Jump to content

The Philosophy of Something Coming from Nothing


ydoaPs
 Share

Recommended Posts

It is often claimed that something cannot come from nothing. Often this is just a colloquial formulation of the conservation of energy, however, it is also used as some sort of metaphysical intuition as a defense of certain premises in logical arguments regarding beginnings. The trouble with the latter sense of the claim is that it is a rather poor intuition. Intuitions aren't innate beliefs, but rather inductive inferences. This inference, however, is based on faulty information. Yes, it is true we do not see things pop into existence out of nothing (vacuums are not 'nothing'), but that doesn't help us. Why is that? Well, we lack the necessary and sufficient conditions to acquire any information at all about whether something can pop into existence from nothingness. Of course we're not going to see things pop into existence from nothingness if we're not looking at nothingness! You can't expect to gain information about whether or not ducks can swim in water if you only look at pools of lava. Similarly, to get any viable information, we must look to nothingness. Unfortunately for us, we have no access to nothingness. This means induction is not going to cut it. Hopefully deduction can save the day.

 

So far as deduction goes, it is often claimed that something cannot come from nothing since nothing has no potentiality and thus the potentiality cannot be actualized! This actually sounds very good.........at first. Once one looks a bit deeper it is soon revealed that this cannot work precisely for the reasoning used to say that nothingness has no potentiality. Nothingness is just that-nothingness. There is no mass, there is no length, there is no time. It lacks all that it is to be something. We cannot accurately apply the rules based on how our universe behaves to understand the nothingness. Causation and conservation are thus thrown in the rubbish bin. What does that mean? It means we cannot say that things cannot pop into existence from nothing, but does it mean they can?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think first you have to decide if nothing exists in the first place. And if it does how would you know? If you can see nothing then it is obviously something and arguably has potential. If nothing exists then it would seemingly have no potential and something cannot be born from it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can work without the problem of nothingness.

Take a closed system full of things and measure its behaviour over time. So far, observation of a closed system tells us that there is energy conservation over time. No added energy can arise from a closed system, there is no free energy.

 

For the free lunch to exist, one has to invent negative energy.

Or one has to reconsidered what "over time" means. Because all precedent considerations are embedded in time and we don't know what time really is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or you could look at it this way. Due to resistance, the energy of the entire everything will at some point wink out of existance. There for becoming nothing. So something could turn into nothing, but does that mean that nothing could also turn into something?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or you could look at it this way. Due to resistance, the energy of the entire everything will at some point wink out of existance. There for becoming nothing. So something could turn into nothing, but does that mean that nothing could also turn into something?

Turning time backwards.

 

But we first have to understand time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or you could look at it this way. Due to resistance, the energy of the entire everything will at some point wink out of existance. There for becoming nothing. So something could turn into nothing, but does that mean that nothing could also turn into something?

What on earth are you talking about? That doesn't jive with physics at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's go ahead and call it being the measurement between distance of movement for the sake arguement.

 

What on earth are you talking about? That doesn't jive with physics at all.

It does if you look at the universe as a closed system
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's go ahead and call it being the measurement between distance of movement for the sake arguement.

 

It does if you look at the universe as a closed system

No, no it doesn't. You may want to relearn thermodynamics. You're doing it wrong. The energy doesn't go anywhere; it becomes less useful.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While that's slightly amusing, I actually gave reasons to support my position. You know the whole applying physics to nothingness is invalid thing? Yeah, that.

 

That's because you consider nothingness as a static thing. It is like trying to putting a pin in equilibrium vertically on his point. And the whole universe upon this pin.

 

I still believe there must be some way to prove that nothingness is physically impossible.

A start for that is to say that nothingness is exclusive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's because you consider nothingness as a static thing. It is like trying to putting a pin in equilibrium vertically on his point. And the whole universe upon this pin.

 

I still believe there must be some way to prove that nothingness is physically impossible.

A start for that is to say that nothingness is exclusive.

It's not physically impossible, because physics doesn't apply to nothingness. Physics is an abstraction of how our universe behaves. Our universe is not nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still believe there must be some way to prove that nothingness is physically impossible.

A start for that is to say that nothingness is exclusive.

once you have something physical it is something, once everything physical is out of the equasion then it becomes nothing. Then nothing becomes the entity as it is all there is.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not physically impossible, because physics doesn't apply to nothingness. Physics is an abstraction of how our universe behaves. Our universe is not nothing.

What a pleasure to be in the philo section...

I would conclude otherwise: It is physically impossible because physics doesn't apply to nothingness. So inside the physics ensemble, nothingness cannot stand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still believe there must be some way to prove that nothingness is physically impossible.

What would physically impossible mean?

 

I could, for example, define "physical" as anything that can be measured.

 

It would be easy to show that nothingness can't be measured, because if you measure it, it is something. It's then trivial to show that nothingness is not physically possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a pleasure to be in the philo section...

I would conclude otherwise: It is physically impossible because physics doesn't apply to nothingness. So inside the physics ensemble, nothingness cannot stand.

If you try to loosen a nut and the wrench doesn't fit, is the nut defective or are you using the wrong size wrench?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well wait a moment, nothing is rather like no thing, and things are that which something can be said about them, so once we have determined that nothing can be said about nothing, we can stay silent on the matter, and know exactly what the other means.

 

So...here we have something, which much can be said about, and its negation which exists in entirely the other direction. Some symmetry appears to exist. One degree of freedom. And we, along with everything we can say anything about are on this side. Nothing is on the other side.

 

Can something come from nothing?

 

yup they belong together

 

If the big bang is the point of reflection...then nothing is on the other side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What would physically impossible mean?

 

I could, for example, define "physical" as anything that can be measured.

 

It would be easy to show that nothingness can't be measured, because if you measure it, it is something. It's then trivial to show that nothingness is not physically possible.

I agree, but is it that simple?

That looks to me as a philosophical argument, very weak to oppose to some physicist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, but is it that simple?

If you define physical that way then I think so. That's a pretty loose definition too.

 

When the OP says "we have no access to nothingness", I think that's saying the same thing. I agree with it.

That looks to me as a philosophical argument, very weak to oppose to some physicist.

It would be hard to make an argument about nothingness not look philosophical :)

 

Just by formal logic, if something must be measurable to be physical and nothingness is not measurable then nothingness isn't physical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Nothing", in that scenario, is just an indicator of our ignorance.

 

StringJunky,

 

But ignorance suggests ignoring something.

 

As if we are turning our back to it. Like we know its there, but cannot see it, and can not think about it, and have nothing to say about it. Its the other thing than something. Its only quality, its only characteristic, is its complete absence of everything. It is the opposite of something. And can only be, if there is something to oppose it.

 

Regards, TAR2

 

So not only CAN you get something from nothing, you MUST have nothing to have something.

It is sufficient and nescessary.

 

Imagine God, a unity. All powerful, All knowning, Infinite and in complete possession of everything.

 

What is it to do? Can't go anywhere, there is no place other. Can't appear as anything to anybody, there is no other to see it? Knows the whole shooting match, from beginning to end, its the same darn thing. Complete already. Nothing going on. No differences. No distinctions. Nowhere to go, nothing to see, nothing happening. Nothing. Completely Nothing.

 

God is nothing. So it forgot it was nothing, and created the universe.

Something appears from nothing.

Edited by tar
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.