• OpinionsMatter
    85
    Whether you believe in god or not, this still applies to you. I would like to propose something, it is absolutely impossible for the human brain to comprehend the term 'nothing' literally. You could say that there is nothing in a specific spot, for example: I ate your apple slice from your hand. Now there is nothing there. But you cannot say that there ever was actually nothing. If we look at our world famous laws(science, not political) we would recall that The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy states: matter and energy can neither be destroyed nor created, but they may interchange from one to the other. This being said, we must conclude that either there has always been matter, or that there has always been energy or that there has always been both.
    Which would mean that we have never had complete nothingness, there has always been something. If you believe in God, than there has always been God. Therefore there is still no such thing as nothing, neither can we comprehend nothing. If someone asked you to imagine 'nothing' and than I asked you what you saw, it would make sense for you to say 'nothing'. However, you may see a vast expanse of all black or white, or even maybe some glass like something. Either way, you still saw something, whether you'd like to admit it or not. Is it possible for us to know what something is like without ever experiencing it or anything like it? No, we can't. When someone tries to explain something you've never eaten before, they usually say the ingredients and things that are similar in taste. But you can't do that with 'nothing'.
    Overall, 'nothing' is one of the many things that are impossible to comprehend or to distinguish. We can use the word, but never literally.
  • TheMadFool
    6.6k
    I don't know. Nothing does have physical references e.g. empty space. It also has a mathematical interpretation viz. zero. Nothingness can also be "experienced" when we're asleep or unconscious.

    So, I wouldn't say we cannot comprehend nothing.
  • I like sushi
    2.4k
    This no more than a trick of language.

    Human are not capable of comprehending what they are incapable of comprehending. This is Kantian “noumenon” in the negative sense. The mistake is thinking you’re referring to what “isn’t” - that woudl be what Kant tagged as “positive noumenon” (which is, ironically, merely a “negative” - we don’t know the thing “in-itself”).
  • Teo
    6
    We can experience nothingness by not thinking, not when you think "think of nothing", but when you actually stop thinking. And there is the interesting part... Our consciousness works with definable things whilst you cannot define "nothing" as its meaning suggests nothing to define., but... I believe that we can sense nothing as if, once there is a thought in our head - "I am eating an apple" and another time there is NOT. You may know about this thought, but you may also sense that its missing.
  • InPitzotl
    310
    Let's analyze this and try to find out what this thread is about.

    There is a term "nothing". When we look at it that term, we have a particular idea about it. When we talk about it, we use that word. There is a claim here that the human brain cannot comprehend this.

    So how would I falsify that claim? Assuming it were false, what criteria should I be meeting to convince you that it is false?

    Let's take a side step. There is another term "pencil". When I look at that term, I have a particular idea about it. When I talk about pencils, I use the word. So do I comprehend pencils? I don't know; depends on what your criteria is for "comprehending pencils". What thing has to be, in order for you to say that I comprehend pencils?

    Maybe that's good enough, or maybe not; if not, one argument might be that it's a false equivalence... since pencils are concrete, that makes this special. Well, okay then. Do I comprehend superman? Do I comprehend primality of numbers? Do I comprehend "adverbs"? Do I comprehend "economic recessions"?

    One quick observation... I understand absolutely none of these things fully, so if the criteria here is to "understand fully", I cry foul. Two cases can stem from this... either you want to say I comprehend pencils, in which case this is special pleading saying that I don't comprehend "nothing"; or, you want to say I don't comprehend anything, in which case I say, fine... but what's so special about "nothing"?

    Now I'm not giving an argument for why we do indeed comprehend "nothing" here... but rather, what I'm saying is that we had better know what the rules are to this game if we're going to play it, lest it just be pointless.
    Which would mean that we have never had complete nothingness, there has always been something. If you believe in God, than there has always been God.
    An observation... you're mixing the concept of "time" here. One could say that "there was at one time nothing" is simply a contradiction... because if there was a time at which there was nothing, then there was not nothing then... there was a time then.
    If someone asked you to imagine 'nothing' and than I asked you what you saw, it would make sense for you to say 'nothing'. However, you may see a vast expanse of all black or white, or even maybe some glass like something.
    ...unless you were blind from birth and had no concept of a visual experience, or you were clever enough to imagine "nothing" by not imagining anything. This may really be nothing more than a language game; and the same sort of contradiction. It might be that you're asking us to imagine something that is nothing, and don't actually count imagining nothing as imagining nothing.
    But you can't do that with 'nothing'.
    How do you know? By that, I'm not asking you to give me your reasoned argument; I'm asking, how is it that you can even give a reasoned argument coming to that conclusion if you don't "comprehend nothing"? Also, it's not meant as a challenge, it's just a question. There's something about your ability to recognize that you're not comprehending nothing that requires at least explaining in terms of how you're able to come up with the notion that we cannot do it.

    So I really want to know what the rules are.
  • InPitzotl
    310
    A separate reply for this:
    The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy states: matter and energy can neither be destroyed nor created, but they may interchange from one to the other. This being said, we must conclude that either there has always been matter, or that there has always been energy or that there has always been both.OpinionsMatter
    This is a misunderstanding. Conservation of Energy is a law because it's something we've noticed occur under certain limits and it has a mathematical form; not because the universe is compelled to obey it. In fact, strictly, we think the universe as a whole does not obey this law, because the universe isn't symmetric in the right way.

    You might be interested in what Nick Lucid says about this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnGYMe6GBeQ
  • christian2017
    1.4k
    Whether you believe in god or not, this still applies to you. I would like to propose something, it is absolutely impossible for the human brain to comprehend the term 'nothing' literally. You could say that there is nothing in a specific spot, for example: I ate your apple slice from your hand. Now there is nothing there. But you cannot say that there ever was actually nothing. If we look at our world famous laws(science, not political) we would recall that The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy states: matter and energy can neither be destroyed nor created, but they may interchange from one to the other. This being said, we must conclude that either there has always been matter, or that there has always been energy or that there has always been both.
    Which would mean that we have never had complete nothingness, there has always been something. If you believe in God, than there has always been God. Therefore there is still no such thing as nothing, neither can we comprehend nothing. If someone asked you to imagine 'nothing' and than I asked you what you saw, it would make sense for you to say 'nothing'. However, you may see a vast expanse of all black or white, or even maybe some glass like something. Either way, you still saw something, whether you'd like to admit it or not. Is it possible for us to know what something is like without ever experiencing it or anything like it? No, we can't. When someone tries to explain something you've never eaten before, they usually say the ingredients and things that are similar in taste. But you can't do that with 'nothing'.
    Overall, 'nothing' is one of the many things that are impossible to comprehend or to distinguish. We can use the word, but never literally.
    OpinionsMatter

    Its like a Circle as defined in high school geometry book, its an abstract concept that doesn't actually exist but there are things similar to the exact definition. It doesn't prove that nothing existed before matter existed. On a different note many physicists (perhaps not all) would say matter and energy always existed.

    Nothing can be comprehended but it can't be produced. As long as there are creatures that can communicate (Humans and Bees and so on) it would be hard for us to claim that nothing exists. But going back to the "beginning of time", i guess thats a whole another thread.
  • Gregory
    1.2k


    There was nothing before the Big Bang. There was no time, so only a motion exists. Nothingness is fundamental perhaps to math, grammatical studies, and meditation, as has been pointed out above. And it is essential to reject absolute time and also understand nothingness is order to see the world as motion from point Zero, i.e. a projection
  • christian2017
    1.4k
    There was nothing before the Big Bang. There was no time, so only a motion exists.Gregory

    Special Relativity dictates that where there is motion there is time, however it would be very hard for anyone to prove whether or not there was anything before the Big Bang. I think i said that in my original comment. Time can only be measure when there is motion and motion is limited by C (the maximum speed of light). I'm not going to list everything that Special relativity entails in this post.

    Nothingness is fundamental perhaps to math, grammatical studies, and meditation, as has been pointed out above. And it is essential to reject absolute time and also understand nothingness is order to see the world as motion from point Zero, i.e. a projectionGregory

    I understand what you are saying here. To say the OP is partially right wouldn't be a complete fallacy, i just don't want to write a 3 page paper defending the OP that no on is going to read anyway. Yes what you wrote above is for the most part correct. Its a weaving of phrases and for lack of a better way to say this, on most levels you are correct.
  • InPitzotl
    310
    There was nothing before the Big Bang. There was no time, so only a motion exists.Gregory
    That's not necessarily true. The Big Bang is most precisely a singularity; that's it. This does not imply there was nothing before it. In eternal inflation models, for example, big bangs (as singularities) can spontaneously arise from the formation of false vacuums; and this happens indefinitely into the future. Under such models there's a sense in which one can talk about things before big bangs.
  • Gregory
    1.2k
    Potential became actual at the first start of time. Motion causes time. There is a very real sense in which we can say, consistent with A theory, that reality is a self contained set starting from Zero and going into infinity. What kind of infinity that future is is the question
  • A Seagull
    610

    Are you saying that nothing is nothing?
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