• MoK
    107
    Ah, ok. I think you missed this point I made before, so I'll point it out again.

    You never said we need spacetime BEFORE a change can occur.
    You said we need spacetime FOR a change to occur.
    Philosophim
    Yes, I never said before but for.

    Nothing, then a change to space time, has spacetime.Philosophim
    What do you mean? I believe something is missing in this statement.

    Saying you need something before you have it is a contradiction. Cake must exist before cake can happen for example. :) I wish I could have my breakfast before I make it, but sadly, that is not life.Philosophim
    Correct. :)

    Then we've invalidated the conclusion that a change cannot happen from nothing. Let me break it down.

    A. Spacetime has a beginning.
    B. Spacetime is required for change
    C. Since no change can happen if spacetime is not involved, there was nothing before spacetime.
    Conclusion: A change in which there was nothing, then spacetime, had to have happened.
    Philosophim
    We have been through this. I disagree with C.
  • Lionino
    849
    To me, nothing is a condition that there is no thing, no spacetime, no material,... There is no thing in nothing therefore nothing does not have any propertyMoK

    And what is change? When something loses, gains, or changes a property. Everything with a property is something. By your definition of nothing, it cannot undergo change. The argument then becomes analytic, which is uninformative.

    If you grant that nothing somehow undergoes change, a property is attached onto a substance that was not there previously and thus we have creation ex nihilo, which is counter to your original argument that nothing can't become something.

    So we either have an analytic statement or a refutation of your thesis.
  • Philosophim
    2k
    Nothing, then a change to space time, has spacetime.
    — Philosophim
    What do you mean? I believe something is missing in this statement.
    MoK

    Let me phrase it this way: Nothing to something involves spacetime. Spacetime is the result of nothing to something. Spacetime is there, so a change occurred. The only way I can see this not making sense if you want there to be spacetime before a change can happen. But that wasn't your premise. You can change it now if you would like, but then you have to prove that spacetime cannot come from nothing. And as I noted, I don't see either of us having any proof of this, and I think I put forward some decent logic why this doesn't fit with the rest of your premises either.

    We have been through this. I disagree with C.MoK

    And that's fine. At this point you've made your points, I've made my counterpoints, and there is nothing left to add. Its been a nice discussion on this. :) But I think we've made up our own minds so all that's left is to agree to disagree. See you around elsewhere on the forums Mok!
  • Mark Nyquist
    729

    Just for background on this topic:

    Mathematical theories are supported by mathematical proofs.

    Physical theories are support by the preponderance of the physical evidence and are subject to revision.

    I'm just pointing out a tricky situation you need to think about. The known end point is that physical matter does exist (now). So does some start point of nothing existing have any basis in physical evidence?

    As I said, as mathematical objects something does not equal nothing.
  • MoK
    107
    And what is change? When something loses, gains, or changes a property. Everything with a property is something. By your definition of nothing, it cannot undergo change. The argument then becomes analytic, which is uninformative.Lionino
    Well, that is correct that we normally use the term change when the properties of something change. The condition that there is nothing is however different from the condition that there is something. I don't know what other term I can use if not change.

    If you grant that nothing somehow undergoes change, a property is attached onto a substance that was not there previously and thus we have creation ex nihilo, which is counter to your original argument that nothing can't become something.Lionino
    No. The creation ex nihilo is not possible. That is true since we are dealing with a change, nothing to something due to the creation, and we need spacetime for this change. Spacetime does not exist in nothing. So we need spacetime in the first place. But the creation of spacetime from nothing is not possible as well since in this case, we are dealing with an infinite regress. That is true since spacetime is needed for the creation of spacetime.

    So we either have an analytic statement or a refutation of your thesis.Lionino
    Neither.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    Things exist in minds as well as in empirical world. When things exist in mind, they are called concepts and ideas.

    Not necessarily; but I don't see the relevance of this.
  • MoK
    107
    Let me phrase it this way: Nothing to something involves spacetime. Spacetime is the result of nothing to something. Spacetime is there, so a change occurred. The only way I can see this not making sense if you want there to be spacetime before a change can happen. But that wasn't your premise. You can change it now if you would like, but then you have to prove that spacetime cannot come from nothing. And as I noted, I don't see either of us having any proof of this, and I think I put forward some decent logic why this doesn't fit with the rest of your premises either.Philosophim
    Well, to show that we are dealing with an infinite regress I just need my premise: Spacetime is needed for any change.

    And that's fine. At this point you've made your points, I've made my counterpoints, and there is nothing left to add. Its been a nice discussion on this. :) But I think we've made up our own minds so all that's left is to agree to disagree. See you around elsewhere on the forums Mok!Philosophim
    That is alright to me. I am not here to change peoples' minds but to argue what I think is correct and enhance my thinking. :wink: I hope to see you elsewhere in this forum.
  • Bob Ross
    1k


    I see what you mean. I however have a problem with this premise. I don't see how "then it cannot be subjected to temporality" follows. Do you mind elaborating?

    P1 was just my best guess at what you were trying to convey in the OP—but it may not be. The reasoning behind P1 would be that something that is the pure negation of all possible existence would be, as per its nature, NOT something that exists and time only affects things that exist; therefore, if there is nothing, which is the negation of all possible things (hence the ‘no’ + ‘thing’), then there isn’t anything to be subjected to time.

    The way I conclude that was based on two assumptions, spacetime is a substance and there is no spacetime in nothing.

    Oh, well, then, your argument would need to clarify your metaphysical position on time and space; which sounds a bit like you believe (1) time and space are substances (which I deny), that (2) they are united (which I deny), and that (3) nothing be subject to space-time (which I agree with if I grant the previous two).

    The problem, though, is that this doesn’t negate the possibility of things that ‘pop into’ existence with no reason behind it. This just implies that there isn’t anything a part of nothing.

    Well, to me motion is a sort of change in which the position of an object changes so to me motion is not identical to time.

    That is fair. I would say, more generally, that there’s nothing incoherent with positing the actual temporal sequences of things as simply the form or mode by which one experiences and thusly they are not substances in reality.

    I would say that there must be a change from nothing rather than nothing must change.

    Then I don’t see how your argument holds: a change from nothing but not a change in nothing does not violate that “there is no spacetime in nothing” because the change is ‘outside of’, or ‘beyond’, the nothing—it is in something that the change occurs: there exists something in which there is no X, and then X poofs into existence out of thin air.

    I think you are talking about the block universe (correct me if I am wrong). I however have a problem with the way you describe motion from a motionless thing. Mainly our brains are parts of the universe so how can we perceive any change considering that everything in the universe, including our brains, is changeless?

    Yeah, it’s a real pickle. Honestly, I lean back and forth between block universe and transcendental idealism style nihilism on time and space; and both are subjected to your worry here.

    If we are representing reality to ourselves via our representative faculties, then doesn’t that imply a temporal process? I would say no, and this leads me to a much stronger agnosticism on the ontology of reality than I would suspect you are willing to accept.

    Take traditional transcendental idealism (i.e., Kantianism): if space and time are purely the modes by which we intuit and cognize objects, then it necessarily follows that however we are representing, truly as it is in-itself, objects to ourselves is completely unknown to us other than indirectly via our [human] understanding of that process (which is inevitably in the form of space and time).
  • MoK
    107
    Just for background on this topic:

    Mathematical theories are supported by mathematical proofs.

    Physical theories are support by the preponderance of the physical evidence and are subject to revision.

    I'm just pointing out a tricky situation you need to think about. The known end point is that physical matter does exist (now). So does some start point of nothing existing have any basis in physical evidence?

    As I said, as mathematical objects something does not equal nothing.
    Mark Nyquist
    As I discussed this before considering that something exists right now implements that the initial condition cannot be nothing. One however needs to prove change in nothing is not possible as I did. We also can conclude that nothing to something is not possible as well once we conclude that change in nothing is not possible.
  • ENOAH
    55
    Time is the illusion which necessarily emerges out of the illusion of change. Reality is beyond both something and nothing. Both something and nothing, like time and change arise as constructions in human connsciousness.
  • MoK
    107
    P1 was just my best guess at what you were trying to convey in the OP—but it may not be. The reasoning behind P1 would be that something that is the pure negation of all possible existence would be, as per its nature, NOT something that exists and time only affects things that exist; therefore, if there is nothing, which is the negation of all possible things (hence the ‘no’ + ‘thing’), then there isn’t anything to be subjected to time.Bob Ross
    I see what you mean and I agree with you. Time simply relates different states of affairs temporarily when there is something. I think the rest of your argument follows then.

    Oh, well, then, your argument would need to clarify your metaphysical position on time and space; which sounds a bit like you believe (1) time and space are substances (which I deny), that (2) they are united (which I deny), and that (3) nothing be subject to space-time (which I agree with if I grant the previous two).

    The problem, though, is that this doesn’t negate the possibility of things that ‘pop into’ existence with no reason behind it. This just implies that there isn’t anything a part of nothing.
    Bob Ross
    Well, that is the subject of debate to the best of my understanding. So let's put it aside for now as your argument follows so we don't need my old argument.

    That is fair. I would say, more generally, that there’s nothing incoherent with positing the actual temporal sequences of things as simply the form or mode by which one experiences and thusly they are not substances in reality.Bob Ross
    I see.

    Then I don’t see how your argument holds: a change from nothing but not a change in nothing does not violate that “there is no spacetime in nothing” because the change is ‘outside of’, or ‘beyond’, the nothing—it is in something that the change occurs: there exists something in which there is no X, and then X poofs into existence out of thin air.Bob Ross
    Correct. I agree with you.

    Yeah, it’s a real pickle. Honestly, I lean back and forth between block universe and transcendental idealism style nihilism on time and space; and both are subjected to your worry here.

    If we are representing reality to ourselves via our representative faculties, then doesn’t that imply a temporal process? I would say no, and this leads me to a much stronger agnosticism on the ontology of reality than I would suspect you are willing to accept.

    Take traditional transcendental idealism (i.e., Kantianism): if space and time are purely the modes by which we intuit and cognize objects, then it necessarily follows that however we are representing, truly as it is in-itself, objects to ourselves is completely unknown to us other than indirectly via our [human] understanding of that process (which is inevitably in the form of space and time).
    Bob Ross
    I see. Thanks for the elaboration.
  • Lionino
    849
    The condition that there is nothing is however different from the condition that there is something.MoK

    Naturally. If your definition of nothing includes that it has no property, there are only two scenarios, it either stays as nothing (no change), or acquires a property (change), becoming something (creation ex nihilo). The first possibility is analytic because it purely follows from your definition.

    That is true since spacetime is needed for the creation of spacetime.MoK

    Now your argument is morphing from "nothing to something is impossible" to "spacetime cannot begin to exist", which would be an argument for eternalism of spacetime.
  • LFranc
    7

    A purely physical nothing would be a nothing that stays so without us even needing to think about it. It would be independent of thought. But that is totally unverifiable. Because, if you check that this nothing exists, well, too late, you're using thought again. That is the powerful argument by Berkeley. And it doesn't lead to a pure and insane subjectivism though, as Berkeley himself noted and as I tried to express in a recent message in the forum, in another discussion. I'm not fully Berkeleyan but this argument is very correct and important.
  • Mark Nyquist
    729

    A lot depends on how close our best models of physics are to the actual real physics.
  • MoK
    107
    Naturally. If your definition of nothing includes that it has no property, there are only two scenarios, it either stays as nothing (no change), or acquires a property (change), becoming something (creation ex nihilo). The first possibility is analytic because it purely follows from your definition.Lionino
    Nothing stays as nothing. But we need to show this. Bob Ross elegantly put this in an argument:

    P1: If an entity is the pure negation of all possible existence, then it cannot be subjected to temporality.
    P2: ‘Nothing’ is the pure negation of all possible existence.
    C1: Therefore, ‘nothing’ cannot be subjected to temporality.

    P3: Change requires temporality.
    P4: ‘Nothing’ cannot be subjected to temporality.
    C2: Therefore, ‘nothing’ cannot be subjected to change.

    P5: ‘Nothing’ becoming ‘something’ requires change.
    P6: ‘Nothing’ cannot be subjected to change.
    C3: Therefore, ‘nothing’ cannot be subjected to becoming (something).

    Now your argument is morphing from "nothing to something is impossible" to "spacetime cannot begin to exist", which would be an argument for eternalism of spacetime.Lionino
    Spacetime has a beginning for two reasons, the current state of the universe is not heat death and infinite regress in spacetime is not acceptable. Spacetime however as you said cannot begin to exist.
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