Author Topic: How Can Nothing Come from Something?  (Read 1458 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2016, 03:27:28 PM »
I think JP is/was working on a paper or something. He could be back.

I do remember that now that you mention it.

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2016, 03:38:15 PM »
Yeah, there's just too much special pleading, arguments from ignorance, exclusion of any other possibilities, and the requirement of magic in the God plea.  It's a whole stew of fallacious reasoning.
You've just given a beautiful definition of faith!
OMNIA DEPENDET ...

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2016, 11:39:37 PM »
There seems to be a common assumption that "nothing" is some kind of default state.  Like if the universe didn't exist, it would fall back to a default state of rest and just be nothing.  But why should we automatically assume "nothing" is the default that changes it's state to "something" from time to time, or maybe just once?  Perhaps the default state is "something."  I mean if it has to be one or the other, it's just as likely that "something" is the default, rather than "nothing."  Why would nothing have to exist before something?  It's not like we are putting words in alphabetical order.
Perhaps a universe at maximum entropy where even atoms and photons no longer exist - a more or less perfect vacuum.  Would that be nothing?  Though I suppose even a region of basically nothing would still have quantum fluctuations and wouldn't technically be nothing.

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2016, 07:01:45 AM »
Perhaps a universe at maximum entropy where even atoms and photons no longer exist - a more or less perfect vacuum.  Would that be nothing?  Though I suppose even a region of basically nothing would still have quantum fluctuations and wouldn't technically be nothing.

No one knows what existed before the singularity.  And we don't really know that a condition of nothing ever existed.  It's just an intuitive assumption of, "Well, it just had to be," from our collective imagination.  In Christianity, there has to be a nothing, because the doctrine needs nothing so that something could spring forth from it.  If something always existed, a god would have nothing to create.  The stuff would just already be there, but possibly in a different form. 

Like many others, I only know enough quantum mechanics to be totally baffled by it.  But like you, I wonder if what we are talking about may be one of quantum's secrets, yet to be understood.  It seems to be.  At least, on a small scale we can observe a "something from nothing and back again" phenomenon happening.   But we can't truly say that the particle that shows up came from nothing.  It may be coming from something that we just can't see or understand, something that looks to our limited minds like nothing, something like a quantum fluctuation.

But I have a suspicion that an absolute and ultimate nothing, does not exist, may never have existed, and might be impossible.  In a sense, a discussion of nothing might be much ado about nothing."  But to claim that nothing is an original default state existing prior to something, just seems like reaching for something we want to be real only because we can't imagine otherwise.  Mankind has traveled that road many times before, and I suspect we will make that same mistake many times in the future.

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2016, 07:46:27 AM »
No one knows what existed before the singularity.  And we don't really know that a condition of nothing ever existed.  It's just an intuitive assumption of, "Well, it just had to be," from our collective imagination.  In Christianity, there has to be a nothing, because the doctrine needs nothing so that something could spring forth from it.  If something always existed, a god would have nothing to create.  The stuff would just already be there, but possibly in a different form. 

Like many others, I only know enough quantum mechanics to be totally baffled by it.  But like you, I wonder if what we are talking about may be one of quantum's secrets, yet to be understood.  It seems to be.  At least, on a small scale we can observe a "something from nothing and back again" phenomenon happening.   But we can't truly say that the particle that shows up came from nothing.  It may be coming from something that we just can't see or understand, something that looks to our limited minds like nothing, something like a quantum fluctuation.

But I have a suspicion that an absolute and ultimate nothing, does not exist, may never have existed, and might be impossible.  In a sense, a discussion of nothing might be much ado about nothing."  But to claim that nothing is an original default state existing prior to something, just seems like reaching for something we want to be real only because we can't imagine otherwise.  Mankind has traveled that road many times before, and I suspect we will make that same mistake many times in the future.
Very well put. I enjoyed reading that very much. Thank you.
OMNIA DEPENDET ...

Offline Baruch

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2016, 11:07:42 AM »
Theologians say "creation from nothing" ... but that isn't what the first verses of Genesis said ;-)  It was Greek philosophers who first thought about "what if I put my hand beyond the edge of the cosmos" ... and this carried over into theology, which in this case was the forced marriage of the Hebrew with the Greek.  In the original Hebrew G-d hovers over "tohu va bohu" and not even the rabbis know what that phrase means.  So Bible printers have to come up with something, so the translators, who don't know the answer but have to give one, say "the deep".  Just like the Bible printers added at the top of each Gospel ... "The Gospel according to X".  But they in fact don't know who wrote them.  So there is creation from nothing ... in translation and in book titles ;-)

And then on the basis of made up bullshit added to the original made up bullshit ... people debate ;-)  Stupid monkeys!
שלום

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2016, 08:57:04 AM »
I seldom post but consider this a very interesting subject.  I've always struggled with how something could come from nothing.  However, that's a past tense argument and I'd not considered the present tense equivalent.

That nothing can come of something also makes zero sense to me.  I'd not thought of it.  A different point of reference.

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2016, 10:35:54 AM »
You are saying what Parmenides said. There can be no such thing as 'nothing', because in accordance to talk about something it has to exist.


Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2016, 11:29:20 AM »
From the religious standpoint if god created something from nothing, where did he get his building material? Making lumber to build a house starts by cutting down a tree. Go backwards with that logic and you still wind up at a point of first conception. And for that matter, what is god made of? He has to have some form that can contain a mind or capable of a thought process. Nothing wired for intelligence?

simple enough for me. I'm not a physicist, but the arguments made from religion are just as groundless as the belief itself. It makes much more sense that religion is a product of human minds, and the ultimate beginnings of things is something for science to figure out. Human beings can conceive the concept of nothingness with their imaginations and stick a god in it, but what that reality is, is no more describable than their supernatural being. So its circlejerk reasoning from the start.

Offline Baruch

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2016, 01:20:39 PM »
Please see my response to day, to Randy, on his new string on this topic.
שלום

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2016, 03:02:53 PM »
I would suggest that 'nothing' ever existed.  Even when our universe wasn't, there wasn't nothing instead. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Atheon

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2016, 04:57:37 AM »
Let's define "nothing" as zero, and "something" as nonzero.

-1 + 1 = 0.

Something plus something = nothing.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Seneca

Offline doorknob

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2016, 05:51:29 AM »
we're not sure what existed before the universe actually. It wasn't necessarily nothing.

but if we came from nothing that's fine for me. There are many great mysteries and someday maybe we will find the answer to them but for now saying I don't know is fine.

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2016, 05:54:51 AM »
Let's define "nothing" as zero, and "something" as nonzero.

-1 + 1 = 0.

Something plus something = nothing.
No. As a mathematician, I must object. Zero is not nothing. Zero is a number, belonging to the set of real numbers. It is not nothing. { } = the empty set - that equals nothing.
OMNIA DEPENDET ...