# Everything came from Nothing

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#### Eyesee

Originally posted by Mentat
If you knew Quantum Mechanics, you'd realize that it doesn't require "magic" to create a universe from nothing. Do you know what the net energy of the universe is? It's zero. Every bit of matter is equal to a certain amount of positive energy, but gravity (which is produced by all matter) has negative energy. Conclusion: The negative energy of the gravitational field - produced by all objects - cancels out the positive energy - produced by all objects. Thus, it takes exactly 0 energy, to make a universe.

Also, Eyesee, your use of the word "nothing" was the real problem, but as you seem to have abandoned the use of this word (and have instead taken the word "magic"), I don't see any need for me to explain the flaw to you. If you want to (and are open-minded enough), check out the aforementioned thread (Exercise in Nothing Semantics).
Well, I think that is just a play on the term "0 energy". "0 energy" in this context is not truly a lack of energy but a composite of negative and positive energy.

This is still a logical model for existence, which ultimately leads to infinite regression. If you don't believe me, just keep asking "where does that come from" out of every "fundamental" something you discover.

I'm not saying that an infinitely regressive logical universe isn't possible, just that in such, the question of existence is futile and unprovable since one can never count to infinity.

The only way to resolve the question of existence is through a break in logic. Magic. Well, I guess some would say here that magic itself is futile and unprovable. My answer to this would be that the fact that something exist proves that it came to existence. And the only way to come into existence from a true void is by magic.

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#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by wuliheron
Yeah, magic and the supernatural are not rational concepts. So what.
?

Originally posted by wuliheron
Existence is demonstrably irrational because every explanation put forth for it is irrational.
So you say, but I couldn't disagree more. One can always find ways to say there isn't anything which is true, real, rational . . . but then nothing has any meaning whatsoever. We've assigned meanings to terms and experiences in order to communicate about them the best we can. If one understands that terms and descriptions only represent reality, and are not themselves actual reality, then it is perfectly fine to discuss things and and expect rationality. For the most part, I believe it is a waste of time to incessantly cast doubt on the relationship between mental images and reality, unless someone in a communication interaction seems utterly blind to that.

Originally posted by wuliheron
YEven your idea of "potential" existing before existence is circular logic, self-referential and self-contradictory paradox. At least in calling it magical it goes directly to the point and doesn't obfiscate and pretend to be rational. :0)
I have this friend who is well educated in history, but knows virtually nothing about human psychology. To him, every problem a man has stems from either having a short man syndrome, or being a republican (or both). Similarly, it seems that every problem you find with others' points is that they don't properly understand paradox, and their logic is "circular, self-referential and/or self-contradictory."

If your statement above is a serious statement, I would love to hear you defend that. Exactly how is it "circular" to make the simple observation that all which exists (and I should add "in time and space") must have been preceded by the potential to exist? I mean, where in my statement have I merely repeated my argument, or assumed the conclusion that is to be proven?

How is it self referential? For that I would have to say something like, "all generalizations are false." Where do you see that?

And really Wuli, how is it self-contradictory? Demostrate precisely where/how my logical linking of prior potential to the existence of thing is contradictory. In fact, demostrate how one can possibly get around that principle.

#### Mentat

Originally posted by wuliheron
Yeah, magic and the supernatural are not rational concepts. So what. Existence is demonstrably irrational because every explanation put forth for it is irrational. Even your idea of "potential" existing before existence is circular logic, self-referential and self-contradictory paradox. At least in calling it magical it goes directly to the point and doesn't obfiscate and pretend to be rational. :0)
Wu Li, when are you going to realize that just because all efforts to describe somthing have failed, it doesn't mean that the thing they are trying to describe is indescribable. That is the most closed-minded stance that it is possible to take. And open-minded person would realize that all it proves - to not have succeeded at describing something - is that you have not succeeded at describing something. And optimist would even go so far as to say that it means we must be closer to the answer, because trial-and-error dictates that the more times you fail, the more likely you are to find the answer.

I'm not asking you to be optimistic, merely open-minded.

#### Mentat

Originally posted by Eyesee
Well, I think that is just a play on the term "0 energy". "0 energy" in this context is not truly a lack of energy but a composite of negative and positive energy.

This is still a logical model for existence, which ultimately leads to infinite regression. If you don't believe me, just keep asking "where does that come from" out of every "fundamental" something you discover.

I'm not saying that an infinitely regressive logical universe isn't possible, just that in such, the question of existence is futile and unprovable since one can never count to infinity.

The only way to resolve the question of existence is through a break in logic. Magic. Well, I guess some would say here that magic itself is futile and unprovable. My answer to this would be that the fact that something exist proves that it came to existence. And the only way to come into existence from a true void is by magic.
A "true void" exists, I can still ask where it came from. I don't think that Magic is any better an explanation then infinite regression. In fact, I don't think that either suffices, and I'll stick with BB theory.

#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by Mentat
If you knew Quantum Mechanics, you'd realize that it doesn't require "magic" to create a universe from nothing. Do you know what the net energy of the universe is? It's zero. Every bit of matter is equal to a certain amount of positive energy, but gravity (which is produced by all matter) has negative energy. Conclusion: The negative energy of the gravitational field - produced by all objects - cancels out the positive energy - produced by all objects. Thus, it takes exactly 0 energy, to make a universe.
I wouldn't think you would buy that science mumbo jumbo so trustingly. It is just the desparate interpretation of those who know there is still no viable explanation for the origin of the universe's energy. It is merely one way to interpret that zero, and in no way already accepted as true. Besides, it only applies locally; how does it explain that the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is believed to be increasing? Plus, what about dark energy? That zero could very well represent entirely as yet unrecognized dynamics.

#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by Eyesee
[BAny logical model of the universe leads to infinite regression; the only way out of this infinte regression and thus resolving the question of existence is through a break in cause and effect- by magic. [/B]
Well, you've not explained why we must have infinite regression. What if, as I said before, there is some most fundamental uncreated, eternally-existiing "stuff" of which all things are a form of? Then "things" only regress back to that base state as the lose the temporary form they've taken.

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#### Eyesee

Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Well, you've not explained why we must have infinite regression. What if, as I said before, there is some most fundamental uncreated, eternally-existiing "stuff" of which all things are a form of? Then "things" only regress back to that base state as the lose the temporary form they've taken.
But I can always ask "where does that 'stuff' come from?" So if you stipulate that this "stuff" has the quality of not being caused, then this itself is a break in cause and effect. So, whether it's by magic or by imposing an eternal primal "stuff", you are breaking the infinitely regressing cause-effect chain by assuming something irrational- something that had no cause.

I just think "magic" is an even more "basic" explanation than a "fundamental uncreated, eternally-existing 'stuff'". What comes before nothing? Nothing. So, I choose that as my starting point.

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#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by Eyesee
But I can always ask "where does that 'stuff'" come from? So if you impose that this "stuff" has the quality of not being caused, then this itself is a break in cause and effect. So, whether it's by magic or imposing an eternal primal "stuff", you are breaking the
cause-effect chain. I just think "magic" is a more elemental explanation than a "fundamental uncreated, eternally-existing 'stuff'". What comes before nothing? Nothing. So, I choose that as my starting point.
Yes, with the uncreated "stuff" you break the cause-effect chain. I thought that was what you were looking for.

Magic has been proven to be a mere illusion. What in reality has ever demonstrated it can get around the rules of reality, and therefore give you hope that actual magic (i.e., not just an illlusion) can really occur?

Finally, again I must fault your concept of nothing because that "nothing" must contain the potential for the universe, life and consciousness since we now exist. It is not "nothing" if it contains so much potential.

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#### Eyesee

Originally posted by LW Sleeth
Yes, with the uncreated "stuff" you break the cause-effect chain. I thought that was what you were looking for.

Magic has been proven to be a mere illusion. What in reality has ever demonstrated it can get around the rules of reality, and therefore give you hope that actual magic (i.e., not just an illlusion) can really occur?

Finally, again I must fault your concept of nothing because that "nothing" must contain the potential for the universe, life and consciousness since we now exist. It is not "nothing" if it contains so much potential.

Well, if there was no energy, no matter, and no space, wouldn't that be an appropriate definition for "nothing"? Under this definition of nothing, there is "potential" for something to exist, but this "potential" is not matter, energy, or space- so it is something irrational.

I'm not really disagreeing with your idea, merely pointing out that to break the infinite regression, one must break the logic. That is, we must start off with an irrational assumption. Magic or potential- they are both irrational since they do not obey the causal principle.

#### wuliheron

Well, you've not explained why we must have infinite regression. What if, as I said before, there is some most fundamental uncreated, eternally-existiing "stuff" of which all things are a form of? Then "things" only regress back to that base state as the lose the temporary form they've taken.
What you are essentially asking here is what if.... there were some magical substance..... Stuff which has no origin or cause.....

In other words, back to the same issue again. I know the idea of "stuff" of some sort seems more reasonable maybe than some sort of magical "energy" or whatever, but bottom line it is not. At least, not by any logic I'm aware of.

Wu Li, when are you going to realize that just because all efforts to describe somthing have failed, it doesn't mean that the thing they are trying to describe is indescribable. That is the most closed-minded stance that it is possible to take. And open-minded person would realize that all it proves - to not have succeeded at describing something - is that you have not succeeded at describing something. And optimist would even go so far as to say that it means we must be closer to the answer, because trial-and-error dictates that the more times you fail, the more likely you are to find the answer.
When are you going to realize that a demonstrably irrational and possibly magical universe does not mean it can be described.

The only way to resolve the question of existence is through a break in logic. Magic. Well, I guess some would say here that magic itself is futile and unprovable. My answer to this would be that the fact that something exist proves that it came to existence. And the only way to come into existence from a true void is by magic.
Sorry, but insisting magic is a resolution to the situation is like insisting dill pickles explain the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Existence is demonstrably paradoxical, that is, it apparently does not make rational sense. It may be then that if it does make rational sense, either it is beyond the human capicity to comprehend or it is ineffable.

That being the case, it may also be that logic is just inappropriate to use in certain contexts such as existence itself. This does not, however, rule out our emotional connection to life, the universe, and everything.

#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by Eyesee
Well, if there was no energy, no matter, and no space, wouldn't that be an appropriate definition for "nothing"? Under this definition of nothing, there is "potential" for something to exist, but this "potential" is not matter, energy, or space- so it is something irrational.

I'm not really disagreeing with your idea, merely pointing out that to break the infinite regression, one must break the logic. That is, we must start off with an irrational assumption. Magic or potential- they are both irrational since they do not obey the causal principle.
I think I am starting to see what you mean. Sometimes how we each interpret words can be quite different even if we agree on the overall meaning.

But to answer your question, "if there was no energy, no matter, and no space, wouldn't that be an appropriate definition for 'nothing'?", First, remember that I asked you up front if you meant by "nothing" if it was just the absense of "form" or a complete and total void.

If there is something other than energy, matter and space -- something that is not detected by our sensing machinery -- then no, your concept would not fit that of "nothing." In fact, if this absolute "stuff" is the essence of all that exists, then there is actually no way for "nothing" to exist.

As to your point that a break in the logic of infinite cause and effect is irrational, I would say that it is only irrational to those who insist that every effect must have a cause. That does not mean that the theory of an uncreated potential doesn't make sense . . . you understand the concept don't you?

Magic, however, is another subject. So far, everything that initially seemed "magical" has been found to make sense when more facts were discovered. Based on that experience, we might surmise that although existence is difficult to understand with the information we have, the ultimate basis/origin of of existence will make sense when/if we ever get enough information about how existence works.

#### Mentat

Originally posted by LW Sleeth
I wouldn't think you would buy that science mumbo jumbo so trustingly. It is just the desparate interpretation of those who know there is still no viable explanation for the origin of the universe's energy. It is merely one way to interpret that zero, and in no way already accepted as true. Besides, it only applies locally; how does it explain that the universe is expanding, and the rate of expansion is believed to be increasing? Plus, what about dark energy? That zero could very well represent entirely as yet unrecognized dynamics.
LW Sleeth, It isn't mumbo jumbo, it's Quantum Uncertainty. You see, nothing is ever perfectly definable, so from a state of absolutely no existence could pop up an entire universe. All that this "0" argument proves is that the very "energy" didn't have to come from energy, but could have just come about.

Anyway, it's not my idea, it just seemed pertinent to the discussion.

#### Mentat

Originally posted by Eyesee
Well, if there was no energy, no matter, and no space, wouldn't that be an appropriate definition for "nothing"?
You say "if there was". That implies time, there can also be no time (as time is something), in your supposed "nothing". This is a key point, because to imply that there was a thing called "nothing" that existed before "everything" is to imply that "nothing" exists on the T dimension, and this is contradictory.

I'm not really disagreeing with your idea, merely pointing out that to break the infinite regression, one must break the logic.
Not necessarily. One must break the cause-and-effect chain, yes. But not logic. An existence that had no creator/cause can be logical.

#### Les Sleeth

Gold Member
Originally posted by Mentat
LW Sleeth, It isn't mumbo jumbo, it's Quantum Uncertainty. You see, nothing is ever perfectly definable, so from a state of absolutely no existence could pop up an entire universe. All that this "0" argument proves is that the very "energy" didn't have to come from energy, but could have just come about.
I called it "mumbo jumbo" because some people are already citing this interpretation as the "truth." I believe they do that because they are desparate for a source of the universe's energy, and they don't have it. I have read everything I can find on the zero point concept and find the interpretation of "something from nothing" to be an incredible leap.

If you have evidence/studies that suggest I should hve more faith in this interpretation, I would love to see it.

#### heusdens

Originally posted by Eyesee
You write very poetic prose but are you denying that nothing is the absence of anything, and therefore is the only "thing" that need not have a cause?

It is always possible to ask about the origin of something, ad infinitum. Anything that has substance that you claim to be the origin, I can always think of something coming before. The only "thing" in which the question "where does this come from" leads to an absolute and irrefutable answer is "NOTHING".

And if Nothing is the only thing imaginable that need not a cause, it can be said to be the first cause. Everything came from nothing.
This is absurd reasoning. There can't be a state of "nothing" cause it is a timeless and unchanging state. If we recognize the fact that we now observe an existing world, it can't have started from a "non-existing" world.

Because we should negate your thesis that any existing state can be a successor of a non-existing state or a state of "nothing", it follows that there can't have been a beginning state (which would be the only state where there was no preceding state, in other words, it came from "nothing"). So, the world is in eternal movement, without begin or end.

#### wuliheron

This is absurd reasoning. There can't be a state of "nothing" cause it is a timeless and unchanging state. If we recognize the fact that we now observe an existing world, it can't have started from a "non-existing" world.
Yes, that's correct, magic is absurd. That's part of its magic. The meaning of life, the universe, and everything may well be dill pickles, albeit, crunchy ones thank you. With that attitude, it becomes possible to look at life, the universe, and everything with an unbiased mind that does not axiomatically reject the irrational.

I called it "mumbo jumbo" because some people are already citing this interpretation as the "truth." I believe they do that because they are desparate for a source of the universe's energy, and they don't have it. I have read everything I can find on the zero point concept and find the interpretation of "something from nothing" to be an incredible leap.

If you have evidence/studies that suggest I should hve more faith in this interpretation, I would love to see it.
You miss the central issue imo. Paraconsistent logic has proven invaluable over the last hundred years and is central to Quantum Mechanics. Hence applying the Aristotlian principle of the excluded middle is simply not always productive or appropriate and simply does not describe everything we see. Of course such ideas sound absurd, but that does not prove they don't actually occur or that they are useless. :0)

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#### Eyesee

Originally posted by heusdens
This is absurd reasoning. There can't be a state of "nothing" cause it is a timeless and unchanging state. If we recognize the fact that we now observe an existing world, it can't have started from a "non-existing" world.

Because we should negate your thesis that any existing state can be a successor of a non-existing state or a state of "nothing", it follows that there can't have been a beginning state (which would be the only state where there was no preceding state, in other words, it came from "nothing"). So, the world is in eternal movement, without begin or end.
No, it is not absurd. I can't follow your post- please rewrite it. As for eternal existence, tell me how you are going to prove that? Can you count to infinity? If not, then you can't claim to know that existence is eternal. So, why not start at 0? Nada? Null? Nothing? Forget the negative numbers, let's just start at 0 then the question of existence is resolved.

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#### Eyesee

Originally posted by Mentat
You say "if there was". That implies time, there can also be no time (as time is something), in your supposed "nothing". This is a key point, because to imply that there was a thing called "nothing" that existed before "everything" is to imply that "nothing" exists on the T dimension, and this is contradictory.

Not necessarily. One must break the cause-and-effect chain, yes. But not logic. An existence that had no creator/cause can be logical.
Ok, you're right. Nothing is hard to describe. But we do agree on the fact that we have to assume something irrational for existence to exist. By irrational I mean that it doesn't follow the causal principle.

#### heusdens

Originally posted by Eyesee
No, it is not absurd. I can't follow your post- please rewrite it. As for eternal existence, tell me how you are going to prove that? Can you count to infinity? If not, then you can't claim to know that existence is eternal. So, why not start at 0? Nada? Null? Nothing? Forget the negative numbers, let's just start at 0 then the question of existence is resolved.
Resolved? You are just applying "plain magic" there, and want me to accept that as an explenation?
Why start at the arbitrary point 0? What makes you think there is such a special point on the timeline? How do you know that? Any point in time is exactly the same as any other point on the time line with respect to the fact that every point has preceding points and succesive points, in other words, the timeline has no begin or end.

And please tell me exactly how you arrive from nothing to something, even if the something is infinitesimally small.

Therefore I just assume, with good reasons, that material existence is without begin or end. I don't need to count it, in order to proof that. There is no way one can count an infinite set. I can't even start counting on the infinite timeline, cause wherever I start, I always leave behind an infinite set.

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#### heusdens

Originally posted by Eyesee
But I can always ask "where does that 'stuff' come from?" So if you stipulate that this "stuff" has the quality of not being caused, then this itself is a break in cause and effect. So, whether it's by magic or by imposing an eternal primal "stuff", you are breaking the infinitely regressing cause-effect chain by assuming something irrational- something that had no cause.

I just think "magic" is an even more "basic" explanation than a "fundamental uncreated, eternally-existing 'stuff'". What comes before nothing? Nothing. So, I choose that as my starting point.
The cause-and-effect law can be applied to something definite, like the moon, the sun, the solar system, an apple. The cause-and-effect law can describe how something formed out of something else.

A territory in which the cause-and-effect law can not be applied to, is when you want to apply it to the whole of totality (everything that exists, the totality of material existence). Cause the totality of material existence already includes everything, therefore there can be no "outside" cause for material existence.

This can be also looked at as follows. Material existence has no alternative. For the only candidate for an existing material world, in whatever form or shape, would be a non-existing material world, which by definition, does not exist.

So, there isn't anything that "created" material existence, material existence just is (in eternal motion, without begin or end).

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#### heusdens

Originally posted by Eyesee
Ok, you're right. Nothing is hard to describe. But we do agree on the fact that we have to assume something irrational for existence to exist. By irrational I mean that it doesn't follow the causal principle.
I don't think one has to assume something "irrational" to explain existence. It can't be explained using causal relations, cause they are only applicable within existence, and not for existence itself.
(since existence includes all that exists, there is not anything out of existence, so no "outside" cause can be proposed to explain existence itself).

The question about existence is the issue of why there exist something rather then nothing. Different philosophers have tried to deal with this issue in different ways (mainly in the field of ontology) and came up with different answers.
According to some philosophers the question is meaningless. For instance any explenation of "why is it the case that A?" needs an answer in the form of "because B is the case". But in this case, such an explenation cannot be given, since we can not assume the existence of anything to give grounds for such an explenation.

The question of why there is existence is a peculiar question, and one which is unanswerable. Existence just is, it has no cause or reason.

#### heusdens

Originally posted by Mentat
LW Sleeth, It isn't mumbo jumbo, it's Quantum Uncertainty. You see, nothing is ever perfectly definable, so from a state of absolutely no existence could pop up an entire universe. All that this "0" argument proves is that the very "energy" didn't have to come from energy, but could have just come about.

Anyway, it's not my idea, it just seemed pertinent to the discussion.
The quantum vacuum state is imo not a candidate for a real state of nothingness. A state of nothingness is a state outside time, space and material existence, so not even quantum effects are existence in such a state.
Quantum mechanics just explains us that there isn't and can't be such a state of true nothingness.

The quantum mechanical state of a vacuum is not inexistence, it is existence in a material way, in a spatiotemporal way. It is existence at all times and all places in an ever changing way.

#### heusdens

Originally posted by Eyesee
Everything came from nothing because it is the only thing
that doesn't come from anything.
A statement as "everything came from nothing" seems to implie that it is the application of causal laws. However this application is outside of it's context, cause causal effects are spatiotemporal bound to material existence. Every material form or shape is caused by another material form or shape, but there isn't a material shape or form that is not caused by any material shape or form, or in other words: material existence doesn't "pop out of nothing".

If we negate the statement (i.e. everything came not from nothing) we see that the opposite is true, namely that every existing state of the material world is the effect of an previous state of the material world, which means that material existence is without begin or end.
It's the only sensible statement we can make about material existence.

#### wuliheron

The question of why there is existence is a peculiar question, and one which is unanswerable. Existence just is, it has no cause or reason.
Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.

Saying existence just IS, is just so much rhetorical nonsense. It is neither an explanation nor even a meaningful discription. Might as well just say it is magical at that rate or that dill pickles explain everything.

If existence is ineffable, unspeakable, then why do you keep trying? Why do you keep insisting infinity explains existence and then contradicting yourself by admitting infinity cannot be proven?

If we negate the statement (i.e. everything came not from nothing) we see that the opposite is true, namely that every existing state of the material world is the effect of an previous state of the material world, which means that material existence is without begin or end.
It's the only sensible statement we can make about material existence.
More nonsense disguised as meaningful statements. Sorry, but again this denies a century of evidence in Quantum Mechanics that everything may very well not be derived from some previous existent state. As any little kid knows, it's easy to get lost in infinity when you attempt to use it to explain anything.

Again, infinity is a paradoxical concept and to say it is sensible is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. For something to have no limits is, in itself, a limit. Every bit as misleading and self-referential as saying everything comes from nothing or from dill pickles. The only sensible thing we can say about existence is that it is demonstrably Paradoxical and possibly ineffable.

Of course, such elementary prehistoric reasoning doesn't stop people from infinitely attempting to explain existence using infinity. What a waste of time. Careful, don't spin in circles too fast or you'll throw up.

#### Mentat

Originally posted by Eyesee
Ok, you're right. Nothing is hard to describe. But we do agree on the fact that we have to assume something irrational for existence to exist. By irrational I mean that it doesn't follow the causal principle.
If by "irrational", you mean "without cause", then I agree.

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