Aufbau87 wrote:I think you're assuming that if Nothing cannot be said to exist in logic and reason, then Nothing is inexplicable in logic and reason. But this is not the case. Logicians are quite clear on their meaning of Nothing.
So, even though the logicians don't ascribe existence to "nothing", it doesn't mean they haven't explained it or given it its proper use in analysis.
Thank you for your response. I do not completely agree that logicians have "explained" Nothing (at least not in this context), but I think that what you are trying to say is in line with my view on the matter.
In a certain way, logicians actually use the word Nothing in the same sense as me. They do not define it directly, they just say that there is no such thing that (...). However, they will always need a predicate in order to talk about Nothing, as the only elementary logic values give trivial sentences:
- There is Nothing for which True holds (obviously a contradiction)
- There is Nothing for which False holds (obviously a tautology)
So, they can indeed say that Nothing is blue, or that Nothing matters, but they cannot describe the word Nothing without such a predicate. Such a predicate inherently has a domain of objects over which it applies, which means that the definition of Nothing is always limited to that domain. Logically, Nothing will never be part of the domain of such a predicate, which is why I said that science/logic cannot grasp the nature of Nothing.
I basically used the same approach as the logicians, but from a different angle. I said that there is no definition that can be used to define Nothing exactly. The domain of this predicate is everything that can be scientifically defined, but Nothing (again as a result of the word itself) still falls out of this domain, unless you define Nothing as being undefinable.
I could of course attempt to define it in a more scientific (but still indirect) way, although I could be making a mistake because my knowledge on physics and quantum mechanics is rather limited. If you look at elementary, scientifically definable elements in general and the interaction between these, then let's say that:
- two elements A and B can interact
- if A interacts with Nothing then the result is A (trivial)
- every element A has an inverse, A* (matter vs anti-matter, a wave or force vs its inverse)
- if A interacts with A* then the result is Nothing (two opposing forces or waves cancel each other out, and I think particles can do the same (?))
So in this way Nothing is defined as the identity-element of interaction between scientifically definable elements, just like the number 0 is the identity-element of the addition of whole numbers. Still, this is an indirect definition (probably containing some errors), nothing more.
So, you are right that logicians can use "no thing" in their reasoning, but in my opinion they simply use a workaround, and (are forced to) avoid the concept Nothing itself. What I attempted to show is that Nothing can be defined indirectly, but not directly (which is eventually a direct result of the word itself). Your logicians view actually strengthened this position, because they always need something to relate it to.
The argument between those two people was meant to show that if two people discuss this and one person agrees with the existence of Nothing (person B), and the other does not (person A), then they can never agree. The frameworks these people use in their judgments are simply incompatible, and as long as they cling to their framework, the situation will not change. I think this situation is a direct result of the fact that Nothing cannot be directly defined using the framework which person A uses, and I think this is the main cause of why people sometimes don't agree (edit: or rather, have little or no respect for the other persons position). It is just like how someone who knows only positive numbers will not easily accept that 0 is also a number, unless he expands his framework of reasoning (which limited the development of number theory in the past, the 'discovery' of 0 as a number was of major importance). It is why it is always beneficial to look at discussions from different (opposing) perspectives, otherwise you are missing what the discussion is all about (you only see half of it). If you are on one side of the discussion, then it is necessary to (temporarily) adopt the other persons framework of reasoning if you want to understand what he is talking about. If you do not know what the other person is talking about, the discussion is pointless.