The Universe Exists Because It Has To

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Not really, I am saying that in an informationally based universe, intelligence is within it (the information that is) and that intelligence can understand its own existence.
An outside entity of some sort is not needed or likely IMO.

I believe it can be proved in the same way that an intelligence 'stuck' in a computer simulation could abstract the truth of its own existence and be correct. Why not?
That scenario can never be proven though. Ideas like brain-in-a-vat or philosophies like Solipsism can never be objective, because any evidence gained would only prove to be an illusion if the scenario were true.
 
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I do not see how existence can be a physical property independent of observed qualities. Can you explain that?

If you are saying that the Universe is intrinsically indestructible then that would explain its existence since for the same reason it could never have come into existence. So maybe you are implying that to destroy the Universe is somehow meaningless.
 
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I do not see how existence can be a physical property independent of observed qualities. Can you explain that?

If you are saying that the Universe is intrinsically indestructible then that would explain its existence since for the same reason it could never have come into existence. So maybe you are implying that to destroy the Universe is somehow meaningless.
I don't think I am saying that. In fact what you are saying is precisely what I am saying. I'm confused as to what your question is.

I'm saying that there is no ability for the universe not to exist, because that ill-defined concept is a man-made contrivance. We can't speak of things that 'don't exist' because they aren't real... they are concepts. The only thing that's physical about the universe is it's existence. All the laws, everything observable and measurable... every aspect of the universe exists, and for us to assume it could do otherwise is more our ill-perceived concepts than an alternative for the universe.

I think this is actually a less speculative approach to the idea because I make no assumptions about how the universe was created. I simply say it exists and that is an observable fact. You cannot prove anything that 'doesn't exist.'
 
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I don't think I am saying that. In fact what you are saying is precisely what I am saying. I'm confused as to what your question is.

I'm saying that there is no ability for the universe not to exist, because that ill-defined concept is a man-made contrivance. We can't speak of things that 'don't exist' because they aren't real... they are concepts. The only thing that's physical about the universe is it's existence. All the laws, everything observable and measurable... every aspect of the universe exists, and for us to assume it could do otherwise is more our ill-perceived concepts than an alternative for the universe.

I think this is actually a less speculative approach to the idea because I make no assumptions about how the universe was created. I simply say it exists and that is an observable fact. You cannot prove anything that 'doesn't exist.'
Well I was just guessing what you meant. I have thought the same thing and find the idea interesting.

My sense is - though I don't know much about philosophy - is that Plato was making the same point in the Phaedo. What do you think?
 
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Well I was just guessing what you meant. I have thought the same thing and find the idea interesting.

My sense is - though I don't know much about philosophy - is that Plato was making the same point in the Phaedo. What do you think?
Well, in the Phaedo, Socrates makes speculations about the immortality of the soul, which though his logic touches the same bases... he is assuming that there is such thing as a soul in the first place. That's a matter for a whole other discussion.
 
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DaveC426913

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I'm saying that there is no ability for the universe not to exist, because that ill-defined concept is a man-made contrivance. We can't speak of things that 'don't exist' because they aren't real... they are concepts.
I do not see how you arrive at this logic except circularly.

Who says non-existence requires the presence of man?

Does that mean that polka-dotted ultra-bunnies from the planet Fnord must exist because their non-existence is a man-made concept?
 
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I do not see how you arrive at this logic except circularly.

Who says non-existence requires the presence of man?

Does that mean that polka-dotted ultra-bunnies from the planet Fnord must exist because their non-existence is a man-made concept?
Your Fnord Bunnies actually help my hypothesis. I'm saying the universe exists and there is observable evidence for that, I then stop there and cease all assumptions. There is no observable evidence for anything other than an existing universe... including your Fnord bunnies. (however cute they may be)

This is not circular, because it is cutting out guesswork of assuming something came before the universe. It relies solely on observable evidence.
 

DaveC426913

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Your Fnord Bunnies actually help my hypothesis. I'm saying the universe exists and there is observable evidence for that, and I stop there and cease all assumptions. There is no observable evidence for anything other than an existing universe... including your Fnord bunnies. (however cute they may be)

This is not circular, because it is cutting out guesswork of assuming something came before the universe. It relies solely on observable evidence.
OK, so the universe exists.

What does that have to do with the universe not existing?

If I throw a 2-sided die and it lands on 1, are you telling me that, since it landed on 1, there is no possible way it could have landed on 2 instead?
 
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OK, so the universe exists.

What does that have to do with the universe not existing?

If I throw a 2-sided die and it lands on 1, are you telling me that, since it landed on 1, there is no possible way it could have landed on 2 instead?
Well, in essence is that wrong? Yes it could have... but the reality is it didn't. The reality then is that only the 1 was reality. The 2 was simply a possibility.

But my point about the universe is different. I am attempting to point out that there is no proof for something to 'not exist'. Not in the sense that things that 'don't exist' might be real (like your Fnord Bunnies case). But rather, that 'not existing' isn't a real element of any physical part of the universe. Everything we observe and measure does exist. We assume there is an alternative to existence... I am simply cutting off that assumption.
 
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DaveC426913

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We assume there is an alternative to existence... I am simply cutting off that assumption.
Based on what? Why is it not valid?
 
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Based on what? Why is it not valid?
I'm not saying it's not valid, but that theory is responsible for finding the proof. The proof that the universe exists is readily available, an alternative proof is not. I am simply applying Occam's Razor to the equation and not adding speculative complexities.
 
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That person was referring to a cliched and diluted use of Occam's Razor. I'm not saying nature is necessarily simple. There is very clear evidence that the universe exists (and does so in a very complex way). But to propose any alternative without proof is just as viable as any other alternative. The universe could have been created by giant purple salamanders just as readily as it can be said that it is possible for it to not exist. I only invoke Occam's Razor because saying the universe exists is based on proof. All else is assumption.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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This is an attempt to recognize a base physical property of the universe itself that also describes why it must exist according to this property.
How about a sick twist on Descartes instead?

We are the universe becoming aware of itself [albeit just a tiny part of the universe :biggrin:]
I think, therefore I exist.
 
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How about a sick twist on Descartes instead?

We are the universe becoming aware of itself
I think, therefore I exist.
Sick is your opinion, but I don't go so far as Descartes when he spoke of Solipsist beliefs. Is it wrong to build ideas on previous philosophies and ideas? You are suggesting you've uniquely come up with every idea you've ever had?

Einstein could not have made SR and GR without Newton's previous work (among many others).
 
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Well, in the Phaedo, Socrates makes speculations about the immortality of the soul, which though his logic touches the same bases... he is assuming that there is such thing as a soul in the first place. That's a matter for a whole other discussion.
I didn't mean the immortality of the soul per se but the notion of the inability to create new ideas - that they exist immortally because they are indestructible - that all ideation is therefore really memory. When did the Pythagorean theorem become true and when was it false before that?
 
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I didn't mean the immortality of the soul per se but the notion of the inability to create new ideas - that they exist immortally because they are indestructible - that all ideation is therefore really memory. When did the Pythagorean theorem become true and when was it false before that?
Well this is getting a bit off topic, but I understand what you're saying. Ideas though, are human constructs, not properties of the universe. They are comprehensions that are understood. The Pythagorean Theorem is a human notion. An observation and way of explaining relations of human ideas. A Euclidean perspective is just a representation of aspects of the universe created for human minds to understand... an analogy to describe what they see around them. It exists only in our minds as a metaphor.

Perhaps treating the universe as anything other than a metaphor is impossible simply by the way in which we observe it. I do have another thread which attempts to address just that: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=368284
 
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Well this is getting a bit off topic, but I understand what you're saying. Ideas though, are human constructs, not properties of the universe. They are comprehensions that are understood. The Pythagorean Theorem is a human notion. An observation and way of explaining relations of human ideas. A Euclidean perspective is just a representation of aspects of the universe created for human minds to understand... an analogy to describe what they see around them. It exists only in our minds as a metaphor.

Perhaps treating the universe as anything other than a metaphor is impossible simply by the way in which we observe it. I do have another thread which attempts to address just that: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=368284
If the universe is based on mathematics and logic implemented in information, then the metaphor is largely gone - remains in subjective human judgments I suppose. I am no longer subscribing to the 'we can never know' school of thought. And indeed Pythagoras Theorem was indeed true before he discovered it.

The level at which we abstract the truth varies and the high level abstractions are just that - abstractions. So, we can abstract a human as a mad dance of atoms (and not really human), has some truth I suppose - but its shallow.
At the very low levels the truths are (IMO) mathematical and logical, and I can ask is that an abstraction?

If one wants to say that mathematics and logic are abstractions, then I am forced to agree.

So is mathematics and logic an abstraction of a deeper truth? What is the deeper truth if any?
 
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then before humans discovered it the Pythagorean theorem was not true - nor was it false. Hmmmm.
 
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I am no longer subscribing to the 'we can never know' school of thought...

...If one wants to say that mathematics and logic are abstractions, then I am forced to agree.
I may be misunderstanding you, but these two statements seem contradictory. Could you please elaborate to help me follow your line of logic?

So, we can abstract a human as a mad dance of atoms (and not really human), has some truth I suppose - but its shallow.
Shallow? As in a moral sense? I do not follow. I don't think the universe cares as much about morality as humans do.
 
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So is mathematics and logic an abstraction of a deeper truth? What is the deeper truth if any?
Logical and mathematical relations are simply the way we structure observation.
Top, bottom, left, right, are no different, just more useful in certain situations, than PT.
PT doesn't actually describe anything that exists.

Math is a map, a language, a description, and way of describing, experience.

The source of experience is your deeper truth, but since it is always mediated by subjective experience, as Kant said, its unknowable, except as subjective experience.

Which isn't to say that we can't build a really good map.
 
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I may be misunderstanding you, but these two statements seem contradictory. Could you please elaborate to help me follow your line of logic?
Mathematics as a basis for a universe is at a deep level, I am not sure wether it is an abstraction. Humans as a mad dance of atoms is certainly an abstraction, but if anything is not an abstraction it must be mathematics.

But, if someone could come up with an argument to posit that logic and mathematics is an abtraction of some sort, I could be convinced. (I am reading JoeDawq's thread directly above this now...)


Shallow? As in a moral sense? I do not follow. I don't think the universe cares as much about morality as humans do.
Not in a moral sense, in an intellectual sense.
 
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Logical and mathematical relations are simply the way we structure observation.
Top, bottom, left, right, are no different, just more useful in certain situations, than PT.
PT doesn't actually describe anything that exists.

Math is a map, a language, a description, and way of describing, experience.

The source of experience is your deeper truth, but since it is always mediated by subjective experience, as Kant said, its unknowable, except as subjective experience.

Which isn't to say that we can't build a really good map.
Subjective - "Yellow is a beautiful color"
Objective - "1+1=2"

Are you saying that 1+1=2 is a human experience?
 
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Subjective - "Yellow is a beautiful color"
Not just subjective, but also a value judgment.
You are basically saying 'yellow is good'.
This is different from saying:
"My hat is yellow" which is also subjective.
The latter is strictly an observation from a certain point of view.
Given that the qualia, yellow, is a product of the mind, it is not in any sense objective.
Although, in the scientific way, observed wavelengths of light can be nominally objective.

Objective is a complicated word, as it has different definitions within different domains.

Objective in science means repeatable and predictable, but it doesn't really deal in TRUTH, science deals with evidence.
Objective in philosophy means independent of mind. This can relate to TRUTH, but some would say that kind of TRUTH is unknowable.
Objective in journalism, means avoiding bias, not advocating or taking a side, just reporting.
Objective - "1+1=2"
Mathematics (even in the scientific sense) is not really objective.
Mathematics is true by definition.
Are you saying that 1+1=2 is a human experience?
It is abstracted from experience, yes.

You can certainly repeat math, but it is deductively consistent, not observationally.
And you can't have math without a mind, since deduction is a kind of reasoning.

As to bias, that gets muddled up with what you decide is worth counting.

This is not to say that math is not reliably consistent, but when you are talking about math, you are dealing with something very different from empirical science and what most people think of as 'objective'.
 
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1+1=2 .... is abstracted from experience, yes.

You can certainly repeat math, but it is deductively consistent, not observationally.
And you can't have math without a mind, since deduction is a kind of reasoning.

As to bias, that gets muddled up with what you decide is worth counting.

This is not to say that math is not reliably consistent, but when you are talking about math, you are dealing with something very different from empirical science and what most people think of as 'objective'.
1+1=2 - what exactly is the mind abstracting here that is not 'real'? I am interested to know.

"And you can't have math without a mind"
Pythagoras Law, Laws of Physics exist whether there is a human mind or not don't they?
 

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