• Cyrill
    Would we be able to understand something if it was nonexistent? Like, think about it... What defines the "existence" of an idea, being, entity? Let me give you an example: In Einstein's theory of general relativity there is a theory about "white holes". A white hole is a hypothetical region of spacetime which cannot be entered from the outside, although matter and light can escape from it. In this sense, it is the reverse of a black hole. While the laws of general relativity allow it's existence, there hasn't been any definitive evidence that would prove it and most scientist are convinced that it's impossible for white holes to exist in nature. (Although in 2006 GRB 060614 - a gamma ray burst has been detected and proposed as the first documented occurrence of a white hole). This information is only a little trivia, that I gave for context and doesn't matter much. All right let's get back to the main topic...

    Imagine that you've checked everywhere in space and couldn't find any white holes, or discovered a rule that prohibites them to exist in nature, therefore the only things that are left from white holes are equations and a theory about them. Would you now consider them as nonexistent, since there are no white holes in the universe and "materialistically" they do not exist?

    If the meaning of nonexistence is "to not exist", then there mustn't be any information about "something". Including, it's name; it's characteristics; the information about it's existence or about the possibility of it's existence etc. Therefore by naming "nonexistence" don't we bind it to some information? I don't know the shape, the characteristics, the information about the existence of "nonexistence", but I gave it a name "nonexistence" and made it exist, made it real. Hell, never mind the name, am I not making it "exist" by giving it characteristics, such as "shape unable to be imagined by me" or "my lack of knowledge of it's existence" etc. Therefore we make "nonexistence" exist, by naming it "nonexistence".

    Can we go a little further? Till when will these "nonexistence"s exist? In my opinion, as long as humanity exists. Because when humanity disappears, ideas and concepts will cease to exist as well and thinking about "nonexistence", connecting it to a concept won't be possible. In consequence, only after disappearance of the concept of "nonexistence", "nonexistence" will not exist. For now, though "nonexistence" does exist!

    You may ask, what about nonexistence of "nonexistence", does that exist? Theoritacally you might think that, "Oh if "nonexistence" exist, then nonexistence of "nonexistence" shouldn't exist". But...there's a twist! Nonexistence of "nonexistence" belongs to the same group as "nonexistence", because it's connected to existence by name (nonexistence of "nonexistence"). However this is only true as long as humanity exist. Then what will happen when the humanity disappears? Here is what's going to happen: After the disappearance of people previously existing "nonexistence" will not exist. And this time nonexistence of "nonexistence"will exist, but in a different form. As a result we can say that nonexistence of "nonexistence" exists in both scenarios, the only difference is that this existence changes it's form. In the first situation it will only exist in the form of "phrase, name", in the second one after the humaniy disappears the "nonexistence of "non-existence"" will be the existence of "it's" nonexistence.
  • unenlightened
    'Name' is not the name of a name.
    When I have nothing in my pocket there is no mystery about it.

    Do not reify existence and non-existence. It is very silly and dull.
  • Cyrill
    I wouldn't say that I'm trying to reify, but yes I do agree that it's a really superficial way to look at these concepts. I'm just trying to draw logical (at least from what I imagine) and not-so-abstract connections between these ideas. I would like to be be able to look at them from different perspective though, if you have any kind of suggestions I would be happy to hear them.
  • Gnomon
    Would we be able to understand something if it was nonexistent?Cyrill
    Yes. But only relative to existence. The mathematical concept of Zero (non-existence) was rejected by philosophers for ages, until it became impossible to do advanced math without it. See Zero.

    In his book on how life emerged from non-life, Incomplete Nature, Terrance Deacon makes frequent use of the ironic concept of the "Power of Absence". It's not easy to grasp, but once you get it, you'll see it everywhere.

    ZERO : https://www.amazon.com/Zero-Biography-Dangerous-Charles-Seife/dp/0140296476/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=zero+charles+seife+summary&link_code=qs&qid=1573326967&sourceid=Mozilla-search&sr=8-1

    Incomplete Nature : https://www.amazon.com/Incomplete-Nature-Mind-Emerged-Matter/dp/0393049914/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2N86AB5T4TU7S&keywords=incomplete+nature+deacon&qid=1573327076&sprefix=incomplete+nature+deacon%2Caps%2C216&sr=8-1
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