• daniel j lavender
    29


    Why not?

    What if everything is eternity?
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    It's isn't anything. What I'm saying is that your intimation that people who suggest a first moment of existence are no suggesting there was a state of nothingness from which the first moment popped into being from. Its a contradiction, you know that. You're essentially begging the question in favor of your own position, namely that there was always some kind of state which is the very thing you're supposed to be arguing for. Even here you're attempting this despite thrice telling you that's not what is meant. It's disingenuous. It's not the suggestion that there was a state of non existence, but that there was no state at all because there wasn't anything.MindForged

    If there was never nothing, if there was never nonexistence, if these were never states as you suggest, then why would existence need a beginning?

    You are saying nothing never existed but something just came about. Nothingness never existed, yet, somethingness had to begin. Preposterous.

    What I am asserting is not really all that complicated. It's comparable to our understanding of energy. Energy is not created or destroyed, it isn't "born" and it doesn't "die". It just changes form. Existence is the same. Things fluctuate. Things interact for a while, then disperse, possibly interacting with other things then they continue on with the process. It's a continuous dynamic. It isn't a difficult concept to comprehend.

    Your assertion, on the other hand, makes magical claims. It concerns a spontaneous event with no substance supporting it or even attempting to explain the mechanics of it. Further you claim to assert that nothing, or nonexistence "does not exist", yet the basis of your premise is that something just came about, essentially from nothing.

    Again, if there was never nothing or never nonexistence, why would something require a beginning?
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    My point, which you didn't even attempt to address, was that you haven't given anything like a useful definition of existence. No one is doubting that there are things which exist, what I'm doubting is how you're going about defining that term.MindForged

    If you have no doubt about it, if you have no doubt things exist, what precisely is the issue?

    I have expressed how existent things, how existence, can be and is observed and interacted with on a daily basis. How existence is that which allows us to contrive and discuss such concepts to begin with. Additionally I have linked the term "existence", or "being", with "things" or "parts of existence" such as tangible objects which we undeniably interact with each day. If you have a better definition feel free to share it with us.

    It's isn't anything. What I'm saying is that your intimation that people who suggest a first moment of existence are no suggesting there was a state of nothingness from which the first moment popped into being from. Its a contradiction, you know that. You're essentially begging the question in favor of your own position, namely that there was always some kind of state which is the very thing you're supposed to be arguing for. Even here you're attempting this despite thrice telling you that's not what is meant. It's disingenuous. It's not the suggestion that there was a state of non existence, but that there was no state at all because there wasn't anything.MindForged

    If there was never nothing, if there was never nonexistence, if these were never states as you suggest, then why would existence need a beginning?

    You are saying nothing never existed but something just came about. Nothingness never existed, yet, somethingness had to begin. Preposterous.

    What I am asserting is not really all that complicated. It's comparable to our understanding of energy. Energy is not created or destroyed, it isn't "born" and it doesn't "die". It just changes form. Existence is the same. Things fluctuate. Things interact for a while, then disperse, possibly interacting with other things then they continue on with the process. It's a continuous dynamic. It isn't a difficult concept to comprehend.

    Your assertion, on the other hand, makes magical claims. It concerns a spontaneous event with no substance supporting it or even attempting to explain the mechanics of it. Further you claim to assert that nothing, or nonexistence "does not exist", yet the basis of your premise is that something just came about, essentially from nothing.

    Again, if there was never nothing or never nonexistence, why would something require a beginning?
  • AppLeo
    163


    No, it goes on for an eternity. What I'm saying is that existence is not infinite in size.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    I'll come out and say what others are thinking: this is nonsense.Banno

    Speak for yourself. It isn't difficult. Nothing is like unicorns in that they only exist as concepts that don't refer to anything like other concepts do. It is the distinction between what is imaginary and what is real. Nothing is a contradicory term in that nothing is actually something and exists - as a concept.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    So you agree, at least partially.

    If existence is not infinite, what is limiting it?
  • AppLeo
    163


    Everything that exists does not have an infinite nature. It is what it is. It doesn't go on forever.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.8k
    It sounds like all that you are saying is that everything changes. In other words, change is infinite.
  • AppLeo
    163


    Change is infinite, yes.
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    we do not have anything substantial to go on for ascertaining why anything exists. You tried making comparisons to thinking things popping into existence being absurd and suggesting it violates conservation of energy. These are facts about things within the existing world, not explanations for why reality exists.MindForged

    That's exactly the issue here; you are seeking a "why" or a purpose.

    There is no "why" to existence. Existence just is, as stated in the original essay.

    If any such statement were to be made, it could be said that existence is because nonexistence is not, but that isn't exactly a purpose either.

    Existence is an eternal, continuous dynamic. There was no "why", there was no purpose setting existence in motion, and there is no "why" or purpose to existence itself generally.

    Existence just is, there is no "why" or purpose to it.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    Do you mean "everything" as a whole, or "every thing" as individual things?

    What we perceive as individual things certainly are limited, they are not infinite, as they are observably not the totality, or not the whole, of existence. Individual things are only parts of the whole. But individual things are certainly significant nonetheless, they are parts of the continuous dynamic that is existence as mentioned in discussion above.

    I would contend that everything as a whole is indeed infinite, however. Everything as a whole, or all existence, or just "existence", is not limited to any individual thing, it is all, and there is [not] nothing to restrict it.
  • TheMadFool
    3.1k
    How about we consider different types or levels of nonexistence.

    Yes, it is true that according to the laws of conservation, energy and mass can neither be created or destroyed. This law applies to the universe as a whole and to everything that consists of matter and energy.

    However, matter and energy interact at so many different levels. At its most basic we see chemistry and physics and here the law of conservation is applicable but what about biology. Life seems to be a more complex state of matter-energy and we see a lot of different phenomena arising thereof; the most important, in my opinion, being consciousness. If you agree that consciousness that you, I and everybody possesses is also a matter-energy phenomenon then my question is "where were you before you were born?" Weren't you nonexistent? So, while existence seems to be infinite when we speak at the level of matter and energy, it doesn't seem to be true when we consider all levels of matter-energy interactions - case in point being consciousness.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    You bring up some great points.

    Matter-energy, or chemical-energy phenomena obviously existed before we were born or before we were conscious in order for consciousness to arise from such interactions. If these things are essentially what comprise consciousness, as we are asserting, and these things existed prior, then it could be said that we, in that form, existed previously. We're basically saying consciousness is just complex (or perhaps not so complex) interactions of chemicals and energy after all.

    But there is a much more interesting aspect to this. The implications of eternal, infinite existence are astounding. If existence never began, as I assert, this means there was no starting point to existence, obviously. This means there would be no start, no beginning point for phenomena to "advance" or "develop" from. Phenomena would always be existent and could always exist at any level of advancement or development at any given time. This essentially means life, or consciousness, could be eternal, as there would be no starting point for it to need to develop from. In this way, we would be eternal, and in a conscious sense.

    In other words, consciousness, or life, could always be existent. Consciousness could be eternal. Consciousness is basically the same for everyone, would you agree? It is mainly memories, experiences and physical characteristics that distinguish us. If consciousness is basically the same for everyone, it could be said that we are each other, we are the same thing, just experiencing itself subjectively.

    We see organisms die only for others to be born. It's a continuous cycle. If existence could generate life or consciousness one time, why could it not generate life or consciousness infinite times?

    In a sense perhaps we all have always existed and always will.
  • AppLeo
    163


    Well I guess no one really knows because no one has observed the entire universe to know if it's infinite or finite.
  • bloodninja
    309
    Did you know that Heidegger thought the exact opposite? His Being and Time argues for the thesis that being is finite. He uses 'existence' to articulate a specific mode of being. The way you use 'existence' falls into his category of the 'present at hand' which is a derivative mode of being in his view. His concept of existence is more primordial and less derivative. Just fyi.
  • bloodninja
    309
    Existence exists and nonexistence does not exist.daniel j lavender

    Is existence a being? Only beings exist. Being is not a being however so being cannot exist.

    In other words only entities exist and because being is not itself an entity it cannot be said to exist without an ontological confusion occurring.

    Perhaps you're equivocating?
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    Is existence a being?bloodninja

    Existence is not a being. Existence is being.

    Only beings exist.bloodninja

    "Being" does indeed "exist"; "being" is another term for "existing", and "existing" is defined as "existing" or "having existence or presence". Note the confinements of language.

    Being is not a being however so being cannot exist.bloodninja

    Correct, "being" is not "a being".

    "Being" is "being", however. As in "existing".

    Being exists. Or in other words, existence is. This should be self-evident through observation alone. To deny the existence of things, or to simply deny existence, is to deny everything in front of our faces.

    To accept that existence is, or that being is, or that things exist, leads to the question concerning where things, or where existence, originate from, in which I assert there was no origin to "things", or no origin to "existence", as such an origin would imply a state of nonexistence and nonexistence does not exist by definition.

    To say "being cannot exist" is essentially to say "existence cannot exist" which is denial of observation and refutation of the implications of the term itself. It is a contradiction.

    In other words only entities exist and because being is not itself an entity it cannot be said to exist without an ontological confusion occurring.

    Perhaps you're equivocating?
    bloodninja

    "Being" itself is not necessarily an "entity", however, "being" does describe a state, it describes the state of "existing". I contend "being", or "existing", or "existence", is the only actual state as "nothingness" or "nonexistence" does not actually exist to be considered a state.

    Your arguments seem to simply concern semantics.
  • Echarmion
    322
    To accept that existence is, or that being is, or that things exist, leads to the question concerning where things, or where existence, originate from, in which I assert there was no origin to "things", or no origin to "existence", as such an origin would imply a state of nonexistence and nonexistence does not exist by definition.daniel j lavender

    What is an "origin"? Things originating from other things is a human concept. Only things within existence can originate, because, as you correctly state, for existance to originate it would have to originate from something, but that something could only be nothing, which is a contradiction.

    It's a contradiction of human thinking however, not of existence itself. It all boils down to the tautology that that which cannot be observed cannot be observed.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    "Origin" is often viewed as "beginning" or a "source". Of which I contend there was no origin, there was no beginning, there was no source concerning existence therefore such an inquiry would be erroneous to begin with. As your statements seem to imply.
  • Echarmion
    322
    "Origin" is often viewed as "beginning" or a "source". Of which I contend there was no origin, there was no beginning, there was no source concerning existence therefore such an inquiry would be erroneous to begin with. As your statements seem to imply.daniel j lavender

    That is true. The problem is it doesn't follow that existence is infinite, becasue that is similarly impossible. An infinite existence would require infinite observations. It could never be observed in it's entirety, and hence would always be limited to a finite amount of observations. Existence is neither finite nor infinite, it's indefinite. It expands ad indefinitum.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    Hence my statement in the original essay:

    "Existence is infinite, however, our limited perspective creates an illusion of limitation. From this perspective we are inclined to create measurements of existence although existence is essentially immeasurable."

    We may not be able to entirely observe that which is infinite, but that doesn't mean it is not infinite.
  • Echarmion
    322
    Hence my statement in the original essay:

    "Existence is infinite, however, our limited perspective creates an illusion of limitation. From this perspective we are inclined to create measurements of existence although existence is essentially immeasurable."

    We may not be able to entirely observe that which is infinite, but that doesn't mean it is not infinite.
    daniel j lavender

    It also does not mean that it is infinite though. The only logical position is agnosticism. To call it an illusion presupposes that you know existence is infinite, or more accurately based on some infinite objective reality. But you do not know that.
  • daniel j lavender
    29


    I am asserting it.

    Certain things must be discussed, they must be argued, as actual measurement or observation would not be feasible.

    Tell me, where does existence end? How would existence end?

    Is the smallest thing (to us) really the smallest thing? Or does it appear to be the smallest thing due to our limited abilities and our limited range of interaction?

    Is existence really limited, or are we limiting it ourselves?
  • Echarmion
    322
    Certain things must be discussed, they must be argued, as actual measurement or observation would not be feasible.daniel j lavender

    Yes, that is what philosophy is about. But what are we arguing about, exactly? Existence, as constructed by us through observations, or objective reality?

    Tell me, where does existence end? How would existence end?daniel j lavender

    Existence, as constructed by observations, has no end. It cannot have an end.

    Is the smallest thing (to us) really the smallest thing? Or does it appear to be the smallest thing due to our limited abilities and our limited range of interaction?daniel j lavender

    That is impossible to answer, since by your own terms an answer would imply knowledge beyond our abilities.

    Is existence really limited, or are we limiting it ourselves?daniel j lavender

    Existence, as observations, is not limited, it's indefinite.
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    Existence, as observations, is not limited, it's indefinite.Echarmion

    So in a sense, you agree.
  • Echarmion
    322
    So in a sense, you agree.daniel j lavender

    We agree that it has no end, for the reaons stated.
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    We agree that it has no end, for the reaons stated.Echarmion

    The aforementioned premise also applies to a beginning, or an origin concerning existence.

    Where did existence begin? How would existence begin?

    The premise simply does not make sense. It's a something-from-nothing argument.

    Feel free to elaborate on the mechanics of a something-from-nothing event.

    Also, feel free to explain why existence would require a beginning when nonexistence never existed to begin with.

    But what are we arguing about, exactly? Existence, as constructed by us through observations, or objective reality?Echarmion

    I am arguing that objectively existence is infinite. Existence could be viewed as infinite subjectively as well, however, I am asserting that our limited perspective (the fact that we, as individuals, are born, then die -- we are limited in duration; that we cannot simply reach out and touch Mars or Saturn -- we are limited in our range of interaction; that we can only see so far out into the universe, even with technologies [we can't even see through hillsides or through the palms of our hands] -- we are limited in perspective, etc.) creates an inclination to measure, or limit, existence. Some individuals view existence as being infinite, some obviously do not, hence, subjectivity. But such does not necessarily indicate objective truth.
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    Actually, the very idea of being able to view existence as infinite, or being able to view existence as finite, subjectively, further alludes to the objective fact that existence itself is infinite, as all aspects are accounted for and none are excluded (it is unlimited, unrestricted).
  • Echarmion
    322
    The aforementioned premise also applies to a beginning, or an origin concerning existence.daniel j lavender

    No disagreement here. I should have said "no beginning or end". It has no spatial or temporal border.

    I am arguing that objectively existence is infinite. Existence could be viewed as infinite subjectively as well, however, I am asserting that our limited perspective (the fact that we, as individuals, are born, then die -- we are limited in duration; that we cannot simply reach out and touch Mars or Saturn -- we are limited in our range of interaction; that we can only see so far out into the universe, even with technologies [we can't even see through hillsides or through the palms of our hands] -- we are limited in perspective, etc.) creates an inclination to measure, or limit, existence.daniel j lavender

    If existence is based on observation, then the limits of observation are also the limits of existence. These limits are not imposed on existence by us, they are intrinsic to it.

    If existence is not based on observation, I.e. it is " objective", then we would need a way to gain information about it that is not observation. What is this method?

    Actually, the very idea of being able to view existence as infinite, or being able to view existence as finite, subjectively, further alludes to the objective fact that existence itself is infinite, as all aspects are accounted for and none are excluded (it is unlimited, unrestricted).daniel j lavender

    This sounds reasonable, but it does not follow. It is not more likely that "objective reality" is infinite because observed reality has no borders. That would imply that observed reality is a part of objective reality, rather than, say, an illusion caused by it. Since we don't know, we cannot draw any inference.
  • daniel j lavender
    29
    If existence is based on observation, then the limits of observation are also the limits of existence. These limits are not imposed on existence by us, they are intrinsic to it.Echarmion

    I contend existence is not entirely "based on observation". Existence exists, existence is, whether observed or not. In fact, sensory organs, or the ability to observe, could not be without previously existing phenomena to allow its development. Existence is, observation or not. Our observation simply affirms, or realizes, existence to a certain degree.

    Limitations of observation are limitations of observation, not necessarily limitations of existence itself. Such conflates limitations of observation with limitations of existence. They are not the same.

    For example, if one could not see beyond a mountain range, such does not mean things do not exist beyond the mountain range, rather, it simply means one cannot see beyond the mountain range to affirm other things exist. This does not necessarily negate the existence of those other things, it simply illustrates limited observation and inability to view them.

    The premise should be self-evident. Obviously I'm only able to see so far out into the universe, technologies considered. But I am still able to postulate that existence extends beyond that observation.

    If existence is not based on observation, I.e. it is " objective", then we would need a way to gain information about it that is not observation. What is this method?Echarmion

    There are other senses beyond vision or observation: touch, smell, taste, etc. But that is beside the point.

    I am asserting that existence exists independently of sensory perception. As stated above, sensory perception could not be, sensory perception could not develop without previously existing phenomena to allow such sensory development. This indicates existence sans observation or any other sensory faculty.

    Simply put, existence is without observation; information wouldn't need to be attained for existence to be, or for existence to be infinite. But observation certainly allows affirmation of existence and allows subsequent discussion such as this.

    This sounds reasonable, but it does not follow. It is not more likely that "objective reality" is infinite because observed reality has no borders. That would imply that observed reality is a part of objective reality, rather than, say, an illusion caused by it. Since we don't know, we cannot draw any inference.Echarmion

    I'm asserting that "observed reality" does have borders, it does have limits, hence our limited perspective. But we are able to use cognitive processes to postulate beyond such limitations. "Observed reality" is in a way part of objective reality. Individuals form subjective views based on their personal observations; they are able to use cognitive processes to arrive at their own subjective views, which together create objectivity, or an aggregate of impersonal views further supporting the idea of non-limitation if only in that sense. Some view it one way, others view it another; it isn't limited to any single view. Illusory or concrete, both views concern subjectivity which combined flow into objectivity, or an aggregate of views which transcends personal bias reflecting existence's illimitability. Again, I am not claiming to know, I am asserting.
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