Something Instead of Nothing

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Jakob » Wed May 08, 2019 11:47 am

"the continuum of relationships as not approximate at the level of the absolute."

This is crucial.

At the level of the absolute the nature of relationship is a type of contrast that is incontemplatable.

This is war in principle but can be transmuted or reversed in a way to become all usurping love.
Which is war, as not all wants to be loved in the same way, by the same absolute.

Thus compromise is, precisely because it is not divine, a necessarily thing to endure the world outside of a White Lodge.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 08, 2019 11:26 pm

Jakob wrote:"the continuum of relationships as not approximate at the level of the absolute."

This is crucial.

At the level of the absolute the nature of relationship is a type of contrast that is incontemplatable.

This is war in principle but can be transmuted or reversed in a way to become all usurping love.
Which is war, as not all wants to be loved in the same way, by the same absolute.

Thus compromise is, precisely because it is not divine, a necessarily thing to endure the world outside of a White Lodge.


A classic example of something instead of nothing. Though it may well mean nothing at all. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu May 09, 2019 4:12 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Jakob wrote:"the continuum of relationships as not approximate at the level of the absolute."

This is crucial.

At the level of the absolute the nature of relationship is a type of contrast that is incontemplatable.

This is war in principle but can be transmuted or reversed in a way to become all usurping love.
Which is war, as not all wants to be loved in the same way, by the same absolute.

Thus compromise is, precisely because it is not divine, a necessarily thing to endure the world outside of a White Lodge.


A classic example of something instead of nothing. Though it may well mean nothing at all. :wink:

You'd have to read it to find out... :wink:
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 09, 2019 6:17 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:You'd have to read it to find out... :wink:


Presumably then you have. What did you find out? :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Thu May 09, 2019 6:28 pm

Thats not a presumption which follows form any evident logic!


I may or may not have.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 09, 2019 6:43 pm

Lloyd Strickland from the Conversation website
https://theconversation.com/us

Other theories in cosmology also seem to presuppose that there must always have been something in existence from which our universe arose, such as strings or membranes.
The trouble with such scientific answers to the question of “why there is something and not nothing” is that it is not clear why we should think that there had to be gravity, or the quantum vacuum, or strings, or even a universe at all. It seems entirely possible that instead of these things there could have been absolutely nothing.


This is the point I always get back to. Sure, one can imagine any number of things that might explain the existence of something rather than nothing at all. But that doesn't explain why those things are necessarily the explanation. We always get to the point where an assumption must be made that [so far] no one appears to have either completely verified or completely falsified.

Even the minds making the assumptions themselves have been imagined in all manner of surreal contexts: sim worlds, dreams, matrixes. The embodiment of solipsism or determinism.

Aside from the origin of somethingness, what makes something anything at all?

Another response to Leibniz’s great question is simply to deny that it has an answer. The philosopher Bertrand Russell took this line in a famous radio debate in 1948. He was asked why he thought the universe exists, and responded “I should say that the universe is just there, and that’s all”.

On this account, the universe would be what philosophers call a brute fact – something that does not have an explanation.


Of course going this route allows one to use anything as the brute fact. The existence of God for example. Or the "brute fact" can be said to be that something did in fact come into existence out of nothing at all.

But that sort of thing is never really satisfying is it? And precisely because there is almost nothing of which we can't just shrug and say, "it is what it is, let's move on".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 09, 2019 6:44 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:Thats not a presumption which follows form any evident logic!


I may or may not have.


Oh, Kid games. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Lloyd Strickland from the Conversation website
https://theconversation.com/us

The most novel answer to Leibniz’s great question is to say that our universe exists because it should. The thinking here is that all possible universes have an innate tendency to exist, but that some have a greater tendency to exist than others. The idea is actually Leibniz’s, who entertained the thought that there may be a struggle for existence between possible worlds, with the very best one coming out on top as if through a process of virtual natural selection. In the end he did not accept the idea, and retreated instead to the more traditional view that the universe exists because God chose to make it so.


It's less the most "novel" answer perhaps than the most "satisfying". Why? Because not only does it encompass an understanding of somethingness, it grounds whatever that understanding turns out to be in a reason why it is this particular something and not another.

And even though it may not be the teleological foundation that suits us, it can at least be said to encompass the best of all possible teleological foundations.

In other words, if it can't be God -- the perfect explanation intertwined in the perfect reason -- at least it's not the god-awful "brute facticity" in which our lives are ultimately meaningless and absurd.

What doesn't change however is that there still appears to be no way in which to move the discussion much beyond the "wild ass guesses" themselves.

Like this one:

But the idea of a virtual struggle among possible universes has appealed to some modern philosophers, who have followed it to its logical conclusion and claimed that the possible universe with the greatest tendency to exist – which might be because it is the best, or because it contains some important feature such as the conditions that permit life to arise – will actually bring itself into existence.

According to this theory, our universe becomes actual not because God or anything else made it so but because it literally lifted itself out of non-existence and made itself actual. Weird? Yes. But we shouldn’t let that put us off. After all, an extraordinary philosophical question might just require an extraordinary answer.


Modern philosophers? Well, what they have as an advantage over the ancient ones is a vastly more sophisticated/comprehensive understanding of the universe that science has provided.

But, come on, how close is science to actually pinning down a multiverse in which [perhaps] our own universe is the "fittest"?

Instead, what science has succeeded best at is noting just how staggeringly vast this particular universe is: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=194813

And then this part: https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/f ... ark-energy

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe."
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 16, 2019 7:33 pm

Why is there something rather than nothing?
By Robert Adler
From the BBC Earth website

People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Pretty much every ancient culture came up with its own creation story - most of them leaving the matter in the hands of the gods - and philosophers have written reams on the subject. But science has had little to say about this ultimate question.


This certainly makes sense. After all, science deals not with what we wish to know [or believe] or what might be known going all the way out to the end of the metaphysical limb...but what in fact can be known going back to something out of nothing or something always existing.

However, in recent years a few physicists and cosmologists have started to tackle it. They point out that we now have an understanding of the history of the universe, and of the physical laws that describe how it works. That information, they say, should give us a clue about how and why the cosmos exists.

Their admittedly controversial answer is that the entire universe, from the fireball of the Big Bang to the star-studded cosmos we now inhabit, popped into existence from nothing at all. It had to happen, they say, because "nothing" is inherently unstable.

This idea may sound bizarre, or just another fanciful creation story. But the physicists argue that it follows naturally from science's two most powerful and successful theories: quantum mechanics and general relativity.


Here though, lets face it, certain scientists become little more than certain philosophers. They are still speculating out at the end of the metaphysical limb, only with more actual facts than ever before.

But what on earth does it mean in terms of all this new knowledge that they have accumulated to speak of "nothing" as being inherently unstable?

Would they not need to find and then examine a nothing in order to demonstrate its properties? But in being part of the something that certainly seems to exist, how could this not be entirely futile?

And are not quantum mechanics and general relativity intrinsic components of somethingness? Why do they suggest something out of nothing rather than something ever and always?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Fri May 17, 2019 4:39 pm

What Nietzsche really meant, in one phrase, is, deal with it, man.
He didn't even ask it of women.

iambiguous wrote:
barbarianhorde wrote:Thats not a presumption which follows form any evident logic!


I may or may not have.


Oh, Kid games. :wink:

Only playing along ;)
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Exuberant Teleportation » Fri May 17, 2019 5:42 pm

iambiguous wrote:Lloyd Strickland from the Conversation website
https://theconversation.com/us

It's less the most "novel" answer perhaps than the most "satisfying". Why? Because not only does it encompass an understanding of somethingness, it grounds whatever that understanding turns out to be in a reason why it is this particular something and not another.

And even though it may not be the teleological foundation that suits us, it can at least be said to encompass the best of all possible teleological foundations.

In other words, if it can't be God -- the perfect explanation intertwined in the perfect reason -- at least it's not the god-awful "brute facticity" in which our lives are ultimately meaningless and absurd.

What doesn't change however is that there still appears to be no way in which to move the discussion much beyond the "wild ass guesses" themselves.

Modern philosophers? Well, what they have as an advantage over the ancient ones is a vastly more sophisticated/comprehensive understanding of the universe that science has provided.

But, come on, how close is science to actually pinning down a multiverse in which [perhaps] our own universe is the "fittest"?

Instead, what science has succeeded best at is noting just how staggeringly vast this particular universe is: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=194813

And then this part: https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/f ... ark-energy

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe."


What does this excessive amount of invisible matter/energy indicate about the fate of our universe, like whether gravity halts the universal acceleration (Big Crunch), or if we get blown asunder by the Big Chill and/or the Big Rip? Or what about those higher dimensions? Or what even about Heavenly Jerusalem being separated from us by a void indicate about the higher reaches (just food for thought, I don't expect answers to all of those questions)?

We live in a monster labyrinth, and to decipher all of these mysteries would make big steps towards 1 day controlling all of these phenomena, and being masters of hyperspace (perhaps, we could even escape from the death of the universe in big chill or big rip big freeze by tunneling into the ocean of nirvana sprouting the bubbles of genesis in the infinite outpouring of the multiverse (and I say, OMNIVERSE!)
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Fri May 17, 2019 6:29 pm

What of mastering ourselves first.

Maybe do good to the earth.

I always scoff at people who seek the truth out there - this is what the stars have created. This is what they "want" us to live. This is where we are meant to be.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun May 19, 2019 10:42 am

barbarianhorde wrote:What Nietzsche really meant, in one phrase, is, deal with it, man.
He didn't even ask it of women.
Knowing that they would have, then, likely gotten pregnant as some point, and that a baby-sized object was inevitably going to take hours to come out of their vaginas....well, they're a group that would have been told to deal with it by the universe. You told me a baby-sized object was going to take hours to come out of a tiny orifice in my body and that if it didn't seem to be going well some stranger was going to use a scalpel on my intimate parts and/or reach into me...that's having to deal with it. For women, having to deal with it is an ontological given.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Jakob » Sun May 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Yeah, thats how it always appeared to me.
I never could quite grasp where men who think women are the weaker sex are coming from.
I can understand late stage abortion as a kind of revenge on this harshness of their lives. It is an unimaginable cruelty, but it is a reflection of the pain they were dealt.

It is quite miraculous that the pain of giving birth prevents so few women from having offspring. But obviously the miracle is evolution itself, women who didn't feel like giving birth, well they didn't reproduce.
Rarely was a matter more elementary.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 20, 2019 6:17 pm

Why is there something rather than nothing?
By Robert Adler
From the BBC Earth website

Particles from empty space

First we have to take a look at the realm of quantum mechanics. This is the branch of physics that deals with very small things: atoms and even tinier particles. It is an immensely successful theory, and it underpins most modern electronic gadgets.

Quantum mechanics tells us that there is no such thing as empty space. Even the most perfect vacuum is actually filled by a roiling cloud of particles and antiparticles, which flare into existence and almost instantaneously fade back into nothingness.


Of course this is the part that stops many of us right in our tracks. We don't have the capacity to understand these QM realitionships, let alone to connect the dots between that knowledge and what most have to admit is the mindboggling reality of "modern electronic gadgets". How is it even possible to have invented the Smart Phone?! That's where many of us are. So we have no choice but to hear out those who do understand it.

Or, rather, understand it to the extent that it is in fact understood here and now given the gap between this and all that can be known about it.

But: Given that gap, how is it really possible for any scientist to know for certain what QM tells us about empty space?

And then on to how they connect the dots between the QM world and something rather than nothing.

What does it ultimately mean for something to "flare into existence" and then "almost instantaneously fade back into nothingness".

And isn't this empty space already existing in the somethingness we call the universe?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Tue May 21, 2019 3:50 pm

And isn't this empty space already existing in the somethingness we call the universe?

Yes of course it is.

I like that you acknowledge the sheer wizardry of science, and that very few people actually know what theyre talking about.

I would say, the ontological, that means metaphysical riddle of the OPs phrase, something instead of nothing, happens apart from all the permutations of ... existence itself. So you can't look at existence, what happens there, and explain from it why it exists.

You have to look at yourself, ultimately, to address that question.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 23, 2019 6:13 pm

barbarianhorde wrote: So you can't look at existence, what happens there, and explain from it why it exists.

You have to look at yourself, ultimately, to address that question.


This just brings us back to the fact that some are considerably more sophisticated in grasping that which physicists [exploring both the very, very large, and the very, very small] do seem able to establish as being as close to the objective truth as we seem able to get --- given the gap between what they know and all that there is yet to be known.

So, for most to look to themselves, is to make the solution that much more distant.

But the tricky part here is that it matters not how close or how far any of us are to understanding it. What counts revolves more around the extent to which what someone does believe is seen by them to be what is in fact true.

That's why I come back over and again to the distinction between what someone believes is true [or claims to know] and that which they are able to demonstrate to others as something all rational men and women are obligated to believe and to know.

It's just that in turn I point out the seeming futility of anyone actually accomplishing this in our lifetimes.

It's fascinating stuff to speculate about, but we will go to the grave never really being able to move much beyond that. And this perturbs some more than others.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Thu May 23, 2019 7:45 pm

iambiguous wrote:
I come back over and again to the distinction between what someone believes is true [ or claims to know ] and that which
they are able to demonstrate to others as something all rational men and women are obligated to believe and to know

Its just that in turn I point out the seeming futility of anyone actually accomplishing this in our lifetimes

You cannot simply expect all rational men and women to accept as true what you yourself accept as true
Apart from anything else it is beyond the ability of anyone to convince anyone of anything because they can only do that themselves
The best thing to do is make your arguments as sound as possible and leave others to decide whether or not they should accept them
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 24, 2019 8:39 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
I come back over and again to the distinction between what someone believes is true [ or claims to know ] and that which
they are able to demonstrate to others as something all rational men and women are obligated to believe and to know

Its just that in turn I point out the seeming futility of anyone actually accomplishing this in our lifetimes

You cannot simply expect all rational men and women to accept as true what you yourself accept as true


That's my point. But there are clearly any number of things in the either/or world that can be reasonably demonstrated to be true for all of us. Unless of course even this truth is embedded in a sim world, or a dream world, or one or another Matrix type reality.

In fact last night the Science Channel aired a Doc in which it was suggested that what we construe to be reality is instead just a computer simulation.

But: in the is/ought world, moral and political values are seen by me and my ilk to be largely "existential contraptions".

And, re this thread, the truth behind something instead of nothing is so mind-boggling, no one would seem able to go much beyond the assumptions you'll find [even among scientists] in "wild ass guesses".

The fact that some are more informed than others doesn't make them any less embedded in the gap between what some think they know now and all that can be known.

surreptitious75 wrote: Apart from anything else it is beyond the ability of anyone to convince anyone of anything because they can only do that themselves


In reality however we go about the business of interacting with others in many, many different ways in many, many different contexts without having to stop and insist that others must first convince them that what they say or do is in fact true.

surreptitious75 wrote: The best thing to do is make your arguments as sound as possible and leave others to decide whether or not they should accept them


Indeed, but, again, out in the world of actual human interactions, there are any number of contexts in which arguments collide such that resolutions revolve around either might makes right, right makes might, or moderation, negotiation and compromise is seen to reflect the best of all possible worlds.

And, here, over and again, I say bring the arguments down to earth. What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true for all of us? And what might we have to conclude are beyond pinning down?

Something instead of nothing being just one of them.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 27, 2019 7:43 pm

Why is there something rather than nothing?
By Robert Adler
From the BBC Earth website

Space-time, from no space and no time

From tiny things like atoms, to really big things like galaxies. Our best theory for describing such large-scale structures is general relativity, Albert Einstein's crowning achievement, which sets out how space, time and gravity work.

Relativity is very different from quantum mechanics, and so far nobody has been able to combine the two seamlessly. However, some theorists have been able to bring the two theories to bear on particular problems by using carefully chosen approximations.


I think this speak volumes regarding the gap between what we think we know about nothing/something and what is yet to be known.

It's then just a matter of how big that gap is.

In other words, here we here in this somethingness still perplexed about the relationship between the very, very small and the very, very large. And it seems reasonable to suggest that until we have a handle on somethingness, nothingness or not nothingness remains out of reach.

The approximations here are beyond -- way beyond -- the grasp of most of us. But they are in turn beyond -- perhaps way beyond -- the grasp of those who do understand them. At least insofar as being able to intertwine them in the explanation for existence itself.

And how far is the gap here from the gap that separates this explanation from the far more profound mystery of teleology. Describing what existence is may or may not allow us to understand if there is a meaning or a purpose "behind" it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 27, 2019 8:13 pm

Right! That is why sensibility far outweighs any form of identification of variables within even the analysis of structural and compatible variances.
at the moment. Any form of o objectification of variables is merely projectively identifiable.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 28, 2019 11:45 pm

iambiguous wrote:That's my point. But there are clearly any number of things in the either/or world that can be reasonably demonstrated to be true for all of us.
As he points out, no one can convince all rational people about most beliefs, including things that you or even most people would consider reasonably demonstrated.


Unless of course even this truth is embedded in a sim world, or a dream world, or one or another Matrix type reality.

In fact last night the Science Channel aired a Doc in which it was suggested that what we construe to be reality is instead just a computer simulation.
And here you give evidence that this is true. That even quite fundamental a scientific assumptions are questioned within science. There are some scientists who think we can say it is probable we are in a simulation. And depending on what kind of simulation, the theists could be right about a lot of things, for all practical purposes, for example. Depending on the nature of the programmers and if they intervene and break the 'natural laws' for example.

And, here, over and again, I say bring the arguments down to earth. What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true for all of us?

What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true to all of us and for all of us? Nothing. We can demonstrate away, but there will be hold outs on everything. Certainly about this assertion of mine.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 29, 2019 5:29 pm

iambiguous wrote:That's my point. But there are clearly any number of things in the either/or world that can be reasonably demonstrated to be true for all of us.


Karpel Tunnel wrote: As he points out, no one can convince all rational people about most beliefs, including things that you or even most people would consider reasonably demonstrated.


Yeah, that will always be true. But we still need a context in which something thought to be true for all people -- the laws of nature, say -- are in fact demonstrated [to the best of one's ability] to be true for all people.

Relationships in the either/or world are often demonstrated to be true for all of us through such things as actual technology or engineering feats. Or through the tools available to scientists employing the scientific method.

It's just that when such demonstrations are attempted regarding relationships in the is/ought world, or relationships involving such interactions as in the topic being discussed on this thread, there is no technology or engineering feats [yet] able to pin it down such that most rational people are obligated to agree.

Then this part...

Unless of course even this truth is embedded in a sim world, or a dream world, or one or another Matrix type reality.

In fact last night the Science Channel aired a Doc in which it was suggested that what we construe to be reality is instead just a computer simulation.


Karpel Tunnel wrote: And here you give evidence that this is true. That even quite fundamental a scientific assumptions are questioned within science. There are some scientists who think we can say it is probable we are in a simulation. And depending on what kind of simulation, the theists could be right about a lot of things, for all practical purposes, for example. Depending on the nature of the programmers and if they intervene and break the 'natural laws' for example.


Over and over and over again, I point out that until it is determined that the folks here on planet Earth have the capacty to grasp an understanding of existence itself, none of us are able to pin down finally the most comprehensive manner in which to understand the relationship between the either/or world, the is/ought and the something/nothing connundrum as this is applicable to what we call "the human condition".

Until then the scientists and the philosophers and the theists are all in the same boat.

And, here, over and again, I say bring the arguments down to earth. What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true for all of us?


Karpel Tunnel wrote: What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true to all of us and for all of us? Nothing. We can demonstrate away, but there will be hold outs on everything. Certainly about this assertion of mine.


I basically agree. Sans an understanding of existence itself, we can never really be absolutely certain of anything that we claim is true. We can only come closer to a context in which more rather than less agree that some things certainly appear to be truer than other things.

I can claim that it is true objectively that Don Trump is president of the United States. Unless, perhaps, between the time I make this claim and the time you react to it, Don Trump has died from a heart attack.

And I can claim that it is true that Don Trump is a great president. And I can claim that it is true that Don Trump thinks and feels and says and does things solely in sync with the immutable laws of matter in a determined universe. etc.

But how would these sorts of things be demonstrated such that rational mem and women are obligated to share the belief?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:39 am

Why is there something rather than nothing?
By Robert Adler
From the BBC Earth website

A universe from a bubble

So it's not just particles and antiparticles that can snap in and out of nothingness: bubbles of space-time can do the same. Still, it seems like a big leap from an infinitesimal space-time bubble to a massive universe that hosts 100 billion galaxies. Surely, even if a bubble formed, it would be doomed to disappear again in the blink of an eye?


But this sort of speculation just brings me back to the seeming fact that they are not snapping in and out of nothingness if this snapping in and out takes place in the somethingness that we call the universe.

The problem for me is that it is simply not possible to grasp [let alone to actually articulate] nothing at all. How is one to wrap words around it such that there is even the remote possibility of moving beyond the words into the realm of demonstating a reality where nothing empirical exists at all?

Most physicists now think that the universe began with the Big Bang. At first all the matter and energy in the universe was crammed together in one unimaginably small dot, and this exploded. This follows from the discovery, in the early 20th century, that the universe is expanding. If all the galaxies are flying apart, they must once have been close together.


Even here though, the small dot, the singularity, is something. And flying apart forever or coming back together for the Big Crunch, the galaxies are always something "inside" something that encompasses them all. Or in a somethingness -- a multiverse -- that encompasses an infinate nunber of universes.

Always and everywhere is something.

Yet even more mindboggling [for those like me] is in trying to wrap our heads around the idea that, however big or small this something is, how can it be grasped other than as inside something else. How can space-time be everything when everything else we can point to is inside [or intertwined with] something else?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:33 am

iambiguous wrote:Yeah, that will always be true. But we still need a context in which something thought to be true for all people -- the laws of nature, say -- are in fact demonstrated [to the best of one's ability] to be true for all people.
I would say that at any given time this is the case. To the best of some people's ability - scientists, whoever - it is being demonstrated, with whatever success this leads to. I am not sure we 'need a context in which...' etc. We might need it for some specific (unnamed here) goal. Though determining that we need that seems to me as problematic as anything thing else. Some people want that.

Relationships in the either/or world are often demonstrated to be true for all of us through such things as actual technology or engineering feats. Or through the tools available to scientists employing the scientific method.
Though in the latter case there is still internecine disagreement about all sorts of stuff, as you and the thread point out. And utterly fundamental stuff. As far as the former, sure. Most people can see that we have learned to make stuff using scientific research and engineering. What this means about all sorts of is issues is unclear.

It's just that when such demonstrations are attempted regarding relationships in the is/ought world, or relationships involving such interactions as in the topic being discussed on this thread, there is no technology or engineering feats [yet] able to pin it down such that most rational people are obligated to agree.
Ah, we agree. yes, we don't know what these feats mean about metaphysics, the nature of reality, what can't be true, much of what is true and so on.

Then this part...


Over and over and over again, I point out that until it is determined that the folks here on planet Earth have the capacty to grasp an understanding of existence itself, none of us are able to pin down finally the most comprehensive manner in which to understand the relationship between the either/or world, the is/ought and the something/nothing connundrum as this is applicable to what we call "the human condition".

Until then the scientists and the philosophers and the theists are all in the same boat.
Yup.

And, here, over and again, I say bring the arguments down to earth. What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true for all of us?


Karpel Tunnel wrote: What are we in fact able to demonstrate as true to all of us and for all of us? Nothing. We can demonstrate away, but there will be hold outs on everything. Certainly about this assertion of mine.


I basically agree. Sans an understanding of existence itself, we can never really be absolutely certain of anything that we claim is true. We can only come closer to a context in which more rather than less agree that some things certainly appear to be truer than other things.
Though popularity may not mean anything. If we look to the past even consensus about somethings did not lead to it continuing to be consensus.

I can claim that it is true objectively that Don Trump is president of the United States. Unless, perhaps, between the time I make this claim and the time you react to it, Don Trump has died from a heart attack.

And I can claim that it is true that Don Trump is a great president. And I can claim that it is true that Don Trump thinks and feels and says and does things solely in sync with the immutable laws of matter in a determined universe. etc.

But how would these sorts of things be demonstrated such that rational mem and women are obligated to share the belief?
They certainly can't be now and I doubt they ever will be. If one agrees with that, then the question becomes, potentially, what do I do given that I don't think this will ever happen?

If one disagrees, what does one base this optimistic evaluation on.

But if one is trying to move things towards greater consensus, if that is your goal, what steps lead to that.

In this thread it seems like the point you make could be summed up as 'look at all the stuff we don't understand'.

Now that could be a good approach. Let's face our situation and this situation includes us not knowing a lot of fundamental stuff.

Is this the best approach? I don't know.

What other steps would be useful? Based on what knowledge does one decide?

What interpersonal skills are needed?

Who should one build consensus with first?

Or one might decide the goal is unreachable or that one is not the right person or that given all the problems some other activity might be more enjoyable or more important (to one).
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