A few weeks back I wrote about the computer simulation argument, which I think is a really interesting argument for so many reasons both philosophically and physically. That post mainly consisted of watching a video of some of the brightest minds as they laid out their best argument either for or against, which was really fascinating. I wrote a long post about it all, but what was neat is that I got a comment on the post Rodger846 said:
If as the Youtube person says, two choices for answering the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” are:
- “Something” has always been here.
- “Something” has not always been here.
Choice A is possible but doesn’t explain anything. If we go with choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. If this supposed “nothing” were truly the lack of all existent entities, there would be no mechanism present to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. Because we can see that “something” is here now, the only possible choice then is that the supposed “nothing” is not the lack of all existent entities and is, in fact, a “something”. This is logically required if we go with choice B, and I don’t think there’s a way around that. What this means is that the situation we visualize as being the lack of all existent entities, or “nothing”, which I visualize as the lack of all matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all, is not the true lack of all existent entities and is, in fact, a “something”. This also means that it’s not possible to have the true lack of all existent entities because even the resultant “nothing” is a “something”. Now the trick is to figure out how what we previously visualized as the lack of all existent entities (the lack of all matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all) can be a “something”. Thanks.
Yikes that is certainly a loaded response that needs some major thinking to figure out, and believe me it is a bit hard to keep it all straight.
Is nothing a thing, we need to define that first. If nothing is a thing, where nothing (in itself is a thing, meaning nothing is actually something) is present then I agree that the universe becomes slightly more explainable. If there is a thing where the lack of all matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all, truly exists then I truly doubt the universe could have formed. I am not sure how that would be possible as there was truly nothing (lack of all matter) before something. However, if nothing is a thing, and while something has a lot of stuff, and nothing is simply the absence of stuff but is still a thing that is not totally void of stuff, then it simply being a thing could somehow (maybe) explain the origins of the universe. Perhaps as times moves to infinity nothing (being a thing) could spontaneously create a universe again given enough time. Given enough time I would think that all scenarios become possible. So to a somewhat weird degree even if nothing were truly void of anything at all, as time moves to infinity it could theoretically be possible for the universe to exist. Again this is getting really confusing.
This could be a case of, we don’t have a word for this idea, so we call it, nothing, but that does not necessarily translate to what it would mean in the physical world. If our nothing is the lack of all existent entities then that may not be what we are trying to describe in space for this argument. But if it is, then we are getting into a weird area where I am not sure I can explain the argument.
For me I would throw in a “C” to the comment that states Nothing is actually something, and true nothing will never spontaneously create a universe or something, no matter how much time passes. As this nothing is the true absence of all matter etc. as mentioned above. So I would differentiate between nothing and true nothing which is the lack of all existent entities. This is all very abstract and does create some very interesting thought experiments. To me this is where physics and philosophy meet, and any scientist that says one or the other is not needed, in my opinion, ain’t not very smart. While physicists can answer some of the questions in our physical world it is up to the philosophers to ask the next question and keep probing for deeper answers. So in closing I am inclined to agree with Roger846, nothing is in fact something, and our definition of nothing does not hold in the cosmic realm. The universe could still spawn spontaneously from nothing, as it is something, given enough time. However, True Nothing, lack of all existing entities, I would think could never create a universe or anything for that matter, because it is nothing in the trues sense.