Occasionally, someone asks the Big Question: “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
They usually mean to say, “Considering the possibilities, A/’not A’, why A?”
That’s because the contemplation of a ‘real’ nothing must come to, well, nothing. Nothing cannot be delineated. It cannot be a venue for any events, and it is responsive to nothing. In other words, it cannot be, so one cannot behold nothing.
Those who think that they are thinking about nothing should give themselves a little more credit. They are thinking about the A/not A relationship.
Unfortunately, contemplation of A/not A is not very enlightening either. Valid arguments may coalesce around the logical assertion, but it cannot, in itself, get to any truth. Logic is derived, after all. It runs on definitions, and definitions are cheap – practically free.
I can make all sorts of logically valid statements about the color ‘zorp’, once I define zorp. Critics can dispute the consistency of my subsequent zorp claims, and they are justified in saying that my claims are ‘true’ of zorp or not, based on the logical consistency of those claims. But they cannot say whether or not zorp is true simply by logical analysis.
The Big Question leads nowhere.
I find it stimulating for the mind to ask questions,
The “Big Question” was the central taoist concern, if I’m not mistaken.
Agreed, even if those questions lead us to a wall.
Lao Zi laid it out: zero begat one, zero and one make two, one and two make three, and so it goes.
At base, we have a blank monism, beyond which we cannot see.
Nothingness, existential necessity – meaningless claims on territory beyond the wall.
But to say that there could not be nothing is to say that the existence of something is necessary, metaphysically necessary. I have to be believe that because I’m a Christian but that’s only because I think God is necessary, not the world. Aside from that I don’t see the problem, claiming that the universe must exist does seem dubious. Sometimes I don’t know why I got degrees in this stuff…it’s so weird. Lol
I don’t think that any argument can establish that there could not be nothing or can establish anything about nothing at all. I don’t think that we have a viable concept to consider, so questions regarding it amount to, well, nothing. 🙂
So nothing is the “kind of thing” of which nothing can be accurately said?
Nothing is god, so to say.