# Re: Why is there something rather than nothing?

```On 9/22/2011 1:18 AM, Roger Granet wrote:
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`Everyone,`
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o In regard to Jon's below comment:

>Pearce later concludes that "if, in all, there is 0, i.e no (net)
>properties whatsoever, then there just isn't anything substantive
>which needs explaining."  Jason and Roger, are you satisfied by this
>explanation of why there doesn't need to be a meta-explanation of why
>anything exists?

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I'm not real sure what you're trying to get at? I'm okay with not needing an explanation of why so called "nothing" is a starting point, but I think we need an explanation for why this so called "nothing" is actually "something" (aka, the empty set). That's what I was trying to do in my paper. I thought that trying to figure out why anything exists was our whole point? But, I'm probably misunderstanding something here?
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o In regard to Jon's point that:

>Also, I think Pearce's idea that reality is constituted (somehow)
by empty sets nested in other empty sets
>supports the following idea of Roger's: "the existent state that
is what has been previously called "absolute non->existence" has
the unique property of being able to reproduce itself." Perhaps
you guys are saying the same thing >just in different words.

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I would totally agree. My only concern with people saying that the process of getting the integers from nested empty sets can be used as a way for our universe to come into existence is that these people usually don't say what the mechanism is that's doing the nesting. One thing I like about my model is that it provides a mechanism for doing this nesting that's inherent in the property of the existent state that used to be called "nothing". This mechanism being that if this first existent state is there, then there's the "complete lack-of-all" next to it. This "complete lack-of-all" next to it also completely defines the entirety of what is there and is thus also an existent state. This process continues ad infinitum to create more and more existent states (aka, nested empty sets) that constitute the existence around us.
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```[SPK]
Hi Roger,

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First let me thank you for joining us in these discussions. new ideas are always a good thing as they provoke thought.
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I think that the idea of a plurality of possible positions, given some X, and a sequence of places where X could be next, given some initial location, are interchangeable, but it seems to me that any mechanism that would induce one nesting could be seen as generating the potential of many, and thus a plurality of possibilities, if the generator of the nestings is not seperate from the impulsive or dynamic aspect that is implicit in the transitions from some initial state into some successive state. Basically, if their is a reason to not remain eternally in one state then all possible sequences can be induced from this 'potential' to not remain fixed. (I am using the word "induce" as it is used in electronics, where some change induces some other.)
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o In regard to the idea that so called "nothing" contains all possibilities, I don't think this is right because:
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- Let's say you have some initial spherical state X and that nothing exists other than that state. There are no locations/positions other than that state X. Now, let's say that this state can create more identical, existent, spherical states all around it. We might think that there's an infinite number of possible locations/positions for these new states to be formed in around initial state X. But, this is incorrect because there are no locations/positions around the first state until /after/ these new states are created. Only once these new states are created are the new locations/positions created and only then can we say, after the fact and incorrectly, that these new states could have been created in any different position. So, I think the idea of saying that nothing has an infinite number of possibilities in it is incorrect because it's really our minds that our putting these possibilities into this so called nothing, after the fact.
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Since it is stipulated that the initial state is spherical and there is some notion that there exists reasons or mechanism that this initial state is not fixed and permanent, does this alone not at least suggest that there is a possibility or potential for "new locations"? I think that I basically agree with your point but my argument would run something like: Since there is nothing, nothing follows. The idea that Nothingness has an infinite or even an indefinite number of possibilities seems to to argued by inverting an already given monotonically increasing sequence and "running it back" to the initial state given the ordering implicit in the sequence. This is a bit of a cheat since it starts out with Something and subtracts back to a Nothing. It seems similar to a /*Post hoc ergo propter hoc*/ fallacy.
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- It's very important in this whole area to distinguish between our mind's conception of "nothing", in which it seems like there are infinite possibilities, and "nothing" itself, in which neither our minds nor infinite possibilities are there. "Nothing" itself is what we need to focus on, I think.
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```[SPK]
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I agree, it seems that a lot of people take the Nothing as if it where the Zero of a number line and assume that the ordering of the number line is implicit in the zero. Not to say that this is not a valid concept, but if we are going to use this idea then I think it is necessary to show the necessity of that assumption.
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o Whatever people decide for themselves about these issues, I think in the end that there has to be some initial existent state that has some inherent properties that allow it to reproduce itself, create energy and create the larger existence (ie, our universe) we live in. This initial state, its properties and the model for creating existence out of them has to be internally consistent, consistent with what's currently known and eventually be able to make some testable predictions. This is how philosophy can transition into science, IMHO. The people in the digital philosophy/cellular automata area are trying to do this, and this is what I've tried to do in my paper and what I'm still working on. Obviously, we all still have a long way to go, but I think it's important that we don't get too distracted and that we "keep our eyes on the prize".
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```[SPK]
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Question: Does not the concept of "initial state" itself not imply a "next state", otherwise what makes it "initial" in the first place? Semantics are a big problem in this... What about eternal process where there is no "beginning" or "initial" state at all, but rather there is a successor given *any* selected state. My concern is that we seem to ignore the fact that postulating by fiat an "initial" state makes that state "special" and that "special" aspect requires strong reasons to be taken as coherent in an explanatory model or cosmogony.
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Onward!

Stephen

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```    Thank you!

Roger

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