On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 8:04 PM, Stephen P. King <stephe...@charter.net>wrote:

Hi Stephen,

> - If nothing has no properties, and a limitation is considered a property,
> then "nothing" cannot have any limitations, including the limitation of
> generating "something". Therefore, "something" may come from "nothing".
>     Can nothing be treated as an object itself? Can we "hang" properties
> on it?

Some people claim that something cannot come from "nothing". I think they
are hanging a property on it.

> Are we actually talking about "substance" as synonomous with what the
> philosophers of old used to use as the object minus its properties? I like
> to use the word "Existence" in this case, as it would seen to naturally
> include "nothing" and "something" as its most trivial dual categories.
> - Given that something exists, it is possible that something exists
> (obviously). The later would be true even if "nothing" was the case.
> Therefore, we should envision the state of "nothing" co-existing with the
> possibility of "something" existing, which is rather bizarre.
>     Does Nothingness exist? Can Nothingness non-exist? At what point are
> we playing games with words and at what point are we being meaningful?

I think a proper philosopher would say that "nothing" is the state of
affairs (rather than "nothing" exists).

> You are pointing out how "possibility" seems to be implicitly tied to the
> relation between something and nothing. In my reasoning this is why I
> consider existence as "necessary possibility". Unfortunately, this
> consideration suffers from the ambiguity inherent in semiotics known as the 
> figure-frame
> relation<http://photoinf.com/Golden_Mean/Petteri_Sulonen/Space_Figure_Ground.htm>.
> Is the word we use to 
> denote<http://grammar.about.com/od/d/g/denotationterm.htm>or
> connote <http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/connotationterm.htm> a referent?
> What if we mean to use both denotative and connotative uses?
One way of intuiting "nothing" is that which remains when you have removed
everything. In fact, I believe that the philosophical "nothing" is nothing
else than classical empty space elevated to metaphysical heights. The
problem is that even after you have removed everything (including time and
space), there is something that cannot be removed: the possibility of
something existing. It would seem that "nothing" (or rather, NOTHING)
shouldn't allow even for the logical possibility of something existing. But
given that something exists, this possibility cannot be removed. That is
why I said that the idea of "nothing" and the logical possibility of
existence, sharing the same state of affairs, is bizarre (if not

>  - Why should "nothing" be the default state? I think this is based on
> the intuition that "nothing" would require no explanation, whereas
> "something" requires an explanation. However, given that the possibility of
> something existing is necessarily true, an explanation would be required
> for why there is "nothing" instead of "something".
>     I agree. We might even think or intuit "nothing" as the absolute
> absence of 'everything' : the sum of all particulars that piece-wise and
> collection-wise are not-nothing; whereas 'something' is a special case of
> 'everything'; a particular case of everything.

Probably the best way of defining "nothing" is the absence of everything
(not this, not that, ...). But isn't it funny that in order to define
"nothing" you have to accept the possibility of everything?

- There are many ways something can exist, but just one of nothing
> existing. Therefore, "nothing" is less likely :-)
>     But this statement implicitly assumes a measure that itself, then,
> implies a common basis for comparison. Is there a set, class, category or
> other 'collection' that has all of the forms, modalities, aspects, etc. of
> something along with nothing?

I guess it couldn't be a set.

In any case, when people ask the question "why something rather than
nothing", they implicitely assume that there is some sort of priority for
"nothing" over something.

My short answer to "why something rather than nothing?" is "why not?".

>  We tend not to think much of it, but 'Nothing' = Sum of {not a cat, not a
> dot, not a fist, not a person, not a word, ... }

I agree, but why the absence of things requires less explanation than the
presence of things?

>     I suspect that the answer to this question is trivial: We see this
> universe because it is the only one that is minimally (?) consistent with
> our ability to *both* observe it and communicate with each other about it.

OK, now prove the mass of the electron from these axioms :-)


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