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Why is there something and not nothingness

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    The ultimate question??

    Something instead of nothing?

    Why is there something instead of nothing? The interesting conclusion of this ultimate puzzle is that, we can be sure of, it that at least something exists. There is a Universe, we see people, and things, and light, and while we may debate what it means, how it came into being, and how it works, we can be sure that there is at least `something'.
    Many physicists search for the most elementary laws of physics, and believe that a law is more likely to be true, when it is simpler, more elementary.

    Some think that at some moment, humans will understand how the Universe and everything works, and, even more, that we find out why the Universe is necessarily as it is. I cannot believe that, indeed, I believe humans cannot ever give a satisfactory or final answer to this ultimate of all questions. Why is there something instead of nothing?

    With nothing, I mean the un-existence of everything. No people, no earth, no milky way, no universe, no laws of nature, no space, no time a total non-existence of everything. A mind-boggling, brain-, brain-numbing and brain- twisting overwhelming concept, terrifying, frightening, too awful to contemplate and impossible think about, without going insane and totally beyond understanding of any human genius.

    Making a mathematical model of nothing is actually easy. (Take an empty set, with no operations on it, and nothing else.) Nevertheless, one thing we can be sure of: this nothing is not correct: we do not have “nothing”, but definite and absolutely do indeed have ‘SOMETHING’. This shows that the simplest model is not always the correct one. The universe is almost infinitely complex and to me this points to the simple logic that it is the creation by an infinite, intelligent power. Nothing is the very most basic of all concepts and if there were nothing, there would be no creator, of course.

    Some people may argue that the universe was created in the Big Bang ( but whom and what pressed the button of the big bang in the first place, so to speak?) , and that positive matter and positive energy are actually negated by the simultaneous creation of negative matter and negative energy. However, this doesn't answer the other question, where do matter, energy and laws of physics then come from in the first place?

    Does this question have an answer? If something exists because it either was a modification of something or else, Something or Somebody else created it, then what caused that to exist? It seems that our logic is unable to deal with the question; indeed, I think the question shows there is a limit to our understanding of things by the very best minds of the human race.

    There are simply mysteries out there that will never ever be solved by mere mortal man. You see the universe has a strange Goldie locks condition about it, i.e., it cannot be too hot, or too cold etc, etc, etc, but it has to be just absolutely correct, precise and right or life would not have come into existence and we would not be around to contemplate, debate or dialogue on this ultimate enigma. We would not exist. Life hangs on and depends on this knife- edge of harmonies conditions that have to be sustained over countless billions of years, for us to have come into existence and continue to exist. Makes one think, does it not

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  3. Jun 12, 2008 #2
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  4. Jun 12, 2008 #3


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  5. Jun 12, 2008 #4
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  6. Jun 12, 2008 #5
    I can understand the overwhelming part. But the 'terrifying, frightening, awful' is kind of going overboard, right?
  7. Jun 12, 2008 #6
    Yes, true. A lot of us have thought about this same thing, that you mentioned. I just find it interesting and also fascinating. I don't call it strange or weird though. I just treat it like....we just don't know what's going on, because we don't know everything...that's about it.

    As for the 'countless billions of years'.......this is relative. Because countless billions of years may be relatively small compared to a span of time that is much much greater.

    All we know right now is that : we don't know how anything (whatever you can think of) ..... formed (or started up). And, also, we don't know if this 'mystery' will be solved by humans or not. The good thing is that this puzzle is very interesting, and it gives everybody something nice to ponder about.....and doesn't stop people from trying to find out what's going on.
  8. Jun 15, 2008 #7
    Running on empty - revisted

    Running on empty?

    "What exactly is a set with no elements? What does it mean? Aren't sets entirely defined by their contents? In what manner is a set with no contents defined?"

    A more tangible speculative physical model might be to take a universe and toss away quanta, and patches of manifold. Supposedly nothing left, it might seem.
  9. Jun 15, 2008 #8
    Right. Another way to look at it is ....... take away the engines and anything that provide movements or transitions of any kind.......... so even if people can't wrap their minds around what 'nothing' is, then at least they can wrap their minds around a transitionless system.
  10. Jun 15, 2008 #9
    I really can't agree with the majority of your post Alan, there are so many holes. You seem so certain in your assessment of the future of human knowledge, yet the universe itself is in its infancy.

    Not to mention your statements on the fragility and impossibility of life are really not accurate.

    The simple fact that we are here and have evolved to this level, IN THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSAL TIME LINE, shows the fundementality of life. Just imagine what might be possible if we do not destroy ourselves and live to be many millennia old, not just a couple.

    I'm not alone in this optimistic thinking either, just look at Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku, and Neil Degrass Tyson to name a few...
  11. Jun 16, 2008 #10
    if you define nothing as nonexistence, then it is impossible for nothing to exist. Unless you are being irrational.
  12. Jun 16, 2008 #11
    But the big question is: where did the ingredients for everything (or anything) come from? And how did movements/activity/transitions of any kind start off (begin) in the 'first' place?

    Nobody knows.
  13. Jun 30, 2008 #12
    In computer jargon this may read: what is the result of the computation of the sum of numbers contained in file X, if no such file exist.

    The answer is:
    error - file or directory X does not exist.

    Is this clear enough?


    And perhaps making this example more strongly, instead of assuming that the file does not exist, assume the computer does not exist.

    The answer is then:
  14. Jun 30, 2008 #13
    Even when being irrational, this does not make 'nothing' (i.e. non-existence) suddenly come into existence, so the conclusion does not depend on someone's mental / logical reasoning faculties.

    Likewise 1 is not equal to 2, even in the case in which I or anybody agrees with it, or can think rational about it. Irrational thought does not make any logical false statement true.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  15. Jun 30, 2008 #14
    Re: Running on empty - revisted

    In the physical sense, this makes no sense, since due to the Heizenberg's uncertainty relation totally empty space can not exist (since in such a case we would know with certainty the mass, speed and location of some phenomena, which is contrary to the Heizenberg relation in which such can not be known with that precission), and as far as we know, the Heizenberg relation always applys.
    So, you'll allways end up with some or other form of particle or field existing anywhere.
  16. Jul 2, 2008 #15
    On the contrary, a contradiction makes whatever you want true.
  17. Jul 5, 2008 #16
    I don't see how "someone being irrational" and "something being a contradiction" have something to do with each other.
  18. Jul 8, 2008 #17
    I was implying that when a contradiction is taken as premise, then anything can be the result.
  19. Jul 9, 2008 #18
    I think the answer to this question is dependend on one's philosophical worldview:

    For solipsism the answer is: because I exist

    For idealism the answer is: because god exist, and god is eternal (ie. is independent of anything else)

    For materialism the answer is: because matter exist, and matter is eternal.
  20. Jul 9, 2008 #19
    It doesn't even make sense to question the existence of existence.
  21. Jul 11, 2008 #20
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