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Why is there something rather than nothing? My take!


S-Man
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Hi everyone,

Now, I know this question is very old and the subject has been discussed loads of times, but personally I've always felt a little bit disappointed by some of the answers - especially scientific ones, believe it or not. I'm not saying I'm looking for a religious or spiritual answer, but rather a more philosophical one. The scientific community will often say that there is something rather than nothing because there can be. Their theory allows for something to come into existence, seen as how nothing is not really nothing at a quantum level. I'm not even trying to dispute that, because they might be right - perhaps a whole Universe can pop into existence from nothing through quantum fluctuations.

My issue with a scientific hypothesis is this: It explains a result by attributing certain conditions to the problem at hand. What it doesn't do is pull the curtain all the way back and answer the question in its truest form. I think the more layers you peel back on this topic, the only answer that rationally makes sense is that existence itself MAKES NO SENSE. Whatever beginning you believe in, one can always ask "Ok, but what came before that?" or "what lies beyond that?" and these types of questions simply DO NOT have answers. Example: "Universe -> Multiverse -> ????" or "Big Bang - Quantum Fluctuations -> ????"

I think it's entirely possible if not probable that even if we become an intergalactic species in the next couple millennia or so and learn everything there is to know about our universe or perhaps even the multiverse, odds are we will never be able to reach back enough to understand the real WHAT or WHY.

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

So, your take is "don't know and can't know"? 

Of course I don't know and can't know. The take is actually that nobody can know, and the more questions you ask the more you realize none of this makes any sense.

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1 minute ago, S-Man said:

Of course I don't know and can't know. The take is actually that nobody can know, and the more questions you ask the more you realize none of this makes any sense.

Sorry, I didn't mean that *you* don't know (it is a relief to have someone come along with a thread like this and say they don't know, rather than insisting they have some amazing insight into the truth!) I meant we/one can't know. I think that is a very sound position. At least if someone comes up with new ideas, you can be open minded about them (instead of insisting they must be wrong because it is not what you believe).

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42 minutes ago, S-Man said:

Of course I don't know and can't know. The take is actually that nobody can know, and the more questions you ask the more you realize none of this makes any sense.

What exactly doesn't make any sense? Can you expand on that a bit and explain why it doesn't make any sense?

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Why is there something rather than nothing? My take!

 

1 hour ago, S-Man said:

. I'm not saying I'm looking for a religious or spiritual answer, but rather a more philosophical one.

The General Philisophy section is a good place to ask then.

And the philosophical answer (after at least 5 whiskys)  is that unless there was both something and nothing you would not be able to distinguish between them.

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3 hours ago, S-Man said:

I've always felt a little bit disappointed by some of the answers - especially scientific ones, believe it or not. I'm not saying I'm looking for a religious or spiritual answer, but rather a more philosophical one.

I wouldn't care if the answer was philosophical, religious, spiritual or scientific, if it was the true answer. 

If the answer was religious, and there was good evidence for it, then that would be the scientific answer as well. That's essentially the difference currently. If it's got good evidence, it's scientific. It's also scientific to acknowledge that you don't know, if there is no evidence. 

So the scientific answer to the question, at the moment, is that we don't know.

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4 hours ago, S-Man said:

What it doesn't do is pull the curtain all the way back and answer the question in its truest form.

Who decides which is truest? Is there an objective measure for "true"? How can we know with our limited experience of the universe?

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Does it make sense that perhaps the universe, as we venture back in time, operated under a different physics that we can't know because those conditions no longer exist. To us, in our present time, beyond a certain point in the past it just looks like a dead end.

Edited by StringJunky
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