the problem with nothing


Why The Indefensibility of Ex Nihilo Nihil Goes Wrong for Theists is a post by Richard Carrier (for twitter people) where he argues that Krauss misses the point and that theists have no leg to stand on.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

35 thoughts on “the problem with nothing

  1. john zande says:

    Carrier’s broadening his work, huh.

    It really only requires four words: There was never nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Yeah,
      there was always something in short?

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      • john zande says:

        You can’t have ‘nothing’ because ‘nothing’ is unstable. It’s an impossible state.

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        • Nan says:

          JZ, I know you’ve talked about this on you-lknow-who’s site, but never really understood it … and didn’t want to get into the middle of the (contentious) “discussion.” So, if Mak would allow … what do you mean by “nothing is unstable.” And where does this thought/conclusion originate?

          Liked by 1 person

          • ” … what do you mean by “nothing is unstable.” I can answer this. Since there’s nothing in Trump’s head, he’s a very unstable person. See?

            Liked by 2 people

          • john zande says:

            From what I understand, it’s to do with the Zero-energy universe. A gravitational field has negative energy. Matter has positive energy. Calculations reveal that the sum total of both is zero. Zero *is* something, and that something has always been in motion, which is what Krauss means when he talks about quantum fluctuations. In this sense, you simply can’t have “nothing.” It’s an imaginary state.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Nan says:

              So essentially, it’s a hypothesis … that came about through a lot of heavy thinking by a lot of really smart scientific minds. However, as with other really deep stuff … a bit of research seems to indicate not everyone agrees.

              As someone said: “One of my personally (sic) annoyances is when people don’t make a clear distinction between “stuff that everyone agrees on” and “stuff that we are just guessing. The big bang is something that “stuff everyone agrees on.” Anything saying that the BB started from a zero energy fluctuation is “stuff that we are guessing about.”

              Personally, from a VERY layman POV, I don’t think anyone really knows enough to make absolute statements. And I’m particularly pointing the finger at Christians and others that believe in supernatural beings!

              Liked by 1 person

            • makagutu says:

              Carrier argues that this point by Krauss misses the point. When the theologians talk about nothing, they mean actually nothing, no energy fields, no energy. So it is this that he addresses in his argument.

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              • john zande says:

                Yeah, I saw that bit in the article, but I think Carrier actually has it wrong. Or hasn’t presented it correctly. There is no “nothing” in the cosmologist’s mind. In the math. Krauss isn’t missing what the theologian is saying, rather pointing out that it’s nonsensical in the first instance because ‘nothing’ (for a wave) is a superposition of everything.

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          • Swarn Gill says:

            Not that it addresses John’s points here, but if you are interested in a short and interesting read, I recommend “Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea” by Charles Seife. It’s interesting how the concept of nothingness was rejected by mathematicians particularly in Europe where mathematics was heavily influenced by the Greeks.

            In addition to what John said, I think it would also be fair that pure nothingness also doesn’t really make a lot of sense. I mean what could possibly be outside the confines of this universe. If it is truly nothingness it can neither be explored or measured. Because if it could then it would be something. There is no place in which there is nothing, because if it’s a place it’s something. 🙂

            For me the why is there is something rather than nothing question builds a false dichotomy between two choices. It’s interesting to me the relationship mathematically between infinity and zero…both are useful in mathematics but in an absolute sense I think it’s true that both are not actually possible to reach in reality.

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        • Oh, I get it! The Russia probe into Trump is a “nothing-burger” even though there’s really something there! Awesome!

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve nothing to say on the topic as there’s always something going on somewhere and/or some-when.

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  3. nasimolo says:

    The propositions lean too much on the 1st one, which is already weak on it’s own.

    Proposition 10 assumes a certain number (random number) of possibilities exist while the main argument tries to demonstrate that it’s infinite.

    The main point holds solid, but I feel the props are not as solid. There’s lots of legs and leg room for those still looking for the truth; both theists and atheists

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  4. maryplumbago says:

    Pure absolute nothingness is Donald Trump’s brain

    Liked by 2 people

  5. renudepride says:

    Interesting discussion. Since Donald Duck loves Twitter, I have discontinued my use of that service. Nothing clearly begets nothing. Naked hugs!

    Like

  6. […] the interesting discussion on the problem with nothing and why creation ex nihilo is impossible, Ethan tells us the BB is the only game in […]

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