This question seems unanswerable, but set theorists have tried (though
that might not be how they view their own endeavours): One interpretation of
the universe of constructible sets found in standard set theory textbooks is
that even if you start with nothing, you can say "that's a thing," and put
brackets around it and then you've got two things: nothing and {nothing}.
And then you also have {nothing and {nothing}}. Proceeding in this manner
you get a mathematical structure equivalent to numbers, a structure which in
turn is known to contain unimaginable richness and texture, in which
mathematical physicists (like me) attempt to 'find' the structures of our
universe embedded.
-Chris C
----- Original Message -----
From: Norman Samish <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 6:09 PM
Subject: Re: Why is there something instead of nothing?


> Hal Finney,
> Thanks for the thought.  I know that there is something instead of nothing
> by using Descartes reasoning.  (From
> http://teachanimalobjectivity.homestead.com/files/return2.htm)  "The only
> thing Descartes found certain was the fact he was thinking. He further
felt
> that thought was not a thing-in-itself, and had to proceed from somewhere
> (viz., cause and effect), therefore since he was thinking the thoughts, he
> existed --by extension--also. Hence, "thought" and "extension" were the
very
> beginnings from which all things proceeded, "Cogito ergo sum" (I think
> therefore I am)."
>
> I don't understand how there can be both something and nothing.  Perhaps I
> don't understand what you mean by "nothing."  By "nothing" I mean  no
thing,
> not even empty space.
>
> In other words, it is conceivable to me that the multiverse need not
exist.
> Yet it does.  Why?  This seems inherently unanswerable.
>
> Norman
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hal Finney" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2003 11:12 PM
> Subject: Re: Why is there something instead of nothing?
>
>
> > How do you know the premise is true, that there is something instead
> > of nothing?  Maybe there could be both something and nothing.  Or maybe
> > the existence of "nothing" is consistent with our own experiences.
> >
> > I don't think all these terms are well enough defined for the question
> > to have meaning in its simple form.  It's easy to put words together,
> > but not all gramatically correct sentences are meaningful.
> >
> > Hal Finney
> >
> >
>
>

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