Something Instead of Nothing

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Meno_ » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:27 am

iambiguous wrote:
Meno_ wrote:Nihilism, being a product of phenomenal reduction, works the opposite way, and hence the elementary contraindicated method works against it's underlying structural process.



Again, this is only my own personal reaction -- the embodiment of dasein -- but explanations of this sort are just intellectual gibberish to me.

Let's try this:

Provide me with a particular example in which you are interacting with someone and the conversation shifts from what you are doing to an understanding of how this something might be understood given that nothing at all may once have been a factor.

My own understanding of nihilism here -- an existential contraption -- presumes that in a No God world, the meaning we ascribe to what we are doing -- discussing the Trump presidency, say -- may involve actual consequences in our lives, but these consequences seem unable to be linked to any essential meaning or purpose in what is presumed to be an essentially meaningless universe.

This then goes back to the presumption that whatever existential meaning I impart here will always tumble down into the gap between what I think I know about the Trump presidency and all there is to be known about it going back to an understanding of existence itself. Which would necessarily include the extent to which nothing at all may or may not be applicable.

And, of course, the presumption of some measure of autonomy/free will on my part.

Now, how might your own assessment of nihilism above be understood in this more substantive/descriptive sense?




Ok. Let's start with the Trump presidency, and how that, which include everything assumed and known about him ,( where what is available are ostensibly distinct to what is known) plays a part.

Here is the first problem we face. My own assessment may or may not follow the guidelines You are following in part, with both belonging to the larger set of our common understanding.

Then, take other's understanding, until all members of the planet are included in 'everything known about it.

Individually, we may know a limited amount of information about him, and our common sense is a measure of how big the pie of sharing that .
What is this common sense that ostensibly connects our partial senses?
Here is where the boundary between senses and knowledge overlap.
Such overlap determines the partially differentiated sense between knowledge and sensation.

Ok. The point is, the overlap includes no absolutely determined boundaries between individual and common knowledge/sensation. There is no absolute break between them, or how much partially differentiated substantial/formal content vis.belief and knowledge .

This is the first entry point.


Trump is struggling with this very notion of establishing credibility between truth and fake, and there is a parallel here with it, and he is relying on common sense to form a consensus of opinion between the particular man at the voting booth in 2020, and how this common sense effects his choice .

The first entry point one could consider the precept.
The second the action resulting from it.

The Kantian allusion Trump touched upon was the transcendentalky changed objects of reference, whereby he could change constituent opinions across the board, by real and disguised forms of communication.This is why he had to discredit the press, and shift testing validity of the meaning of words from common understanding to changing opinions through changes of what literally constitute : democracy, due process, equal rights, checks and balances-toward relational terminology: rather then fixed ideas in the constitution of how language is represented in themselves.

If he is able to do this, and he has been to a large extent, then opinion change is established relationally, on grassroots levels: literally down to earth.

That Kantianism implies a central position, the changes of. dynamic relationships changed the rules. Variability in axiomatic referentiality is used in simultainity, to reinforce the signals constituents to interpret , shifting centers toward newly formed balances.

This has been done successfully up until now, however gun control, attempts at corporate control , the wall, reversal of foreign policy successes , has back pedaled policy as they remains in a cloud.


The last or the third gateway to this problem of something or nothing is the most difficult because it has to show the effective use, function of the prior two, the phenomenon or the perceptive form of representing Trumpism as political objective, from a structural point of view as consistent with the effect on a third phase.

For this, revert to a more familiar theme, that of abortion.
Abortion has political undertones, as per the value of life, in its most axiomatic or self included form, stretching Your observance to the rights and freedoms of the individual. In fact, the all inclusive Catholic set of values dictates the terms of existential absolutes, of moral predication, whereas Trumpism is clad in the usual political quagmire, based on correctness the sense of sets of variable value judgements revolving around ethical senses of constitution.,ll Constituting , and constituency.

The second gateway of political expediency, is more prone to be represented by constituancy, constituting the opinions of variables of political outlook.

What is central in the prior? It is the question of what determines the quality of the embryo which is considered a complete human being. That question revolves around a phisiologycal constitution, and in essence of is variable by degrees.
That the embryo goes through similar resembling phases as the various phenotypes in the ordinate human development from fish like creatures to human forms, matter of factly presents a particular phase , as when the embryo is more human then it's prior animal phase of development.

Since You assert a god-less universe, it can be fairly safely said, that an abortion at a certain phase, before it resembles a human form, is not yet a human being, but mostly animal.At this stage, the abortion can be declared morally justified.

Ethically, like logically, the opinion tests mostly on principles of political expediency, and it becomes a matter of relative perspective, to ask the question, if it is a human being. Ethically, politically, religious institutions can be evoked, and thus it becomes a matter less of constitution, then one of constituting by constituancy. It no longer belongs in the first tier of an existential dilemma, that of concerns of basic science in its their reduced form, but with various ethical concerns about rights and freedom to act, in accordance with multitudes of relative perspective and context. Hence it becomes not an 'existential' problem, but an essential one, determinitive with questions of belief, for the most part. This way it is not a dynamic inquiry adjacent and formative one with perceptive analysis, but a preceptive opinion based conclusion, devoid of a model of assessment like that in the first one.

The shift from a politically loaded inquiry as that of Trumpism , to a Darwinian analysis , would place the former into a post adaptation position, where the same methodology cannot be used to the latter, literally because the features of Darwinian adaptation are based on very clear adaptive mechanics of structural changes, whereas adaptation in political terms imply adapting mass political designs and aims. ..

Philosophically, these designations, are more often then not subject to reified constructions, whereby they can be manipulated. They can not be said to form structural hierarchies corresponding to basic structures, but are predicated on subjective constructions of manipulated reality.

Hence, Trumpism belongs in the third tier, and relationability to existential questions relegate to a minimum level of observation (phenomenal)

If, political correctness and expediency imply an inherent set of dynamics, this could be shown to be based mostly on false derivitives or, falsely guided ones. Some people live in made believe castles in the sky, such as - today's Trump statement that he is akin to a prophet or something of the Jews, because of taking leading political roles such as moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

There are no factual basis to support such tweets, and transcendental -political objects may not go to conclude a solution , simply, because of the will to overcome any dissent.

Abortion does revolve around morality over standard ethical consideration, and that is why Wade vs. Roe stands on a slippery slope, a slope that regresses the quality of argument into conflation and nonsense.

Is abortion arguable? Yes, but not on a level of politically inclination. .
Is Trumpianism arguable pro or con? Yes but with logic that is constituted of a science of actually derived political terms, more determinative on a sense of power, for it's own sake (nothing) then on any directly attributable logic.

Since existential arguments offer a priority over the essential questions surrounding those of designating the forms within, such as changes in constituting structural dynamics and replacing them-
(For instance the post dialectical materialism that defines the period after the fall of communism, does or should require an antithetical formation of a new structural unity?) -puts the constitution in the form of a new designation of terms of least or most functional utility of a new type of governance, -is such a question.

Is the renewed Kantian revival, merely a litmus test, or a feedback mechanism into the structural basis of moral questions , generating structural changes within a unified world stage, or is it indicative toward widening of national boundaries, as a work in progress, with min/max applications of internal/ external control?-remains clarification..

The some thing/nothingness of nomenclature designated can spell this out, more objectively (constitutionally) or with less (congressionally), from a dynamic center, is again a product of relative-relationally fed back information/data.

I tried to shift toward the minimum of logos, and a maximum of down to earth examples, to satisfy Your requirements, however the interact, either/&/ or, on a more or less conscious-subconscious state of delivery. So not: the nothingness and lack of material justification and presence of it must play a part. Of, should.


As You may have noticed, I avoided giving You the impression which argues pro or con particular interpretations of nihilism. Such an attempt would entail the adoption of contrariness to either the political or the psychological bias inherence. Long ago I affirmed my conditional relevance and resemblance that is inherent on a neo-Kantian resurgence, albeit toward it's more complex Leibnitz' mode of proceeding. That is of differential and integral processes fed back within various modes of representation, as progressive, and ultimately, will resolve It/themselves , introjectively, settling issues with standard paradigmn variations.
The longer I think about it , the more agreeable Peacegirl's proposal becomes viable.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:38 pm

Note to others:

I give up.

If anyone would care to, please connect the dots between the points I raised to him and the points he raised with me.

As they relate to your own understanding of a possible relationship between nihilism and something rather than nothing.

As that analysis might be situated out in the world of actual human interactions.
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 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:43 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
How would you translate his point above as it relates to the points that I am making in regard to the post that he is reacting to


I think what he could mean is that sometimes ones world view can be determined more by how one sees it rather than actually studying how it really is


That's basically my own world view in regard to 1] "I" wielding value judgments amidst conflicting goods in the is/ought world and 2] grappling with "metaphysical" questions as big as this one.

There is what you believe and there is what you are able to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn.

But: regarding such questions as "something instead nothing" or "something out of nothing" in particular, no one is really able to demonstrate much beyond the gap between what "I" think I know here and now and all that can be known/must be known about the existence of existence itself.

Unless of course there is another more sensible way of thinking about it that I am not yet privy to.

surreptitious75 wrote: But his prose is so inscrutable that I truly have no idea how accurate this interpretation is and any elaboration may prove to be just as incomprehensible


For some reason, I keep coming back to the idea that meno is just being ironic. On the philosophy board, he is merely exposing the "intellectual contraptions" of particular "serious philosophers" a la the "the Sokal affair": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

Or maybe there is an aspect of his personality that needs to be seen as an "intellectual". As what he construes a "serious philosopher" should sound like.

Or is he just another run-of-the-mill pedant?

But that's all purely conjectural on my part. And, no doubt, others [like KT] have a similar assessment to "capture" what they think makes me tick here.
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 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:28 pm

"The Fundamental Question"
Arthur Witherall

The notion of necessity is not a simple one. Contemporary philosophers tend to analyse logical necessity as truth in "all possible worlds", a phrase which can be understood conceptually or realistically. That is, some think of possible worlds as being conceivable situations which do not exist except in the imaginations of those who think them up, while others treat possible worlds as real things.

David Lewis is the most prominent defender of the view that possible worlds are real things, and he even goes as far as characterising a world as a maximal mereological sum of spatiotemporally related things.


This in and of itself is intriguing given the somethingness that we appear to live in now. There are "real thing worlds" that we all just take for granted. The life that we do live on planet earth in a solar system revolving around our own star.

But we exist as a result of the evolution of life on earth culminating [so far] in minds able to imagine worlds that we think up in our head. But: In imagining the world in ways other than as it is, we can set about reconfiguring that real world into the one more in sync with the one we imagine. The real world and the worlds that we imagine then become intertwined over the course of time into ever evolving and changing historical and cultural communities.

For example, as the means of production were evolving in the Middle Ages, mercantilism in sync with a burgeoning world trade prompted folks to imagine very different human interactions. They then set about to reconfigure the Dark Ages into the Renaissance. Then capitalism [through the industrial revolution] prompted others to imagine a socialist alternative.

That's how it works in this particular somethingness. A snapshot of the real world today is always intertwined with minds that are imagining the world in a different way.

And given that this is what preoccupies most of us, the part about nothingness is always able to be dumped onto one or another back burner.
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 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:38 pm

iambiguous wrote:
There is what you believe and there is what you are able to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn

No one is obligated to believe anything at all regardless of how rational it might actually be
What individual minds think is entirely up to them including that which is not at all rational
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:16 pm

iambiguous wrote:
regarding such questions as something instead nothing or something out of nothing in particular no one is really able to demonstrate much
beyond the gap between what I think I know here and now and all that can be known / must be known about the existence of existence

Unless of course there is another more sensible way of thinking about it that I am not yet privy to

Not all minds think the same and here are a couple of totally different ways some do :

Reality is not actually real but only appears real because minds perceive it as real
But minds themselves are not real and all knowledge is but an illusion within the reality that is also an illusion

To be truly open one must think like a baby because babies have the purest minds of all for theirs are as free as they will ever be
This means that one must simply be open at all times to all possibilities and make absolutely no assumptions about anything at all

From my perspective the first can easily be accepted as a concept while the second although desirable is probably impossible to achieve
Neither of these are my own but I understand very clearly why those those who have accepted them for themselves think the way they do

What you think of them is entirely up to you as all I am doing is simply informing you of their existence as just other ways of seeing reality
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:29 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
There is what you believe and there is what you are able to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe in turn

No one is obligated to believe anything at all regardless of how rational it might actually be


It depends on the context. If you wish to accomplish some task and what you think is true is completely out of sync with what is in fact true, chances are you won't succeed.

And this is true, for, say, plumbers and auto mechanics and brain surgeons. They may not be obligated to know their craft in accordance with what is true for all plumbers and auto mechanics and brain surgeons...but how far along will they go in their careers?

In the either/or world, sure, one may or may not be obligated to grasp and to act on what is in fact true. But, again, it always comes down to the context.

My point is that in regard to the is/ought world and to really big questions like "something instead of nothing", no one seems able to establish that which rational human beings are obligated to believe.

surreptitious75 wrote: What individual minds think is entirely up to them including that which is not at all rational


On the contrary, for most of us what we come to think is never entirely up to us. Instead, we are indoctrinated as children to view the world around us as the authority figures in our lives view it.

Then as we get older and [in the modern world] come into contact with others who have differing points of view, we have a greater capacity to think things through and decide for ourselves. Well, presuming of course we don't live in a wholly determined universe.

But, with regard to value judgments and to the really big questions, "I" here is still seem by me to be largely an existential contraption.
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 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:55 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
regarding such questions as something instead nothing or something out of nothing in particular no one is really able to demonstrate much
beyond the gap between what I think I know here and now and all that can be known / must be known about the existence of existence

Unless of course there is another more sensible way of thinking about it that I am not yet privy to

Not all minds think the same and here are a couple of totally different ways some do :

Reality is not actually real but only appears real because minds perceive it as real
But minds themselves are not real and all knowledge is but an illusion within the reality that is also an illusion


Okay, but how does that really address my point above?

From my own perspective, it's not that different minds think different things about something instead of nothing. Rather it is that there appears to be an yawning gap between what any particular mind has come to think about it [in an autonomous universe] and all that would need to be known about the existence of existence itself in order to assess how accurate this thinking is.

And here I am again pointing out that my first reaction revolves around what I construe to be a "first person omniscient" point of view. You inflect this sense of certainty about what you think is true about things you have no real capacity to demonstrate that others ought to think is true too. Beyond merely agreeing with your argument itself.

You merely start with a set of assumptions about the relationship between "reality" and "minds" and "illusory knowledge".

surreptitious75 wrote: To be truly open one must think like a baby because babies have the purest minds of all for theirs are as free as they will ever be
This means that one must simply be open at all times to all possibilities and make absolutely no assumptions about anything at all


Again, if we live in a wholly determined universe, the minds of all living things reflect merely the illusion of being free. And the very point that you make about making no assumptions is an assumption in and of itself.

surreptitious75 wrote: From my perspective the first can easily be accepted as a concept while the second although desirable is probably impossible to achieve
Neither of these are my own but I understand very clearly why those who have accepted them for themselves think the way they do

What you think of them is entirely up to you as all I am doing is simply informing you of their existence as just other ways of seeing reality


Way too abstract for me.

Let's focus in on a context in which you and I might interact. How might this "general description" assessment be applicable? And then imagine the most promising way in which to connect the dots between this particular understanding of reality in this particular context as that might be understood given all that we have absolutely no clue regarding going back to the existence of an infinite somethingness or a something that was derived from nothing at all.
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 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 am

iambiguous wrote:
Let us focus in on a context in which you and I might interact . How might this general description assessment be applicable ? And then imagine the most promising way in which to connect the dots between this particular understanding of reality in this particular context as that might be understood given all that we have absolutely no clue regarding going back to the existence of an infinite somethingness or a something that was derived from nothing at all

I can only speak about myself here so I use the knowledge base I have to formulate a world view about the nature of reality and where human beings fit into this
I have some opinions on it but they are simply mental reference points for me and not intended for the purpose of converting anyone to my way of thinking at all
I do not make claims that cannot be justified and accept that the standard for knowledge is way higher than it is for opinion

This is what I either think is true or know is true [ in no particular order ]

Science is the best way to study observable phenomena and no other discipline has the brutality of the scientific method to compare
A method so brutal that where possible it tests anything to absolute destruction as that is the only way to investigate that what exists

Everyone who is an adult and compis mentis is ultimately responsible for all they think /say / do where they had the free will to do so

The Golden and Silver Rules are an excellent foundation for both individual and collective morality
The Golden is found in all major belief systems and can be adopted by those with no belief system

No one has a monopoly on wisdom and humility is a much better educator than arrogance will ever be
The older I become the less I think I know and while that may not be entirely true I do know very little

Pragmatism is the only true philosophy because by default it is the only one that works all of the time
And everyone is to a greater or lesser degree a pragmatist even if they are not actually aware of this

Falsification is to all intents and purposes the single nearest thing to true and absolute knowledge
So it should therefore be the foundation upon which all related subsequent truth claims are tested

Nothing matters in the grand scheme of things but while we are here we just do the best that we can
Religion was invented by human beings to overcome fear of death but any such fear is truly irrational
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby promethean75 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:09 am

"Pragmatism is the only true philosophy because by default it is the only one that works all of the time"

Lol!
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:49 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Let us focus in on a context in which you and I might interact . How might this general description assessment be applicable ? And then imagine the most promising way in which to connect the dots between this particular understanding of reality in this particular context as that might be understood given all that we have absolutely no clue regarding going back to the existence of an infinite somethingness or a something that was derived from nothing at all


I can only speak about myself here so I use the knowledge base I have to formulate a world view about the nature of reality and where human beings fit into this
I have some opinions on it but they are simply mental reference points for me and not intended for the purpose of converting anyone to my way of thinking at all
I do not make claims that cannot be justified and accept that the standard for knowledge is way higher than it is for opinion

This is what I either think is true or know is true [ in no particular order ]


Okay, but this is still just another "general description".

Now, clearly, when it comes to any discussion or debate revolving around something instead of nothing, no one seems able to get any more specific other than by acknowledging right from the start that what they think they know about it is certainly a long, long, long way from all that can be known.

It basically becomes an exchange of wild ass conjectures. More or less thought through. But never able to be thought through enough. Then some people become fascinated by it, while others could not care less. The part I attribute to dasein.

surreptitious75 wrote: Science is the best way to study observable phenomena and no other discipline has the brutality of the scientific method to compare
A method so brutal that where possible it tests anything to absolute destruction as that is the only way to investigate that what exists


But brutality here only goes so far. No scientist seems able to explain something rather than nothing such that this explanation is viewed by others as brutal. What can that possibly even mean?

surreptitious75 wrote: Everyone who is an adult and compis mentis is ultimately responsible for all they think /say / do where they had the free will to do so


But that doesn't make the gap between what they think/say/do and a definitive explanation for why they thought/said/did it go away. There is something instead of nothing here and now. Only we have no comprehensive methodology [scientific, philosophical or otherwise] for explaining that --- depending on how far out on the metapysical limb one is prepared to go.

And, of course, depending on whether even those excursions are only what they ever could have been given a wholly determined universe.

surreptitious75 wrote: The Golden and Silver Rules are an excellent foundation for both individual and collective morality
The Golden is found in all major belief systems and can be adopted by those with no belief system


Yes, but even that can be construed as more or less problematic: https://philosophynow.org/issues/74/The ... en_Anymore

As with most things, it depends on the actual context...understood from a particular point of view.

surreptitious75 wrote: No one has a monopoly on wisdom and humility is a much better educator than arrogance will ever be
The older I become the less I think I know and while that may not be entirely true I do know very little


Tell that to the moral and the political and the metaphysical objectivists.

surreptitious75 wrote: Pragmatism is the only true philosophy because by default it is the only one that works all of the time
And everyone is to a greater or lesser degree a pragmatist even if they are not actually aware of this


Okay, but then it comes down to the extent to which, as a pragmatist, one is either more or less down in the hole that I am in dealing with "I" as either more or less fractured and fragmented. All presuming some measure of autonomy and completely leaving aside the question of something rather than nothing at all.

And it works only until your own rendition of behaving pragmatically collides head long into another's very, very different rendition. The part where, for me, the hole comes into play.

surreptitious75 wrote: Nothing matters in the grand scheme of things but while we are here we just do the best that we can
Religion was invented by human beings to overcome fear of death but any such fear is truly irrational


Unless of course your own understanding of the grand scheme of things here and now is no where near what it actually is.
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 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:33 am

iambiguous wrote:
Now clearly when it comes to any discussion or debate revolving around something instead of nothing no one seems able to get any more specific
than by acknowledging right from the start that what they think they know about it is certainly a long long long way from all that can be known

It basically becomes an exchange of wild ass conjectures . More or less thought through . But never able to be thought through enough
Then some people become fascinated by it while others could not care less . The part I attribute to dasein

All true although for me it is not really wild ass but a model of reality I use as a reference point for trying to make sense of what I think I know
You cannot be too specific when you have very little knowledge to go on but the model that you do have should still be as accurate as possible

And yes some are fascinated by it while others are not - that is just human nature - it would be very unusual if we all thought the same all of the time
As we are individuals with our own subjective likes and dislikes which is a consequence of free will - so we can decide what to like and what not to like
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:34 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Now clearly when it comes to any discussion or debate revolving around something instead of nothing no one seems able to get any more specific
than by acknowledging right from the start that what they think they know about it is certainly a long long long way from all that can be known

It basically becomes an exchange of wild ass conjectures . More or less thought through . But never able to be thought through enough
Then some people become fascinated by it while others could not care less . The part I attribute to dasein

All true although for me it is not really wild ass but a model of reality I use as a reference point for trying to make sense of what I think I know


Here, in my view, it all depends on how far back you want to go when acknowledging the gap between what you think you know here and now and all that can be known about existence itself.

In that context, even the most sophisticated minds would seem burdened with all of the "unknown unknowns" that stand between "I" and "all there is". Sure, call them something other than wild-ass conjectures. But that doesn't make the gap go away.

Unless of course there's a gap between what I think here and what those truly sophisticated minds think that makes what they think not basically "scratching the surface of reality" conjectures.

Here though I keep coming back to [or going back to] the realization that "I" will soon enough be dead, utterly oblivious to anything that might not be just a wild-ass guess on my part here and now.

surreptitious75 wrote: You cannot be too specific when you have very little knowledge to go on but the model that you do have should still be as accurate as possible


That's about the size of it. But, again, in my view, our reactions to that are no less existential contraptions. Some think one way, some another. But there appears to be no way in which to determine the direction that the most rational minds ought to go in.

And this is in regard to that which it would appear to be either one way or another. No moral quandaries here.
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 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:19 am

iambiguous wrote:
it all depends on how far back you want to go when acknowledging the gap between what you think you know here and now and all that can be known about existence

In that context even the most sophisticated minds would seem burdened with all of the unknown unknowns that stand between I and all there is

I keep coming back to the realization that I will soon enough be dead utterly oblivious to anything that might not be just a wild ass guess on my part here and now

I am not at all burdened by all of the unknown unknowns or even the known unknowns but just accept that I cannot know them
My death will also make me oblivious to any knowledge that comes after but this is something I equally accept without question
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:20 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:I am not at all burdened by all of the unknown unknowns or even the known unknowns but just accept that I cannot know them


First, of course, just because here and now you don't feel burdened by them doesn't mean that, given your own infinitesimally tiny speck of somethingness floating about in the staggering vastness of the all there is somethingness [like mine], a new experience won't trigger them. Tomorrow never knows as the song says. Well, assuming some measure of autonomy.

And, let's face it, feeling burdened or not feeling burdened can easily be shoved way, way, way back in your mind as you go about the business of actually living your life.

I always note here how each of us as individuals is going to be more or less predisposed to go there given the entirely unique trajectory of experiences that "I" accumulates from the cradle to the grave.

surreptitious75 wrote:My death will also make me oblivious to any knowledge that comes after but this is something I equally accept without question


Without question? As though there is this "real you" -- a core you? -- that comes to these conclusions and that's that?

Well, let's just say that we think about the existential emodiment of "I" here very differently.
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 Sep 05, 2019 6:30 pm

"The Fundamental Question"
Arthur Witherall

Lewis is not the only philosopher to argue that the empty world is impossible using the premises of a theory of possible worlds. David Armstrong, whose position is very different from that of Lewis, also contends that the situation where nothing exists is impossible, but for a different reason. He adopts a combinatorial theory of possibility which limits possible worlds to those constructed from given elements (actual individuals, properties and relations). Clearly the empty world is not so constructed, because it has no structure at all. Hence there is no empty world, and the proposition that something exists is a necessary truth. Both of the Davids seem to be committed to the idea that our understanding of the nature of possible worlds derives in some way from our understanding of the actual world. Lewis claims that possible worlds are just "different ways things could have been", so they must be significantly similar to the actual world, with variations.


For the life of me, I am unable to grasp how anyone can come to conclusions such as this without recognizing that they are, in the end, created entirely out of the assumptions embedded in the arguments themselves.

Some are clearly fascinated by speculations of this sort. And, sure, why not...take a stab at it. But to be a mere mortal on this tiny little planet in this tiny little solar system in this tiny little galaxy in what may well be this tiny little universe and speak of "necessary truths"?!

I can only see this as the ultimate attempt to [psychologically] embed or entangle I in the ultimate somethingness. To be a part of nothing at all just doesn't cut it.

Does the Lewis-Armstrong position on the nonexistence of an empty world succeed in diminishing our feelings of awe at the existence of the world? We may allow that the arguments for their views have plausibility if we accept certain conceptions of possibility, but they do not establish the necessity of something instead of nothing. Their shared conclusion explains neither the fact that the world exists nor the wonderment we feel in the face of this fact. Hence they do not entail that awe is inappropriate, and nor do they effect any reduction in the strength of this feeling.


The fact that this discussion revolves around feeling or not feeling awe in the face of whatever somethingness is speaks volumes in and of itself to me. It always comes back to us. To fitting the human species into this somethingness as more than just a speck of existence. That awe is something that we can feel about our own somethingness matters. As though something -- everything there is -- coming into existence out of nothing at all couldn't induce an even more staggering awe.
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 Sep 09, 2019 8:31 pm

"The Fundamental Question"
Arthur Witherall

Thomas Baldwin has constructed a detailed formal argument to show that there is a possible world where nothing exists, and thus he makes use of a different conception of worlds. It is based upon the idea that it is always possible to "subtract" a concrete object from a given possible world and thus to find another possible world, accessible to the first, which has exactly one less object in it. He begins with the premises that a world with a finite number of concrete objects is possible, that each of these objects might not exist, and that their nonexistence does not entail the existence of anything else.


From my frame of mind, it doesn't matter how "detailed" a "formal argument" is regarding the somethingness/nothingness conundrum. It still remains a conundrum. A "conception of worlds" is always going to be far, far, far short of, say, the collection of evidence that astrophysicists have accumulated to date regarding the somethingness that we call the Big Bang. There may or may not have been nothing at all before it, but where it became a "something" involves an enormous amount of substantiation.

How would one go about setting up a subtraction of objects experiment that either takes us back to nothing at all or not?

For me though it's not speculations of this sort themselves that irk me; rather, it is those that are defended by some as though they are not ultimately just sheer conjecture at all.

He then shows that there is an iterative procedure for "subtracting" objects from worlds, and the end result, given a finite number of objects, is that there is a possible world where all concrete objects have been subtracted. This is the empty world.


In other words, in his head.

The subtraction argument, as Baldwin calls it, probably represents the most natural way of thinking about the possibility that nothing exists. It is the limit case of a series of worlds which contain fewer and fewer concrete objects, and it is accessible to us in that we can think of the limit case of such a series. If we must consider abstract objects as well as concrete objects, then the subtraction argument as it stands will not suffice. However, a similar argument may be constructed for this case, and it would work for at least an Aristotelian realist position on universals, since this position states that universals exist only when their concrete instantiations exist.


And this settles what exactly? Or, okay, sure, perhaps my reaction here reflects that fact that, in many important respects, I haven't a clear understanding at all of what he is trying to suggest. But a clear understanding, including ways to actually demonstrate it empirically/phenomenologically, are either available to us or they are not.

Until then it's just another thought experiment to me.
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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