On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 2:25 AM, Pierz <pier...@gmail.com> wrote:

> You must have misread me. I am anything but sure nothing must have come
> before.

Yes, probably I did.

> Indeed, my whole point is that something from nothing - genuine nothing -
> is a nonsense. You can't bridge the hgap between existence and non
> existence by any causal process. I think that's obvious, and we must accept
> that the universe simply 'is'.

I agree.

> An empty set is not the absence of a set.

A set is a collection of elements and the empty set is the absence of
elements (nothing).

> But to take another angle on it: consider what you mean by removing these
> objects. It's merely something you're imagining, it does not correspond to
> any real process. In reality, energy and matter transform, they are not
> created or destroyed.

I agree, it is not a physical process. But I am not proposing this
combinatorics as a way to create something from nothing, but just to show
that there are more ways of being than of non-being. In fact, it is not
that different of saying that the laws of this universe are "unlikely"
(given that many more are possible). But it is all combinatorics.

> You say existence is more "likely" than nonexistence based on this
> imaginary subtraction/addition, but think about the meaning of "likely".
> What is the set you're sampling from? All possible states of existence
> including the absence of anything - the empty set. So you've already
> 'created' the universe of universes as it were. Why is there a set to
> sample from to allow there to be any likelihood of one or the other state
> of being? That is the crux of the issue.

Well, I have not really "created" this set of possibilities, have I? The
possibilities are out there, so to speak. I cannot even imagine how to make
them go away, so to speak. I mean, I can imagine my home does not exist,
but I cannot imagine the absence of the possibility of my home.

OK, let's try another angle. People in this list have infinite universes
for breakfast. To me, the most important problem of multiverses is that
most universes in them are random (white rabbits). But it is not usually
appreciated that very vew of them correspond to Newtonian empty space. In
fact, the multiverse already explains why there is something rather than
empty space (at the cost of white rabbits). I agree that Newtonian empty
space is not nothing, but the argument that I have used is very similar,
and classic empty space is what most people mean by "nothing" anyway.


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