On 9 August 2011 18:16, Roger Granet <roger...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> So, when I say that
> "non-existence is the complete description of what is present",
> by necessity, I'm jumping back and forth between two meanings of
> non-existence.  The first "non-existence" in the phrase refers to
> non-existence itself and "what is present" is our mind's conception of
> non-existence.  We're stuck having to do this because we exist, but
> non-existence itself, and not our mind's conception of non-existence"
> doesn't have this dependence.

I've read the above several times and, sadly, I still have no clear
idea of what you could possibly mean.  You say that: "what is present"
is our mind's conception of non-existence.  Substituting this in your
formulation then gives:

"non-existence is the complete description of our mind's conception of
non-existence".

Is this what you meant to say?  If so, I can see why you say it is an
"existent state", but I still can't see how you defend such a state as
equivalent to "radical absence of all states".  Indeed, the two ideas
seem in direct contradiction.

David

> David,
>     Thanks for the feedback. I'm not suggesting that non-existence/radical
> absence contains a property or definition because I agree that it would then
> not be non-existence.  I'm suggesting that non-existence is the complete
> description/definition of what is present and can therefore be considered an
> existent state.  Also, because we're talking about non-existence, we have to
> reify it (by saying "it is", "what is present", etc.) in order to even
> discuss it, but non-existence itself doesn't have that property.  So, when I
> say that
> "non-existence is the complete description of what is present",
> by necessity, I'm jumping back and forth between two meanings of
> non-existence.  The first "non-existence" in the phrase refers to
> non-existence itself and "what is present" is our mind's conception of
> non-existence.  We're stuck having to do this because we exist, but
> non-existence itself, and not our mind's conception of non-existence"
> doesn't have this dependence.
>     Thanks!
>
>                                                             Roger
>
> ________________________________
> From: David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com>
> To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
> Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 9:49 AM
> Subject: Re: Why is there something rather than nothing?
>
> On 9 August 2011 07:36, Roger <roger...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> I always like to distinguish between the
>> mind's conception/perception of a thing and the thing itself.  So, I'd
>> say that a thing can exist even if its properties are unknown to us
>> (ie, to our mind's conception of the thing) but those properties have
>> to be known, or be part of, the thing itself in order to be properties
>> of that thing.  I think this is real important in thinking about
>> "nothing" or non-existence.  Next to our minds, which exist, nothing/
>> non-existence just looks like the lack of existence, or nothing.  But,
>> non-existence itself, not our mind's conception of non-existence,
>> completely describes or defines what is present and is therefore an
>> existent state.
>
> Agreed on the distinction between a conception and what it (may)
> ultimately refer to.  However, I'm not really convinced of its
> centrality in this case.  The "nothing" that is here juxtaposed with
> "something" is surely intended to rule out any state whatsoever,
> including any "properties" or "definitions" thereof.  For example, in
> the face of such "radical absence", even the truth that "17 is prime"
> would be in abeyance (although I suspect Bruno might say that this is
> evidence enough that the concept fails to refer).  To be sure, given
> the brute fact that there IS "something", such radical non-existence
> may indeed be excluded as a matter of fact.  That is, the IDEA of
> "nothing" as the radical absence of any state of affairs whatsoever
> may indeed lack any referent in actuality.  But notwithstanding this,
> any less radical proposal fails to exhaust the concept at its logical
> limit (e.g. in your very reliance on the formulation "defines what is
> present").  And the dizzying prospect of that ultimate conceptual
> limit is, rightly or wrongly, what troubles us when we encounter the
> canonical question.
>
> David
>
>> Brent,
>>
>>    Thanks for the comment!  I always like to distinguish between the
>> mind's conception/perception of a thing and the thing itself.  So, I'd
>> say that a thing can exist even if its properties are unknown to us
>> (ie, to our mind's conception of the thing) but those properties have
>> to be known, or be part of, the thing itself in order to be properties
>> of that thing.  I think this is real important in thinking about
>> "nothing" or non-existence.  Next to our minds, which exist, nothing/
>> non-existence just looks like the lack of existence, or nothing.  But,
>> non-existence itself, not our mind's conception of non-existence,
>> completely describes or defines what is present and is therefore an
>> existent state.  Thanks!
>>
>>
>> Roger
>>
>>
>> On Aug 8, 1:59 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
>>> On 8/7/2011 11:40 PM, Roger wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> >      Hi.  I used to post to this list but haven't in a long time.  I'm
>>> > a biochemist but like to think about the question of "Why is there
>>> > something rather than nothing?" as a hobby.  If you're interested,
>>> > some of my ideas on this question and on  "Why do things exist?",
>>> > infinite sets and on the relationships of all this to mathematics and
>>> > physics are at:
>>>
>>> >https://sites.google.com/site/ralphthewebsite/
>>>
>>> > An abstract of the "Why do things exist and Why is there something
>>> > rather than nothing?" paper is below.
>>>
>>> >      Thank you in advance for any feedback you may have.
>>>
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >  Sincerely,
>>>
>>> > Roger Granet
>>> >
>>> > (roger...@yahoo.com)
>>>
>>> > Abstract:
>>>
>>> >     In this paper, I propose solutions to the questions "Why do things
>>> > exist?" and "Why is there something rather than nothing?"  In regard
>>> > to the first question, "Why do things exist?", it is argued that a
>>> > thing exists if the contents of, or what is meant by, that thing are
>>> > completely defined.
>>>
>>> Things that are completely defined are mathematical abstractions: like a
>>> differentiable manifold or the natural numbers.  One might even argue
>>> that an essential characteristic of things that exist is that they can
>>> have unknown properties.  But perhaps I'm misreading what you mean by
>>> "defined".  Maybe you just mean that things that exist either have a
>>> property or not, independent of our knowledge.  So Vic either has a mole
>>> on his left side or he doesn't, even though we don't know which; whereas
>>> is makes no sense to even wonder whether Sherlock Holmes has a mole on
>>> his left side.
>>>
>>> Brent
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> > A complete definition is equivalent to an edge or
>>> > boundary defining what is contained within and giving substance and
>>> > existence to the thing.  In regard to the second question, "Why is
>>> > there something rather than nothing?", "nothing", or non-existence, is
>>> > first defined to mean: no energy, matter, volume, space, time,
>>> > thoughts, concepts, mathematical truths, etc.; and no minds to think
>>> > about this lack-of-all.  It is then shown that this non-existence
>>> > itself, not our mind's conception of non-existence, is the complete
>>> > description, or definition, of what is present.  That is, no energy,
>>> > no matter, no volume, no space, no time, no thoughts, etc.,  in and of
>>> > itself, describes, defines, or tells you, exactly what is present.
>>> > Therefore, as a complete definition of what is present, "nothing", or
>>> > non-existence, is actually an existent state.  So, what has
>>> > traditionally been thought of as "nothing", or non-existence, is, when
>>> > seen from a different perspective, an existent state or "something".
>>> > Said yet another way, non-existence can appear as either "nothing" or
>>> > "something" depending on the perspective of the observer.   Another
>>> > argument is also presented that reaches this same conclusion.
>>> > Finally, this reasoning is used to form a primitive model of the
>>> > universe via what I refer to as "philosophical engineering".
>>
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