I apologize for not reading my own post more carefully before sending them. My dislexia is acting up badly lately and my previous post was full of terrible typos.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Norman Samish" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: WHY DOES ANYTHING EXIST
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.)
This "identity", does it how at all levels of Existence? I would argue that it does not and this is the reason that I am suggesting that we look at Vaughan Pratt's ideas based on Chu spaces as a way to comprehend the "stratifications" of Existence. The duality we find there is easy to understand once we get past our prejudices. Consider the duality that exist between Cantor sets and complete atomic Boolean algebras...
Consider the Cantor hierarchy and the way that "nameability" seems to
become more and more difficult as we climb higher and higher. In the limit
of the hierarchy, there is a point at which physical implementability and
mathematical representability are not longer distinguishable, Nothingness
and Everything are One. Every transformation is a perfect homomorphism, even
an automorphism. This is perfect symmetry. But we must not forget that
Existence-in-itself must be Complete and thus it follows that all modes of Existence
also must exist, thus we have the example of the Cantor Hierarchy.
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 First Cause?"
Any notions of First Causes are self-contradicting.
The reason why this question has no answer is because there is no point
at which the question about "First Causes" can be posed such that an answer obtains that is
provably True. This is the proof that Bruno's work shows us, taking Goedel's to its logical conclusion.
The very asking of the question is like trying to predict what one will do, given some
Newcombian choice, and then having to wrestle with the implications of the answer.
Additionally, the notion of a "first cause", in itself, is fraught with tacit assumptions. Consider the possibility that there is no such a thing as a "first cause" just as there is no such thing as a privileged frame of reference. We are assuming that there is a "foundation" that is manifested by the "axiom of regularity":
Every non-empty set S contains an element a which is disjoint from S.
Exactly how can Existence obey this axiom without being inconsistent? Before we run away screaming in Horror at this thought, consider the implications of Norman's statement here:
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." 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.
Bruno, the only problem that I have with your thesis is that you do not seem to understand that physical existence and mathematical existence have equal ontological status, one is not prior to the other and both emerge from the Existence that is Nothingness, necessitating each other. This is just the beginning.