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Poll: Something from nothing or something eternal

  1. Something came from nothing.

    4 vote(s)
  2. Something is eternal.

    38 vote(s)
  3. Something else, another alternative.

    23 vote(s)
  1. Feb 24, 2005 #1
    Some time ago in a thread by Canute I made the statement that we have only two alternatives to the begining of this universe. Either something, the Big Bang, etc, came from nothing or something is eternal. Of course it is indeterminant or undecidable; but, we all have beliefs and/or opinions.

    When I say nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, not a quantum vacuum, a singularity or anything else. I mean nothing.

    When I say something is eternal, I mean that it could be the universe or some other universe ad infinitum that could be eternal not just a creator, God spirit or some other metaphysical entity. Something is eternal meaning it has no beginning, no end; is, was and always will be.

    I am just curious what we all think, or maybe I should say believe, about this.

    Did something come from nothing or is something eternal?

    Of course I want not just your votes but your thoughts, beliefs and opinions and why's on this subject also.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2005
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  3. Feb 24, 2005 #2


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    In quantum theory there cannot be literally nothing because of uncertainty. This is a behavior, not an essence, so it falls between your two stools.
  4. Feb 24, 2005 #3


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    When faced with a question that cannot possibly be answered, no matter how well we can model each possibility, why hold a belief? Why the heck would anyone even care?
  5. Feb 24, 2005 #4


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    Even though I agree that the question itself should be subjected to some further scrutiny, I'm with the existence of "something" ad infinitum on this. Presenting arguments for and against however seems somewhat pointless, I suppose I just can't swallow the concept of nothingness what comes to physical basis.
  6. Feb 24, 2005 #5
    No, SA, Quantum Theory did not and could not come into play or being until there was something such as matter, space, time, after the Big Bang. I'm asking about before the Big Bang. Where did it come from if it happened at all.
    We can be pretty sure that the universe is not steady state but is it eternal going from Big Bang to Big Crunch eternally or does it pulsate without a Big Bang or Big Crunch forever? Or was it created or spawned from another Universe? Or was it created by some eternal entity, force, energy etc.

    If nothing is eternal then we are forced to accept that this universe came from nothing. Unless you or anyone else can come up with another viable alternative.
  7. Feb 24, 2005 #6
    Why not? Most questions in philosophy and especially metaphysics cannot be answered absolutely. In fact very few questions in science can be answered absolutely. I think thinking about this is fun and exercises the brain.

    I am also curious about what others think about it.

    And, finally, I care and I'm sure many others do too. Even you cared enough to vote and post a reply.
  8. Feb 24, 2005 #7
    I have a lot of trouble with it too. But, then, I also have a lot of trouble getting my mind around something eternal also, even God or a creator.

    I am really anxious to see if someone can come up with an alternative.
  9. Feb 24, 2005 #8


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    The way you say eternal implies time can exist without a universe. This just isn't true. Time is part of the universe.
  10. Feb 24, 2005 #9
    Eternal in this case means simply without beginning and without end.

    I agree that time cannot exist without a/the universe. However, if something is eternal such as the universe or universes then time would also be eternal, wouldn't it?

    On the other hand if the eternal is spirit such as God we are told that there is no time but the one eternal moment; that time, as we know it, is a property of the physical universe, just as you said, not of the spiritual realm of reality.

    Again, it is your choice. Take your pick and tell me why. Of course choosing not to choose is also your option, maybe then vote for #3.
  11. Feb 24, 2005 #10
    Nothing from nothing

    Someone in this forum wrote me this clever tidbit that I must agree with philosophically.

    In the beginning there was nothing and then God said "Let there be light" and there was still nothing but you could see it.

    To believe in a world of dualism, body and soul, something and nothing, mind and matter and so on smells foul to me. I don't believe the universe is composed of "substance". Of course this is coming from an ardent idealist.
  12. Feb 24, 2005 #11


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    Explain what beginning and end mean here without referring to time.

    Trivially, since, again, eternal only makes sense when talking about time.

    Of course, believing time is a property of the physical universe has absolutely nothing to do with believing there is an eternal spirit called God.
  13. Feb 25, 2005 #12
    http://www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm/before_the_big_bang_there_was__.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Feb 25, 2005 #13


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    I think there's a third possibility: The universe emerged from a singularity. The concept of "something" and "nothing" , like mass and energy, may not apply across the singularity: different laws of physics apply. The analogy I give is being a water creature and wondering how swimming would be affected when the temperature drops below freezing.
  15. Feb 25, 2005 #14
    I guess I'm a romantic idealist though those might not be the correct Philosophy terms. I too have a problem with dualism as the word has connotations of separation, here is the body, over there is the mind,soul. I believe it is all part of the one me, indivisible, interactive and interdependent.

    I said that I was using the the word eternal as meaning without beginning and without end, implying without time. If you have a problem with this word and this usage give me a better word to use. Why are you hung up on this and not giving us your opinion or belief?

    I don't see the connection, in fact I think the two concepts are mutually exclusive. Eternal means for all time, without beginning and without end
    making the term time meaningless and nonapplicable

    No, it doesn't, I never said that it did; but, then, it doesn't have anything to do with an eternal universe either. What's your point?

    Thanks for the link, Tournesol. Its an interesting article.

    From what or where then did the singularity originate? As a singularity has no (0) dimensions and infinite mass/energy density it is something, isn't it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  16. Feb 25, 2005 #15
  17. Feb 26, 2005 #16


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    From the pre-existence of course. However I feel it ill-poised to ask "from where did the pre-existence come from" since that statement is an attempt to apply concepts, such as cause and effect, applicable on one side of a singularity to the other side: it's a different physics there (my humble opinion anyway).
  18. Feb 26, 2005 #17
    As I have repeatedly said in so many of my postings and responses to people's threads on this PF, there has never been any CAUSAL RELATIONS between Something and Nothingness and there will never be one. Since there has never been such a relation, one is irreducible to the other. The only outstanding question is:


    Yes, Something is eternally there but why things take forms and change from one thing or form to the next is the fundamental issue at stake here. The question that I have repeatedly asked is this:


    This a priceless question that demands an immediate answer.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2005
  19. Feb 26, 2005 #18
    I am sorry but Even though I am not a theist This question is bloging me.

    "If Something can exist without a reason then anything can and so can god ?"

    I personally dont like the above line but is the question valid ? , it was asked to me when I was bragging gods validity, and I was left speechless and hence beaten ?
  20. Feb 26, 2005 #19
    Is it possible that there is no time ?

    I mean if time is justa illusion of mind then there is no question of start or end its only now ?

    But the above line is more mind bogling. But it leaves another question and that is about the size of the universe. Now if time can be illusion the can size too be. I sorry I am confused even though the use of word I has been too mant times by me.
  21. Feb 26, 2005 #20
    I believe everything in the universe can be philosophized to an answer by humans.
    Therefore, the answer to this question lies in our heads, only we have not yet grasped it.
    It seems to me for something to exist for eternity, it would also need to have no time.
    If we seperate between what is outside the universe, and the universe itself, then the universe(the particles basically) can have a time dimension, but outside the universe there is no time.
    Now the question is, have these particles existed all the time, or did they erupt out of nothing?

    It seems to me that, the reason humans are unable to conceive the concept of nothing, is because we only see 'nothing' as 'something', a state of something.
    But the fact is the meaning of nothing is nothing, which is nothing.
    The real question to this puzzle is "why does ANYTHING exist?(the particles in the universe, the dimension outside it should it exist, anything that ever existed on any plane, dimension or level, why does it exist?)

    It seems to me that, the universe has never been eternal, it had a big bang, however we don't know if the big bang is a cycle.
    But, regardless, let's say we one day answer the question of where all these particles in the universe came from, and why, do we still have the answer?
    If it erupted from nothing, or if it has been eternal, then both are without of our reach, both scientifically and philosophically.

    In other words, we can never find out why and how the universe started. Maybe our universe, but not why something exists.
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