10 votes

No Such Thing As Nothing

'M-theory posits that multiple universes are created out of nothing, Hawking explained, with many possible histories and many possible states of existence.'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/04/17/stephen-h...

It always puzzles me when I hear either a theist or an atheist talk about things being 'created out of nothing'.

A theist would likely say: 'God created the Universe ex nihilo' (out of nothing).
I scratch my head and say, but isn't the Mind and Word of God, from which it came, something?

The atheist (like Hawkings) will likely say: 'Quantum laws, or M-theory created the Universe out of nothing.'
I scratch my head and say, but isn't an underlying quantum system something?

I think the idea of a TRUE nothing resulting in something is impossible, because there always has to be some pre-eminent fundamental reality (whether a God or a quantum system) that causes the so-called 'nothing' to be 'something'.

To me, the more interesting question is: which inescapable something, or fundamental reality best explains the existence of Person, Love, Reason, Beauty, etc.? I can't see how dead quantum or physical non-reason with a chain of deterministic or random cause and effect would ever generate Reason, which knows and infers and uses grounds and consequents. I see Love as transcendent and greatest -- not some meaningless illusion in a dead system.

And with that, I view the principles of Liberty as eternal and transcendent and real beyond any physical dependencies -- the consequence of Love being that something which cannot be nothing.



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is too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionistic_logic

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

is too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intuitionistic_logic

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

wolfe's picture

Ya got me...

But that was not his use of the term.

"logical intuitions about possibility are reliable"

His statement was asserting a "natural understanding", and not referencing this specific nature of ignoring "law of excluded middle and double negation elimination".

However, even if it was, would be irrelevant since he supplied no legitimate basis for his beliefs which would be valid even according to those loose rules.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Look, there is no scientific

Look, there is no scientific proof of formal logic, mathematics, or basic sense impressions.

Intuition has a definition in this context that is different from what you call emotional intuition, like 'I had a sense I was in danger.'

Again you're equivocating concepts.

The basic sense that something can't come from nothing is as firm and basic as any other intuition or belief in the mathematical or logical realm. None can be proven and all depend on trust in the basic reliability of our cognitive faculties.

The clear difference between the mathematical zero and the metaphysical concept 'Nothing' has been understood for centuries, it is not my place to give you intro to philosophy. Use your own mind and you should be able to understand the difference.

If you say we are going to trade with me, and you have pears, and you say to me "I want nothing from you," clearly you don't mean you want metaphysical nothing, non existence, from me. You mean I don't have any thing you want. Zero in a place value equation is more akin the the former than the latter.

wolfe's picture

You couldn't if you tried... :)

"The clear difference between the mathematical zero and the metaphysical concept 'Nothing' has been understood for centuries, it is not my place to give you intro to philosophy."

But I am sure you will anyway.... lol.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

You seem to have retreated

You seem to have retreated the field, so I'm good.

wolfe's picture

lol...

I have not retreated.

I called you on your bogus assertions. So that would be your retreat.

Nice try.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I mean that you didn't

I mean that you didn't contradict any point I made, so there was nothing to respond to. In the context of a debate, that is the same as forfeiting. But we can just shake hands and say good game.

wolfe's picture

lol...

You failed to address any of my points. I have yet to fail to address one of yours. Whether you ignore that fact is not my concern.

Your previous response of, "I dunno, so I won't respond" was in fact you retreating.

Try again.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

cool

cool

wolfe's picture

Not for nothin'....

But without zero, nothing, we wouldn't have advanced mathematics.

Go figure.

http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/64378.html

---

Further, the NAP is not achieved through some moral, metaphysical or otherwise religious in nature means. It is achieved as the least common denominator among all individuals. While we can/will all always disagree on things, what we can agree on is that we want to survive and therefore should allow others to... Hence, the NAP. It is the genetic imperative to survive and continue. It is the higher understanding of a higher virus. Whereas without the NAP, we are simply a virus/parasite that will self consume and destroy itself.

---

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I believe this. And if perfection is divine then I suppose my god may, in fact, be nothing.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

You're making a utilitarian

You're making a utilitarian argument. Thus, it would have no validity to anyone whose own utility was advanced by breaking NAP. It does not evince that NAP is 'binding' on everyone. Only that it is useful, arguably, for most people. If the circumstances changed, NAP might be useful for no one.

wolfe's picture

Not true.

I am no utilitarian, and that is no utilitarian argument. But perhaps a discussion of the NAP is not for this particular post? Your choice.

It is contractual. I recognize my right to exist, therefore, I am willing to recognize yours as a term for my own right. It is not utilitarian but an atheist natural rights based in mutual consenting contract.

When you fail to recognize mine, I will fail to recognize yours (defensive aggression).

If the NAP was moral, it would read without the right to self defense. However, it does not.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I can't find anything

I can't find anything sensible or coherent in this paragraph. I am happy to let it be.

wolfe's picture

Really?

Are you devoid of logic or did my turn of phrase confuse you?

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

oo false dichotomy ; p

oo false dichotomy ; p

wolfe's picture

You claimed you couldn't understand the argument...

Yet failed to ask for clarification. The argument was sound, straight forward and clearly understood.

Leaving only your lack of understanding, or inability to address the argument as a cause for your rude statement.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Yes but the subtle hint was

Yes but the subtle hint was that the argument was incoherent. It would have been rude to just say it outright. Forum etiquette comes first, and sarcasm has its place. But you're flailing about here it is unseemly.

wolfe's picture

Except that you did come out and say it...

So I am not sure what you claim is on that?

And second, the logic is correct. Prove otherwise if you can.

Believe it or not, responding, "That's absurd." is not a valid argument, nor a debate win. Nor is it particularly interesting or intellectually honest.

Try again.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

I love you.

I love you.

wolfe's picture

Thank you. /s

I have never much cared for you. But I am always willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. It's a shame that you refused to engage in debate and only semi-random attacks and then end with weird sarcasm.

For what appeared to be no reason whatsoever since you never actually confronted the atheist view of natural rights.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

wolfe's picture

Thank you. /s

I have never much cared for you. But I am always willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. It's a shame that you refused to engage in debate and only semi-random attacks and then end with weird sarcasm.

For what appeared to be no reason whatsoever since you never actually confronted the atheist view of natural rights.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Some Buddhist you are. Guy

Some Buddhist you are. Guy doesn't even love me. I love you wolfe. What good are arguments without love. Maybe nothing will ever be true for two different people. Love transcends.

wolfe's picture

lol...

I never said I was "good" at anything. :) Christianity is about "love", theoretically. Buddhism is about enlightenment. Two very different things.

We can end it there... :)

"Maybe nothing will ever be true for two different people." - But this did make my original point. ;)

The Philosophy Of Liberty -
http://www.thephilosophyofliberty.com/

Hey we're just a couple of

Hey we're just a couple of monkeys. I'll eat the bugs out of your fur if you'll get mine. Better than smashing your brother's head in for having a cooler sacrifice.Evolution and God agree on this point, and even Buddha, despite his temper, would be loathe to object. High five!

Quantum fluctuations caused this comment to be duplicated

in the electrical plasma of the universe. It was a glitch in the matrix so to speak.

Please convert post to Nothing by removing the data entry that registers this post exists in an information sense.

Ever read any of Barry

Ever read any of Barry Setterfield's work?

Thanks!

I've only checked out the first link so far, but very intriguing. :) I'll have to read up on this.

No such thing as Nothing?

You got something.

A double negative.

hehe ;)

I equate humans trying to understand the universe to how a dog understands language. We might understand a few things, but unfortunately the brain is not equipped or evolved enough to grasp it all. Still doesn't make it any less fun to talk to your pooch or contemplate your existence in the cosmos.

Nice thought provoking post, I enjoy these.