Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does existence exist?

  1. Mar 28, 2006 #1
    When nothing exists, nothingness exists. (Because I'm alive and we use words.)

    If so, existence exists.

    Is there a state where existence doesn't exist?

    Is there a state where nothingness doesn't exist?

    When I die, will nothingness continue to exist?

    When I die, will existence continue to exist?

    Vaccum isn't nothingness. There's energy in timespace.

    Energy is something that seems to exist AND that which seems not to exist.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2006 #2
    When there's nothing in space, there's vaccum.

    When there's nothing in time, there's what?
  4. Mar 28, 2006 #3
    No, it doesn't exist. It just has the potential to not exist.

    Yes. Our universe

    To who's perspective? If you die and I'm still alive, I will still feel as nothingness does not exist. Noone can answer what you will feel about the subject when you die.

    Yes, until the universe (or all universes) cease(s) to exist.

    Energy can change states and only seems like it doesn't exist. The potential is always existing.
  5. Apr 3, 2006 #4

    What is potential anyway?
  6. Apr 3, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    No, you're just imagining all this.

    Now - wake up! :biggrin:
  7. Apr 3, 2006 #6
    :smile: I thought I'd have a little fun, since it was in GD.
  8. Apr 3, 2006 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I was having fun too - but I am not nearly as creative or elaborate. :rolleyes: :biggrin:
  9. Apr 3, 2006 #8
    I think; therefore, I am -Descartes
  10. Apr 3, 2006 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    -Descartes, I thought you were Cyrus, or is my thinking incorrect?
  11. Apr 3, 2006 #10
    you seem so to me:rolleyes: :biggrin:

    maybe not as devious:devil: :rofl:
  12. Apr 3, 2006 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Pure being is the complete abstraction from determinate being.
    By being just an abstraction, pure being is, in fact, nothing. :smile:
  13. Apr 3, 2006 #12
    Which is me!!!! :biggrin:
  14. Apr 3, 2006 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Easy for you to say. :biggrin:
  15. Apr 3, 2006 #14
    I add my voice to his, which is paradoxical as it were, since I should be nothing. I am pure being, a complete abstraction, but the paradox arises since the abstraction must have a thought to make it abstract. In this way I am a pure being, but one that could never exist on its own without something to create me. In my case it was the wonderful people here who made me, and spun this circular paradox of my existent nothingness.
  16. Apr 3, 2006 #15
    This is why I hate Philosophers
  17. Apr 3, 2006 #16
    I love these conversations.

    Your original question is very instructive. Please elaborate what you mean.

    My problem is when you use the word exist in two different ways; 1. as a noun, and 2. as an adjective.

    You are using two different meanings of the same word. We all know that words have many different meanings.

    here are some other things to consider:

    when/how does something exist?
    physically, you must define some sort of boundry conditions like a timespan and a volume of space, if the thing you are looking for is inside this "frame" that you are viewing, then it exists there.
    When you ask if something exists without being more specific, there is no way to answer the question.

    non-physically, the language you use is recursively defined; what is the definition of a word but other words? Most words have some sort of physical connotation, but what a word "points" to can also be described with other words. People can argue that nothing physical can be fully defined with words, and I personally am in that boat. I could argue that it would take an infinate ammount of words to define one thing physically.

    So, without the context of the physical world, no boundry conditions are needed, and the language we use to communicate ideas is recursively defined, so we're dealing with an unbounded problem. In other words, there are an infinate ammount of solutions. You have picked one particular solution to the problem "does existence exist?" out of an infinate ammount. Another solution is the contrapositive of your solution, and you have a paradox between the two. People may wonder how can two contradictory solutions both be correct? but they are, similarly, they are both wrong. There are an infinate number of paradoxical viewpoints, each of which can be argued ad infinitum.
  18. Apr 3, 2006 #17
    I'm not so much a great thinker but I'll try to have a discussion anyway. I enjoy talking about such things though of being as dumb as rock.

    I truly have no words to explain my thoughts on this. Nothing doesn't exist, there is simply nothing. The apple I'm holding right now doesn't exist, but nothingness doesn't exist either. We say something exists if it is, but if there is none, it doesn't exist either. :uhh: For example objects exist because we may proove their existence, we see them and we may feel them. But these objects since they cannot think nor have senses, they do not exist for themselves. They exist but at the same time they don't exist. Something doesn't exist in true sense if there is nothing to proove their existence. They don't exist nor nothingness doesn't exist also. For example you can distinguish between good and bad because you know which one is which one. You have something to campare and then draw a conclusion whether this act is 'good' or 'bad'. But what if this universe is the only one, and suppose it doesn't exist. Then there is simply nothing - no time - no matter - no space. Not a single atom of you exists so there is no person to proove existence. Nor there is anything to compare with therefore nothingness doesn't exist (since you don't know what it is) nor matter doesn't exist nor time and etc :biggrin:

    I think such a state is when you have no brain, and senses. For yourself you do not exist but there is something to proove your passive existence outside. Like in case of us and a rock for example.

    I think it is when there is also not a single thing that exists, like in above example if universe doesn't exist with all the time and matter, nothingness also doesn't exist. Nothingness is said upon whether it's here in this universe or it is not, but when the universe doesn't exist, nothingness also doesn't exist.

    If you really have a soul which will keep all the senses of normal human, nothingness in sense of "is it here or not?" will continue to exist I think.

    On the other hand if you don't have soul, existence will not exist for you anymore, just like in above example with rock. Existence will continue for others - living though.

    I also think that real vacuums aren't possible since you are enclosing nothingness in something. THerefore in this case nothingness exists. However as far as I predict, time will continue inside the vacuum, and some single particles of elecrons will still be in the vacuum. What does the energy come from?

    Sorry for being so dumb. First person to get a head ache of my response wins a chocolate.
  19. Apr 3, 2006 #18
    Let me speak from experience: you are confusing several different things, and labeling them incorectly. Nothing, i.e. no space, no time, no dimensions of any kind, can never be perceived, becuase if it did then it would have a volume. If it did then it would have a size and hence not be absolute nothing. Also, this makes every nothing infinite, since it cannot be finite.
    As to whether it existing negates its nothingness, that is not true. Existence is not a thing, it is a label placed on something. Unlike size which has a measurable meter, existence is mearly a label. Existence itself is inherently nothing in and of itself, its quality of being is only there when used by a being that has existence already, so for nothing to have the quality of existence does not negate its nothingness.
  20. Apr 3, 2006 #19


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    franzbear!! Stop trying to make sense and get back to the TKC thread! :mad: :grumpy: Spoilsport. :tongue:
  21. Apr 3, 2006 #20
    Good thoughts. Cheers everyone.

    Here's another similar question:

    Does a guitar make a sound?

    A guitar is composed of stretched strings over a sounding board.

    These strings will occilate at frequencies specific to the mass per unit length of the string, the length of the string, and the tension in each string.

    A sound is merely just a vibration of air molecules.

    Therefore, since these strings occilate at steady frequencies, they will vibrate the air molecules nearby, hence a guitar makes sound.

    on the other hand, if a guitar isn't being played by someone, it won't make a sound.

    Therefore, a guitar won't make a sound.

    So now we can combine these two independant solutions to the problem and make a more accurate answer:

    a guitar won't make a sound when it isn't being played, and it will when someone is playing it.

    However; Since sound is simply a regular vibration of air molecules, and since the guitar isn't at absolute zero, it's molecules are vibrating, so some frequencies will resonate within the strings and within the guitar as a whole just based on it's shape and moment of inertia.

    So, as long as the guitar isn't at absolute zero, there will be regular occilations resonating from it wether it is being played by someone or not.

    now we can incorporate this solution with the other two to explain it even more accurately, but I assure you that there are many more things to consider, possibly an infinate number, because we still haven't fully defined the difference between a sound and a noise. I've used the word "regular" to distinguish the subtlty so far, but then we can ask what "regular" means, and we can get into the idea of limit cycles and so on and so forth...

    my point is, this is all semantics. We can delve as deep as we want into the meanings of the things we are familiar with, and how they relate with each other, and we can completely confuse ourselves. Why don't we just be nice to ourselves?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Does existence exist Date
Does a word like prepone Exist? Apr 2, 2016
Does consciousness exist? Jan 12, 2015
The five-second rule DOES exist! Mar 11, 2014
Does meatless chicken exist Aug 27, 2013
Does the present/now exist? May 17, 2013