a refutation of nothingness

Nothingness (of substance) is impossible.

As it relates to substance (as opposed to form), there is only being.

If nothingness (of substance) were possible it would “exist” (so to speak), and rather than being/existence/something (of substance) there would “be” non-being/non-existence/nothing.

By virtue of being/existence/something, nothingness and the possibility of nothingness (of substance) is refuted.

It is only in form that there may be said to “found” being and non-being, as form is ever changing (one form has being then passes from being into non being giving way to yet another form). This is the process of becoming.



It would seem as though there’s “nothing” to refute!

Would you be saying that non-being can take a form?

The best way to refute the belief of nothingness is quite easy…

Have you expirience the reality of nothingness? Noone of course will be able to answer.

What if I say I have experienced the reality of nothingness? (If you want something concrete, how about in war, consumer culture, or even in listening to idiots ramble on about things they know nothing about…)

But I suppose what you’re really asking is where there EXISTS some kind of “pure” nothingness which is absolutely separated from everything that does exist. But we can’t look for something with a contradictory definition like this: we’re looking for something that exists when it doesn’t, and doesn’t exist when it does.

Actually, this is already Sartre: we can experience nothingness only because we are nothingness. The easiest way to understand this is considering how expectation works. Consider the situation where your boss tells you to meet with a client at a downtown hotel. You’re sitting there in the lounge, on the lookout for these people (let’s assume you’ve even been given a description.) You’re expecting to see these people. But until they arrive, and even if you don’t, what do you see when you look for them? Nothing–with human expectation, we’ve brought the possibility of nothingness, of failure, and of negation into reality. So Sartre would argue that we can say that there is a nothingness which is experienced when our expectations are disappointed, when we look for something which isn’t there. You could say this is a side-effect of non-positional self-consciousness.

yes, i agree with this. ‘nothing’ refers to ‘no thing’, so ‘it’ does not exist. and it always refers to the nonexistence of something in particular defined by the context of its use. like ‘there is nothing in my hand’. it relies on the existence of my hand. i think adding a -ness on the end of ‘nothing’ makes no sense, because it makes no thing into a substance, so the very word is an oxymoron. although you might want to use a mystical sense of ‘nothingness’ if you feel a lack of something undefinable or you imagine a place where anything you can imagine doesn’t exist–except for you. you can’t imagine a nothingness that doesn’t include you being aware of it.

Sure you can. That’s just like saying: you can’t imagine anything that doesn’t include my awareness of it. Which is certainly not true: even (and especially) if it’s absurd, I can at least imagine a universe where “nothingness” exists. You can’t set a limit to imagination and then state what’s beyond it because then you’ve already imagined it, right?

Are you saying if I imagine a ninja turtle as God of the cosmos outside of my awareness and observance it is indeed possible that a ninja turtle God exists?

No, of course not–though it is certainly possible! What I’m saying is that if you argue (for instance): “There’s a limit to our imaginations: you can’t imagine a ninja turtle as God” then you’re already contradicting yourself, because you’ve imagined a ninja turtle being God. This has nothing to do with the actuality or possibility of a turtle becoming God.

I’m saying we certainly can imagine a universe where “nothingness” exists. In fact, there is no evidence we don’t inhabit that universe–just as there is no evidence that ninja turtle is (or is not) God…

Well, I guess you can imagine a limited nothingness which (for the sake of argument) like any old thing, can be imagined to be independent in some sense of the observer–well, whether it’s independent or not, you can say you imagined a limited sort of nothingness in tandem with your own awareness. What I meant was that you can’t imagine a universe in which all there ‘is’ is nothingness, in other words, a cosmology in which nothing exists, because to imagine nothingness you must have some sense of what it’s like, which has to be all you (nothingness is really like nothing, and therefore to imagine no thing is not to imagine), and therefore in your imagined world there is still yourself, which counts as an extant in that world insofar as ‘anything’ either exists or doesn’t exist (i.e. whether there is ‘only nothingness’ or not).

When you imagine nothingness you are are still imagining yourself not existing but by definition of nothingness you should not be able to think of anything whether it be yourself or a object in a true definition of nothingness.

( There is no thought in nothingness since nothing exists therefore to think of yourself not existing in a nothingness does not fit with the traditional definition of nothingness at all)

Points to last post above this one.

I guess deep space approaches nothingness.

How do we know the state of nothingness is not just another state of existance that we don’t know about or that we cannot conceive with our limited minds?

These are the problems we face on the discussion of nothingness which has lead me to believe that nothingness is purely imaginative.

Nothingness is static, unless it becomes other-than-nothingness. Otherwise, it is not becoming anything.

Noone has expirience nothingness ,so how are we to call any state truely nothing at all?

Have you expirienced this static?

These are sophistic word games. I would say about every few days someone comes into the forum with another play on words, thinking they are witty. Our Democratean understanding of the micro world revolves around the postulation of matter moving around in void. Why does air compress? Because there is space (ie. void) that it compresses into. Before you go around postulating the none-existence of void, please show a scientific theory that shows space is made out of some particulate matter and show what type of substance this stuff is.

Energy is not a substance, therefor nothingness in the form of energy is a very real possibility.

I’m not saying that nothingness exists, I’m saying that if it did exist, it would neccessarily be static. That’s a logical conclusion.

It’s true that nothingness is not a substance, but it doesn’t follow that everything which is not a substance must be nothing. Energy is obviously something (it’s even made of particles like photons).

Also, E=mc^2, so energy is a latent substance.