Le 19-mai-05, à 22:15, Norman Samish a écrit :
Thank you for many illuminating replies to the "Why does anything exist?"
question. Three are shown below. It's clear that some hold that there is
an identity between physical and mathematical existence (although Patrick
Leahy may disagree). If so, we can phrase the big WHY as "Why do numbers
exist?" (Answer: Because such existence is a logical necessity.)
No. failure of Russell's program. No logics can justify the (natural) numbers. All attempts failed until mathematicians proved that such a justification just cannot be done. (you can understand intutively by trying to explain numbers to someone who does not understand them, and this without using them). Hofstadter is close to it in his parody of Lewis Carroll dialog between Achille and the Tortoise in Godel-Escher-Bach, or in Mind'I (if I remember well).
The question (at least as I mean it) can also be phrased as "Why is there
something instead of nothing?" Or perhaps I am really asking "What is the
I think the big WHY must be an unanswerable question from a scientific
standpoint, and that Leahy must be correct when he says ". . . there is
just no answer to the big WHY."
Yes, if the big why is "why numbers?". Once you accept numbers, it can looks crazy but there is a complete explanation why "numbers" can have 1-person views and beliefs in material (apparently) realities. And the explanation is testable because it makes precise (and thus technical and rather long to describe) prediction on the appearances.
Stephen Paul King says it, maybe more
rigorously, when he says, "Existence, itself, can not be said to require an
explanation for such would be a requirement that there is a necessitate
prior to which Existence is dependent upon."
Stephen Paul King writes:
Existence, itself, can not be said to require an explanation for such would
be a requirement that there is a necessitate prior to which Existence is
dependent upon. Pearce's idea is not new and we have it from many thinkers
that the totality of the multiverse must sum to zero, that is the essence of
symmetry. It is the actuality of the content of our individual experiences
(including all of the asymmetries) that we have to justify.
Patrick Leahy writes:
I find this a very odd question to be asked on this list. To me, one of the
main attractions of the "everything" thesis is that it provides the only
possible answer to this question. Viz: as Jonathan pointed out, mathematical
objects are logical necessities, and the thesis (at least in Tegmark's
formulation) is that physical existence is identical to mathematical
existence. Despite this attractive feature, I'm fairly sure the thesis is
wrong (so that there is just no answer to the big WHY?), but that's another
Bruno Marchal writes:
You can look at my URL for argument that physical existence emerges from
mathematical existence. I have no clues that physical existence could just
be equated to mathematical existence unless you attach consciousness to
individuated bodies, but how? I can argue that without accepting natural
numbers you cannot justify them. So any theory which does not assumes the
natural numbers cannot be a theory of everything. Once you accept the
existence of natural numbers it is possible to explain how the belief in
both math and physics arises. And with the explicit assumption of Descartes
Mechanism, in a digital form (the computationalist hypothesis), I think such
explanation is unique. Also, it is possible to explain why we cannot explain
where our belief in natural numbers come from.