David,

   I believe you're right that I misspoke in my previous posting.
Thanks.  What I meant was that if we consider non-existence itself and
not our mind's conception of non-existence, then that non-existence
itself (ie, that complete lack of all matter, energy, time, space,
ideas, mathematical constructs, and of minds to try and conceive this
lack of all.) completely defines or describes the entirety of what is
actually "physically" present.  There's nothing else there other than
the complete lack of all.  Because it is the complete description of
what is "physically" present, it is an existent state.  I put
physically in quotes here not to try and linguistically reify non-
existence, but because in order to even consider non-existence itself,
we have to have some physical condition to refer to.

    Overall, what this means is that our mind's conception of non-
existence is of just plain "nothingness".  But, non-existence itself
is actually an existent state and can really therefore be called
"something" instead of "nothing".  This means that non-existence
itself really does have a referent in actuality (the phrase you
mentioned previously).  Thanks.

 
Roger




On Aug 10, 11:40 am, David Nyman <da...@davidnyman.com> wrote:
> 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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