A possible way of answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" relies on the principle of causality also referred to by Peter Unger as the minimization of arbitrariness, also related to Archibald Wheeler's "Laws Without Laws."
(You can refer to Peter Unger's article "Minimizing Arbitrariness" in
Midwest Studies in Philosophy IX, 1984. You could also refer to the book
by Nozick, Philosophical Explanations, Metaphysics, Chapter 2, "Why is
there something instead of Nothing?" )
Actually, the question "Why is there something rather than Nothing?" is
imprecise. There is actually a "Nothing" but this "Nothing" implies lack
of acausality or lack of arbitrariness. Nothing = Nothing acausal =
Nothing arbitrary = No God.
Thus the Universe is causal, that is, it cannot be arbitrary. In terms
of sets, the universe cannot be represented by any one particular set,
INCLUDING THE NUL SET, because THAT whould be arbitrary (it would
require an explanation outside the universe, which by definition is
No possible set can satisfy the no-arbitrariness requirement. We are
therefore left with an entity which is not a set. This entity is the
Interestingly, the ABSENCE OF GOD is a necessary requirement for
explaining the world. But of course, the questions "Why is there
something...," and "Is there a God" arise again at a meta level.
At a deeper level, we could ask the question, why is the principle of
causality so important? This principle is intimately tied up with our
own rationality which is an essential ingredient of our consciousness.
Thus the world itself seems to be a product of ourselves.
- Re: Why is there something rather than nothing? George Levy