Why we exist

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Starlord, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Goliathus Registered Member

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    Who says we exist?
     
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  3. river Valued Senior Member

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    History
     
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  5. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing is the lack of something, not it's opposite.
     
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  7. Oystein Registered Senior Member

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    Why is there air? To blow up basketballs, of course.
     
  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    We, as humans, exist, to help extrapolate the laws of nature, to the next level. We are part of an expansion of natural law. For example, nature evolved wings allowing birds to fly. Humans copied this and over time took this many steps further, allowing humans to fly to the moon. This is not found in nature but rather needs humans to take this to the next logical step.

    The earth will slowly oxidize materials on the surface of the earth. Humans can extract oxygen from air to make it concentrated to speed up this process. The purpose is too alter the natural potentials of the environment, thereby altering the direction of selection, so selection is also more in line with the extensions of natural laws.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    To help who?
    No, we are squarely and firmly part of the same natural law that governs all else. There is no extension, no tiered system of laws. There are just the laws. That we are a more complex construct within those laws and can manipulate the world around us, in obeyance of those laws, to help our species adapt and survive, does not make us an "expansion of natural law".
    Natural laws did not evolve wings. Natural laws have not changed. One of the manifestations of those natural laws - i.e. life - did evolve wings. But the universe before wings and after wings operate in exactly the same way, in accordance with exactly the same laws.
    You seem to be using a rather odd definition for the laws of nature. And you seem to be removing humans from being part of nature. Yes, there are meanings of "nature" that attempt to distinguish between things from "artificial", but when you're talking about the Laws of Nature you are talking about laws that go beyond the possibly inaccurate laws of science and to the very truths by which the universe operate. And humans are very much part and parcel of those laws, and there is no escaping them.
    I'm sure this means something to you. And I'm sure you think it's relevant.
     
  10. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Descartes.

    His famous declaration "I think therefore I am." means that - whether or not we are corporeal, or just imagine we have a physical existence is not relevant to identity. Heck, even if we are a figment of someone's imagination, it still applies.

    There is a thing that is asking the question "do I exist?" Whatever that thing is, it exists. And it is me.
     
  12. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    Nothing is the absence of something . . . . BUT there is always something (or the potential for something, which is something), so 'nothing' is a nonsequiter
     
  13. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    I know that "I exist" . . . whether you or anyone else does is of little import to me!
     
  14. river Valued Senior Member

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    True
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    There was nothing before the BB....


    and this.......
    https://www.astrosociety.org/publications/a-universe-from-nothing/

    A Universe from Nothing
    by Alexei V. Filippenko and Jay M. Pasachoff
    In the inflationary theory, matter, antimatter, and photons were produced by the energy of the false vacuum, which was released following the phase transition. All of these particles consist of positive energy. This energy, however, is exactly balanced by the negative gravitational energy of everything pulling on everything else. In other words, the total energy of the universe is zero! It is remarkable that the universe consists of essentially nothing, but (fortunately for us) in positive and negative parts. You can easily see that gravity is associated with negative energy: If you drop a ball from rest (defined to be a state of zero energy), it gains energy of motion (kinetic energy) as it falls. But this gain is exactly balanced by a larger negative gravitational energy as it comes closer to Earth’s center, so the sum of the two energies remains zero.

    The idea of a zero-energy universe, together with inflation, suggests that all one needs is just a tiny bit of energy to get the whole thing started (that is, a tiny volume of energy in which inflation can begin). The universe then experiences inflationary expansion, but without creating net energy.

    What produced the energy before inflation? This is perhaps the ultimate question. As crazy as it might seem, the energy may have come out of nothing! The meaning of “nothing” is somewhat ambiguous here. It might be the vacuum in some pre-existing space and time, or it could be nothing at all – that is, all concepts of space and time were created with the universe itself.

    Quantum theory, and specifically Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, provide a natural explanation for how that energy may have come out of nothing. Throughout the universe, particles and antiparticles spontaneously form and quickly annihilate each other without violating the law of energy conservation. These spontaneous births and deaths of so-called “virtual particle” pairs are known as “quantum fluctuations.” Indeed, laboratory experiments have proven that quantum fluctuations occur everywhere, all the time. Virtual particle pairs (such as electrons and positrons) directly affect the energy levels of atoms, and the predicted energy levels disagree with the experimentally measured levels unless quantum fluctuations are taken into account.

    Perhaps many quantum fluctuations occurred before the birth of our universe. Most of them quickly disappeared. But one lived sufficiently long and had the right conditions for inflation to have been initiated. Thereafter, the original tiny volume inflated by an enormous factor, and our macroscopic universe was born. The original particle-antiparticle pair (or pairs) may have subsequently annihilated each other – but even if they didn’t, the violation of energy conservation would be minuscule, not large enough to be measurable.

    If this admittedly speculative hypothesis is correct, then the answer to the ultimate question is that the universe is the ultimate free lunch! It came from nothing, and its total energy is zero, but it nevertheless has incredible structure and complexity. There could even be many other such universes, spatially distinct from ours.
    https://www.astrosociety.org/publications/a-universe-from-nothing/
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    The little essay that you quoted below seems to contradict that. That account appeals to 'false vacuum', 'phase transitions', 'quantum theory', 'Heisenberg's uncertainty principle', 'quantum fluctuations' and presumably to all of the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics upon which those ideas rest. There's also the problem that all of the physical principles are justified experimentally (however that's supposed to work) by observing what happens in physical reality. So it isn't even clear how or even if they would apply absent physical reality.

    More fundamentally: If there was nothing before the BB, then where did all of the explanatory principles come from?

    Summing all physical quantities to zero just seems to preserve conservation principles. It doesn't explain why there is something rather than nothing. This kind of speculation (that's all it is) appears to be an attempt to derive physical something from the abstract and rather Platonic something of theoretical physics, and hence an expression of the same kind of implicit metaphysics that we see more explicitly in Mark Tegmark. (The idea that their mathematical principles and formulations are more real than reality itself is probably widespread among theoretical physicists.) Unfortunately, that doesn't bring us any closer to understanding why there are abstract principles of theoretical physics in the first place as opposed to nothing at all.

    Ironically, Krauss thinks that these kind of speculations deal a death-blow to religion. (Dawkins agrees.) But many medieval philosophers of the more Platonist sort believed that our world of flux and change emanated from the unchanging abstract forms and principles residing in God's eternal mind. So all Krauss ultimately accomplishes is restating thoroughly orthodox medieval philosophical theology in a new "scientific" idiom.

    That's just philosophical speculation with some physics jargon tossed in. Sadly, it isn't even good philosophical speculation, since it begs the questions that it purports to answer.

    In my opinion, any attempt to explain the totality of reality itself in terms of anything real, would appear to be circular. So while I think that 'Why does existence exist?' is the greatest of all questions, it's a question that I don't think that human beings will ever successfully answer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
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  17. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Grok'd!!
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Or why did we evolve to such an extent as to be able to and to desire to ask such questions?
    We formulated these laws for our own benefit to apply order and limited understanding to what we see.
    Again, it was the human mind that formulated, fabricated those principles.
    That's why we invented maths.
    While there are still things to explain, science most certainly does not have a monopoly over everything. And while there are still things to explain, people also will go outside the parameters of science to alleviate their confusion, and add comfort to their meaningless life and indulge in religion.
    Sure it is! He admits that himself.

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    Perhaps one day as we evolve further, we may yet be capable of answering with greater certainty.
    Agreed, and perhaps not.
     
  19. Counter Registered Senior Member

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    "But womb is not "nothing"."

    Ah the age old question, "Where do babies come from?" I do not mean biologically. I mean how can two chemicals transform a human into being.

    If there is nothing there will be nothing FOREVER. Something cannot come into being from nothing. This is something (I believe, but have yet to prove) every human proves at the moment of conception. Interestingly when a child's heart first forms it beats, drawing blood away from the mother. This causes her to faint. Do all conceptions cause this fainting??
     
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It would be wise not to model the existence of life on our human "common sense" of something vs. nothing. The existence of life is kind of unprecedented.


    I challenge the veracity of this. I'd like to see where you got this from.
     
  21. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    A lot of words of nothing and their meaning is nothing , so the individual aggrandise himself by using large and unclear meaning.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The fact that he and others, offer explanations that offends your own mythical beliefs, and obviously beyond your comprehension, says plenty.
     
  23. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, if you believe in such things that makes you a knowable individual, it is great.
     

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