"Nothingness"
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29-04-2015, 11:41 AM
"Nothingness"
A friend of mine enjoys getting philosophical after a few cold ones, and I can't help but get sucked into a conversation like that, so after getting properly inebriated last night we began to have a discussion on the universe, atheism, etc.

In the midst of the convo I was trying to express to him my stance on "nothingness", which I think is impossible. The best way I could make my point was to ask him to shut his eyes and describe to me what "nothingness" looks like and he was unable to do so.

To be clear, he is an atheist as well so he's not a complete duper, but do any of you share my general idea that nothing can't exist? And if so how would you better explain the idea to a simpleton such as myself?
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29-04-2015, 11:55 AM
RE: "Nothingness"
What do you mean by "nothingness?" What do you mean by this? Because different people mean different things. Do you mean vacuum? Do you mean a lack of energy or matter? Do you mean a lack of spacetime? I'm still not sure what you mean by that.
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29-04-2015, 11:57 AM
RE: "Nothingness"
(29-04-2015 11:41 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  do any of you share my general idea that nothing can't exist? And if so how would you better explain the idea to a simpleton such as myself?

I wouldn't say I share the idea that "nothing" can't exist but I do think that we could never experience it and that we can't ever actually comprehend it. We can talk about it in as a conjecture but the idea of no spacetime and no matter or energy is too far outside our experience. The concept of "nothing" isn't something our brains have evolved to fully grok. At least mine hasn't!

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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29-04-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
My apologies as I struggle to explain my thoughts, its not a strong suit but ill do my best....

I cannot imagine, describe or define 'nothing existing'. I don't think its possible for there to be no existence of anything ie space, time, energy, matter, light, whatever.

When a theist says "something can't come from nothing", it sounds silly to me because IMO 'nothing' isn't possible.
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29-04-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
Invite a Buddhist to your next session (only problem is that they generally don't do the alcohol thing). Nothingness is a big part of Buddhist philosophy -- still all woo, as far as I'm concerned, but you would definitely get a different take on the subject.
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29-04-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
IMVHO nothing can only be defined in relation to something, and cannot exist on its own. This may be true of all mathematical objects.

I agree with Lawrence Krauss that Nothing actually is Something.

Read his book on the subject, A Universe From Nothing. It does a very good job explaining a frustratingly challenging subject.

If you really want to get your head spinning take a course on the philosophy of mathematics.
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29-04-2015, 12:22 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
In that definition no, I don't think there is such a thing as "nothing." The concept is nonsensical. There could be other planes or other forms of existence, but not anything that would fit into that definition of nothing.
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29-04-2015, 12:29 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
"Nothingness" is irrelevant.

You'll be too dead to notice.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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29-04-2015, 01:14 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
(29-04-2015 11:41 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  A friend of mine enjoys getting philosophical after a few cold ones, and I can't help but get sucked into a conversation like that, so after getting properly inebriated last night we began to have a discussion on the universe, atheism, etc.

In the midst of the convo I was trying to express to him my stance on "nothingness", which I think is impossible. The best way I could make my point was to ask him to shut his eyes and describe to me what "nothingness" looks like and he was unable to do so.

To be clear, he is an atheist as well so he's not a complete duper, but do any of you share my general idea that nothing can't exist? And if so how would you better explain the idea to a simpleton such as myself?

I think you are right. "nothing" is a relational concept. It has no referents. It means an absence of something. This is a prime example of the axiomatic nature of the concept "existence". Even the concept nothing depends on it.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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29-04-2015, 01:36 PM
RE: "Nothingness"
I knew I could count on you Scotsman.
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