Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

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Greta
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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Greta » September 15th, 2018, 11:08 pm

I might yet hark back to some points, but I'd like to start with your last observation.

I think I know what you mean. My angle here was that in a sense it seems like the same entity looking out of each pair of eyes, life itself. Different morphology, body systems and circumstances but the same need underneath. I like to think that all of life today is still LUCA in a sense - the theoretical first organism on Earth - but now in a more advanced and complex state. (I also like that view with the universe ... that the early plasma and black hole universe was in a sense, us.

What do you think of the "blackness" or otherwise of complex organic chemistry that evolved in the Earth's history as surely as did any biological entity, and was ultimately the ancestor of the first life forms? Is it black inside for those "nonliving" chemicals? What of microbes? Is it bliss, blankness or bane for them?

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Hereandnow » September 16th, 2018, 9:23 am

One answer to this is that I think the blackness of nonliving chemicals is more a kind of nothingness associated with turning off a light switch. I don't think there is consciousness at all and I don't think there is blackness. There is simply nothing to say until you add language, then it becomes a matter of classification in the rigors of science. And for me it is not LUCA so much (but I have to read) but that very mysterious moment in evolution where the first organism felt ouch or yummm, and then much later when the ouch was followed by a, what was that? I think THIS is a social event, and that being social has been there from the very beginning of our evolvement. Science is a social phenomenon, for the observations and the logic issue from a social matrix established deep into geological time. LUCA was a social organism, I would hazard.

The other answer is not so, well, hinged to normal thinking. Frankly, I think all of these are words, blackness, nothingness, and when we engage in conversation we employ these. But apart from what we say and think,the world is utterly transcendent. In other words, 'nothingness' is a term we use, and without it, the term, there is nothing to say. Looking out on the day and I am split between knowing what I see and not knowing anything at all. It is this dual nature that has meaning here: the part of me that does not know anything at all has no particulars to break up the world into parts. This, I am convinced, is the nothingness of Being we encounter when try to "see" our perceiving selves. It's not that there are no things out there any more, but that something without those distinctions has asserted itself. Buddhists and Hindus take this kind of thing very seriously and it is at the heart of their religiophilosophy.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by tommarcus » September 16th, 2018, 11:56 am

No thing can exist without the quality or dimension of existence. That includes nothingness itself. It is like the existence of the null set in mathematics.This implies that existence itself existed in some form either before or independent of our physical world. Our three dimensions came out of this dimension dimension. We can see this dimension through our self-awareness. Self-awreness is like our eyesight. It must see something in order to generate sight. What our self-awareness sees is our dimension of existence.

Existence always existed. Without it nothing could have gotten started since there would have been no thing to start it, not even nothingness itself. Before life, there was existence, but self-awareness is a part of life. The sun could not have self awareness because it didn't have this faculty, just like it couldn't see because it didn't have eyes. So darkness existed but it was a darkness through lack of sight

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 16th, 2018, 12:08 pm

"Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing?"

What does this question, even mean?
"Why" can mean at least two different things. It can refer to asking how a thing came to be, or what was the reason that a thing came to be.
How is about material causality, whereas a reason has to imply an intention or purpose.
But there are problems in both cases. The answer would have to include some sort of antecedent condition, either material or ideal.
Since ideals and materials include "SOMETHING", rather than nothing we are left with a problem in both cases.
Either universe sprang into existence with no antecedent idea or material, OR it has always existed eternally.
If you are to insist that the universe had a beginning, then you have to also admit that it did so without cause or reason.

I really think this topic is done.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Hereandnow » September 16th, 2018, 1:08 pm

ThomasHobbes:
I really think this topic is done.
Well, it depends. So much has NOT been discussed. 'Nothingness' is a term, an article of language and as such has its meaning grounded in other language. Nothing stands alone, no positive assertion has meaning unless there is a background of meaning attending it, Burning ghost knows this as he is a fan of Husserl. Nothingness, in light of this, is a play against something, and something is relative to the situation at hand, as in there was nothing left to say after his deplorable actions, or the cookie jar has nothign in it. And this makes the word 'nothingness' into a Heideggariean nothingness, though I never read him speaking about this explicitly: 'Nothingness' is reducible to the language instrumental on the occasion, whether you are counting apples or doing abstract mathematics, the ready to hand terms that come into play, THAT is what the term means. Space may seem like a nothingness, but actually, it is the "over there" and "under the sofa" and the collective "region" of language that deals with a specific presence which is in itself unspeakable. Read Wittgenstein's Tractatus and it possess an apology that applies through: he know he is talking nonsense to even mention terms that he is trying to disabuse us about.
This tiny sketchy account says forget it. Nothingness is an interpretative bit of human dasein, as are all terms;it has instrumentality, not that weird being as such. This latter is what you might think a waste of time. It's metaphysics. I do not think it is a waste of time at all. In fact, I think it is the pinnacle of philosophy to achieve the "intuition" of being as such.
The nothingness that is "behind" perceptual acts is philosophically fundamental in a discussion about nirvana, the Buddha nature of Buddhism, the Atman and the Brahman of Hinduism and any of the religio-existentialists like Kierkegaard, Levinas, Buber, Otto, and so on. Any one of these is a door to a lot of extraordinary philosophical thinking.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Hereandnow » September 16th, 2018, 1:17 pm

tommarcus
Existence always existed
I would call you on that. Not to be rude, but simply to be annoyingly inquiring: What do you mean by the word 'existence'? I only come out with this because I think you and I and everyone has the belief that they know what it is, but when asked, they haven't a clue as to what to say because they think it primordial and irreducible. This might work if a human thinking constitution were primordial and irreducible, but it is not. Thus, words are bound to complexity, the complexity of cognition itself. Some argue that there are no intuitions (like Being as such) because everything is bound up in interpretative complexity.

Post modern thinking goes this way: no way out of language, period. I think they are right and wrong.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Hereandnow » September 16th, 2018, 1:23 pm

should proof read.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Greta » September 16th, 2018, 5:59 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 16th, 2018, 12:08 pm
I really think this topic is done.
In terms of physicality, yes. In terms of subjectivity, it still alive.

I am keen to explore the notion of subjective nothingness further, and especially interested in the junction or grey area/s between states with an ostensible sense of being and those without.

If the lack of a sense of being in the nonliving is absolute rather than just a minuscule or extremely weak sense of being, then subjective nothingness would be the only true nothingness (since the existence of universe tends to rather undermine claims that physical nothingness is true).

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Burning ghost » September 17th, 2018, 3:18 am

It’s kind of limited. Talking about “nothing” is like have a discussion about what a lemon tastes like.

“Nothing” is a useful concept and that is why people try to extend it beyond rational use. The OP is badly titled imo. Some people have completely ignored the OP and only looked to the title given.

Talk about Heidegger is appropriate, but being sidetracked by definitions and applications of “nothing” is not really that helpful. The OP is quite opened ended so I suggest you guys decide where you want to take it. There are threads of Heidegger already so take it up there or if you want to get into the ontology or teleological view of the universe at large then do that.

The OP is asking if Heidegger was approaching the question “Why is there something rather than nothing” through the lens of his concept of “Being”.

From my perspective I don’t Heidegger did anything much other than write in a very obtuse manner - that is not to say it was pointless only a representation of the limitations of unbounded hermeneutic investigation. It is something like at attempt at using etymology to trace back the meaning of a word and then taking on several possible definitions at once AND then moving beyond the written word to the spoken word, to the intent, to the feeling historical/social context, etc.,. It goes on and on and is useful as a technique to free up commonly held views of the world. Beyond that it is anti-ratoinalist and anti-intellectual.
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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Mark1955 » September 17th, 2018, 3:27 am

Greta wrote:
September 16th, 2018, 5:59 pm
If the lack of a sense of being in the nonliving is absolute rather than just a minuscule or extremely weak sense of being, then subjective nothingness would be the only true nothingness (since the existence of universe tends to rather undermine claims that physical nothingness is true).
Since nothingness is not a thing but the absence of a thing, e.g. darkness being the absence of light waves, then I don't see why there cannot exist a place where there is the absence of matter, i.e atoms, and all forms of radiation. Don't ask for directions but if the big bang happened and the universe is expanding there comes a point where it hasn't expanded to yet and beyond that point is nothing that we can perceive. There may of course be something we can't perceive in this area.
Looking at that last point, in one way subjective nothingness is the only one possible as physical nothingness is limited by our subjective ability to perceive it's existence.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 17th, 2018, 3:34 am

Mark1955 wrote:
September 17th, 2018, 3:27 am
Greta wrote:
September 16th, 2018, 5:59 pm
If the lack of a sense of being in the nonliving is absolute rather than just a minuscule or extremely weak sense of being, then subjective nothingness would be the only true nothingness (since the existence of universe tends to rather undermine claims that physical nothingness is true).
Since nothingness is not a thing but the absence of a thing, e.g. darkness being the absence of light waves, then I don't see why there cannot exist a place where there is the absence of matter, i.e atoms, and all forms of radiation. Don't ask for directions but if the big bang happened and the universe is expanding there comes a point where it hasn't expanded to yet and beyond that point is nothing that we can perceive. There may of course be something we can't perceive in this area.
Looking at that last point, in one way subjective nothingness is the only one possible as physical nothingness is limited by our subjective ability to perceive it's existence.
But the existence, the actual presence of matter and material objects is what actually defines space. The BB did not expand into empty space; it expanded into nothing, creating its space as it went.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Burning ghost » September 17th, 2018, 3:59 am

Mark -

And the point of the OP referring to Heidegger was to say that WE understand the concept “nothing” so it is therefore something in an abstract way. We do not “sensibly experience” nothing - nor can we.

Empty space/void is not regaded as something we understand. Would understand it as dichotic (as absence and presence.) What we don’t tend to do is waste time doing is being completely shocked into catatonia at the presence of “stuff”.

Essentially this is an argument of ontology over epistemology. Which I find interesting because there is a point where you cannot disentangle one from the other.

To experience “nothing” is akin to “the loss of” whereas the “something” need never even be brought to our attention accept when it is no longer present. The question is not one of physics but more along the lines of psychology and linguistics.

THC -

Note: the term “expanding” is used as an analogy much like when scientists use “orbit” to describe the pattern of electrons “around” an atom’s nucleus. At the micro and macro levels human cannot intuit what is going on because we live in our defined magnitudes.
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Greta
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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Greta » September 17th, 2018, 4:13 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 17th, 2018, 3:34 am
Mark1955 wrote:
September 17th, 2018, 3:27 am

Since nothingness is not a thing but the absence of a thing, e.g. darkness being the absence of light waves, then I don't see why there cannot exist a place where there is the absence of matter, i.e atoms, and all forms of radiation. Don't ask for directions but if the big bang happened and the universe is expanding there comes a point where it hasn't expanded to yet and beyond that point is nothing that we can perceive. There may of course be something we can't perceive in this area.
Looking at that last point, in one way subjective nothingness is the only one possible as physical nothingness is limited by our subjective ability to perceive it's existence.
But the existence, the actual presence of matter and material objects is what actually defines space. The BB did not expand into empty space; it expanded into nothing, creating its space as it went.
As Krauss et al have observed, nothingness itself is not "nothing" or empty, but constantly fluctuating at the smallest of scales. So if the BB came out of the quantum foam (or hyperspace or the bulk or whatever model is there to explain the energies involved) that's not nothingness as such. Thus, true nothingness is entirely theoretical. Thus nothingness is a relative concept.

The subjective aspect I raised concerns those relativities, or at least wonders about them.

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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Burning ghost » September 17th, 2018, 4:20 am

How about this as a defintion!

Nothing is the absence of a subjective perspective of any kind.
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Re: Why is there anything at all and rather not nothing

Post by Tamminen » September 17th, 2018, 4:50 am

Burning ghost wrote:
September 17th, 2018, 4:20 am
How about this as a defintion!

Nothing is the absence of a subjective perspective of any kind.
A good definition. And because nothing is not, by its definition, there has to be a subjective perspective, necessarily, by definition.

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