Bertrand Russell pointed out long ago that the properties of the members of a set need not be properties of the set itself. I.e., everything in the universe may have a cause but the universe - the set of all things - need not. We can argue about whether the ontological nature of the "set of everything" is physical, mathematical, spiritual, sensical (Weinbergism) or some other -al, but the question why any such set exists (its cause) has no answer.
The best response is Sidney Morgenbesser's ( sure you all know it): "If there were nothing you'd still be complaining!" On May 5, 3:54 am, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > On May 4, 11:48 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > On Thu, May 3, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > > Why would focusing on one issue be a distraction from the other? > > > Because Human Beings do not have infinite time to deal with, so time spent > > focusing on issues that Krauss correctly describes as sterile (not leading > > to new ideas) is time not spent focusing on profound issues that are quite > > literally infinitely more likely to give birth to new knowledge. > > That is the same logic that assumes that everyone who downloads a free > mp3 is taking money out of the pockets of musicians. It presumes that > everyone who wasn't doing one thing would automatically be doing the > other. > > > There are > > several ways to define "nothing" but if you insist it means "not even > > having the potential to produce something" then contemplating the question > > "why is there something rather than nothing?" is a obviously a complete > > waste of time and does nothing but inflict needless ware and tear on > > valuable brain cells. > > So you agree that it is impossible to have something come from > nothing. > > > However it now looks like if we work very hard > > science may actually be able to answer questions like "why there is stuff > > and not empty space, > > Not if the answer is just going to be that empty space is full of > stuff and stuff is mostly empty space. > > > why there is space at all, and how both stuff and > > space and even the forces we measure could arise from no stuff and no > > space". Those are enormously deep questions and that is where we should be > > spending our limited time, not "impotent and useless" navel gazing. > > I think of them as incredibly shallow questions. They are like the > easy problem of consciousness. Making a big deal out of what terms we > use to describe stuffness and non-stuffness. What do you find deep > about them? > > > > > > Is there some threat of the international science budget being siphoned > > > off into philosophy? > > > Yes. > > Communists? Witches? > > > > > > > If the nothing of a vacuum is really full of potentials, > > > If you insist on the strictest definition of "nothing" which is not even > > the potential of producing anything, then even God Himself could not > > produce something from nothing; and this line of thought is quite clearly > > leading precisely nowhere. > > That's why it's complete hype to claim that the universe comes from > nothing. It's a slogan to sell books. > > > > > > how is it really different from stuff? > > > You want to know how the potential is any different from the actual? As > > Krauss says in his book (which you have not read) > > I haven't read the Koran either, but I get the gist. > > > that's like asking how > > the potential human being any random male and female have of producing > > together is any different from a real flesh and blood person. Your problem > > is that your brain is caught in a infinite loop trying to figure out how a > > nothing without even the potential to produce something can nevertheless > > produce something. > > I'm not stuck in a loop at all. I only point out as a fact that the > universe could not come from something. It's a very straightforward > argument, which you apparently agree with except that someone has > written a book with a title that suggests otherwise. I'm not trying to > figure out how something comes from nothing, the book in question is. > I understand that causality is something that comes from sense, not > the other way around, so I don't have to waste my time redefining > 'nothing' to include a proto-universal universe. > > > If you're too busy spinning your wheels to read > > Professor Krauss's book your only hope is to at least try to squeeze in a > > little time to read the 2 articles I mentioned in my last post and repeat > > below for your benefit, they're a sort of readers digest condensed kiddy > > version of the book, but that's far better than "nothing" by any meaning of > > the word. > > >http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-consolation-of-p... > > > http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-mad... > > There is nothing surprising in either of these articles. > > Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.