Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why is there something rather than nothing?

The question of why there is something rather than nothing has perplexed everyone, especially philosophers, since people started asking philosophical questions. It's so hard to answer that most philosophers have entirely sidestepped the issue to concentrate on other things.

The thing is, the reason why we ask 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' is because existence seems to cry out for an explanation. In other words, the existence of a 'Something' has to be explained, but not a 'Nothing'. 'Nothing' is seen as the default position. From the default position of 'Nothing', the mind asks: 'Nothing should be, so why then is there something?'

Maybe we see the default position as 'Nothing' because we have finite reasoning, and in the world of the finite the default position is 'Nothing'. For example, as a finite thinker you start with '0', and then go up to '1', '2', '3', and so on, ad infinitum. It's because you start with zero as a finite thinker that 'Something' rather than 'Nothing' is more perplexing, because '0' is where all finite thinking starts, and '0' is nothing.

But if you're an infinite being, then you start with infinity '∞', and always end up with infinity. You can never subtract from or add to infinity; take anything finite away from infinity and it's still infinity. So in God's way of thinking, it's completely natural to start off with a 'Something' because you start with a 'Something', that is infinity, whenever you think as an infinite being. And for that reason the situation of there being 'Nothing' would seem utterly bizarre and incomprehensible.

The point is, that if the infinite way of thinking rejects the meaningfulness of the question, then we should see the question as ultimately mistaken because reality comes from the infinite world. It's the infinite way of thinking that is actually the 'natural' way of thinking. Our finite way of thinking is a lesser deviation from the infinite way, which we use because God was restricted to creating partly finite beings (see what I mean by this here) as there can only be one infinity. For these reasons we should dismiss the question as erroneous although as partly finite beings it will always make sense to us. The question might be profoundly puzzling to God, or God might see it as a human eccentricity to ask it.



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