A possible solution to why is there something rather than nothing.

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

vectorcube
 
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 05:30 pm
@quandary,
quandary;80966 wrote:
I'm not sure I understand this. I don't see how the natural state isn't begging the question:

Everything had to exist
Why did everything have to exist?
Because everything just had to exist.


Natural state by definition is just a state with which an explanation is neither necessity or possible( from nozick). I did not say everything had to exist. This is ridiculous.
Quote:


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the concept of the natural state but it's like I said beforehand, it becomes a 'just-so' story.

Think of it this way: The concept of everything (existence) is autological. This means as soon as you ask "why is there everything rather than nothing" we have presupposed existence not only in that we are directly asking about it but the question itself is existing. This also means if you flip it 'why is there nothing rather than something' you have still presupposed existence. 'Nothing' is very difficult to talk about because the structure of language is, in the first place, clumsy around these dubious words as well as sequestered from 'nothing'.Nothing is not a state of affairs and it simply isn't. 'It' isn't an 'it', it 'isn't' 'is' (refering to a statement like: nothing is nothing). It's just completely inaccessible. Nothing has (even though it doesn't really 'have' and this demonstrates what I was refering to when talking about language being clumsy) nothing to account for.




This is confusing to me.

Quote:
If a theist asked the question (why everything instead of nothing) he would be calling his god(s) into question and this is analogous to the natural state. If God exists, then why? Why couldn't there be no god? If there is a natural state, why? Why should there be something with no explanation? Just because it has no explanation doesn't push it out of bounds of the question. Things with no explanation exist and are a part of everything, so why? Nothing as a 'natural state' (nothing without an explanation) fits because there would be no explaining, there would be nothing. The same can't be said for everything (something).


I still think you are confusing, but if i am getting you right. I think you have a problem with the whole idea of a natural state being an explanation of itself. E.g: If god is natural state, then god would not need any further explanation.

If you agree with what i said so far, then you cannot be more right. The purpose of natural state is special, and created for the purpose of explaining things from within with regard to ultimate principles. Think of a child asking "why?" to answer answer you give it. If everything has an explanation, then would have to go on and on without end. The purpose of Natural state is to stop this infinite regress problem, and say something need no explanation.
 
quandary
 
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 07:18 pm
@vectorcube,
Quote:
Natural state by definition is just a state with which an explanation is neither necessity or possible( from nozick). I did not say everything had to exist. This is ridiculous.


I cannot see how the explanation is unnecessary; we are asking it, if the explanation was superfluous or irrelevant why are we then having this conversation? If everything did not have to exist like you just claimed, then existence is a contingency (this means it needs an explanation.)

Quote:
Think of a child asking "why?" to answer answer you give it. If everything has an explanation, then would have to go on and on without end. The purpose of Natural state is to stop this infinite regress problem, and say something need no explanation.


This looks like confirmation of my previous claim, viz., that the argument is exactly like a 'just-so' story. I don't see how something would meet qualifications for something like a 'natural state' (I don't see how existence explains its own existence) and I still don't feel like the answer formulated like this is sufficient. A 'natural state' is being called into question. Its just recidivism towards the mendacious habits developed when confronted with questions that don't seem to have an answer
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 08:03 pm
@Arif phil,
Arif;80876 wrote:
The statement "there is nothing" cannot be "falsified". It cannot be shown by observation or experiments hence it is unscientific. The idea is expressed by Karl Popper.


No one claimed it was scientific. It is a metaphysical claim.
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 11:45 pm
@quandary,
quandary;81004 wrote:
I cannot see how the explanation is unnecessary;



Becareful. I never said all explanations are unncessary. Just some explanations when it comes to explanatory ultimates.


Quote:


If everything did not have to exist like you just claimed, then existence is a contingency (this means it needs an explanation.)




There are two questions hidden. The first question is why something exist, and the second question is why things are the way they are. I think those two questions are candidates where explanation is neither possible or necessary.


Quote:
This looks like confirmation of my previous claim, viz., that the argument is exactly like a 'just-so' story. I don't see how something would meet qualifications for something like a 'natural state' (I don't see how existence explains its own existence) and I still don't feel like the answer formulated like this is sufficient. A 'natural state' is being called into question. Its just recidivism towards the mendacious habits developed when confronted with questions that don't seem to have an answer.


Nozick goes on to develop a theory that does not invoke a natural state. If no state is natural, and all state is given equal weight, or all states are possible. The answer to why C hold in our world, and not D is because both C and D bolds in possible worlds.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 06:16 am
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81032 wrote:






There are two questions hidden. The first question is why something exist, and the second question is why things are the way they are. I think those two questions are candidates where explanation is neither possible or necessary.




If "something" is assumed to be a name; and if "nothing" is assumed to be a name, and if it is assumed that there is something that all names name, then, of course, it follows that there must be something, since there must be a referent for both "something" and "nothing".
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 10:17 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81065 wrote:
If "something" is assumed to be a name; and if "nothing" is assumed to be a name, and if it is assumed that there is something that all names name, then, of course, it follows that there must be something, since there must be a referent for both "something" and "nothing".


Yes, sure. I use nothing to refer to the empty world, or a state of affair without anything.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 10:20 am
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81098 wrote:
Yes, sure. I use nothing to refer to the empty world, or a state of affair without anything.


That's like saying you use "unicorn" to refer to a unicorn, except worse, because the term "unicorn" means something, and there is no reason to think that "empty world" or, "state of affairs without anything" means anything.
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 06:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81101 wrote:
That's like saying you use "unicorn" to refer to a unicorn, except worse, because the term "unicorn" means something, and there is no reason to think that "empty world" or, "state of affairs without anything" means anything.



It means that i am postulating an empty world, and use the word "nothing" to refer to it. I could use the letter 'a' to denote an empty world. I think if you don` t know what an empty world is suppose to be, then you do not know.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 04:27 am
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81140 wrote:
It means that i am postulating an empty world, and use the word "nothing" to refer to it. I could use the letter 'a' to denote an empty world. I think if you don` t know what an empty world is suppose to be, then you do not know.


I am glad to hear it. What is an empty world supposed to be? Since you claim to know. (How many of them are there? Do they resemble each other?).
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 10:09 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81176 wrote:
What is an empty world supposed to be?



An empty world is a world without anything.

Do tell me why you have so much difficult. Obviously, we don` t have the same intuition. It is amusing to see another human that lacks this faculty. It seems to me obvious that we living in a world of something, and it amaze me that you never wonder about the logical possibilty of an empty world. Surely, you have to grant that a empty world is logically possible?




Quote:

How many of them are there? Do they resemble each other?



I think there are only one empty world. Take any two world that can be distinquished. Whatever distinquish them must be comething, and thus, they are part of something, and not nothing. Whatever an empty world is, there cannot be more than one. Similar arguments can be used to distinquish an empty world
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 10:31 am
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81237 wrote:
An empty world is a world without anything.

Do tell me why you have so much difficult. Obviously, we don` t have the same intuition. It is amusing to see another human that lacks this faculty. It seems to me obvious that we living in a world of something, and it amaze me that you never wonder about the logical possibilty of an empty world. Surely, you have to grant that a empty world is logically possible?







I think there are only one empty world. Take any two world that can be distinquished. Whatever distinquish them must be comething, and thus, they are part of something, and not nothing. Whatever an empty world is, there cannot be more than one. Similar arguments can be used to distinquish an empty world


I don't even grant that the notion of an empty world is meaningful, let alone, logically possible. I can conceive of an empty drawer because I an conceive of a drawer without anything in it. But the drawer exists. But what would a world without anything be like? The world exists, but there is nothing in it. What does that mean? Like an empty circle? If, as you admit, there is no principle of individuation, or criterion of identity for empty worlds, it make no sense to talk of such a thing existing. "No entity, without identify" (Quine). How could it be logically impossible for there to be more that one of something? That makes no sense, either.
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 04:48 pm
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81140 wrote:
It means that i am postulating an empty world, and use the word "nothing" to refer to it. I could use the letter 'a' to denote an empty world. I think if you don` t know what an empty world is suppose to be, then you do not know.


An empty world has no basis beyond syntax. 'Nothing' meaning the absence of something, is only usable in syntax. I would go so far as to say 'nothing' represents a recursive syntactic limit: You remove every property that occurs to you to remove, but if you reach the limit, there is no picture of what you are talking about. The limit can never be reached with any coherency. If you have a mental picture of 'an empty world' then you necessarily do not have a world devoid of every possible aspect of being. If you concede that there is no factual picture behind the statement 'empty world' then you admit that it is purely syntactic and then 'nothing' is not a denotation but rather a negative statement akin to 'not' a fortiori.

Thus the 'empty world' in the Witgenstinian meaning, has no sense behind it. It denotes nothing. it is simply syntax and nothing else.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 05:38 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;81313 wrote:
An empty world has no basis beyond syntax. 'Nothing' meaning the absence of something, is only usable in syntax. I would go so far as to say 'nothing' represents a recursive syntactic limit: You remove every property that occurs to you to remove, but if you reach the limit, there is no picture of what you are talking about. The limit can never be reached with any coherency. If you have a mental picture of 'an empty world' then you necessarily do not have a world devoid of every possible aspect of being. If you concede that there is no factual picture behind the statement 'empty world' then you admit that it is purely syntactic and then 'nothing' is not a denotation but rather a negative statement akin to 'not' a fortiori.

Thus the 'empty world' in the Witgenstinian meaning, has no sense behind it. It denotes nothing. it is simply syntax and nothing else.



"Nothing" is not, of course, a statement, so it is not a negative statement. It is a logical operator, and it functions as does the negation sign in formal logic. For example, "nothing is in the drawer" is equivalent to, ~Ex (Dx). (It is not the case that something is in the drawer). And the term "nothing" has no more meaning than does "~". It is, as I said, a logical operator which changes truth values. (Do you find this effective?)
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 07:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81245 wrote:
I don't even grant that the notion of an empty world is meaningful, let alone, logically possible.


Why is it not meaningful?


Quote:
I can conceive of an empty drawer because I an conceive of a drawer without anything in it. But the drawer exists. But what would a world without anything be like?



It would be a world without the socks, the drawer, or anything you can name. Think of something, and the empty world lacks it.





Quote:

The world exists, but there is nothing in it. What does that mean?



Well, first of all you cannot imagine a world as a container, becasuse the empty world contains no backgorund space-time, or configuration space. An empty world don` t have anything.


Quote:
Like an empty circle?


No!. An empty world is not like anything.

Quote:


If, as you admit, there is no principle of individuation, or criterion of identity for empty worlds, it make no sense to talk of such a thing existing. "No entity, without identify" (Quine).


It does make sense to talk of the empty world( EW). The EW is a world that lacks anythng. If x is in EW, then it is not the case that there exist x in EW.





Quote:
How could it be logically impossible for there to be more that one of something?


Well, you are suppose the empty world is a "thing". A "thing" can be distinquished, but EW is not a "thing". It is a world. Anything that would distinquish itself from EW is a non-empty world.


Quote:

That makes no sense, either.


Like i said before. If you don ` t know what EW is suppose to be, then you don` t know. It is like a person asking what it is like to experience the sensation of pain. If this person had to ask, then he does not know.

---------- Post added 08-04-2009 at 08:30 PM ----------

Zetetic11235;81313 wrote:
An empty world has no basis beyond syntax. 'Nothing' meaning the absence of something, is only usable in syntax.

But for my purpose, i am saying 'nothing' refers to the empty world.

Quote:

If you have a mental picture of 'an empty world' then you necessarily do not have a world devoid of every possible aspect of being.


Well, i don` t even think you can "picture" an empty world.

Quote:
If you concede that there is no factual picture behind the statement 'empty world' then you admit that it is purely syntactic and then 'nothing' is not a denotation but rather a negative statement akin to 'not' a fortiori.


I don ` t know what is "factual picture".



Quote:
Thus the 'empty world' in the Witgenstinian meaning, has no sense behind it. It denotes nothing. it is simply syntax and nothing else.


I say this again. I use the name 'nothing' to refer to the empty world( EW). EW is a logical possibility, so EW is a possible world.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 06:01 am
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81348 wrote:
Why is it not meaningful?





It would be a world without the socks, the drawer, or anything you can name. Think of something, and the empty world lacks it.








Well, first of all you cannot imagine a world as a container, becasuse the empty world contains no backgorund space-time, or configuration space. An empty world don` t have anything.




No!. An empty world is not like anything.



It does make sense to talk of the empty world( EW). The EW is a world that lacks anythng. If x is in EW, then it is not the case that there exist x in EW.







Well, you are suppose the empty world is a "thing". A "thing" can be distinquished, but EW is not a "thing". It is a world. Anything that would distinquish itself from EW is a non-empty world.




Like i said before. If you don ` t know what EW is suppose to be, then you don` t know. It is like a person asking what it is like to experience the sensation of pain. If this person had to ask, then he does not know.

---------- Post added 08-04-2009 at 08:30 PM ----------


But for my purpose, i am saying 'nothing' refers to the empty world.



Well, i don` t even think you can "picture" an empty world.



I don ` t know what is "factual picture".





I say this again. I use the name 'nothing' to refer to the empty world( EW). EW is a logical possibility, so EW is a possible world.


You certainly can use the term, "empty world", and say "it isn't like anything", and insist "it is a meaningful term", but the burden of proof is on you, and you have done nothing but say the term is meaningful. But your insistence that it is meaningful is not only not a proof, it isn't even a reason for thinking the term is meaningful. And another insistence on your part that the term is meaningful will not be any better.
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 11:43 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81396 wrote:
You certainly can use the term, "empty world", and say "it isn't like anything", and insist "it is a meaningful term", but the burden of proof is on you, and you have done nothing but say the term is meaningful. But your insistence that it is meaningful is not only not a proof, it isn't even a reason for thinking the term is meaningful. And another insistence on your part that the term is meaningful will not be any better.




If you don` t mind me guessing how your thinking actually works. You are thinking the word 'nothing' is a logical constant, so it cannot have sense. Since sense determines reference, then it must not have any reference.
To be even more clear, the logical form of the word 'nothing' is the logical particle 'not'. It has no sense, and thus no reference. Since i am using 'nothing' to refer, then i must be wrong.

You are wrong. The symbols and marks on a piece of paper are meaningless. The strings has meaningful because people give it meaning by stipulation( sense, reference, or even logical constants). It is people engaging, interacting do words gain meaning by stipulation in the interaction. Now, i don` t want to say my view is correct, but your view cannot be correct at all. You view that words have a surface value meaning that is completely indepedent of the user of the language cannot be true. It is specially wrong to think the marks on a piece of paper ough to dictate how people ought to think.


Maybe you just don` t know. Like i said many times. If you ask me what the word 'pain' mean, then you don` t know what the word 'pain' mean. Maybe you don` t understand my stipulation because you don` t know. It is not unlike how a dog don `t understand general relativity. Maybe you just don` t understand certain concepts. This is also a consideration in our discussion. There might be something you truely cannot understand.
If i had stipulated the use of a word, and you ask me the meaning of this word, then you fail to understand the stipulation. Interest.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 12:56 pm
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81441 wrote:
If you don` t mind me guessing how your thinking actually works. You are thinking the word 'nothing' is a logical constant, so it cannot have sense. Since sense determines reference, then it must not have any reference.
To be even more clear, the logical form of the word 'nothing' is the logical particle 'not'. It has no sense, and thus no reference. Since i am using 'nothing' to refer, then i must be wrong.

You are wrong. The symbols and marks on a piece of paper are meaningless. The strings has meaningful because people give it meaning by stipulation( sense, reference, or even logical constants). It is people engaging, interacting do words gain meaning by stipulation in the interaction. Now, i don` t want to say my view is correct, but your view cannot be correct at all. You view that words have a surface value meaning that is completely indepedent of the user of the language cannot be true. It is specially wrong to think the marks on a piece of paper ough to dictate how people ought to think.


Maybe you just don` t know. Like i said many times. If you ask me what the word 'pain' mean, then you don` t know what the word 'pain' mean. Maybe you don` t understand my stipulation because you don` t know. It is not unlike how a dog don `t understand general relativity. Maybe you just don` t understand certain concepts. This is also a consideration in our discussion. There might be something you truely cannot understand.
If i had stipulated the use of a word, and you ask me the meaning of this word, then you fail to understand the stipulation. Interest.


But people do not stipulate the meaning of a word. They use the word in a particular way. And people do not use the term "nothing" as a name. They use it as a logical particle. When someone is asked whether it is safe to cross the street, or whether a car is coming, and he replies, "there is nothing coming", he is not saying that there is something coming, namely, nothing. He is saying that it is not the case that a car is coming. I suppose you can stipulate that the word, "nothing" means, "fried egg". But that doesn't mean that "nothing" means, "fried egg" in English. It is not up to you to stipulate what the meaning of a word will be. You have no such authority.
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:16 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81456 wrote:
But people do not stipulate the meaning of a word. They use the word in a particular way. And people do not use the term "nothing" as a name. They use it as a logical particle.



Well, i am stipulating the use of 'nothing' as a name that refers to the empty world for the benefit of the discussion. I can use the non illustrative name x to denote the empty world, but it would cause more confusion than good. If i am you, i would not waste my time thinking what people think in this or that situation, because it is not really a issue related to the philosophy of language.

Quote:
It is not up to you to stipulate what the meaning of a word will be. You have no such authority.


It is ridiculous at so many levels. Marks on a piece of paper do not have a surface meaning that dictate how people ought to think or use certain words. Words are commonly used in a uncommon way in the context of how people interact, and such stipulation of meaning is not at all uncommon. I see quite often that defintions of common words is used in different ways in different academic subjects, and even in popular usage. To understand the meaning of a word, you have to look at the context of how it is used by the specker. A engineer might use a common word that a physicist use, but there meaning could be entire different.
When i tell you how the word 'nothing' is used by stipulation, and you tell me you do not know the word 'nothing', then you have fail to understand the the meaning of 'nothing'. If i stipulate the word 'dog' means fired eggs in the discussion, and you tell me you don` t know what 'dog' means, then you have fail to understand the meaning of 'dog'. It like i tell you what something mean, and you fail to understand what something mean right after i told you what that something mean! I see this as your failure to understand a concept right after i tell you the concept.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:28 pm
@vectorcube,
vectorcube;81470 wrote:
Well, i am stipulating the use of 'nothing' as a name that refers to the empty world for the benefit of the discussion. I can use the non illustrative name x to denote the empty world, but it would cause more confusion than good. If i am you, i would not waste my time thinking what people think in this or that situation, because it is not really a issue related to the philosophy of language.



It is ridiculous at so many levels. Marks on a piece of paper do not have a surface meaning that dictate how people ought to think or use certain words. Words are commonly used in a uncommon way in the context of how people interact, and such stipulation of meaning is not at all uncommon. I see quite often that defintions of common words is used in different ways in different academic subjects, and even in popular usage. To understand the meaning of a word, you have to look at the context of how it is used by the specker. A engineer might use a common word that a physicist use, but there meaning could be entire different.
When i tell you how the word 'nothing' is used by stipulation, and you tell me you do not know the word 'nothing', then you have fail to understand the the meaning of 'nothing'. If i stipulate the word 'dog' means fired eggs in the discussion, and you tell me you don` t know what 'dog' means, then you have fail to understand the meaning of 'dog'. It like i tell you what something mean, and you fail to understand what something mean right after i told you what that something mean! I see this as your failure to understand a concept right after i tell you the concept.


As I have explained to you, I have no idea what the phrase, "empty world" means.
 
vectorcube
 
Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 05:08 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;81472 wrote:
As I have explained to you, I have no idea what the phrase, "empty world" means.



As i have said before. If some one ask me what the sensation of pain is, or how to define pain, then they fail to understand pain. It is no different than a dog that fails to understand general relativity. If you fail to understant what EW is, then you fail to understand.
 
 

 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 08/14/2020 at 08:22:10