• Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Concepts are actual experiences. They are the product of the mind directly referencing some part of reality (be it abstract or concrete). To communicate them, we map these concepts to words. The words then gain a life of their own, which is fine, as long as one capable of putting aside the holiday luggage.

    what are concepts, apart from the words you use?Banno

    This is quite ironic. What are words, without the concepts to which they refer? Do you suggest that the space of concepts (or words, as you conflate them to) exemplify śūnyatā? Words just referring to other words referring to other words ad infinitum (and/or in circles), never gaining the import of reality? Strange how we seem to use communication in reliably navigating reality. Strange how we actually experience concepts as they are. How do you even start a closed, meaningless network of words/concepts without some kernel of reality to set it off to begin with?

    A square is a square, and a square is a string of letters. They are not the same.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    The conscious and subconscious experiences may be simultaneous,litewave

    How could that be? I am definitely not conscious of my experience 10 minutes ago. Either I am, or I am not; there is no in between. And the fact is, at some point I was, but I no longer am. That's change.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    That ends any further conversation, then.Banno

    What, so the point is the symbols, not what they refer to? That's absurd.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Each temporal part od myself experiences only its moment but my whole temporal self somehow (subconsciously?) experiences itself as a whole too, which perhaps provides the impression that the different experiences at different moments belong to me as to a single object.litewave

    That still necessitates change; the change from experiencing a moment subconsciously to experiencing it consciously.

    I don't have our experience of passing time figured out, honestly it seems like a major mindfuck.litewave

    Completely agree, it's a wicked thing. But I think I've ruled out eternalism as self-contradictory, which means there must be real change. That doesn't mean an Einsteinian space-time is impossible however; all of change may be manifested as the expansion (or conspansion) of the boundary of the four-dimensional manifold of reality.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    All these commentaries are besides the point. They are commentaries on how language and cognition works, but the words are not the point; the concepts they refer ti are. However problematic words can be, an analytical mind can see past that.

    We can throw out all the holiday baggage by simply and rigidly defining our terms and applying logic to that, and disregarding any alternatives senses of the words not of interest at that time. I have defined absolute nothingness multiple times in this thread (with equivalent definitions, I believe), though the definition used in my formal proof to Corvus is good.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    language on holiday.Banno

    Not sure I get what you mean. As in, sloppy language on a holiday?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    You are incorrectly taking the quoted opinion as my own. The quoted proposition is the one I am arguing against; that is, I am arguing no such inference can be made.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    You seem to be thinking of objects as changing in the passage of time but time is structurally (mathematically) a special kind of space, and space doesn't pass; it just exists. What appears in our experience as the future already exists, just like the past, and it exists the way it is and cannot be different, because that would constitute a logical inconsistency.litewave

    Aha, this is very helpful. We do indeed have a disagreement on the nature of time, and it appears you are a kind of eternalist. I completely agree that there are no problems in regards to arbitrary choices if one is an eternalist; as you say, the choice is not made; the two worlds already existed as the off-shoots they are from the get-go.

    However, eternalism is itself very problematic, philosophically. How do you explain our changing experience? If you explain it as completely illusory, then you are a frozen omphalist; that is, you think this specific moment is all you have ever experienced (frozen in time), and any experience indicating the contrary is just your simultaneous, frozen experience of many false memories leading up to this moment. This view is quite absurd and few hold it, so the only other view is admitting some kind of change; that is, your awareness is moving through the time dimension. This itself is a change, requiring its own time. Maybe causality is already laid out the way it is, unchanging; but your passage through the temporal dimension of it is evidently changing (unless you are a frozen omphalist, of course).
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    See my reply as well if you want to see the minor correction required.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    The problem is that if logic is about something then it cannot be about nothing.Fooloso4

    Precisely, which is what I'm arguing for in this post. I am arguing for the LACK of proof that reality is not a brute, because I am saying that proving the oxymoronity of absolute nothingness is irrelevant to the matter; it is not valid as a proof that there was a logical necessity for something to be the case. Please read my formal proof of this, and you'll see that I agree with you. You'll also be reminded of what the point of this post is.

    TLDR; the implications of absolute nothing are not positive, but rather negative. That is; I am point to the lack of implications of a certain kind of reasoning that involves absolute nothingness, namely saying "absolute nothingness is impossible, therefore something existing is a metaphysical/logical necessity."
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    You have gotten way off topic.Fooloso4

    Not really. You mentioned that absolute nothingness is beyond our comprehension:

    Absolute nothingness is impossible for us to comprehend. This marks a limit to human understanding.Fooloso4

    I responded to this by claiming that logic allows us to comprehend the implications (and really, lack thereof) of absolute nothingness. You replied by suggesting maybe our cognition doesn't actually sufficiently match reality for this:

    If logic is necessary for survival then other animals require it as well.

    Isomorphism to reality is not necessary for survival either

    I am arguing that what we call logic, that is the structure of our cognition, does in fact match reality. I argue for this with my last reply. This argument is important, because either you deny it with some argument, or concede it, but then argue that our logical capacity is not complex enough to describe implications of absolute nothingness. Or, you could argue the incomprehensibility of it is beyond the issue of logical capacity.

    So, unless you think you were off-topic when you first said absolute nothingness is incomprehensible to us, then this is all very much on-topic. It is a natural progression of the discussion about whether or not absolute nothingness is comprehensible, now geared towards the necessity of the existence of our logical capacity. I agree it has gone far away from the motif of the OP, but that is irrelevant. We are still ultimately arguing for and about the topic of absolute nothingness.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Ravens are intelligent birds but they do not need nuts to survive.Fooloso4

    They don't need nuts, no. But the way they crack them is a demonstration of their logical capacity, which I mentioned as an example that animals do indeed have logic.

    They do not need logic to eat.Fooloso4

    Yes they do. Let's look at even the simplest scenario; there is food right in front them, and there are no dangers.

    First, their brain needs to answer the question; "is this food or not?" Advanced food recognition systems determine that "yes, this is food." These systems need to have a single output. Either it is certainly food, it is not (and this category of not, it could further classified as potential food). If it is certainly food, the action of eating is initiated. The stimuli is either classified as S, or as not-S, and the action is either A, or not-A. Reality does not allow for anything else; the binarity of reality extends to brain states too, even those brain states may encode complicated ideas, those ideas are themselves, and not not-themselves.

    This is the kernel of logic in agents; conditionals between stimuli and actions who both take on values of true or false. The greater the mind of the agent, the more complex the conditionals can grow. If the agent becomes self-aware, then they will be able to reflect over this binarity of their internal states, and this binarity of external states. Are they sufficiently intelligent, they can start symbolizing all of this logic, thus extending their working memory into a document.

    Our minds are to some degree isomorphic to the external reality, because our mind is a part of the same reality to which the external reality belongs. Logic is the structure of both the objective and subjective; it is truly universal and basic. That is why I trust it, despite the fact that I have a stupid, monkey brain.

    Our minds are not fully isomorphic to external reality, of course. Some researches claim that if the mind was fully isomorphic to external reality, it would be too entropic for proper information transmission. Apparently, the perfect place for information transmission lies at some phase-transitional point between no entropy and max entropy.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    I think you can put it that way. Another possibility might be that there were two worlds with two sentiences where everything was the same up to a moment when an apple appeared in one world and a banana in the other world.litewave

    I don't think that works, because it introduces the choice again. Since both worlds already existed separately, then they were two separate objects (despite their identicality). Thus, a paralogical choice is made between which of the two worlds gets a banana and which gets an apple.

    By the way, are you a fan of Stephen Wolfram's theory of everything? I haven't properly looked into it, but last I heard of it, it uses your idea of all possible worlds being generated. What's very interesting is that the first generations of worlds are being differentiated at the level of what rules govern them; meaning these worlds represent different positions in what he calls ruliad space. Very interesting, though I would love to ask what his explanation is for the rule that governs the larger superverse; that is, why does this superverse generate every possible universe? Why is that rule true?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something

    The difference is that when a non-sentient object splits, you can say that two split objects are both the original object, just in different situations. With sentience, you cannot say the same thing, so a question arises.

    If one simply answers that the original sentience is no longer present, and two new sentiences were born (both having access to the original sentience's memories, and experiencing their birth as continuous extension of the original sentience's experience), then you have answered the question.

    The alternatives however, demand that some paralogical choice took place, which defeats your purpose of postulating parallell worlds to begin with.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Sentience may be important. You see, when the worlds split, what determines whether any sentience experiences one world, or the other? You may say the sentience splits into two identical copies, one experiencing one world, and the other sentience experiencing the other world. So, is it the same sentience, but in two different worlds? Well, how can one sentience be the same as another, when they experience different things? That is a part of the essence of each sentience; the fact that they have a set of experiences private to them. Suddenly, this sentience now has some other set of experience neither private, nor available, to them.

    So, these sentiences are different then? That would mean the original sentience was not put through any arbitrary choice, since all choices were made. But each resultant sentience, however, owe their existence to an arbitrary choice; since there is no logical reason for why exactly they turned into the sentience they now are, instead of any of the other sentiences they could have turned into. Each resultant sentience had the same starting point, yet wound up at different places; indicating a paralogical choice was made anyways.

    Now, maybe the above is not a problem; I am still undecided. If the resultant sentiences are not counted as parts of the original sentience, then their starting point is not the same; their starting points are the distinct worlds they were born into.

    However, this question does not even enter the stage if this splitting of worlds had to necessarily stop before sentiences formed. Then, the question is answered by; "this did not, and could not have, happened."
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Then there are two logically consistent worlds - one in which an apple spawns and one in which a banana spawns. Both worlds exist because they are logically consistent.litewave

    Okay, now we are getting somewhere. This splitting of worlds; has it happened after sentience entered the picture?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    If logic is necessary for survival then other animals require it as well.Fooloso4

    And other animals have it as well, but they are not able to develop due to their limited computational capacity. Their working memory, symbol enconding, symbol recollection and pattern recognition are too limited to go from simple tautologies (and perhaps simple syllogisms) to something more advanced.

    But animals do show logical capacity. There are no instincts that tell ravens that cars crush nuts. Instead, they observe the world around them and eventually observe that when cars pass over objects, those objects are sometimes crushed.

    So, through induction, they realize that there's a good chance nuts will be crushed as well. Then, simple logic dictates they must place the nuts at certain locations. Why? Well, that's a simple AND condition for the crushing of nuts.

    If the nut is at place x AND a car passes over x --> the nut is crushed

    The second conjunct is not in their control, but the first conjunct is! So they do it. It is not automatic, because no humans are teaching and no instincts are at play, because they are evolutionarily adapted to behave like that around cars. No, some raven at some point learnt it, because their mind works through logic, and their mind is powerful to perform sufficiently complicated reasoning to allow for the above trick.

    If cognizant organisms did not operate with some basic logic, then a predator could be attacking them AND not attacking them at the same time. Given that those conditions have different response procedures (be they automatic or not), their mind has to, one some level, treat the condition binarily. It's logic, however basic.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Because such a world would be logically inconsistent, with respect to the laws that characterize its structure.litewave

    Okay, let me take this step-by-step:

    1. First moment in time, there is just being (I don't claim you believe this, but you have to deny it).
    2. For this moment in time, due to the lack of any laws or anything specific, it would be logically consistent that a banana spawns at coordinates x,y,z.
    3. By the same logic, it would also be logically consistent that an apple spawns at coordinates x,y,z.

    So, in the next moment in time, what happens? Do both spawn? Well, each spawning is separately consistent, but together, they are inconsistent. So, there's two possibilities:

    Possibility A:

    In the second moment of time, everything happens, and contradictions are everywhere. Reality then removes all contradictions by removing one half of each contradictory pair.

    Possibility B:

    In the second moment of time, only one half of these contradictory pairs spawns to begin with.

    Both possibilities require paralogical/alogical arbitration. How can one logically choose whether the banana or the apple gets to spawn/remain at coordinates x,y,z?

    All I am saying is, your view IF combined with the idea that reality starts of with pure being, would entail a paralogical arbiter. That's all I'm saying; I am not saying that is wrong or implausible, I am simply trying to elaborate your view.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something

    Well, nothingness is absence.

    And by absolute, I mean, without non-universal reference.

    So, absolute nothingness is the absence of everything, as opposed to relative nothingness, or specific nothingness, which is the absence of something specified, like the nothingness of the book of my bed.

    Absolute nothingness does have attributes, among which is oxymoronity. These attributes, as I have said, would disappear if absolute nothingness was ever instantiated.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Hegel's "pure being" is neither actual nor potential but instead completely conceptual because we can't hold it in our minds without losing it to pure (absolute) nothingness.Gregory

    I am not so sure if it is only conceptual. I believe it is also perceptual, though not in a way that allows for anything beyond immediate experience. The second you've experienced it, it is gone. But you still experienced. How can you experience something specific, without first experiencing it as just something? Before I see a car, I see something. Only after determination does it become more and more semblant of a car; before that determination, it is pure being.

    If I try to approach pure being directly, it is as you say, replaced with pure nothing, which goes back to pure being, etc... until I suddenly think of something specific, replacing both of them.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    It's more like "democratic chalk", a mere concatenation of words, with the folk hereabouts puzzling over what it might mean; as if meaning were something that was discovered rather than decided.Banno

    Definitions are indeed decided, but the implications therefrom are discovered.

    And absolute nothingness is one of those funny things that, like a square circle, are self-contradictory, yet that self-contradiction is not of relevance to the discussion. And we can talk of a square circle. We might not tie it to any percept, nor believe in its existence in any shape or form beyond mere reference and definition, but it is nonetheless something we can talk of. It just so happens that it is pretty irrelevant to most things, beyond being an epitome of self-contradiction. Absolute nothingness is not irrelevant, however, because it happens to refer to the very thing that would delete its own self-contradiction.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    We cannot understand how that could be, but what can happen is not dependent on our understanding or lack of understanding.Fooloso4

    This is a very typical view, and a respectable one. We are just monkeys that are not designed to see the truth, right?

    I think our perception is definitely geared towards survival and just that, allowing truth to peer through mostly when it is evolutionarily beneficial.

    But cognition is a different beast. Our minds require a kind of isomorphism to reality in order to allow for logic, which is necessary for survival. This logic is of course overriden by emotions and heuristics, but whenever we can sustain our logical thinking for long enough, we can use it to build ever more complicated mirrors of reality, extending their domain of validity. I believe it is possible, otherwise I would not try. This logic-thingamabob has gotten us to the moon, after all.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    In mathematics all logically consistent objects exist simultaneously and there is no contradiction.litewave

    Sure, but in the real world, a banana and an apple cannot exist with their centers overlapping. So, if the first moment in time is perhaps reality reduced to its most fundamental, undetermined and universal substance, then I would think that every possible object (including its implementation) would be logically consistent, and thus everything would happen in the next moment. But everything happening simultaneously everywhere is not logically consistent.

    So what? There is nothing logically inconsistent about starving to death.litewave

    The donkey's starvation is a metaphor for the universe's inability to choose, even though it has to, just like the donkey has to eat.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Absolute nothingness means brutely there is not even you, or the world.Hence the proposition is unthinkable. Is it possible to think about such state or a concept?Corvus

    This is a fine and important point, and I am still developing my intuition and logic in regards to this. But in short, absolute nothingness is a thing which has a mutative essence; that is, its essence is dependent on things beyond it; things that may change. This mutation has two versions; the current, oxymoronic version (a version which can be referred to, as evidenced by this thread), and the hypothetically instantiated version, which cannot be referred to. You might think that the hypothetical instantiated version is precisely the reference, but no, it is not. You see, a prerequisite to referring to something instantiated is for it to be instantiated; if it is not instantiated, I am merely referring to a hypotehtical.

    The difference is the same as the difference of the following scenarios: I have in mind an actual, instantiated cow (1), versus, I am looking at an actual, instantiated cow (2). Both of these are separate from merely the thing that is a cow (3), which as a thing is a category. (1) is a hypothetical item (not a category), and (2) is an instantiated item (not a category). Notice that (1) is asserting the cow to be instantiated, but this assertion is merely that; hypotheticality combined with instantiation equals hypotheticality; just like a negative number times a positive numbers equals a negative number.

    Now, the essence of a specific cow does not change whether it is hypothetical or not (although one's apprehension of it does change). But some things undergo an essential difference when referred to as a hypothetical, and when referred to as an instantiation; they are mutative, as I call them. This is because their essences have variables in them, and these variables happen to change as a result of the thing's instantiation.

    So, an example? Well, here's an abstract example that very straight-forwardly exemplifies the nature of having an essence vary according to its instantiation:

    The instantiation counter is an object that counts the number of instantiations in reality. A part of its essence is thus that it displays some number n. Whenever that object is hypothetical (like right now), that number is n, but if it ever were instantiated, that very event would change the number n. Now of course, this object, if instantiated, would undergo a change of its essence; the number n, whatever it was, would turn to n + 1. Its essence is therefore dependent on its own (and other things') instantiation. It is therefore mutative.

    Absolute nothingness is one of these things. Its essence, that is, its definition and the list of all attributes it holds (like oxymoronity) is something that would change in the event of its instantiation. More specifically, its essence would go from being what it is right now, to being absolutely nothing. So yes, you are correct that the instantiated version of absolutely nothing cannot be referred to; not even with this sentence am I referring to it, because although I am specifying it as instantiated, it is nonetheless evidently hypothetical. And as already established, hypotheticality times actuality equals hypotheticality.

    We are taking advantage of this mutative nature of absolute nothingness by referring to its hypothetical version and using the symbol thereof to argue about the consequences (more precisely, the lack thereof) of the instantiated version.

    I hope this cleared a few things up. I am looking to formalize my framework of actuality and hypotheticality being used here, so maybe this will be clearer in the future.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    If you would like to discuss there, I gladly will. I make a rule not to derail other people's threads.Philosophim

    I understand, I might write a few pieces. As you rightly pointed out a while ago, I think our threads are very much connected. If a self-sufficient, ultimate cause was determined, then that would negate the worries my argument produces of reality being a brute fact (to some, this is not a worry but rather something worthy of celebration; I like to direct those people to the nearest boulder-and-hill setup).

    However, isn't logic the best assessment of reality that we have?Philosophim

    I don't see why you mention that with an however. Did my post seem to argue against that?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    hmm, what other perspective is there than "from something"...? In absence of anything/everything, speaking of perspectives doesn't make much sense...jorndoe

    See here.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something

    I read your OP from 2 years ago. I think you would do well by either distinguishing logical necessitation from temporally-extended causation, or by proving them one and the same. If not, it becomes hard to judge what you count as the first cause; is it the collection of logical laws requiring the first state, or the first state itself?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    I would just recommend reading @Count Timothy von Icarus first comment to this thread, and then I would recommend reading my reply to it. I cannot vouch for the correctness of my reply, but perhaps its wrongness is illuminating. I hope that Count replies with some confirmations or corrections, so watch out for that too.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something

    The "nothingness" of God is "nothingness through excellence” (nihil per excellentiam) or nihil per infinitatem (“nothingness on account of infinity"). This is "nothing" because nothing can be said of It; God transcends everything. Any positive statement is limiting and thus inappropriate.Count Timothy von Icarus

    So, a claim like “God is red” must be false, because it would assert that “God is not not-red”, which would be a limitation of his infinite content, right?

    But then we also have the nothing of non-existence, “nothing through privation” (nihil per privationem). At first glance, it seems to me like you are dealing with the latter (privational nothingness) in the OP, but upon further consideration, it becomes hard to say.Count Timothy von Icarus

    This is indeed what I thought I was talking about, and I still think it is, but I think I might have to reflect on that.

    This third category you mention; it refers to objects that although may be the immediate cause of new states, are not defined as the creators thereof, because in this terminology, creation is being the first or second cause of something? So, there’s one first cause (God), and then a few second causes, and everything else, although partaking as immediate causes, are not defined as creators. Am I getting this right?
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Do you know of Nishida Kitaro?Gregory

    I do not know of Nishida, but I read a little up on him. According to this SEP article, he is perhaps where you got your idea of nothingness as creative. I wonder how absolute nothingness can be anything and do anything.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    For what it's worth, like a mathematician, I see no difference between existence and logical consistency and so I regard both these concepts as one and the same. Then the sentence "No object exists" can be reformulated as "No object is logically consistent", which is evidently and necessarily false. There are plenty of logically consistent objects; every object that is identical to itself is logically consistent and therefore exists (as opposed to, for example, the famous "square circle", which is a circle that is not a circle, a logically inconsistent and therefore nonexistent object).litewave

    Interesting perspective, but how did everything start? In the beginning, if we perhaps had a state of pure being, then anything would have been logically consistent. But then everything would have popped into existence simultaneously, and contradictions would have arisen. How did the universe remove these contradictions? How did it choose one thing over the other? The purely logical donkey, when faced with two equally voluptuous hay stacks, starves to death. In that case, there must be a paralogical (but not illogical) prime will, a lá God? Someone who chooses when logic cannot (or will not, by virtue of being a stubborn donkey, of course).
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    The basic question: Why is there something rather than nothing?

    A relatively uncomplicated answer: Perhaps, because anyone who is able to ask and ponder this question is something.
    charles ferraro

    As has been mentioned elsewhere in the thread, I am not arguing that we lack proof for the existence of something. I am simply saying the lack proof for the necessity of the existence of something; that is, we lack proof that reality is not a brute fact.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    What there is nothing of is decided by what is absent.

    Absolute nothing is a non-starter.

    Are you saying that one cannot have an absence of everything, for that would also be an absence of the absence of everything? If so, I tend to agree, but as I’ve argued for in this thread, any contradictions regarding absolute nothingness are irrelevant to the question of cosmogony.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something

    I am not familiar with that notation, though I think I know what it means, except for the lambda expression. What does it denote?

    I find your comment highly interesting, but I want to reserve my reply until I understand your notation and thus exactly what you are saying.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Is nothing one or many? Can there be several nothings?Gregory

    I assume you are asking if there are multiple instances of nothing. Well, there are multiple instances of specific nothingness, like the nothingness of a book on my bed right now, or like the nothingness of a non-zero balance in my bank account, for example. These are absences in a larger environment of presence (like the presence of my crushing debt). Absolute nothingness is the absence of everything, “in an environment” of only absence.

    For Spinoza this ground is one and the concept should accord to one. Being and nothingness have aspects in common such that a painting paint brush has to the canvas; it takes what is potential and makes it something.Gregory

    This canvas of nothing sounds a little like something. I don’t think you can unify being and non-being, but I would like to hear more about this idea.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Okay, your message was long and I am afraid my reply will be longer. When I replied the first time, I could not reply to a lot of what you said, for I had to read up on Hegel. I want to thank you for pointing me in that direction, it has been very fruitful (though I have much to learn and will be looking for the right resources to get into Hegel going forward).

    But what Hegel finds is that this sheer being is now totally contentless. It describes nothing, collapses into nothing. So, pure being turns out to be nothing. But nothing is itself unstable. We're thinking of it, so it's something, like you say. And so nothing turns out to collapse back into sheer being.Count Timothy von Icarus

    My very undeveloped reading of Hegel would disagree slightly. Pure being is indeterminate, that is, logically indistinguishable from anything else. That’s what indeterminate, and its negation, determinate, means in Hegel’s terminology. Now, pure being is obviously distinguishable from other things. We can define pure being in various ways, you already hinted at one. This definition is distinct from e.g. the definition of a square. However, pure being does not exist right now. Something specific exists. So, when talking about an instance of pure being, it is indeterminate, by virtue of the inexistence of any specific things to which it can be distinguished. And by inexistence, I mean complete inexistence; these things are not even conceivable in this state of pure being.

    So, pure being is, when existent, indeterminate. Now, pure nothing (or absolute nothingness as referred to in this thread) is also indeterminate. It also does not have any definition, by virtue of having no details, no components. We now have two distinct states that are both indeterminate, and thus logically (definitionally) indistinguishable from each other. That is, by virtue of both states having no definition, one cannot define their difference. Yet, nonetheless, they are different, since pure nothing is currently, by definition, the negation of pure being. I say currently, because pure being and pure nothing only have definitions in a determinate reality. I refer to these temporary definitions by convenience; you see, these definitions reveal that pure being and pure nothing are indeed different. However, despite that, their definitions (and thus the definition of their difference) disappears if pure being was ever instantiated.

    This does not mean pure being is pure nothing whenever pure being is instantiated. Instead, the difference between them is itself indeterminate “during” this instantiation. The difference is indeterminate, but it is still existent. In fact, it is absolutely crucial that they are different, for if not, the becoming does not happen. You see, all of this has been leading up to one fact; pure being would be related to pure nothing. This quirk, this relationship, gives them both an essence; a relational essence. Thus, determinacy arises from indeterminacy.

    …I think? I have no fucking clue what I am talking about. Pass the bong, would you? I would like your thoughts on this, as I am now really intrigued by Hegel’s philosophy, and you blessed me with the introduction.

    We have an oscillation, an unstable contradiction. But what if being subsumes/sublates nothing, incorporating parts of nothing into it? Then we reach the becoming of our world, where each moment of being is continually passing away into the nothing on non-being.Count Timothy von Icarus

    This is the intuition (minus the temporal-extendedness implied by oscilattion) that I have gained from reading Hegel. The relationship is somewhat asymmetric in favor of being, which makes sense; it is the positive that fills the negative. I like how you tie it into the passage of time and change; though I’d like an elaboration on the exact mechanics of it all.

    And this makes sense to me from the perspective of what we can say about time. Why do we have a four dimensional manifold? Because we use the time dimension to mark when events have occurred. As Godel noted, eternalist responses to seeming "paradoxes" in relativity miss the mark. What can it mean to say "all times exist at all times?" Times exist at the point along the time dimension where they exist. Events occur when they occur. They do not occur at other times.

    "Existence" is a complex word that leads to trouble here. When people say "all times exist" I think they generally want to say "all times are real." And this I agree with. But that doesn't mean that events don't occur (exist) at just the times that they exist. The time dimension becomes meaningless if it doesn't tell us when things occur. That becoming is local is confusing, and open to many interpretations, but also not all that relevant here.
    Count Timothy von Icarus

    I completely agree. Eternalism does miss the mark. You point to the nonsensical breed of eternalism above. Then there’s the spotlight eternalists who forget they’re reintroducing change by having the spotlight move (duh…). A third breed would be the frozen omphalists, and I would like to ask them some questions, but I fear they would have no time to answer.

    This seems to beg the question somewhat. It assumes that nothing exists necessarily. If there are necessary things, then they exist by necessity, and they are something. Which would seem to entail for you that "absolute nothingness is [not] most definitely possible," if anything exists of necessity. And then of course, there are many arguments for things which do exist of necessity, although not all senses of "of necessity" have bearing here. We really mean "cannot not exist," in this sense.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I don’t quite understand how your comment relates to the sentence you quoted me from. All I’m saying is that any proof of the impossibility of absolute nothingness presupposes there is something, and would thus be of no consequence to a state of nothingness. Therefore, if there ever was a state of absolute nothingness, something would not arise by virtue of these proofs (since those proofs would be invalid and more damningly, inexistent). So, these attempted proofs do not prove something like “that’s why absolute nothingness necessarily could not have been”. This fact is something you ask about later in your comment, actually, so I will touch on it there.

    There is a strong tradition of seeing the world as "blown into being by contradiction," by "the principle of explosion."Count Timothy von Icarus

    I don’t believe in ex falso because if there ever was a contradiction, the disjunctive syllogism would not be valid.

    But is proving that nothing necessarily doesn't exist the same thing as proving the necessity of existence?Count Timothy von Icarus

    No. Such a proof is itself something. So, you are just saying, “because of [something], nothing is impossible”. If nothing truly were, the proof would not be; the logical/metaphysical problems of absolutely nothing would be non-existent. See my reply to Corvus.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Therefore I conclude that the OP's proposition is invalid and inconsistent, because it denies the possibility of absolute nothingness, then it accepts the possibility of nothingness at the same time.Corvus

    I don't quite get your argument, but what you wrote in the quote is wrong. Absolute nothingness is oxymoronic because of the existence of something. Remove everything, and suddenly absolute nothingness is no longer oxymoronic, because absolute nothingness is nothing. There must be something to give absolute nothingness its oxyomoronic character. Furthermore, any proof of why absolute nothingness is impossible, must have content; thus, the proof is already presupposing the existence of the negation of what it is trying to prove could never be. It is just begging the question.

    So, it is time I formalized all of this.

    A thing is something that can be referred to, by whatever means, be they perceptual, emotive or conceptual. A conceptual reference is defining something. Therefore, the state that is absolute nothingness is a thing, by virtue of being referred to by its definition. Its definition is formalized further down.

    is the set of all propositions true for some corresponding state; a complete description of that state. If a proposition is true in , we have that .

    is the set corresponding to the state of absolute nothingness. The definition of is as follows: . That means for all propositions , we have that .


    So, done deal? We have proved why something must exist, right? Well, look above you; what do you see? Something. Let's denote that something as ; that is, denotes the proposition above.

    Now, we know that is true, by virtue of simple logic. However, if truly was instantiated... Well:

    Now, the irony of absolute nothingness is that what you see above is itself a proposition that would not be present in , along with all other propositions. Reasoning with absolute nothingness will get you nothing! Which is why trying to prove there necessarily had to be something by virtue of the impossibility of absolute nothingness is wrongfully assuming that the impossibility of absolute nothingness would stop it from being the case. If was the case, it would not have an oxymoronic identity, because it would not have anything, do anything or be anything.
  • Absolute nothingness is only impossible from the perspective of something
    Okay, my vacation from this thread has lasted long enough. Time to dive in. Takes a slurp of nothing. (Just kidding, I'm drinking Pepsi Max, and will defend this choice of beverage over any other with passion)
  • Stoicism and Early Buddhism on the Problem of Suffering
    That isn't to say applying stoicism in some areas of your life is bad, but Nietzsche always believed in maintaining the complimentary opposite of such a method, also, so that both drives could build a tension within a person to overcome and reconcile and bridge these differences.Vaskane

    Am I correct in describing this as an Hegelian thesis-antithesis synthesis happening within a single individual, and also happening partly in the emotional domain?

Ø implies everything

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