## Ultimate question: Why anything at all?

 Quote by Diffy This probability argument bugs me. There are only an infinite number of choices for reality because there is something versus nothing. So why is it not a 50/50 chance of having something versus having nothing. Why is it that we should include all the possibilities of what reality could be. And who is to say what is not reality is something that could be (or could have been) reality. There is certainly no evidence.
Here is a question for you: if you haven't observed something yourself, does that mean it doesn't exist?

Recognitions:
Gold Member
 Quote by Diffy This probability argument bugs me. There are only an infinite number of choices for reality because there is something versus nothing. So why is it not a 50/50 chance of having something versus having nothing. Why is it that we should include all the possibilities of what reality could be. And who is to say what is not reality is something that could be (or could have been) reality. There is certainly no evidence.
You might want to look at post 180. The authors in those links make the same point you are arguing for, I think. From one of the links in post 180:
 When you win the lottery ticket it may be reasonable to infer that other people bought a ticket but, in any case, the very idea of winning a lottery presupposes that other tickets exist and that the winning ticket has been drawn more or less randomly from the collection of tickets. By contrast, our universe being the way it is (“winning the lottery”) does not presuppose that other universes (with different properties) exist-our evidence is simply neutral in this respect. Furthermore, we have no a priori right to presuppose that the values of the parameters characterizing our universe are bestowed on it by some random process-and so no right to presuppose a probability distribution (uniform or otherwise) of the outcomes. Therefore, a judgment of what is natural to infer from our universe being as it is (with us in it) hangs in the air.

 Quote by chiro Here is a question for you: if you haven't observed something yourself, does that mean it doesn't exist?
Of course not. But follow my logic here.

If no one has seen something does that mean it doesn't exist?

Of course not, it just means that there isn't a lot of evidence for it existing, is there?

Take any point in history. Moon Landing.

Is it possible that the shuttle carrying them could have crashed?

Yes. We know it is possible because we have observed other shuttle's crash.

Is there a possible reality where the first voyage to the moon with N. Armstrong, crashed?

Yes.

Has anyone observed a reality where this is the case?

No.

So is there strong evidence that this reality exists?

No.

So if there is no strong evidence that all these other realities exist, are we not just looking at the possibility of our reality existing versus nothing?

In my opinion there is just as much evidence supporting the idea that if "reality happens" (whatever the hell that means) that it can only happen in ONE possible way. And it is the way we are experience our world, right now. As there is evidence that reality could happen in any other possible way, where we are all fish, or where the earth is a cube, or where Gandhi invented the Apple computer.

I'm not an expert, nor have I studied philosophy so forgive me if I make no sense.
 I'm not really saying this from a philosophic view per se (although I'm sure these concepts are in philosophy and are in debate). All I'm saying is that what we observe is somewhat very narrow when you consider what is to be observed out there if you look at the universe as a whole and consider how much we have not observed not necessarily even through "time" as it were, but also through space. There is a lot of evidence for patterns in a wide variety of contexts that include the major sciences like biology, chemistry, physics, psychology and the like so the ideas of absolutely anything happening whenever it wants has evidence against that. However with that being said, it is important to realize that what we observe is just an absolutely tiny and dare I say, almost insignificant part of what is out there waiting to be observed. A simple mathematical description of this is to consider the subset of all observations that correspond to our own (call it A) where A is a proper subset of U. If we forget this, we are likely to draw inferences on U only with A in such a strong way that we conclude that A represents U more than it should. The best way IMO to handle something like this, is just to remember that when we are doing inferencing in any general situation we have two errors. The first error is that we make a positive inference given that the result is negative and the second is that we make a negative inference given that the result is positive. When you initially accept that A is a rather small subset of U, then the consideration of the above errors is a lot easier and one can then work backwards from being "super pessimistic" to "more optimistic" as new stuff comes in to make the picture that little bit clearer. It's not that we know nothing absolutely, but that we don't know that much relatively but then again organized knowledge discovery as we know it for our current period of time is not that long.

 Quote by Evo This is the kind of question that makes me bang my head on my desk. Why do people spend time on such useless questions? Oh, I know, philosophy asks the questions that don't need to be asked. Carry on.
I'm OK with whatever inspires people to think.

 Quote by FreeMitya I'm OK with whatever inspires people to think.
Ditto.

 Quote by Alcatrace IV That doesn't explain why things in the ; it merely hints at the nature of interpretive perception You're reducing the problem from that of the physical to that of the mental and . however, the problem of existence is indifferent to that dichotomy; the phantasms of our haunting have not yet left us in rest. If everything is good, why does good exist? If is only mind, how come the mind exists? Surely, reasoning is not necessary of - otherwise, could simply be factored into nothing but the rational in itself and that is certainly untrue

well said !

Recognitions:
Gold Member
This was another interesting argument by this author. He considers 3 possible universe views:

1. Null Possibility
2. All Worlds Hypothesis (e.g. Multiverse)
3. One particular universe

He then argues that option 1 seems less puzzling than option 2 which is less puzzling than option 3:
 If all these worlds exist, we can ask why they do. But, compared with most other cosmic possibilities, the All Worlds Hypothesis may leave less that is unexplained. For example, whatever the number of possible worlds that exist, we have the question, ‘Why that number?’ That question would have been least puzzling if the number that existed were none, and the next least arbitrary possibility seems to be that all these worlds exist. With every other cosmic possibility, we have a further question. If ours is the only world, we can ask: ‘Out of all the possible local worlds, why is this the one that exists?’ On any version of the Many Worlds Hypothesis, we have a similar question: ‘Why do just these worlds exist, with these elements and laws?’ But, if all these worlds exist, there is no such further question... Though the All Worlds Hypothesis avoids certain questions, it is not as simple, or unarbitrary, as the Null Possibility...Of all the cosmic possibilities, the Null Possibility would have needed the least explanation. As Leibniz pointed out, it is much the simplest, and the least arbitrary. And it is the easiest to understand. It can seem mysterious, for example, how things could exist without their existence having some cause, but there cannot be a causal explanation of why the whole Universe, or God, exists. The Null Possibility raises no such problem. If nothing had ever existed, that state of affairs would not have needed to be caused.
Why Anything? Why This?