[an error occurred while processing this directive]
About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Forward one pageLast Page


Post 80

Sunday, November 9, 2008 - 10:11pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
We agree. Nothing prevented existence.



Post 81

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 12:05amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted wrote:
    "Nothing prevented existence."
Sorry, but I can't agree. How could "Nothing" have prevented existence as you have claimed? This is simply the Reification of the Zero". Nothing can't do nothing at all. Try again.

Regards,
--
Jeff


P.S.: Yes, I know you think I'm a bit dense. Nevertheless, it's just a joke. :-) Or is it???



Post 82

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 1:00amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Well, so then you think that something did prevent existence, Jeff?

No, of course you don't. You too know that nothing prevented existence. It's axiomatic - to deny it leads to self-contradiction.

Not only could nothing possibly prevent existence, (which is, after all, a rather weak claim,) nothing actually did prevent existence.



Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 83

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 1:16amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Nothing prevented existence" = "Existence was not prevented by anything." But 'prevention' cannot be predicated of 'existence' - it is a meaningless phrase - like baby talk containing recognizable words. The 'was not' and the 'by anything' don't change that fact.

It would be just as silly to issue the imperative, "Prevent existence." But nothing made Ted be silly that way.



Post 84

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 1:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve, are you claiming that you literally do not understand the phrase "There is no thing that prevented the universe from existing?" or "It is not the case that some thing prevented the universe from existing?"

Oh, and your half-assed and hypocritical (from 'Mr. 10 ways to improve civil discourse') phrase "Nothing made Ted be silly" should have been "Nothing prevented Ted from being silly."



Post 85

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 1:44pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I am partial to M-Theory.  It remains to be seen if it works, but it appears to be getting there.



Post 86

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 2:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted, I intended my remark about being silly as humorous. I thought that you having fun with words - having fun with the difficulties surrounding a word like "nothing." I was enjoying your posts on that. Perhaps I should have put a smiley face at the end of the sentence just to be sure my intent was clear. My apologies for what you took as an insult, it wasn't so intended.

Nothing prevented silliness from becoming an unwelcome topic. (actually, Steve could have prevented it - sorry)
--------

p.s., I invite you to improve on my admittedly 'half-assed' attempt to raise the level of discourse - it isn't hypocritical, I really think it's an effort that will be rewarding not just for the forum, but for anyone that participates.



Post 87

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 4:43pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Well, I do appreciate your support against the IPCC PC police.

And not only was my rewrite of your (objectively half-assed) "silly" statement a better analogy, it would have been funnier.

BUT, the question remains.

Do you truly believe that "There is no thing that prevented the universe from existing" is incomprehensible?



Post 88

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 5:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted, some combinations of words are like optical illusions - they fool us into thinking we are grasping a fact of reality. When I said that it made no sense to predicate "prevention" of "existence" - it was me saying that there must be a thing to do the preventing, which, as Bill pointed out is asking for something outside of existence. I know that you grasped that.

In your last post you used the word "universe" - this isn't an area where I have any expertise, but I've always used that word mean all that exists now. Where as "existence" includes all that has existed. I'll go on using "existence."

Now, strictly speaking your formulation of "nothing" prevented existence is accurate in a sense, but only on forbearance of a kind of stolen concept fallacy. If you can not predicate 'prevention,' of existence then it makes no sense to say you can as long as the preventer is a thing that doesn't exist. "Prevent" is a concept that cannot be applied to existence as a whole. You have to 'steal' the meaning of 'prevent' which includes that which does the preventing and that which is prevented. If someone prevents me from entering a room, I have a 'something' (that is capable of preventing) and some mechanism of preventing that is valid (perhaps a person stood in my way) and something that could be prevented (my entering the room). With your formulation, there is no possible preventer, no possible mechanism of prevention makes sense, and that which would have been prevented is everything (again, leaving nothing to do the preventing).

When someone says, "Nothing prevented Steve from entering the room," it makes sense because real life has lots of examples of things that could, mechanisms of prevention that would do that, and not entering the room is clearly a possibility.

The following three sentences are all grammatically correct and seem to make sense, but one would never use any of them but the first to avoid abusing the concept of "prevent.
-----------------
The concept of prevention does not apply to existence.
There is no thing that could prevent existence.
Nothing prevents existence.







Post 89

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 6:27pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Steve, believe me, I understand the epistemology of arbitrary sentences. I just don't think it is arbitrary to say that it is the case that there is no thing that can prevent the existence of the universe. It's just as valid a sentence as saying there is no thing that is a square circle, Or no one can kill the king of France.

The fact that square circle is a contradiction does not mean that the sentence denying the contradiction is meaningless, false, arbitrary or nonsense. If it were, then every fals sentence would literally be nonsense.

Why, for example, would the sentence "nothing can prevent the universe from existing" be problematic? It is simply trivially true. I am not saying that there is a thing, a real concrete entity X, that can prevent the existence of the universe, and that it is the thing "nothing." That would be absurd.

The sentence gets its rhetorical kick from the mistake of reification. But the reification is in the minds of the people who ask what would cause the universe. You see that mistake, and object. But the mistake does not lie in the words - it lies in an interpretation of the words. So, without simply assuming that I am reifying nothing, answer the question put to you like you are on the stand and a judge tells you to answer the question put to you.

Do you deny that nothing can prevent the universe from existing?

I didn't think so.

(Edited by Ted Keer on 11/10, 6:30pm)




Post 90

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 7:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted, do you deny that the concept of prevention does not apply to existence? Nevermind... I'm feeling underwhelmed by the monumental triviality of this.



Post 91

Monday, November 10, 2008 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yes, I do. And hence, I affirm that nothing can prevent existence. That wasn't all that difficult, no need to answer a question with a question.

The matter is not trivial in a philosophical forum. It is the best rhetorical response to those who ask why the universe exists. It is true, pithy, and should, if the person asking you is paying attention, evoke a laugh of realization. You can always explain yourself, if they don't get the punchline. It works because only those who reify nothing are bothered by it.




Post 92

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 8:29amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted,

Consider: Nothing enabled or precipitated existence either. It seems to me that if that opposing claim is of equal weight to yours -- and it seems to be -- then neither claim is terribly useful.

When people ask why existence exists, why not just reply: shit happens. :) Pithy...and it gets a laugh.

Jordan



Post 93

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 - 8:52amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
LOL.





Post 94

Friday, May 1, 2009 - 10:29amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Add to #69:

The Self-Organizing Quantum Universe
Ambjorn , Jurkiewicz, and Loll
Sci. Am. July 2008





Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 95

Sunday, August 16, 2009 - 4:54amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Another addition to #69:

From knocking in the combustion engine to thermonuclear explosions making supernovae to the density-to-pressure ratio of dark energy to the cosmic future, that is the course traced in this article by Ron Cowen in Science News (8/15/09).

Stars Go KaBoom

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a 2006 overview of the ongoing work of Roger Penrose on Before the Big Bang.

The lecture he has been giving on the circuit this year in this area is titled “Aeons before the Big Bang?” Abstract

For more on the second law, follow the development here.



(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 8/16, 9:46am)




Post 96

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 7:05amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
To the Penrose links above, I should add this one.

In a few days, his Cycles of Time will be released in Britain. It will be available at Amazon next month.


(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 9/20, 9:44am)




Post 97

Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit


The release of Cycles of Time in the US has been delayed to May 2011. The papers below concern CMB patterns that may provide evidence for Penrose’s conformal cyclic cosmology.

Concentric Circles in WMAP Data May Provide Evidence of Violent Pre-Big-Bang Activity
V.G. Gurzadyan and R. Penrose

Follow-On Concerning those Patterns






Post 98

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 10:28amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I've not worked my way through this entire thread, so please forgive me if I'm covering old ground.
-------------

What is the origin of the universe?

Seems to me this question presupposes answers to other questions: 

What is existence?

Is it what man understands it to be?

What is the universe?

Is it what man understands it to be?

Is the universe a subset of existence ... or vice versa?

Is man capable of answering these questions?

If so, why?

(Edited by Ken Bashford on 10/11, 10:34am)




Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 99

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 7:29pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
The way Objectivism uses the term "universe," the answer is, there is no origin. "The universe" means the sum total of that which exists, and since nothing can come from nothing -- since causality presupposes existence (the existence of something to act as a cause) -- the universe could not have been created -- could not have had an origin. It is quite literally eternal.



Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5Forward one pageLast Page
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


User ID Password or create a free account.