? How could anyone possibly know that?
Let me ask you a question. Let's say astronomers can see 14 billion light years away from our location. (actual number isn't important) Can you tell me what is there at 16 billion light years away from our location?

No, I can't. To use this line of thinking against you, how can also be equally sure that nothing isn't a possible state. There's no way you could know this for sure.

As I stated earlier, I try and be a careful thinker. I'm not sure I exist. I think with a high degree of probability I do, but I can't be certain. I think, from the human perspective, the best we can do is what is likely to be true. I don't think nothing is a possible state. ("think" being the important word) I've made an argument in support of this position, but I haven't claimed I know it is true.
Your quote, "There's no way you could know this for sure." I'm in complete agreement. I've tried to make the argument that that, "There's no way you could know this for sure," also applies to the BB, beyond our visual horizon, and before our time horizon. Earlier you said I'm making an argument from ignorance. What I'm actually making is an argument that we acknowledge our ignorance and don't make statements that go beyond our knowledge.
The belief that nothing is possible is beyond our knowledge, so we shouldn't assume it is possible. The claim that the BB is the beginning of everything would require us to know everything about the universe. You've acknowledge you cannot say what is located at 16 billion light years from our location. If you don't know what is there, you couldn't say the BB is responsible for it.
I don't think nothing is a possible state. That isn't the same as saying I know nothing isn't a possible state.
Which more accurately represents what we know?
1.The Big Bang is the beginning of the universe. (in this context the universe means all that exists)
2. The Big Bang is the beginning of our local area in the universe.
Item 1 has a hidden assumptions, everything we see is everything there is and was. Is this something we can know?
Item 2 has no assumptions. It allows for things outside or before our visible universe, while not making claims that things outside or before our visible universe exists.
I find phrase 2 to more accurately represent what we know and don't know. What do you think?

I agree that item 2's more accurate. However, I disagree with your statement that we shouldn't assume nothing is impossible b'cos its beyond us to know. Aspects of string theory and the multiverse are beyond us yet they are allowed for. So should my stance that a state of nothing can exist.
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NoMagic
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2/28/2015 7:28:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 7:01:27 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/28/2015 6:44:40 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/28/2015 6:11:15 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/26/2015 8:09:10 PM, NoMagic wrote:
At 2/26/2015 5:02:39 PM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:20:41 PM, NoMagic wrote:


I'm quite aware of the growing support for this multiverse hypothesis and know of string theory both of which haven't been experimentally supported yet. If you're saying there's no justification to rule it out isn't that 'special pleading', one would expect there's justification for the idea you've proposed. Furthermore, the inflation with CBMR isn't known to be eternal. That said, the universe could be eternal, but there's no evidence at the moment suggesting that such is the case.

I think you aren't getting exactly what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't take the position that the BB is the beginning of everything. We don't have evidence that supports a conclusion like that. How is that special pleading? It seems to me that it is an acknowledgement of our ignorance. I'm not arguing that there are definitely other "universes," or that a larger universe does exist. I'm saying we cannot know that what we see is all there is.
In addition to that, we have made this assumption mistake before. Originally, we believed there was one star (the Sun) a planet (the Earth) and some points of light, some stayed stationary, some wandered (other planets). Then we figure out that those points of light are other stars, those wandering points are other planets. Then we find may other stars, notice they are in a star city we call our galaxy. At this point, we believe only our solar system has planets and one galaxy exists. All these are assumptions that what we see is all there is. We then figure out there are other galaxies, billions of them. We then start finding other planets near other stars. We began with the assumption that a star and planet existed. We were wrong. We assumed one galaxy existed, it was all we could see. We were wrong. Even Einstein assumed the universe was static, he was wrong. I'm thinking we should stop assuming things we don't and can't know.
Are we going to continue to assume what we see is all there is? How many times must we make this mistake? I'm saying we don't know what is beyond our horizon, or before our time horizon. If you think you know or disagree, maybe you could make that case. This seems fairly obvious to me. Do I know the BB is the beginning of everything? No, how could I possibly know that? How could anyone possibly know that?
Let me ask you a question. Let's say astronomers can see 14 billion light years away from our location. (actual number isn't important) Can you tell me what is there at 16 billion light years away from our location?

No, I can't. To use this line of thinking against you, how can also be equally sure that nothing isn't a possible state. There's no way you could know this for sure.

As I stated earlier, I try and be a careful thinker. I'm not sure I exist. I think with a high degree of probability I do, but I can't be certain. I think, from the human perspective, the best we can do is what is likely to be true. I don't think nothing is a possible state. ("think" being the important word) I've made an argument in support of this position, but I haven't claimed I know it is true.
Your quote, "There's no way you could know this for sure." I'm in complete agreement. I've tried to make the argument that that, "There's no way you could know this for sure," also applies to the BB, beyond our visual horizon, and before our time horizon. Earlier you said I'm making an argument from ignorance. What I'm actually making is an argument that we acknowledge our ignorance and don't make statements that go beyond our knowledge.
The belief that nothing is possible is beyond our knowledge, so we shouldn't assume it is possible. The claim that the BB is the beginning of everything would require us to know everything about the universe. You've acknowledge you cannot say what is located at 16 billion light years from our location. If you don't know what is there, you couldn't say the BB is responsible for it.
I don't think nothing is a possible state. That isn't the same as saying I know nothing isn't a possible state.
Which more accurately represents what we know?
1.The Big Bang is the beginning of the universe. (in this context the universe means all that exists)
2. The Big Bang is the beginning of our local area in the universe.
Item 1 has a hidden assumptions, everything we see is everything there is and was. Is this something we can know?
Item 2 has no assumptions. It allows for things outside or before our visible universe, while not making claims that things outside or before our visible universe exists.
I find phrase 2 to more accurately represent what we know and don't know. What do you think?

I agree that item 2's more accurate. However, I disagree with your statement that we shouldn't assume nothing is impossible b'cos its beyond us to know. Aspects of string theory and the multiverse are beyond us yet they are allowed for. So should my stance that a state of nothing can exist.
Both string theory and the multiverse hypothesis have supporting arguments and lines of reason under them. I have no problem with you leaving nothing on the table as an option. My question would be, is there an argument or line of reasoning that would justify leaving nothing on the table as an option? (example: multiverse hypothesis has several supporting arguments, string theory predicts a multiverse, eternal inflation predicts a multiverse, our track record of wrongly assuming what we see is all there is says we shouldn't make that assumption, leaving door open for other universes, the value of vacuum energy could be explained by the anthropic principle) All options aren't created equal. Let's say you wish to make an argument that we should put nothing on the table. I can you make an argument for nothing?
Or maybe a different way to look at it. I've presented an argument that it appears as though nothing isn't logical. My argument is that we should take nothing off the table. Is there a counter argument that is stronger and therefore justifies placing nothing on the table?
Iredia
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3/1/2015 7:00:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 7:28:48 PM, NoMagic wrote:

Both string theory and the multiverse hypothesis have supporting arguments and lines of reason under them. I have no problem with you leaving nothing on the table as an option. My question would be, is there an argument or line of reasoning that would justify leaving nothing on the table as an option? (example: multiverse hypothesis has several supporting arguments, string theory predicts a multiverse, eternal inflation predicts a multiverse, our track record of wrongly assuming what we see is all there is says we shouldn't make that assumption, leaving door open for other universes, the value of vacuum energy could be explained by the anthropic principle) All options aren't created equal. Let's say you wish to make an argument that we should put nothing on the table. I can you make an argument for nothing?
Or maybe a different way to look at it. I've presented an argument that it appears as though nothing isn't logical. My argument is that we should take nothing off the table. Is there a counter argument that is stronger and therefore justifies placing nothing on the table?

I can't make an argument for absolute nothing from experience but I don't think there's any argument that eliminates it as a possibility either.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.
NoMagic
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3/1/2015 3:42:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 7:00:00 AM, Iredia wrote:
At 2/28/2015 7:28:48 PM, NoMagic wrote:

Both string theory and the multiverse hypothesis have supporting arguments and lines of reason under them. I have no problem with you leaving nothing on the table as an option. My question would be, is there an argument or line of reasoning that would justify leaving nothing on the table as an option? (example: multiverse hypothesis has several supporting arguments, string theory predicts a multiverse, eternal inflation predicts a multiverse, our track record of wrongly assuming what we see is all there is says we shouldn't make that assumption, leaving door open for other universes, the value of vacuum energy could be explained by the anthropic principle) All options aren't created equal. Let's say you wish to make an argument that we should put nothing on the table. I can you make an argument for nothing?
Or maybe a different way to look at it. I've presented an argument that it appears as though nothing isn't logical. My argument is that we should take nothing off the table. Is there a counter argument that is stronger and therefore justifies placing nothing on the table?

I can't make an argument for absolute nothing from experience but I don't think there's any argument that eliminates it as a possibility either.

I've made an argument that I don't find "nothing" to be logically consistent. I would agree that the argument itself doesn't prove nothing isn't possible. I do think the argument should make us question the concept of nothing very skeptically though. For me, if I were to compare a argument against nothing, with no argument in support of nothing, I would find the position that actually contains an argument to be a stronger position. Of course this doesn't mean it is absolutely correct. I think it just places it in a stronger intellectual position. Would you agree with that?