On 08 May 2012, at 11:49, R AM wrote:



On Mon, May 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
As for the remark about nothingness having only one way of being and there being a lot more ways of existing, it's cute, but it's sophistry. Non-being is not a countable way of being.

I agree.

Hi Bruno, what do you agree with exactly? That non-being is not being is obvious but irrelevant. The real question here is whether nothing and the multiple "somethings" can be put in the same collection in a non-arbitrary way. And they can: the collection of elements created by removing "things" from one another. And "nothing" is one of these elements.

Why? If you remove all elements of a set, it remains an empty set. If you remove all sets of a universe of sets, it remains an empty collection, which in this case is also a set.



It's the absence of being - obviously - so can't be presented as one among a myriad of possible configurations of the universe.

I never claimed that "nothing" is a possible configuration of the universe. All I said is that there are more ways of being than of non-being, which is obviously true, in the same way that there is just one zero, but many positive integers.

This confirms that when we use the term nothing, it will make sense only if we are already agreeing working in some theory of the things we are talking about. Numbers => 0. Set theory => empty set, QM => Q vacuum, etc.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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