Friday, December 17, 2010

Why is there something rather than nothing?

This question has been asked not only by children but occasionally (perhaps it should be more often) by philosophers. Wittgenstein considered it of utmost philosophical importance and spiritually importance as well. One answer I have heard a philosopher give (actually, not his answer but another philosopher's) is that since there is only one state nothingness can be in but an infinite number (in fact, uncountably infinite) of states of existence (at least something) can be in, existence is far more probable.

But my objection to this is analogous to Kant's objection to the use of existence as a property; it's not a property but a condition for having properties. Complete nonexistence or nothingness is not a "state," rather, existence is a condition for all possible states while complete nonexistence is not one of any of those possible states.

It might then be said that existence and non existence are metastates and if so, then there are just two metastates. If both are equally probable then it just so happens that there is existence.

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