It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. It is not merely a name for a certain relation. Just some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically doesn't know a thing about what is outside the universe. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing? In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?. Then the retort to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is ‘There is no alternative to there being something!’. Russell’s point was not that humans hadn’t yet explained why there is something rather than nothing but that there is no possible explanation. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. Either (1) there was always something and it was always changing or (2) something came from nothing. Even if the universe were eternal, we would still want to know why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing at all. Nothing did not obtain. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. But what do I know? And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something. 1 2 21. comments. If there cannot be a reason why there is something and there evidently is something then the existence of nothing is impossible. Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. Nothing is nothing fun. Here’s my view. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. Try again. But, I suggest that this situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity. Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. Thus the problem is solved. And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? Because we can see that “something” is here now, the only possible choice then is that “nothing” and “something” are one and the same thing. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? That is, it is a "something". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Universe_from_Nothing, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. KKrauss. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. There have been many arguments for the existence of God. However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). "Why is there something rather than nothing?" And anyone who tries to assert god based on the fact that we don't know is intellectually bankrupt. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. Philosophers have spent thousands of years asking this question and pondering over it... And OP wants it answered now in this thread! The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. There is Something. Look, I'm sorry but we're completely out of nothing. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. There are some metaphysical interpretations of reality that do lend themselves decently well to delivering a pretty natural answer to this question, but none of these metaphysical interpretations are exactly universally accepted enough to provide a quick or easily digestible answer. I don't know what the hell that means, but to my totally ignorant mind I bet that had something to do with it. This question of origins—both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics—raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here? Of course, this in no way lends credibility to deity mythologies. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? The conti… "Something” has always been here. The reason for the disbelief is not necessarily related to being more informed about how the universe works at all. Why is there something rather than nothing? There is Something. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. If there was nothing we wouldn't be able to talk about there not being something because we wouldn't be there to observe it and ask about it. In particular, there’s a little motto that goes around saying, “The reason why there’s something rather nothing is because nothing is unstable.” And this has something to … And when we understand why, we will also see that the question whether God exists is in no way eclipsed by the question why there is something rather than nothing”on the contrary, the existence of God, as classical theism understands God , is (so the classical theist would argue) the only possible answer in principle to that question. This is plain because a non entity cannot act. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. But I am the only one to think that this is a nonsensical question? is based on a flawed assumption. One argument supporting this is as follows.Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" More posts from the TrueAtheism community. Why is there something rather than nothing? It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. This question takes the cake. Maybe our "something" IS, in fact, nothing? : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers I've a master's degree in which various courses included science and philosophy. – John Horgan, Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Science Will Never Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing, Scientific American, April 23, 2012. Press J to jump to the feed. It's okay to do this; our talking about it won't affect whether or not "nothing" itself, and not our mind's conception of "nothing", exists. 2.) Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. Why is there something rather than nothing? It amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and then find ways to look for answers. If that which does not exist can be a cause, then nothing can produce something, which is a contradiction. If you don't get dizzy, you really don't get it. I believe (1) is true. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. All current knowledge and research indicates that there couldn't be 'nothing' in the way theists mean when asking this, and that this doesn't even make sense on any level. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- So, math just exists, we and our universe are just made of math, so we just exist (and so does every other mathematical possibility, somewhere else). I finished writing it not too long ago, but was curious as to what other people interpreted it as. It's very easy to confuse the mind's conception of "non-existence" with "non-existence" itself, in which neither the mind nor anything else is present. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. It also ignores the fact that in order to even discuss the topic, we have have to talk about "nothing" as if it's a thing. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. I'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" However, because the contingency argument is less well known and more complex, it ends up being treated like the middle child, the one everyone forgets about but who is just as special as the others. Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing The most precious substance in our universe is not gold, nor oil. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? It’s antimatter. Was the entire existence absent at some point in the past? Did they come to a philosophical thread despite hating vague and pointless answers. It is a real entity, a substance. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. Zero is the most powerful something in the list of non-nothings. Traditionally, when we imagine getting rid of all existent entities including matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all, we think what is left is the lack of all existent entities, or "nothing". How does nothing know it isn't something? hide. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. Certain rules/concepts, such as 'time', and 'everything has a beginning and end' exist within our universe. Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it’s impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence. (Roughly, a proposition is epistemically possible if it is consistent with everything that is known.) Why is there something rather than nothing? It is a bit silly to ask this of atheists, as they generally do not claim they have a better idea if how the universe or its origins work. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] It is the case that there is a world. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] This is logically required if we go with choice B. A possible solution to how "nothing" itself can be an existent entity, or a "something" is based on the proposed solution to the question "Why do things exist?" • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. But why? Completely empty space has weight. 27. If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. Why Something Rather than Nothing? It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. Like asking, "What's north of the north pole?" : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers [Kolakowski, Leszek] on Amazon.com. One reason atheists attack the Kalaam argument is because it’s well known and easy to formulate. We are one occurrence of the infinite possible existences. report. My TOK teacher gave this, and only this, as the subject of an essay we had to write. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. Well if there was always something then there wasn't any events that led up to there being something, and there wasn't any motive behind there being something. Archived. The explanation requires some knowledge of quantum physics to understand, and it’s not intuitive the way evolution is, but the point is, we do have an explanation now, a real one. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. What can science contribute? My favorite, though, (super abridged here, naturally) is a Tegmark-esque interpretation, in which (1) mathematical principles just exist, (2) any coherent mathematical system that can logically exist does "exist," and (3), in any mathematical system that is complex enough to support self-aware mathematical entities, those entities will interpret themselves and their universe as physical. I simply cannot conceptualize "nothing", no matter how hard I try. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Because our minds exist, our mind's conception of "non-existence" is dependent on existence; that is, we must define "non-existence" as the lack of existence (this is why, to the mind, non-existence just looks like nothing at all). From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. It's irrelevant anyway. Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. So if it happened then I have no clue about anything. There is Something. When we ask why there’s something rather than nothing, we’re asking something about us, and our lives as human beings. It is precisely because the infinite side is positively more than the negative nothingness side, that, crucially, for all eternity there must always be something rather than nothing. Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. We’ve already seen that science is grounded in the idea that whatever exists has a reason outside of itself to explain its existence. We don't know, and anyone says otherwise is a liar. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. It just doesn't make sense. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all "Why" refers to either "what events lead up to.." or "what was the reason/motive behind...". share. Why hasn't Nothing obtained? ‘There might be nothing’ is false when read epistemically. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? Bede Rundle, Why there is Something rather than Nothing, Oxford University Press, 2004, 204 pp, $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199270503. Interestingly, these authors propose s And, since anything could exist, everything DOES exist. are: Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. Why is there something rather than nothing? Posted by 2 years ago. Or does it extend towards past infinity? Why there is something rather than nothing seems less fundamental to me, than asking why are we aware of the universe at all. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. ", or, "why there is something rather than nothing" has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger – who called it "the fundamental question of metaphysics". 0. It's literally the best we can do. save. I'm having trouble finding it in his works. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing? Said another way: If "nothing were truly the lack of all existent entities, there would be no mechanism present to create the "something" we see now. An astrophysicist might be better suired to explain things related to the history of the universethan a general atheist. The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? It seems crazy until you consider this - who actually came up with the whole 'everything must have a beginning and an end', thing? *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Since metaphysics is the study of what exists, one might expect metaphysicians to have little to say about the limit case in which nothing exists. God also doesn’t solve the problem. But why? Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. I agree and propose the following. In this case your question doesn't make sense. Therefore this is rather an ill-formed question. It has real existence. Press J to jump to the feed. and is described below. In this "absolute nothing”, there would be no mechanism present to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. This question, usually thought to fall strictly within the purview of philosophy and theology, has recently received attention in the world of popular science thanks to books by Stephen Hawking and Lawrence M. … Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . I'm just saying it doesn't make any logical sense. You won't confuse me with that. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. You hear this question a lot in debates about atheism. Others (1) have suggested that the seeming insolubility of the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. 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