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The Philosophy of Something Coming from Nothing

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Simply because of the fact that nothing doesn't exist. -Sorcerer

 

Nothingness isn't a thing to be able to exist! It's the state of affairs where there is absolutely no something in existence. - ydoaps

 

Aren't you both saying the same thing? If you are not it's rather subtle.

 

Philosophy, when it is done right, is subtle! and annoying! and requiring far more thought than should be necessary! and in the process of consciously rationalising those instinctively-made thoughts is massively rewarding

 

The fact that ydoaps and Sorcerer can perceive a difference means that a difference does exist between viewpoints; there is no further objective step which could render the variation between their conceptions moot. Furthermore, it is possible for one to understand and rationalise both perspectives internally and consider the synthesis of seemingly identical ideas. There is something magical about embracing contradiction when it coincides with an exaggeration and exploitation of minor differences; it is a mind-game with no real end, but one which is challenging and profitable in the pursuit.

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Philosophy, when it is done right, is subtle! and annoying! and requiring far more thought than should be necessary! and in the process of consciously rationalising those instinctively-made thoughts is massively rewarding

 

The fact that ydoaps and Sorcerer can perceive a difference means that a difference does exist between viewpoints; there is no further objective step which could render the variation between their conceptions moot. Furthermore, it is possible for one to understand and rationalise both perspectives internally and consider the synthesis of seemingly identical ideas. There is something magical about embracing contradiction when it coincides with an exaggeration and exploitation of minor differences; it is a mind-game with no real end, but one which is challenging and profitable in the pursuit.

 

Yes, you are probably right...i took my eye off the ball and have lost the continuity of the discussion. I made up my mind a while ago.

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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?

 

some points:

 

1. Conservation of energy

The conservation of energy might not be exactly the same as we always understood it to be under General Relativty, but only in the case of uncurved spacetime. The expansion of the universe for instance shows that the energy contents of the universe changes as space expands, as the energy density of empty space remains constant. However in the same rate the negative energy of the gravitational field increases, balancing the increase of dark energy.

 

2. Being and nothing

As Hegel would have explained (see: Science of Logic - Doctrine of Being) the idea that Being and nothing are only seperate - thus denying their unity and unseperatness - is not dialectic but sophistry. Being and nothing, as nothing is determined in them, only exist within their unity - in which one is the opposite of the other - but in that form they are still nothing and in fact the same. They do not have a seperate truth. Their only truth lies in Becoming (or ceasing-to-be), in which it is already understood that being passes into nothing and vice versa.

 

Remark 4: Incomprehensibility of the Beginning

 

§ 170

 

What has been said indicates the nature of the dialectic against the beginning of the world and also its end, by which the eternity of matter was supposed to be proved, that is, the dialectic against becoming, coming-to-be or ceasing-to-be, in general. The Kantian antinomy relative to the finitude or infinity of the world in space and time will be considered more closely under the Notion of quantitative infinity. This simple, ordinary dialectic rests on holding fast to the opposition of being and nothing. It is proved in the following manner that a beginning of the world, or of anything, is impossible:

 

§ 171

 

It is impossible for anything to begin, either in so far as it is, or in so far as it is not; for in so far as it is, it is not just beginning, and in so far as it is not, then also it does not begin. If the world, or anything, is supposed to have begun, then it must have begun in nothing, but in nothing — or nothing — is no beginning; for a beginning includes within itself a being, but nothing does not contain any being. Nothing is only nothing. In a ground, a cause, and so on, if nothing is so determined, there is contained an affirmation, a being. For the same reason, too, something cannot cease to be; for then being would have to contain nothing, but being is only being, not the contrary of itself.

 

§ 172

 

It is obvious that in this proof nothing is brought forward against becoming, or beginning and ceasing, against this unity of being and nothing, except an assertoric denial of them and an ascription of truth to being and nothing, each in separation from the other. Nevertheless this dialectic is at least more consistent than ordinary reflective thought which accepts as perfect truth that being and nothing only are in separation from each other, yet on the other hand acknowledges beginning and ceasing to be equally genuine determinations; but in these it does in fact assume the unseparatedness of being and nothing.

 

§ 173

 

With the absolute separateness of being from nothing presupposed, then of course — as we so often hear — beginning or becoming is something incomprehensible; for a presupposition is made which annuls the beginning or the becoming which yet is again admitted, and this contradiction thus posed and at the same time made impossible of solution, is called incomprehensible.

 

§ 174

 

The foregoing dialectic is the same, too, as that which understanding employs the notion of infinitesimal magnitudes, given by higher analysis. A more detailed treatment of this notion will be given later. These magnitudes have been defined as such that they are in their vanishing, not before their vanishing, for then they are finite magnitudes, or after their vanishing, for then they are nothing. Against this pre notion it is objected and reiterated that such magnitudes are either something or nothing; that there is no intermediate state between being and non-being ('state' is here an unsuitable, barbarous expression). Here too, the absolute separation of being and nothing is assumed. But against this it has been shown that being and nothing are, in fact, the same, or to use the same language as that just quoted, that there is nothing which is not an intermediate state between being and nothing. It is to the adoption of the said determination, which understanding opposes, that mathematics owes its most brilliant successes.

 

<a name="0175"> § 175

 

This style of reasoning which makes and clings to the false presupposition of the absolute separateness of being and non-being is to be named not dialectic but sophistry. For sophistry is an argument proceeding from a baseless presupposition which is uncritically and unthinkingly adopted; but we call dialectic the higher movement of reason in which such seemingly utterly separate terms pass over into each other spontaneously, through that which they are, a movement in which the presupposition sublates itself. It is the dialectical immanent nature of being and nothing themselves to manifest their unity, that is, becoming, as their truth.

 

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Sorry guys I did not see that a thread had already been posted on the subject and started my own thread.I will remove it if you guys want me to do that.

 

Alan

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Being and nothing

As Hegel would have explained (see: Science of Logic - Doctrine of Being) the idea that Being and nothing are only seperate - thus denying their unity and unseperatness - is not dialectic but sophistry. Being and nothing, as nothing is determined in them, only exist within their unity - in which one is the opposite of the other - but in that form they are still nothing and in fact the same. They do not have a seperate truth. Their only truth lies in Becoming (or ceasing-to-be), in which it is already understood that being passes into nothing and vice versa.

I will never believe a square is a circle or that nothing is something...

Any argument leading to such conclusions is fallacious.

 

In the Ancient style:

 

1 Suppose nothing is.

2 Then it is so, that nothing is!

3 But since something is so, then nothing is not.

 

In a more Modern style: Theres the basic statement function: "x is" (Satisfied by anything except what is nothing.)

And theres its complementary function: "x is not" (Satisfied only by what is nothing.)

 

Theres is no way but sophistry for them to be a unity!

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I will never believe a square is a circle or that nothing is something...

Any argument leading to such conclusions is fallacious.

 

In the Ancient style:

 

1 Suppose nothing is.

2 Then it is so, that nothing is!

3 But since something is so, then nothing is not.

 

In a more Modern style: Theres the basic statement function: "x is" (Satisfied by anything except what is nothing.)

And theres its complementary function: "x is not" (Satisfied only by what is nothing.)

 

Theres is no way but sophistry for them to be a unity!

 

I don't see your point, and perhaps it should be clearified that as Hegel makes this remarks about Being (as the first concept one can think of that is not itself based on some other concept), which is indeterminate or pure Being (which is to say, it is not a definite something, but rather that what all being has in common) which is opposed to Nothing. But then, these two concepts are still not something, because they have a lack of determination. So, both Being and Nothing are the same, that is the same lack of determination.

As Hegel explains, both concepts have to be taken in their unity, and not as concepts which have seperate truths of themselves. Their unity is becoming, in which it is already understood that being passes over into nothing and vice versa.

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I don't see your point, and perhaps it should be clearified that as Hegel makes this remarks about Being (as the first concept one can think of that is not itself based on some other concept),

So far ok...

which is indeterminate or pure Being (which is to say, it is not a definite something,

Being is not an ordinary something... but it is something that can be said of something, so it is definitely a something.

And further: it is the only something that can be said about any something.So its a determinate something!

I dont accept the step from being to indeterminate or pure being. How is the step motivated?

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So far ok...

Being is not an ordinary something... but it is something that can be said of something, so it is definitely a something.

And further: it is the only something that can be said about any something.So its a determinate something!

I dont accept the step from being to indeterminate or pure being. How is the step motivated?

 

No. The concept of pure Being is indeterminate. That is the crux. We are here not concerned with the distinct properties or determination of any particular being, but with being itself in general.

Note that the concept of Being is the first concept that one arrives at without introducing any other concept. They appear at a later stage of the development of the logic. The concept of determinate being is dealt with only when we have arrived at the concept of quality.

 

You have to think of this logic as a kind of logic that bootstraps itself, it is developed from literally nothing at all at the start, and arrives then at the first immediate concept one can think of that does not make use of any concept you can think of, and during analyzation of each concept, new concepts are derived from it.

 

That is as clear as I can explain, if I fail I'm sorry.

 

You could try to read the doctrine of being in the science of logic yourself.

Edited by robheus

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