Hi Jonathan,

You say that "Because it is necessarily true" is the answer to "Why does the 
integer series -100 to +100 exist?"  However, you seem to say that this is 
NOT the answer to "Why does anything exist?"  In this latter case, you seem 
to say the question is meaningless because "the sum of everything is 
equivalent to nothing."

I'm afraid I don't understand why this makes it meaningless.  To me, an 
example of a meaningless question is one which cannot possibly have an 
answer, such as standing on the North pole and asking "Which way is North?"

I agree that comparing "anything" to an integer series that sums to zero is 
not quite the same, since "anything" covers so much more than an integer 
series.  However, it seems to me that the same answer ought to apply to both 

Can you prove that there is no possible answer to WDAE?  Such a proof would, 
indeed, make the question meaningless.

Thanks for your assistance.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 12:39 AM

> Hi Jonathan,
> You say that if "something and nothing are equivalent," then
> "the big WHY question is rendered meaningless."
> But isn't the big WHY question equivalent to asking "WHY does
> the integer series -100 to +100 exist?"  Even though the sum
> of the integer series is zero, that doesn't render the
> question meaningless.

I don't think that's quite an equivalent question, because the answer is
simply "because it is necessarily true". I think that's a different
observation (and question) than Pearce's "free lunch" (or observation that
the sum of everything is equivalent to nothing).

Jonathan Colvin

> Norman
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jonathan Colvin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: <everything-list@eskimo.com>
> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2005 10:20 PM
> > Norman wrote: Thanks for your identification of David
> Pearce - I see
> > he
> was
> > co-founder (with Nick Bostrom) of the World Transhumanist
> Association.
> > I have a lot of respect for Bostrom's views.
> >
> > However, it's Pearce's viewpoint about  "WHY DOES ANYTHING
> EXIST" that
> > I'm interested in.  This viewpoint is expressed at
> > http://www.hedweb.com/nihilism/nihilfil.htm  His conclusion
> seems to
> > be that everything in the multiverse adds up to zero, so
> there are no
> > loose ends that need explaining.
> > Even if true, this doesn't answer the WHY question, however.
> >
> > If you or others have opinions on WHY, I'd like to hear them.
> >  I wonder if your opinion will be that no opinion is possible?
> Pearce is a little tongue-in-cheek here, I think, but surely
> Pearce does answer the *big* "why" question ("why is there
> something rather than nothing?").  O is nothing, so if
> everything adds up to zero, something and nothing are
> equivalent, and the big "why" question is rendered meaningless.
> All other "why" questions (as in, "why this rather than
> that?") are answered by the standard UE (ultimate ensemble),
> which Pearce seems to assume.
> Jonathan Colvin

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