Poll: Something from nothing or something eternal

  • Thread starter Royce
  • Start date

Did something come from nothing or is something eternal

  • Something came from nothing.

    Votes: 4 6.2%
  • Something is eternal.

    Votes: 38 58.5%
  • Something else, another alternative.

    Votes: 23 35.4%

  • Total voters
    65
  • #1
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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.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
selfAdjoint
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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.
 
  • #3
loseyourname
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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?
 
  • #4
PerennialII
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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.
 
  • #5
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selfAdjoint said:
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.
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.
 
  • #6
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loseyourname said:
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?
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.
 
  • #7
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PerennialII said:
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.
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.
 
  • #8
StatusX
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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.
 
  • #9
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StatusX said:
The way you say eternal implies time can exist without a universe. This just isn't true. Time is part of the universe.
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.
 
  • #10
314
1
Nothing from nothing

Royce said:
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.

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.
 
  • #11
StatusX
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Royce said:
Eternal in this case means simply without beginning and without end.
Explain what beginning and end mean here without referring to time.

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

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.
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.
 
  • #12
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http://www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm/before_the_big_bang_there_was__.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #13
saltydog
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Royce said:
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.
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.
 
  • #14
1,481
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RAD4921 said:
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.
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.

StatusX said:
Explain what beginning and end mean here without referring to time.
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?

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

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.
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?

Tournesol said:
http://www2.gol.com/users/coynerhm/...there_was__.htm [Broken]
Thanks for the link, Tournesol. Its an interesting article.

saltydog said:
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.
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.
 
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  • #15
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1
Royce said:
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 can see we think a lot alike.
 
  • #16
saltydog
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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.
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).
 
  • #17
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Royce said:
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.
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:

HOW TO RECONCILE THE NOTION OF CHANGE WITH SOMETHING THAT HAS ETERNALLY BEEN THERE IN RELATION TO THE NOTION OF STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL PERFECTION OF THINGS THAT HAVE TAKEN FORMS AND CONTINUE TO CHANGE FROM ONE FORM TO THE NEXT?

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:

CAN THINGS STOP CHANGING AND TAKE THEIR FINAL FORMS?

This a priceless question that demands an immediate answer.
 
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  • #18
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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 ?
 
  • #19
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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.
 
  • #20
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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.
 
  • #21
saltydog
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Philocrat said:
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.
I quote Rene' Thom again: "all creation or destruction of forms, or morphogenesis, can be described by the disappearance of the attractors representing the initial form, and their replacement by capture by the attractors representing the final form"

The question that I have repeatedly asked is this:
CAN THINGS STOP CHANGING AND TAKE THEIR FINAL FORMS?
This a priceless question that demands an immediate answer.
Things will take their final form when the final attractor is reached: Think of a vase pushed off a table and its "trajectory" to the floor representing the whole of cosmic history: the vase on the edge of the table being the initial attractor, and the broken vase on the floor being the final attractor. Same dif with the universe: the pre-existence being the initial attractor, and whatever the end state of the universe being the final attractor.

Works for me,
Salty
 
  • #22
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saltydog said:
I quote Rene' Thom again: "all creation or destruction of forms, or morphogenesis, can be described by the disappearance of the attractors representing the initial form, and their replacement by capture by the attractors representing the final form"



Things will take their final form when the final attractor is reached: Think of a vase pushed off a table and its "trajectory" to the floor representing the whole of cosmic history: the vase on the edge of the table being the initial attractor, and the broken vase on the floor being the final attractor. Same dif with the universe: the pre-existence being the initial attractor, and whatever the end state of the universe being the final attractor.

Works for me,
Salty

I am glad you think and speak that way. At least you are in your own way beginning to see the BIG Picture. I just get very intellectually frustrated when I see and hear people fruitlessly dwell on the Specs of the BIG Picture!

--------
THINK NATURE........STAY GREEN! ABOVE ALL, NEVER HARM OR DESTROY THAT WHICH YOU CANNOT CREATE! MAY THE 'BOOK OF NATURE' SERVE YOU WELL AND BRING YOU ALL THAT IS GOOD.
 
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  • #23
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saltydog said:
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).
Again, if there was a pre-existence ad infinitum then something is eternal.
You have not offered an alternative only set new conditions and used new terms.

The only two alternatives available, so far as I can see, are, as stated, either something came from nothing or something is eternal. What that something is or if and how it changes is of no consequence to this question.
 
  • #24
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Philocrat said:
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:

HOW TO RECONCILE THE NOTION OF CHANGE WITH SOMETHING THAT HAS ETERNALLY BEEN THERE IN RELATION TO THE NOTION OF STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL PERFECTION OF THINGS THAT HAVE TAKEN FORMS AND CONTINUE TO CHANGE FROM ONE FORM TO THE NEXT?

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:

CAN THINGS STOP CHANGING AND TAKE THEIR FINAL FORMS?

This a priceless question that demands an immediate answer.
See my post above in response to Saltydog. And there is no reason to shout. We get it but just don't agree with you or in my case your question has already been answered. Change and chance is designed into the system by the creator and monitored by the One consciousness of which we are all part. This answered include the answer to your next question. No, things cannot and will not ever stop changing and take there final form as there is no final form. A final form would include that time stops in the physical universe and as there is no time as we know it in the spiritual realm then there can be no final anything. What is, always was and always will be, eternally. Though this statement make no sense in a reality of one eternal moment. It is a way for us physical time beings to try to get a grasp of this concept.
 
  • #25
saltydog
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Royce said:
Again, if there was a pre-existence ad infinitum then something is eternal.
You have not offered an alternative only set new conditions and used new terms.

The only two alternatives available, so far as I can see, are, as stated, either something came from nothing or something is eternal. What that something is or if and how it changes is of no consequence to this question.
I believe I have: a singularity changes the rules. Your concepts of "something" and "nothing" originate in a universe filled with matter. It's like the water creature. Did I already mention that? You know, once the water freezes, the concept of "swimming" looses meaning. And this is only a simple example. What happens if concepts such as "physical law" loose meaning (which I think it does) across the singularity we call the Big Bang?

Nothing and something may not be the only alternatives in my view and I base that solely from the perspective of how states qualitatively change when singularities are involved. This is my extrapolation of "simple singularities" I see all around me in the world to the Big Bang which I suspect represents a "really qualitative" change involving new physics entirely.
 

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