Exactly while “philosophy” seem stuck in some other time and age.
Your bolded responses are you doing philosophy. Then you go on about how we shouldn’t be wasting our time with philosophy.
You have decided where philosophy is stuck, and where it should be. I don’t know why you think you get to do that. Are you saying nothing was accomplished between the time of Descartes and the time of Russell?
Not sure if this clip will come up for. I couldn’t find another way to get to it.
Why is there something rather than nothing? Is that a valid question? Does it have potential to inform us of anything if we try to answer it? What is a brute fact? What is worth asking? You’ve skipped all of that and decided some feeling you have is the correct starting point.
Why is there something rather than nothing.
The answer to that question must lie in the identification of the causality.
My picture of a pre-universe is a “timeless, dimensionless, permittive condition”, without any properties at all. And therein lies the answer of causality.
This perspective is based on the law of “necessity and sufficiency”
An empty permittive condition of nothing “needs” filling with something, just like a vacuum demands to be filled with air, and that condition represents a differential equation that is a causal dynamic.
In a timeless infinity, any disturbance represents a “beginning” such as the “inflationary epoch” when universal time began.
So it can be said that a timeless, dimensionless condition “demands” to be filled and, there must have been an instant collapse prior and causal to the inflationary epoch of pure energy transmuting into plasma and eventually into matter.
Nothing requires something and that is how the Universe began.
Even that requires laws of what space is.
I don’t think a creature like us will ever know.
Why don’t I get to make that observation?
It’s not like my reasoning isn’t clear.
Philosophy still hasn’t done a serious job of facing the fact that we are evolved biological sensing creatures,
Instead they still rather talk about the Brain in Vat - or the Contrived Hard Problems, such as the impending “end of reality”, or the alive/dead cat that’s actually a subatomic spark and not a cat at all, impossibility of understanding consciousness through biology, the need for metaphysics, and other dead-end concepts, it’s more mindset framing and storytelling than scientific inquiry.
The past century has seen millennia worth of questions and wondering being resolved with amazing details and supporting physical facts - what is so valuable about wondering why there’s something, rather than nothing - over getting caught up with our new appreciation for our essence? Not to mention facing the current human situation, and the need for humans to live through it and perhaps even hang on to their sanity as weather related destruction gets steadily worse.
Why is there something over nothing? My gosh, yes I would think that’s something that goes through every growing intelligent child’s mind. And we resolve it and get on with living in the real world, while philosophers get to be kids all their lives.
Lordie knows I’ve done my philosophical dance with nothingness, tasted it and that was enough of that, living is ever so much better, not to mention real, at least so long as my lungs are filling and my heart is pumping, once my body dies I’ll be ready for it.
If there were nothing we wouldn’t be here to think about it!
Why is that an unsatisfactory answer?
Oh yeah, unless one is still stuck on trying to figure out the Mind of God.
Then it makes sense.
But once one figures out that the “Mind of God” is actually something one’s own mind(*) created, all that gets blown to bits.
Where are the philosophers wresting with that modern realization? (*Individually and collectively)
But I don’t hear folks discussing those two items, instead Kuhn asks the same repetitive questions, like a dog chasing its tail, ‘explain god to me’, ‘why is there something rather than nothing’, yada yada. (sorry I think perhaps I overloaded on his podcast and hit the point of diminishing returns, sorry for not mustering more respect, I appreciate he is accomplished and I’m being slightly flippant.)
Still I get to observe that at this point in human history all that has taken on a vacuous irrelevance to what’s happening to this planet and how that will increasingly impact every aspect of our human society and our individual lives.
By what right to we think the universe owes us an explanation, anyways?
Which is sort of what “Closer to Truth” is all about. - or for that matter I wonder why these people resume they have the faculty to receive all of the universe’s secrets, even if handed to them on a plate?
Me thinks, too wrapped in the wonder of their own extraordinary minds, to recognize anything as grand as the ultimate answer to everything.
We haven’t even wrapped our heads around Evolution beyond acknowledging that it must have happened, but it’s still something that happened somewhere out there, not inside of oneself, certainly nothing that viscerally relates to us.
Or at least I’ve read precious little that indicates that sort of deep appreciation for what this human body, we exist within is all about. Or how it interacts with its surroundings.
Me, I can’t escape that reality, every time I take Maddy for a walk around this piece of property. (or any other time for that matter) Now I’ve been here going on 12 years and gotten to watch the landscape and river and plants and animals shifting, turns out no two years are the same - like an orchestra playing variations on a theme. I know what I see and sense and that is what gives me the right to make the claims I make - I believe I know what I’m talking about, which is why I keep striving to better explain the things I do.
The Law of “necessity and sufficiency”
It is a mathematical logical function. Nothing demands an equal and opposite condition of Something.
This is going to get really close to religion and was my original attempt to find an equation that explains the notion of a creator agency (God).
I ended up with the idea of an eternal logical truth that “relational values” must react via generic mathematical functions.
I found this interesting treatise;
Did the Universe—or all physical reality—begin to exist? Does the whole of space-time have an interval prior to which no temporally located event can exist?
- Universe / Physical reality = def. All of contiguous space and time with its boundary points and contents.
- Begin to exist = def. A state of affairs begins to exist if and only if there is a time-dependent state A, and at least one finite interval or point of time X, such that A does not occur prior to X.1
General relativity is true or adequate, describing with sufficient accuracy the full birth and growth of space from a singularity.
See this page to analyze 3 arguments
This is relevant because,
“If we push backwards far enough, we find that the universe reaches a state of compression where the density and gravitational force are infinite. This unique singularity constitutes the beginning of the universe—of matter, energy, space, time, and all physical laws. It is not that the universe arose out of some prior state, for there was no prior state. Since time also comes to exist, one cannot ask what happened before the initial event. Neither should one think that the universe expanded from some state of infinite density into space; space too came to be in that event. Since the Big Bang initiates the very laws of physics, one cannot expect any scientific or physical explanation of this singularity.” [Bruce Reichenbach, “Cosmological Arguments,” in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2017)]
I can’t comprehend this statement. You comment on this stuff all the time. How did you come to this realization/appreciation? Did it come to you in a dream?
It came from soaking up science & history, and the evidence of evolution, and questioning the books I read and listen to, and lots and lots of ruminating - that’s what my philosophy grew out of.
Oh yeah, there was that little thing about “a speck of dust that wanted to be more” that somehow liberated me from the shackles of the God Spell that get’s slipped around most people’s necks, and since that happened back in the earliest days of my journey, guess it really did matter.
Exactly, reading what others have written through the ages.
You said, “My gosh, yes I would think that’s something that goes through every growing intelligent child’s mind. And we resolve it and get on with living in the real world, while philosophers get to be kids all their lives.” But it is The existential question that all civilizations that have written anything have asked, and tried to answer. What do all religions have in common? An origin story.
Whether it’s “out of chaos” or “sprung from the soil” or a “cycle”, all the old stories explain a beginning. Some called themselves, what we now translate into, “the human beings”, but then they met other beings just like them and had to reconcile their origins with the others. When a few became many, and empires became aware that previous empires had fallen, they tried to claim their story encompassed the others, that they would be the unifying force and bring harmony to the rest. But they’ve all failed.
In the book “Ishmael” https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/i/ishmael/character-list-and-analysis/ishmael, a psychic ape gets a man to tell the story of the origin of humans, so he starts with the big bang, then the earth, then evolution, then us. The ape points out that his story puts humans at the center of the story and as the pinnacle, just like every other myth.
Sorry, CC, maybe it’s the Oxycodon prescription I’m on, but I don’t think your views on where humans fit in the grand picture are something that unique. I agree with them and your expression of them is well worth the effort, and they are unique in human history, but many people have been working through these ideas, since at least 1859. Geology became a science in 1785. Not being the center of the universe was kind of a big deal before that. These discoveries have all affected the human psyche.