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Frank Merton

About nothing

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There is no such thing as nothing. It is a contradiction in terms.

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Well, nothing is no thing, isn't it; it isn't something in itself, it's an absence of anything else. So no, there is no such thing as nothing, but I think it is true to itself in that it says what it isn't.

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I alaways thought nothing was Zero ?

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Zero is the infinitesimal (infinitely small) point on the number line between the positive and the negative numbers. Is it really something -- we give it a name?

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Comes in kind of handy in math. Thank you, India for 0.

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Actually what I am after is something less abstract than zero, although zero is worth a good long conversation.

If time is quantized, what is "between" each Plank moment? If time is not quantized, how does it ever get anywhere?

Where is an electron when it "jumps" between shells?

What was before the beginning of time? If "nothing," (which I think is the correct answer), what does that mean?

Can you make sense out of my asserting that nothing cannot exist and still saying that there was nothing before the beginning of time? How about, "nothing is not something.?

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Posted (edited)

Nothing , and nothingness, are words we use to describe the complete absence of matter&energy. ( I think nothingness is an odd word.. it seems to give "nothing" a quality or a state )

I don't believe in nothing (lol) ... something cannot come from nothing.

We also use the word nothing in these ways :

nothing |ˈnəTHiNG|pronoun not anything; no single thing: I said nothing | there's nothing you can do | they found nothing wrong.• something of no importance or concern: “What are you laughing at?” “Oh, nothing, sir.” | they are nothing to him | [ as noun ] : no longer could we be treated as nothings.• (in calculations) no amount; zero.

adjective [ attrib. ] informalhaving no prospect of progress; of no value: he had a series of nothing jobs.

adverb not at all: she cares nothing for others | he looks nothing like the others.• [ postpositive ] informal used to contradict something emphatically: “This is a surprise.” “Surprise nothing.”

Edited by lightly
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is not "nothing" essentially similar to the concept of Nirvana? Don't they basically mean the absence of anything, so they're both essentially "meaningless" terms, in that they mean, literally, nothing?

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is not "nothing" essentially similar to the concept of Nirvana? Don't they basically mean the absence of anything, so they're both essentially "meaningless" terms, in that they mean, literally, nothing?

I don't think of Nirvana as nothing. It would be called that if that is what it were. Still, some of the more extreme notions about it suggest such a thing.

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Nothing , and nothingness, are words we use to describe the complete absence of matter&energy. ( I think nothingness is an odd word.. it seems to give "nothing" a quality or a state )

/>

Well, absence of matter and energy describes empty space, which to me is something.

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Posted (edited)

*snip*

Edited by Saru
Video removed for copyright reasons

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Unbelievable that they tackle this on a popular level, pseudo-dramatics and all. At first all the flashiness turned me off, but I decided to be patient and see it through. Although the film necessarily simplifies things to the point of seeming arbitrary, if one is willing to accept what they say unquestioningly, one gets an idea of it all.

The point is that space/time is a thing. It is not "nothing." Among other things it is responsible for inertia and, of course, gravity. At the quantum level space/time is a seething ocean, and who knows what it becomes at the far smaller scales of Plank and company.

This is physics. I am more interested in philosophy. What is "nothing" and can it exist. Well of course if there is nothing, then nothing exists, so it exists and it doesn't exist. (The White Knight asks Alice to look down the road and tell him what she sees. She replies, "nothing." "Wow, what great eyesight, to be able to see nothing at at such a distance."

Of course that is wordplay. If there was a beginning of time, then there was no "before." We don't say, "nothing" was before in the sense that this thing -- nothing -- was there. We say "nothing" was before because there was no thing. No time, no space, no energy, no forces, no thought, no mind.

It is much like the "nothing" that exists between the "moments" of Plank time. There is no interval there from its perspectiuve, although from the outside we measure one. From all eternity to the beginning of time is nothing -- no "from" to be worried about -- a big zero of units of time.

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Posted (edited)

I understand but then there wouldnt be darkness because that would be something, I think its hard for people to visualize nothing, atleast it is for me. I mean like it was said before nothing is the absence of everything. My fault I didnt know you were trying to go the philisophical way :blush:

Edited by R4z3rsPar4d0x

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One interesting concept I got out of the film was that information cannot be destroyed; if you are smart enough you can reconstruct stuff, and that stuff is reducible to bits (ones and zeros) describing it.

That sounds like a conservation principle, except they didn't say nothing can create information, but I wonder if that wouldn't necessarily follow. In that case all the information of the present universe existed in that "nothing" that was not before the Big Bang.

I think I had better go to bed.

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In one sense nothing is the unknown. If I haven't learned calculus, calculus is nothing for me, for my mind. Maybe the ultimate nothing is like this, the unknowable. A non-conceptional non-concept that we try to define and conceptualize anyway using words. An impossible task in my opinion.

The best way I can comprehend nothing is trying to see what is behind my head. I can't see behind my head, so visually that is an example of nothing for me.

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snapback.pnglightly, on 24 March 2013 - 08:23 AM, said:

Nothing , and nothingness, are words we use to describe the complete absence of matter&energy. ( I think nothingness is an odd word.. it seems to give "nothing" a quality or a state )

Well, absence of matter and energy describes empty space, which to me is something.

oops i forgot about space and time ... Still , we've all heard the expression "in the Nothingness of space" ? :whistle: ( and i'm not so sure space/time exists with Nothing in it?) But ya, nothing is less than that. It does not exist.. at all.. ever..never Which leaves us with.. Something ?

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Like I use to wonder If there were ever spots in space where there were no stars that shined light, so essentially it would be just a dark spot, but yeah I mean I see nothingness as just darkness but even thats something. This is a very complicated subject for me to grasp for some reason :no:

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If nothing is something then

The act of giving a name/label to the notion or "condition" where there is not any thing of any nature whatsoever is the creation of something from no thing?

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Olber's paradox asks why the sky is mostly dark if the universe is endless; eventually in every line of sight you should eventually encounter a star. Of course now we know the universe has only existed a limited time, so the light from most of those stars has not had time to reach us, and actually never will as they many are receding faster than the speed of light (they are not themselves moving so fast -- the space they are in is).

I wonder about the beginning of time. Whether there was something before the Big Bang or not is not the issue. Time itself had to have some sort of beginning or it could not have gotten here (a paradox of infinity that it takes infinity to cross infiniy). There would have been nothing "before" the beginning of time, not empty eons but absolutely no time.

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"Nothing" is "non-existence".

We have no idea what it is to not-exist, so there we have the source for the belief in an afterlife and the belief in God or gods starting creation.

"There must be something outthere". We want to fill voids we cannot handle with concepts we can,

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Posted (edited)

Olber's paradox asks why the sky is mostly dark if the universe is endless; eventually in every line of sight you should eventually encounter a star. Of course now we know the universe has only existed a limited time, so the light from most of those stars has not had time to reach us, and actually never will as they many are receding faster than the speed of light (they are not themselves moving so fast -- the space they are in is).

I wonder about the beginning of time. Whether there was something before the Big Bang or not is not the issue. Time itself had to have some sort of beginning or it could not have gotten here (a paradox of infinity that it takes infinity to cross infiniy). There would have been nothing "before" the beginning of time, not empty eons but absolutely no time.

I thought they say that time began at the moment the big bang happened

Edited by R4z3rsPar4d0x

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Posted (edited)

solipsistic

Edited by Lord Vetinari

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Trying to imagine what "nothing" was before a Big Bang always makes my brain hurt.

Although "nothing" exists as a concept, I don't think it can't exist in reality (other than a mathematical integer value). It's the ultimate "if the tree falls in the woods" scenario. If there were "nothing", no one would be around to witness it.

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There is no such thing as nothing. It is a contradiction in terms.

I happen to agree. Nothingness itself is something, therefore there is no such thing as nothing. The question comes however, what is that something/nothing, uh, thing?

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Posted (edited)

Oh interesting thread. I made one just like it today in the Science section lol. Forgive me, I did a search on "nothing" but nothing turned up. Anyways, if the mods see this i guess the other thread can be merged with this one or i can repost the information for now:

What is nothing? Physicists Debate

NEW YORK — It was all much ado about nothing as physicists and thinkers came together to debate the concept of nothing Wednesday (March 20) here at the American Museum of Natural History.

The simple idea of nothing, a concept that even toddlers can understand, proved surprisingly difficult for the scientists to pin down, with some of them questioning whether such a thing as nothing exists at all.

The first, most basic idea of nothing — empty space with nothing in it — was quickly agreed not to benothing. In our universe, even a dark, empty void of space, absent of all particles, is still something.

"It has a topology, it has a shape, it's a physical object," philosopher Jim Holt said during the museum's annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, which this year was focused on the topic of "The Existence of Nothing."

As moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum's Hayden Planetarium, said, "If laws of physics still apply, the laws of physics are not nothing." [Endless Void or Big Crunch: How Will the Universe End?]

http://www.livescience.com/28132-what-is-nothing-physicists-debate.html

Edited by Render

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