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Why is there something and not nothing? 
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 Why is there something and not nothing?
Why is there something and not nothing?



Sun May 11, 2014 9:58 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
I don't think this question will ever have a satisfactory answer. That's also the basic approach Blackburn takes here.

He mentions Leibniz, who thought this question inevitably led to the "final reason of things" which is called God.

Blackburn replies:

Quote:
when Leibniz poses the riddle of existence, he is presuming that "nothing" is the natural state, the default state, compared with which the existence of anything whatsoever requires explanation. But why should that be accepted?


He says that idea that something is improbable doesn't apply here:

Quote:
It is not as if we have a trillion cases of there being nothing, and in only one or two of them is there nothing. We have no cases at all to go on.


He does mention the fine tuning of the universe, again saying that we have to be careful of thinking in terms of probabilities. But he also says, rightly, that the anthropic principle is not a satisfying response (the idea that if it wasn't fine-tuned, we wouldn't be here to talk about it). He also doesn't think much of the idea of the multiverse, which is just speculation to try to deal with this apparent improbable outcome.

If we imagine another "something" (e.g. God) to have designed the universe, then there is the question of why God exists and not nothing.

Quote:
And if we are happy replying that they [Gods] just do, then we should be equally happy saying that the world just does.



Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:30 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
"The world just does exist" is a highly unsatisfying answer.
If something exists but doesn't have to exist, it is natural to ask why it does.
And there should be an answer.

The anthropic principle is a truism.



Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
ant wrote:
"The world just does exist" is a highly unsatisfying answer.
If something exists but doesn't have to exist, it is natural to ask why it does.
And there should be an answer.

The anthropic principle is a truism.


Agreed it's an unsatisfying answer. So is "God did it."

Blackburn's point is that we may not have a good reason to say that "something exists but doesn't have to exist." Why doesn't it have to? We have no basis for saying "nothing" is the "default state."

Sure the anthropic principle is a truism, but I assume you're not defending it as a way to answer the question, or to answer the question of fine-tuning.



Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:39 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Agreed it's an unsatisfying answer. So is "God did it

Why?



Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
ant wrote:
Agreed it's an unsatisfying answer. So is "God did it

Why?


Because it's equivalent to saying "something did it." Are you adding any additional content?



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 Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Something and Nothing are two opposite ends of the same stick. One can not be without the other.

The question about whether God is is absolute. The answer to that question transpires when you ask it, because it is that that you realise that if what is worrying you wasn't, then you wouldn't be worried about it after all.

The purpose of the universe is so that we can have what is allowing this conversation to take place right now; "the life experience".

The most interesting question to ask yourself is; "do I understand the purpose of my stay here in this time space and feeling environment. Do I understand the purpose of my life?"

The quest to find oneself is interesting in this way www.iansimelane.com, it always ends with finding out who God is. And once that happens, life becomes a breeze and you start living knowing why you are alive.



Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
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And if we are happy replying that they [Gods] just do, then we should be equally happy saying that the world just does.


This makes Blackburn happy and a few of the atheists that have written about this, but history tells us that the majority of mankind is not happy with an answer like "it is what it is" or "there is something because there is something" or "we exist because we find ourselves here and that's the end of it"

Blackburn, like everyone else, has a set of beliefs. One of his beliefs seems to be that something exists because it just does.
Nature seems to tell us something different because everything we witness existing has a purpose for its existence.

Can we call Blackburn's answer that "the world exists because it does" knowledge?
I think some people would like to for the purpose of convenience only.

But again, this is actually saying a whole lot of nothing.
Replying with nothing and moving on to say "but god didn't do it" is like responding with a loud noise.



Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:45 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
No one is claiming it is a satisfactory answer or "knowledge," not even Blackburn.

You never answered the question, how is "God did it" any different than "Something did it"?

Is there any additional content? Different cultures have different mythologies about creation. Do you believe them all? You must have a lot of negative proofs or else I guess you have to.



Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Well, no Dexter.

Ant has already said that:

-paraphrasing - it is extremely stupid for a non-believer to say that a supernatural entity doesn't exist.

Ant would never say anything extremely stupid, as demonstrated in his posts, so instead he believes them all. Or at the least, neither confirms nor denies. Because the options as he has outlined are: to believe, or be extremely stupid.

And that's why he has no comment about the real-deal existence of the supernatural entity Odin.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Dexter wrote:
No one is claiming it is a satisfactory answer or "knowledge," not even Blackburn.

You never answered the question, how is "God did it" any different than "Something did it"?

Is there any additional content? Different cultures have different mythologies about creation. Do you believe them all? You must have a lot of negative proofs or else I guess you have to.



From a Judeo-Christian sense and the idea of the nature of God, which I might add no religion or theologian has ever claimed to know the complete nature of God, it is a different answer.

If you reject an intelligence as being responsible for the universe, but are agreeable to saying "something did all this" then you need to come up with your own hypothesis.

"SOMETHING" did all this? Okay, what?
It's not enough to claim that something did it but not god.


If you make a positive claim then you're committed to introducing a hypothesis and providing evidence for it.

So my question is, what is the atheist's position here?

A multiverse gave birth to this universe?
Where's the evidence for that hypothesis?

The law of Gravity and an eternal vacuum caused nothing to become something?
Where's the evidence for that hypothesis?

The universe is eternal?
Although the big bang hypothesis would disagree with that hypothesis, where is the evidence for an eternal universe?


Does that atheist say, "Science is working on it, but God didn't do it"?
That's a complete cop-out. Essentially what is being said is "I don't know, but we know God didn't do it" when what's really known about why something exists rather than nothing is nothing.

Blackburn is just saying he's happy with his belief that "the universe just is"


(The atheist's common tactic here is to say some questions are not questions at all, but if it is a valid question worth asking, 'God didn't do it!")



Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
ant wrote:
(The atheist's common tactic here is to say some questions are not questions at all, but if it is a valid question worth asking, 'God didn't do it!")


Saying that a god is responsible just gives us another question. "Why god and not no god?"

That is why it is unsatisfying. Because rather than answer the question, it merely replaces it with another equally unanswerable question.

Most theists get around this by claiming the question is invalid, or some other such nonsense. Consider Ian Simelane's response from above:

"The question about whether God is is absolute. The answer to that question transpires when you ask it, because it is that that you realise that if what is worrying you wasn't, then you wouldn't be worried about it after all."

Unpack that one for us!


I think you'll find that regarding the origins of the universe, most atheists are agnostics, including the most outspoken of neo-atheists.

The wisest position for the origins of the universe is the agnostic position. Anything else is a claim to knowledge that we simply don't have.


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Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Quote:
Interbane:
That is why it is unsatisfying. Because rather than answer the question, it merely replaces it with another equally unanswerable question.


I think that it's worse that that even. It isn't equally unanswerable, because there is a possibility we could find out something about the way a universe came about through naturalistic events. By insisting on a magical event the question becomes un answerable by design!

This becomes the blanket we throw over our ignorance, and which we protect with scron-full words when anyone attempts to peak under the corners.

You CAN'T know that! It's a mystery. It's god's domain! Stop trying to figure that out, it's nothing you could possibly understand.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
-Guillermo Del Torro

Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:24 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
If God did create the universe how could you then find a naturalistic materialistic explanation? I don't think anyone is saying it's wrong for scientists to try discover all they can about the universe.Philosophically, the argument is inferring from what science shows to the best explanation for it.Not in absolute proof terms. Other strands like meaning and purpose come into it. The dogmatic assertions ascribing life, existence,intelligence to blind purporseless chance events doesn't fit well with our being living,thinking rational and purposeful beings.
A lot of what I see put forward from atheistic apologists is of the, everything you know is wrong variety. The appearance of design in nature is an illusion. Our sense of the the conscious mind is and illusion. Our sense of making real choices is an illusion. No wonder so many people don't believe you guys.



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Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Why is there something and not nothing?
Quote:
A lot of what I see put forward from atheistic apologists is of the, everything you know is wrong variety. The appearance of design in nature is an illusion. Our sense of the the conscious mind is and illusion. Our sense of making real choices is an illusion. No wonder so many people don't believe you guys.


If the truth were so easily achieved, we'd have possessed it thousands of years ago. But year by year, we learn how little we really know about how the universe operates. Reality is insanely, unfathomably complex. As naturalistic explanations acquire territory from formerly supernatural explanations, our understanding grows in complexity, getting closer and closer to a fuller understanding. We're at the point now where no single mind can understand it all. Who knows where we'll be in a decade.

It's no wonder that the simplicity offered by religion is so prevalent even in an age when we know better.

On consciousness as illusion. It's not that the conscious mind is an illusion. What we sense of our consciousness is a very real thing. But what we are sensing is an emergent phenomenon, supervenient on physical systems, rather than supernatural.


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Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:52 pm
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