Why does anything exist than rather nothing ?

  1. Why is there anything than rather nothing ? - Why is there sometning than rather nothing ?

    Why does anything exist at all ?

    Why is it like that ?

    I found I link that might or might not put some light on it - I don't know.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,953
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If there were "nothing", then you would not be here to ask the question! That is basically the "anthropic principle"- it is, in fact, quite possible to imagine a universe in which there is nothing but in any universe in which there is someone to ask that question, there must exist something! I think that is a paraphrasing of what your website says.
     
  4. There doesn't have to be a reason why there is something instead of nothing. If there was nothing, then there would just be nothing. If there was something, then there would just be something. That's how I see it.
     
  5. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    It's only because of something that you can imagine nothing.
     
  6. A whimsical idea: if the relation determined by the axioms of the universe are aleph-nought categorical (countably infinite and unique up to isomorphism), then as per the Lowenheim Skolem theorem there is a model.
     
  7. Hmm .. I agree with the answers above.

    "If there were "nothing", then you would not be here to ask the question!"

    "It's only because of something that you can imagine nothing."

    I thought this question should be a major difficult one, but the truth is that the only condition that is experieced ever is "existece" or "something".

    On the other hand people might have experieced to observe other dead people that might not have "existence".

    Possibly the anwer could be:

    "Because something is the result of living"

    or possibly

    "Because existence is the result of life".
     
  8. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    That's "something" else!
     

  9. I think the anthropic principle would only push back the same question. If a intelligent being do indeed life in a universe (where there is something), then that intelligent being could ask why there is some universe that existenc, and some universe that don t exist.
     
  10. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    What would prompt an intelligent being to wonder why something did not exist?

    Do you mean like where I'm sitting on my patio and wondering why I don't have a Hummer and a helecopter on my lawn?

    (because the wife and kids have them out for the weekend!)
     
  11. I wonder why the motivation of such a person is important. It is like asking why people like ice cream. The main point is that the question won t go away, because the answer is never satisfactory.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2007
  12. I think that in general - the motivations why questins are asked at all is a rather interesting part of it.

    Could it be that questions are asked because of "the will to power" ?

    Will this eventually be valid for all kind of questions and all kind of answers ?

    Lets look at some of the stuff of Nietzsche as an example.

    He says something like "God is dead" and so are all old "values", so there will be neaded new "values", new thinking etc.

    Then there is this interesting little question direved from the first:

    Why does Nietzche think that it is a problem that God is dead ? Does he think that there should be a God ? Why is is a problem for him at all that God is dead ?

    Why does Nietzche think that there should be any values or any moral at all ?

    Why does Nietzce think it is important or relevant to search for any meaning or any moral at all, and why does he se it as a point to design a new one ?

    In general I think that the motive behind a question is an important part of the question.

    In the case of Nietzche, when you analyze the logical structure in his arguments and try to read in the built in motivation behind the question, the philosophy of Fredrich Nietzche is a bit logical inconsistent.

    Still, as I would see it, he is one of the very most important philosophers of our modern history. (And a key to understand our culture.)

    If I should try to help Nietzche with some of his questions in "Ecche Homo",
    "Why I am so wise, etc" I think I would say something like: "You mean why it is so important for you to feel wise, or to be looked at as wise ?"

    It wouldn't be polite so I wouldn't say it, but I would think by myself: "Because you are among them who might like to performs smartness without wisdom".

    A small divergence from the origal question, but still interesting I think.

    Why ask question like this: "Why does anything exist than rather nothing". The motivation for asking the question at all will also be, as I would see it, a part of it.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  13. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    You mean to ask "why is there a universe instead of no universe?":bugeye:

    A satisfactory answer is :uhh: "because there is a universe".
     
  14. I think this question is important in that it defines the limit of human understanding. It is said by paul davis( i think also wittgenstein) that the greatest mystery is the mystery of existence. I think this question expresses that idea. That is one possible motivation.

    Another possible motivation i think might be to wonder if the causal structure of the world might be different, but that is another topic for another thread. This is perhaps my own motivation.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007

  15. You are not really answering the question. All you are doing is begging the question, or by restating the question so that you might give the impression that you are being profound and deep.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  16. honestrosewater

    honestrosewater 2,329
    Gold Member

    Tell us the rules that decide whether a proposition is an acceptable answer to the question then.
     
  17. baywax

    baywax 2,215
    Gold Member

    No, that's what you're doing. :smile:

    I am simply stating the obvious.
     
  18. Well, the way i see it. There is only two ways to reply.

    1) the question is meaningless, because nothing is not a thing.

    The question is meaningless because there is no answer, because any anwer would entail existial claims, but than such answer would be begging the question.


    the question is meaningless because nothing is not something for all we know empirically exist, therefore, the question is meaningless.


    2) The question is not answerable.
     
  19. But it is not that bad ! Who decides the rules for philosophic argumentation ?

    If nature is our teacher of (rational) thinking and all human (rational) thinking reflects structures learned from nature, then a part of this "think training" has been to learn that there has allways been an universe.

    Possibly its also like that without a universe there could be no life, and that to be allive will be to be to fullfill a role as "the creator of my world", so that the condition of a nonexistent will be meaningless.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007

  20. I know you are stating the obvious, but i also know it is obvious to you only because you don t know.
     
  21. Perhaps you are saying that our brain is high wired, a priori to think in a certain way. By induction, when we open our eyes, we always see a world, therefore, the world must exist. This is in fact not true, because it is not the case that there was always our physical space-time universe from what science tell us. You might "feel" that something is a priori true can be wrong.

    Answering a question by restating the question does not solve anything. If you think this is right argumentation, then you are plain wrong.

    You are pulling stuff , and ideas out of there context. The anthropic principle does not seek to answer the original question of this thread.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
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