Atheistic Quote of the Day

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nothing

Hopefully this post won't be as vaccuous as the title implies...
The concept of nothingness has always been something I've struggled with. The way I used to explain it to prospective listeners during late night philosophical conversations is as follows:

"Imagine the universe. Generally people think of it as a spherical object. Now imagine what's outside that sphere. If you subscribe to some sort of multiversal theory, just go out as far as you can and imagine what's outside of that. If you've never thought about it before you're probably imagining blackness, but if you have, you're probably struggling to imagine anything at all, which is exactly what should be going on. Blackness doesn't even begin to cover 'nothing.' It's almost unimaginable. How do you visualize, or even idealize something as 'empty' as nothingness?"

The conversation almost never went farther than that... but I have, and I will here. It becomes even more complicated when you think about what nothingess truly means. To understand the word "existence" we need a concept of nothingness to juxtapose it to. Like I've said before, the universe is a relative place. The only way we understand something is by comparing it to something else. So what is existence? The property of not not-existing. But for nothing to... 'exist' (the only verb that comes close to describing it) there cannot be anything else in 'existence'... because... well, because then it wouldn't really be nothingness, now would it? Seems like a bit of a paradox, but we can always chalk it up to the fact that just because our minds require it, doesn't mean that nothingness has a manifestation in reality. It might only exist in our minds.

5 comments:

EDDIEO101 said...

Damn you and your deep thinking Callif!:) I'm so sorry I logged in here at this hour. I should have just gone straight to bed, but now you have my mind spinning.

"Nothing" How do you attempt to explain that which, that, does not exist. Yes our minds tend to make everything relative in an attempt to conceptualize and visualize.

Nothing is the nonexistence of anything. So, isn't it appropriate that we can't explain it? If we could explain it, than it would exist. If it existed than it would be "something". If it was "something" than it would no longer be "nothing".

Does that make any sense Callif? I have great respect for your opinion. So let me know what you think. Because at this hour, I'm not sure if it even makes sense to me.

I do love the way your writing stimulates my mind, though.
But right now, sweet thing, I'm going to bed.

V said...

Let's say...a person asks "What are you reading?" to someone and receives "Nothing" in response, and in this case, it's because that person isn't reading at all. For someone to be reading nothing, s/he must be not-reading. Same goes for anything else...so for "nothing" to exist, it has to be non-existing.

So, just for the sake of discussion, once we imagine "nothing," it exists somewhere (in our minds) and therefore can not be "nothing."

I see the paradoxical quality...nothing, sometimes defined as "the absence of all," can not exist and does not exist, which makes it existent, which makes it non-existent.

Could nothing be the not-doing? (Care to make sense of that...?)

EDDIEO101 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDDIEO101 said...

"I expect death to be *Nothingness* and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to Atheism." - Isaac Asimov

Isaac didn't seem to mind the paradox. So, nor do I.

EddieO101 said...

"Once you can accept the Universe as Matter expanding into Nothing that is Something...
wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."
- Albert Einstein