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Philosophy 101


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Something that's been bugging me the last few days:

 

What is nothing? Does it even exist?

 

Something that exists is, per definition, something, right? So claiming that nothing exists would be a contradiction. But then again, discussing the concept of nothing makes it something, otherwise you wouldn't be able to discuss it. Therefore, nothing would exist in our minds only.

 

 

From a philosophical point of view, the concept of "nothing" can have many interpretations. In fact, one can't even say that nothing does or does not exist. One cannot sense, see, feel, or think nothing. There is no contact with nothing. Nothing is where everything isn't. Visualizing "nothing" would make "something". It could be seen as a physical void or as just a word which only has meaning when used to describe a relationship between different "somethings". A single "correct" definition of nothing could be considered impossible, since "right" and "wrong" do not fit within the confines of nothing.

 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing

 

What I'm trying to get to is: IF nothing does not and can not exist, has there always been something? If so, there would never have been a beginning of time. An absolute beginning of everything is what comes right after nothing. If there has never been nothing, there can be no beginning.

 

It's so hard trying to rationalize something that falls beyond the realm of reason.

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Nothingness is required to make sense of mathematics. Hence one could argue it is proven to exist.

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In purely philosophical terms before you define nothing, you have to define something.

 

So define it.

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It's so hard trying to rationalize something that falls beyond the realm of reason.

If you look at all the possible numbers (fractions) you can fit in just between the numbers 2 and 3, you'll see that there can fit an infinite number of fractions (i.e. 2.1 2.2 2.21 2.211 etc.)

 

You would think the universe would run out of space to store all those numbers, especially if the universe is of a finite size.

 

If you can't write down the exact number of Pi, how come you can still see circles everywhere ?

 

If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do the make the pan stick to it ?

 

The universe is full of mindboggling paradoxes :ph34r:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Circular arguments are fun and pointless. :p

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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Which leads me to a different viewpoint...how does undefined relate to nothing.

Easy :)

 

If you can only define nothing by the exclusion of something, you have a circular defniton.

 

It's effectively undefined by such logic.

 

Do I get a cookie ? :-

 

Now is somebody (as opposed to nobody) could define something beyond using not nothing, then nothing could be defined :wub:

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Physically it's necessary to distinguish three things: the vacuum, the emptiness and the nothing. The vacuum is a space not filled for any matter, nor solid, nor liquid, nor gaseous, nor plasma. But it can contain fields: electric fields, magnetic fields, gravitational fields, light, radio waves or other not material fields. The emptiness already would be a space void of matter and any other thing-fields, light, even waves. But the emptiness is still empty space, that is, it possesses the capacity to fit something, but it does not encompass any physically tangible entity. Although, complete emptiness does not exist in the Universe since all the space is filled with gravitational fields and the light that travels through it, neutrinos and other particles and fields, even rarefied are contained within it as well. But not even space itself exists in nothing, and it does not have the ability to be filled with something. Nothing is not a place.

Once again from Wiki.

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if we use that definition I would say nothingness doesn't exist.. however paradoxal that sentence may be! but that's just semantics..

 

I agree- surely nothingness is a concept used in things like maths and science, but it doesn't actually exist in the real world, because even when there is a space with nothing in it, that space is defined by the somethings around it, making it also a thing. Like a Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

 

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Physically it's necessary to distinguish three things: the vacuum, the emptiness and the nothing. The vacuum is a space not filled for any matter, nor solid, nor liquid, nor gaseous, nor plasma. But it can contain fields: electric fields, magnetic fields, gravitational fields, light, radio waves or other not material fields. The emptiness already would be a space void of matter and any other thing-fields, light, even waves. But the emptiness is still empty space, that is, it possesses the capacity to fit something, but it does not encompass any physically tangible entity. Although, complete emptiness does not exist in the Universe since all the space is filled with gravitational fields and the light that travels through it, neutrinos and other particles and fields, even rarefied are contained within it as well. But not even space itself exists in nothing, and it does not have the ability to be filled with something. Nothing is not a place.

Once again from Wiki.

Doesn't this answer the original question?

 

Space in philosophy

Main article: Philosophy of space and time

Space has a range of definitions.

  • One view of space is that it is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a set of dimensions in which objects are separated and located, have size and shape, and through which they can move.
     
  • A contrasting view is that space is part of a fundamental abstract mathematical conceptual framework (together with time and number) within which we compare and quantify the distance between objects, their sizes, their shapes, and their speeds. In this view space does not refer to any kind of entity that is a "container" that objects "move through".

These opposing views are relevant also to definitions of time. Space is typically described as having three dimensions, and that three numbers are needed to specify the size of any object and/or its location with respect to another location. Modern physics does not treat space and time as independent dimensions, but treats both as features of spacetime

OBSCVRVM PER OBSCVRIVS ET IGNOTVM PER IGNOTIVS

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OPVS ARTIFICEM PROBAT

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^By that definition, nothing would be something, since we can imagine it.

 

Can we?

nothing is undefinable because we are incapable of comprehension. the human mind requires somthing and thus when we imagine nothing we see somthing, namly the color black.

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^By that definition, nothing would be something, since we can imagine it.

 

Can we?

nothing is undefinable because we are incapable of comprehension. the human mind requires somthing and thus when we imagine nothing we see somthing, namly the color black.

 

It is presumptuous to assume that people assume nothing to be the color black.

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^By that definition, nothing would be something, since we can imagine it.

 

Can we?

nothing is undefinable because we are incapable of comprehension. the human mind requires somthing and thus when we imagine nothing we see somthing, namly the color black.

 

It is presumptuous to assume that people assume nothing to be the color black.

I was running on hyperbole...

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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