Something Instead of Nothing

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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:19 pm

Tell us about Carbon.
Remind me I need to watch the video about how life came out of minerals.


If Serendipper sees this please repost.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Pneumatic-Coma » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:48 am

Arcturus Descending wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:Nothingness is a lack of its own existence, which forces the opposite; hence, why existence exists.


How are you using the term *Nothingness*? As some perceived and felt aspect of one's own individual human existence within the psyche or as something which has not as yet been discovered and acknowledged within the Universe?


Oh this a grande point.

Has not the mind already existed throughout life so much so that only one material based rock can exist and not another? No. Although within the psyche pain still hurts doesn't it? For have not individualism put into affect acknowledgement of a precursor to date existence back through time. Where if time is hidden, and or if time doesn't exist nothingness, nothingness exists in it's place. Time maybe stood still for a moment for a sum amount of people yet out of something that happened and was going to already happen. Relative reasons as to why time evolves and suppose space were to do the same. Not evolve or evolve. Material matter of which we are not all inherently always apart of witnessing daily. Something instead of nothing is constantly happening.
Last edited by Pneumatic-Coma on Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
(Our object of desire isn't to change current belief systems or complicate already convoluted streams of information; we're not trying to even prove ourselves in anyway. We're just human beings similar to yourself. Not superior, the same. Ancestors of the lost world. The conflicts of beliefs you face in your world, are not only the conflict of self yet life, we cannot compel such conflicts to other's will for any self-benefit. The true goal reached here is there is nothing we can say nor do that can convince anyone else of what they don't know for themselves already. And, when the time calls, and you are ready, the barriers of awareness will expand and such confirmed information will be easily perceived, and known to them! Allow them to seek and find out when they are prepared. All will arrive to light in no time.) Ego sum via veritas et vita;Amesha Spenta;Vohu Mano; Allow all things measurable, microbial and astronomical to remain infinite, unchanged and arrive to light.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Pneumatic-Coma » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:51 am

barbarianhorde wrote:Tell us about Carbon.
Remind me I need to watch the video about how life came out of minerals.


If Serendipper sees this please repost.


Oh just precursors barbarian. Matter. Matter substance in general, as distinct from mind, body and spirit.
(Our object of desire isn't to change current belief systems or complicate already convoluted streams of information; we're not trying to even prove ourselves in anyway. We're just human beings similar to yourself. Not superior, the same. Ancestors of the lost world. The conflicts of beliefs you face in your world, are not only the conflict of self yet life, we cannot compel such conflicts to other's will for any self-benefit. The true goal reached here is there is nothing we can say nor do that can convince anyone else of what they don't know for themselves already. And, when the time calls, and you are ready, the barriers of awareness will expand and such confirmed information will be easily perceived, and known to them! Allow them to seek and find out when they are prepared. All will arrive to light in no time.) Ego sum via veritas et vita;Amesha Spenta;Vohu Mano; Allow all things measurable, microbial and astronomical to remain infinite, unchanged and arrive to light.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:00 pm

Pneumatic-Coma wrote:
barbarianhorde wrote:Tell us about Carbon.
Remind me I need to watch the video about how life came out of minerals.


If Serendipper sees this please repost.


Oh just precursors barbarian. Matter. Matter substance in general, as distinct from mind, body and spirit.


I think matter has spirit
Carbon has spirit "6"
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:28 pm

Pneumatic-Coma wrote:Nothing having ever evolved doesn't sound like a fairy tale stories. This sounds like relative facts. But still a source upon if we throw again a book at someone like the road to evolution or something. Than there might possibly only one sort of element people are forgetting in the mind. Carbon.


There's carbon in mindless matter and carbon in the matter that possess minds. Minds able to employ that carbon [and lots of others elements] to [eventually] create computers and internet forums like this one.

And some trace that all the way back to the Big Bang and to stars that exploded. Explosions that spewed out all the somethingness that turned into this.

And these facts are all relative to whatever brought into the existence that very first somethingness of all. Was it nothingness? And, if so, how does the mindful matter of infinitesimally tiny and insignificant mere mortals on this infinitesimally tiny and insignificant rock in this infinitesimally tiny and insignificant solar system in this infinitesimally tiny and insignificant galaxy in what may well be this infinitesimally and tiny and insignificant universe come to grips with that?

What can we really, really, really know about it?

Before, one by one, we tumble over into the abyss that may well literally become nothing at all for "I". If only for all of eternity.

So, clearly, only the Kids among us really know what's going on. :wink:
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 Gloominary » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:24 am

But the universe is nothing...a big nothing.
It only appears to be something, like an inkblot.
It only appears to be going somewhere, like a rat race.
The universe is almost entirely empty space.
And full space is almost entirely empty space.
Backwards and forwards in time, inside and outside in space, the universe is infinitely regressive and divisible, there's no origin, destination or substance.
It doesn't repeat itself, so much as it rhymes.
A septillion years from now, the universe will be totally unrecognizable, and a septillion years from then, more unrecognizable still.
And so we are but a means to an alien end.
Our universe is the multiverse, in that it is transformative.
It's a chameleon, a shapeshifter.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby gib » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:11 pm

Gloominary wrote:But the universe is nothing...a big nothing.


How is this possible?

Gloominary wrote:The universe is almost entirely empty space.
And full space is almost entirely empty space.


Sure, I get that. But the matter we see is a result of the space that isn't empty.

And physicists will tell you that empty space is really filled with particles and waves.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Gloominary » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:55 am

@gib

How is this possible?

Because something in the hard sense of the word, means finitely regressive and divisible, which the cosmos doesn't appear to be.
A first cause and final effect, which's absent.
An unchanging pattern and/or substance underpinning change, which's missing.

Sure, I get that. But the matter we see is a result of the space that isn't empty.

And physicists will tell you that empty space is really filled with particles and waves.

The particles and waves themselves are almost entirely empty space.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby gib » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:06 pm

Gloominary wrote:@gib

How is this possible?

Because something in the hard sense of the word, means finitely regressive and divisible, which the cosmos doesn't appear to be.
A first cause and final effect, which's absent.
An unchanging pattern and/or substance underpinning change, which's missing.


Ah, the universe itself is not a thing. I could hop on board with that (maybe), but it must be filled with things.

(what does finitely regressive mean?)

Gloominary wrote:The particles and waves themselves are almost entirely empty space.


You have to insert 'almost', don't you? If I mark a dot on a piece of paper, I can say the paper is almost completely unmarked. But I can't draw the conclusion there is no mark.

However much of 'something' there is is a relative matter. If space is infinite, you could say that even a single particle is plenty of stuff... or next to infinitesimal... depending on how far you want to zoom out.

But in all seriousness, I've just never *quite* understood how people can jump to the conclusion that the universe is nothing based on 'almost' nothing, or signs of nothing, or a philosophy of balance or opposing forces--at least, as if they themselves understood what they were talking about. It does seem like a 'jump' to me--like there isn't quite enough to draw that conclusion deductively. If the universe really was absolute nothing, we wouldn't be here even to say it's absolute nothing.
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Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
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Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:18 pm

Gloominary wrote:But the universe is nothing...a big nothing.
It only appears to be something, like an inkblot.
It only appears to be going somewhere, like a rat race.
The universe is almost entirely empty space.
And full space is almost entirely empty space.
Backwards and forwards in time, inside and outside in space, the universe is infinitely regressive and divisible, there's no origin, destination or substance.
It doesn't repeat itself, so much as it rhymes.
A septillion years from now, the universe will be totally unrecognizable, and a septillion years from then, more unrecognizable still.
And so we are but a means to an alien end.
Our universe is the multiverse, in that it is transformative.
It's a chameleon, a shapeshifter.


And then the gap between believing that, in your head, this might be true and demonstrating to yourself and to others that it is in fact true for all of us.

What my mind is never able to quite wrap itself around here is in grappling with the universe in a universe where there are no conscious minds around to do so.

Imagaine for example that human minds are the only minds that exist in the universe. Imagine as well that the Big One hurtles down from space next month and obliterates all human minds. In a universe where there is no God.

The universe still exists [supposedly] but there is no matter around to be cognizant of it.

Still more bizarre [for me] is in imagining a universe where even our own conscious minds are only cognizant of that which they could only ever have been cognizant of. Our awareness of the universe, in other words, is not something that we choose autonomously to be cognizant of. It is just another manifestation of the immutable laws of matter.
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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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby gib » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:13 pm

iambiguous wrote:Still more bizarre [for me] is in imagining a universe where even our own conscious minds are only cognizant of that which they could only ever have been cognizant of. Our awareness of the universe, in other words, is not something that we choose autonomously to be cognizant of. It is just another manifestation of the immutable laws of matter.


Is there another universe we could have been aware of?

Perhaps the only thing that is immutable is the production of consciousness itself, and once there, it will only be aware of whatever's real.
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Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:54 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Still more bizarre [for me] is in imagining a universe where even our own conscious minds are only cognizant of that which they could only ever have been cognizant of. Our awareness of the universe, in other words, is not something that we choose autonomously to be cognizant of. It is just another manifestation of the immutable laws of matter.


Is there another universe we could have been aware of?

Perhaps the only thing that is immutable is the production of consciousness itself, and once there, it will only be aware of whatever's real.


Well, in a wholly determined universe, even this exchange that we are having would seem to be unfolding only as it ever could have.

In the only universe that ever could have been.

And that would be linked necessarily to whatever or whoever brought into existence the existence of existence itself.

But how on earth would any particular one of us go about the task of either verifying it or falsifying it?

Human consciousness is often tricked into believing things are one way when in fact they are not that way at all. Optical illusions for example, or the world of magic. Or dreams. You may have a dream in which you are discussing the nature of the universe with another. In the dream, your "I" seems to be calling the shots. But it is really only the brain creating all of it.

Whatever that means.
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 gib » Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:23 pm

iambiguous wrote:Well, in a wholly determined universe, even this exchange that we are having would seem to be unfolding only as it ever could have.


True, but we can still have the exchange and find meaning in it.

iambiguous wrote:And that would be linked necessarily to whatever or whoever brought into existence the existence of existence itself.


^ See, right there! ^ Anytime one talks about the "existence of existence," one ought to pause. The existence of existence? That's like saying the redness of red, or the softness of softness. Existence doesn't have existence, it is existence. Ergo, nothing brought it into existence. It always was.

iambiguous wrote:But how on earth would any particular one of us go about the task of either verifying it or falsifying it?


Dunno

iambiguous wrote:Human consciousness is often tricked into believing things are one way when in fact they are not that way at all. Optical illusions for example, or the world of magic. Or dreams. You may have a dream in which you are discussing the nature of the universe with another. In the dream, your "I" seems to be calling the shots. But it is really only the brain creating all of it.


I still don't get why "I" can't just be the subjective way of experiencing the brain--of what it's like being the brain. Why do we have to experience our choices as necessary in order them to be so?
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Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:56 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Well, in a wholly determined universe, even this exchange that we are having would seem to be unfolding only as it ever could have.


True, but we can still have the exchange and find meaning in it.


But we are having this exchange and it is unfolding as it is only because it could not not have existed and could not have unfolded other than as it has. This frame of mind is then either in sync with a wholly determined universe or it is not.

After all, you could dream of having an exchange with someone. And it all seems to be real in the dream. How then is the experience of dreaming this different from the experience you are having now? Given what may or may not be the ontological reality embedded in the relationship between the laws of matter and human consciousness.

And how is "meaning" here not but one more manifestation of that which can only ever be if mind is but more matter being only what matter can ever be?

Though I'll be the first to admit that my thinking here may well be flawed.

iambiguous wrote:And that would be linked necessarily to whatever or whoever brought into existence the existence of existence itself.


gib wrote: ^ See, right there! ^ Anytime one talks about the "existence of existence," one ought to pause. The existence of existence? That's like saying the redness of red, or the softness of softness. Existence doesn't have existence, it is existence. Ergo, nothing brought it into existence. It always was.


Red and soft exist only because existence itself exist. And only because matter evolved into mind such that "red" and "soft" can be discussed here at all.

What would red and soft be in a completely mindless universe?

And what of those astrophysicists who argue that everything that exists burst into existence re the Big Bang out of nothing at all. Or is it argued here that back then nothing at all is what existed.

How is all of this not a prodoundly problematic mystery?

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141106 ... ist-at-all

Your own frame of mind here seems to be conveying something that you have absolutely no capacity to demonstrate is "in fact" true. Others will even go so far as to suggest that what we think of as reality is only a manifestation of one or another Sim world. Or that it is all entirely solipsistic. Relevant only given the assumption that God is the hub in the reality wheel here.

iambiguous wrote:
Human consciousness is often tricked into believing things are one way when in fact they are not that way at all. Optical illusions for example, or the world of magic. Or dreams. You may have a dream in which you are discussing the nature of the universe with another. In the dream, your "I" seems to be calling the shots. But it is really only the brain creating all of it.


gib wrote: I still don't get why "I" can't just be the subjective way of experiencing the brain--of what it's like being the brain. Why do we have to experience our choices as necessary in order them to be so?


It would seem [to me] that the distinction between subjective and objective reality in a wholly determined universe is necessarily an illusion that matter has somehow been able to evolve into such that the brain becomes this truly extraordinary matter able to reflect on itself as matter reflecting on itself as matter able to make such a distinction at all.

The part here that always seems to escape my own capacity to understand is the argument of the compatibilists.

To speak of mindful matter creating something like an automobile engine entirely out of mindless matter only because it was never able not to do so is, well, how the fuck does the human mind wrap itself around that given all of Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns" going all the way back to whatever or whoever is behind the existence of existence itself.

Knowledge that may well be beyond the capacity of the human brain/mind to grasp 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 gib » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:40 pm

All of these are excellent philosophical question, Biggy. If anyone understands the futility in answering them definitively, it would be you. But I don't think this proves the inherent paradoxical nature of reality as much as the inherent paradoxical nature of the questions (or our thoughts about them). As far as I'm concerned, there are conceivable scenarios we can entertain which could qualify as answers to these questions... just not definitively (because we can't prove any of this). For example, you say:

iambiguous wrote:After all, you could dream of having an exchange with someone.


...which is true, but you know as well as anyone that this possibility has never stopped you from having a meaningful discussion with people in the past. Life goes on despite the vexation of these questions.

iambiguous wrote:And how is "meaning" here not but one more manifestation of that which can only ever be if mind is but more matter being only what matter can ever be?


We apprehend meaning in the moment. It's true that we can always reflect on meaning and question whether it actually means anything at all, but there's a reason these exchanges work. While engaged in an exchange, we apprehend meaning, and it's that apprehension which perpetuates the exchange, which keeps us moving forward. If meaning was, in fact, vacuous, this would not be possible.

For example, if I ask you "what's 4 plus 6?" you are able to says "10" only because you apprehend the meaning of "4" and "6". 4 means "there are four things" and 6 means "there are six things" and 4 + 6 means "you have 4 things coupled with 6 things." <-- That means there are 10 things all together.

^ You see how meaning is the fuel that keeps thought, and thus exchanges, moving.

^ But all this could be a grand chimera, right?--maybe a simple discussion of what 4 plus 6 equals is, in reality, rambling nonsense, and we're only determined to think it's not--but you can only take that seriously when you're not in the moment. When you are in the moment--actually think "what's 4 plus 6?"--you patently see that it's not.

iambiguous wrote:Red and soft exist only because existence itself exist. And only because matter evolved into mind such that "red" and "soft" can be discussed here at all.


Well, my point was that redness doesn't have redness, it isn't given redness, it is redness. Existence isn't given existence. Things are given existence, brought into existence. Existence is just the word we use to refer to the being of all things. The being of things wasn't given being itself.

I'm not a Big Bang denier--I'll go along with the idea that some huge explosion occurred roughly 13 billion years ago--but I would just caution anyone who wants to talk about existence "coming into" existence at that point. If there was a "before" prior to the Big Bang, then time could not have begun with the Big Bang, and that means there must have been existence before the Big Bang (even if empty). If there was no "before" then time has a beginning, but there was no "coming into" existence since that implies time before.

iambiguous wrote:Your own frame of mind here seems to be conveying something that you have absolutely no capacity to demonstrate is "in fact" true. Others will even go so far as to suggest that what we think of as reality is only a manifestation of one or another Sim world. Or that it is all entirely solipsistic. Relevant only given the assumption that God is the hub in the reality wheel here.


People can believe all sorts of things. My interest here is not in proving the reality of any theory or possible scenario. I just try to take your paradoxical conundrums and see if I can make sense of them.

iambiguous wrote:it would seem [to me] that the distinction between subjective and objective reality in a wholly determined universe is necessarily an illusion that matter has somehow been able to evolve into such that the brain becomes this truly extraordinary matter able to reflect on itself as matter reflecting on itself as matter able to make such a distinction at all.


The what now?

First of all, you can't have an illusion without subjectivity. Subjectivity just means: how things seem from a first person point of view. The creation of the illusion (if we're calling it that) is subjectivity.

But that doesn't really address my point. I was asking why we assume that if we are fully determined, we would necessarily feel determined. I mean, without having to posit that the brain has to supplement the experience of freedom to its already rich repertoire of experiences. It's like asking: how does the brain create the experience of pain without including the aspect of the wetness of the neurons underlying the experience of pain? Not everything about the physical infrastructure that underlies our experiences necessarily has to be made a part of our experience. As far as I'm concerned, what we call "freedom of choice" is not an illusory "thing" that we experience in addition to all our other experience, but an omission on the part of our brains. The brain omits to add to our experiences the fact of our being determined. So we don't feel determined. We might then infer that we are free in the sense of being able to violate the laws of nature (or that the laws of nature don't apply to us) but this is an ordinary run-of-the-mill philosophical mistake, not an insoluble paradox of our existence.
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Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:29 am

It's simple really.

A lack of all existence, includes a lack of itself.

Which leaves you with existence

That's why existence exists.

The existence of all existence just affirms itself.

Truth table with two variables, always force existence.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby gib » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:56 am

Ecmandu wrote:It's simple really.

A lack of all existence, includes a lack of itself.

Which leaves you with existence

That's why existence exists.

The existence of all existence just affirms itself.

Truth table with two variables, always force existence.


Perfectly put, Ecmandu! =D>
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:50 pm

Im a bit in a mood today because of some scum, so Ill just say Ecmandu read that logic a few years ago on this site and started copying it.

He copied it falsely though. A lack of existence isn't a lack of a lack of existence.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:14 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:Im a bit in a mood today because of some scum, so Ill just say Ecmandu read that logic a few years ago on this site and started copying it.

He copied it falsely though. A lack of existence isn't a lack of a lack of existence.


You have that wrong ... I'm certainly the first to bring a prototype of that to these boards in a really long thread that John Bannon and I had about 6 years ago
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:22 pm

Ecmandu wrote:
barbarianhorde wrote:Im a bit in a mood today because of some scum, so Ill just say Ecmandu read that logic a few years ago on this site and started copying it.

He copied it falsely though. A lack of existence isn't a lack of a lack of existence.


You have that wrong ... I'm certainly the first to bring a prototype of that to these boards in a really long thread that John Bannon and I had about 6 years ago


I was posting as "commentary" back then, quit for a while, lost my password, asked to start a new account ...
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby gib » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:58 pm

barbarianhorde wrote:A lack of existence isn't a lack of a lack of existence.


Grammatically speak, no. But I think the point is that you can't have a lack of existence. If we think of "a lack of existence" as a thing (which we inevitably do), it becomes apparent that such a thing is impossible (a lack of existence implies no things), and so what we must have instead is a lack of a lack of existence, which is just existence.

This argument is brought up all the time in various ways by many people all over the internet. It's not an original idea. Nobody "steals" it from others.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby barbarianhorde » Sat Oct 20, 2018 3:03 pm

gib wrote:
barbarianhorde wrote:A lack of existence isn't a lack of a lack of existence.


Grammatically speak, no.

well that matters in writing philosophy.

But I think the point is that you can't have a lack of existence. If we think of "a lack of existence" as a thing (which we inevitably do), it becomes apparent that such a thing is impossible (a lack of existence implies no things), and so what we must have instead is a lack of a lack of existence, which is just existence.

Thats just the same as observing that something exists. But thats not a reason as to why it exists.
Its like why are you sitting at the table? Because I am not not sitting at the table. If that impresses you as an answer I think you never asked the question.

This argument is brought up all the time in various ways by many people all over the internet. It's not an original idea. Nobody "steals" it from others.

Its a bad formulation of the idea, as your explanation verifies.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby surreptitious75 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:35 pm

gib wrote:
If we think of a lack of existence as a thing ( which we inevitably do ) it becomes apparent that such a thing is impossible
( a lack of existence implies no things ) and so what we must have instead is a lack of a lack of existence which is just existence

Existence is not a thing but a state of being or state of mind
It cannot be a thing because it has no property or dimension
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:45 pm

The formulation is that non-existence is a possible state of being, being non-being for all existents.

Including it's own lack of all existents.
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Re: Something Instead of Nothing

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:57 pm

gib wrote: All of these are excellent philosophical question, Biggy. If anyone understands the futility in answering them definitively, it would be you.


I have no capacity to demonstrate that these questions have no definitive answers. I can only note that "here and now" I have not come across an answer that seems definitive to me. And then to note how ludicrous it seems coming across those who speak of these things as though their own answers were in fact definitive.

And then [especially] to note the gap between what we think we know about either the questions or the answers "in our heads" and all that would need to be known about the existence of existence itself in order to know definitively.

For some however this spoils it. They have to accept the part where they go to the grave never really knowing what the answers might be. Unless of course their own defintive answer includes God, immortality and salvation.

iambiguous wrote:After all, you could dream of having an exchange with someone.


gib wrote: ...which is true, but you know as well as anyone that this possibility has never stopped you from having a meaningful discussion with people in the past. Life goes on despite the vexation of these questions.


But how meaningful is a discussion that starts and stops only as it ever could have? And if life itself "goes on" only as it ever could have then meaning itself would seem to be just another manisfestation of a reality produced by a brain wholly in sync with the laws of matter.

In other words...

iambiguous wrote:...how is "meaning" here not but one more manifestation of that which can only ever be if mind is but more matter being only what matter can ever be?


gib wrote: We apprehend meaning in the moment. It's true that we can always reflect on meaning and question whether it actually means anything at all, but there's a reason these exchanges work. While engaged in an exchange, we apprehend meaning, and it's that apprehension which perpetuates the exchange, which keeps us moving forward. If meaning was, in fact, vacuous, this would not be possible.


But if that apprehension is embodied only in the illusion of autonomy, how is the exchange we are having here really all that different from the seeming autonomy that we possess in the dream? In or out of the dream, I'm convinced that reality unfolds only because I will this instead of that.

gib wrote: For example, if I ask you "what's 4 plus 6?" you are able to says "10" only because you apprehend the meaning of "4" and "6". 4 means "there are four things" and 6 means "there are six things" and 4 + 6 means "you have 4 things coupled with 6 things." <-- That means there are 10 things all together.


Okay, but how do we determine and then demonstrate that this isn't also just embedded in a wholly determined universe? The mystery is still matter able to evolve to the point of becoming mindful of things like this. The part about "dualism". The ghost in the machine. And, then, for some, the soul.

gib wrote: But all this could be a grand chimera, right?--maybe a simple discussion of what 4 plus 6 equals is, in reality, rambling nonsense, and we're only determined to think it's not--but you can only take that seriously when you're not in the moment. When you are in the moment--actually think "what's 4 plus 6?"--you patently see that it's not.


Whether something is seen as meaninglful or as rambling nonsense isn't the point to me. The point is the extent to which we react to the world around us with some measure of autonomy.

From my frame of mind a lot of this is embedded in the arguments over AI. Think, for example, of the Terminator. We think he is just like us. A man going about the business of choosing one set of behaviors rather than another. But he is just programmed that way. He does what he must.

Are we then the equivalent of this -- "designed" by nature to choose this instead of that? But only because we were never really able not to?

iambiguous wrote:Red and soft exist only because existence itself exist. And only because matter evolved into mind such that "red" and "soft" can be discussed here at all.


gib wrote: Well, my point was that redness doesn't have redness, it isn't given redness, it is redness. Existence isn't given existence. Things are given existence, brought into existence. Existence is just the word we use to refer to the being of all things. The being of things wasn't given being itself.


We simply don't know what brought about the existence of existence itself. After all, how does the human mind come to grips with either scenario: exiastence always existing or existence coming into existence out of nothing at all. "Redness" and "softness" are attributes of matter evolving into minds. Once all such matter is gone redness and softness goes with it. The crucial question is still the extent to which they were thought up autonomously by minds able to freely choose "blueness" and "hardness" instead.

iambiguous wrote:it would seem [to me] that the distinction between subjective and objective reality in a wholly determined universe is necessarily an illusion that matter has somehow been able to evolve into such that the brain becomes this truly extraordinary matter able to reflect on itself as matter reflecting on itself as matter able to make such a distinction at all.


gib wrote: The what now?

First of all, you can't have an illusion without subjectivity. Subjectivity just means: how things seem from a first person point of view. The creation of the illusion (if we're calling it that) is subjectivity.


But we are still back [eventually] to whether these subjective/objective distinctions are or are not just more dominos toppling over given the extent to which mind as matter must obey the laws of matter. Naturally, as it were.

gib wrote: But that doesn't really address my point. I was asking why we assume that if we are fully determined, we would necessarily feel determined.

I mean, without having to posit that the brain has to supplement the experience of freedom to its already rich repertoire of experiences. It's like asking: how does the brain create the experience of pain without including the aspect of the wetness of the neurons underlying the experience of pain? Not everything about the physical infrastructure that underlies our experiences necessarily has to be made a part of our experience. As far as I'm concerned, what we call "freedom of choice" is not an illusory "thing" that we experience in addition to all our other experience, but an omission on the part of our brains. The brain omits to add to our experiences the fact of our being determined. So we don't feel determined. We might then infer that we are free in the sense of being able to violate the laws of nature (or that the laws of nature don't apply to us) but this is an ordinary run-of-the-mill philosophical mistake, not an insoluble paradox of our existence.


Again, this can only be fully grasped to the extent to which neuroscientists are able to fully grasp it. And then in how we wrap our heads around the idea that they either will or they will not only to the extent that they were ever really going to. Then back to how "nature" and "natural laws" came to exist at all. And then [finally] back to any possible teleological component here.

Could Nature have accomplished this by itself? And for a reason? Or is it always going to be God here?

At least until a child comes along and asks "what created God"?
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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