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Can nothingness exist?

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posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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Can someone help me understand the concept of nothingness existing?
Nothingness means non-existence and how can non-existence exist? Take for example a vacuum, which is meant to be nothing but how can 'nothing' exist. Not sure I I’m explaining it right but yeh.

How can nothingness exist?




posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 06:58 PM
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Of course, the answers aren't certain, but the cutting edge of science today is saying "no".

Emptiness seems to be full of things. Virtual particles and energy, in quantities so vast it makes nuclear explosions look like a firecracker.

The universe is FULL. Where we see "things" there is actually something "missing" from the "fullness".

Like a photographic negative.



The argument can be made philosophically, too. To say "nothingness" is to create a definition. A definition is a statement which ascribes characteristics to some thing. So the definition suffers a logical fallacy... that it is trying to assign characteristics to a thing that say that it doesn't exist.

There's a problem in the definition.

Much like trying to say what happened before the beginning of time. "Happening" is a term whose meaning makes reference to events and causality, both of them requiring the existence of time to make any sense.

So yeah, it's a tough one to nail down.



[edit on 17-11-2007 by dionysius9]



posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 09:55 PM
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can god create a rock he can't lift

did adam and eve have bellybuttons

language is a virus, from outer space



posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 10:32 PM
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I believe your confusion is from not being able to tightly define the concept. Nothingness is more like a category instead of a "thing" or "state". Empty, void, open, without clutter, nothing left, no debts or credits, etc...

The vacuum of space doesn't mean nothing is there, it means removing the "stuff" with mass (and probably light, too). The spacetime curvature can still be there, as far as I am aware. Maybe you need to look at the universe from a different perspective. Even when nothing measurable is there, something is still there. Maybe you should look at it as The Big Bang giving character to the universe, not necessarily "filling it up".

There is a philosophical cartoon with two fish. One turns to the other and says "There is no water." And how could you tell if you are completely emersed in it and depend on it, effectively making you what you are. A fish doesn't have the capacity to describe that. You don't (yet) have the capacity to describe your universe... therefore, "nothingness" is a word you use to decribe a feeling about many things that you don't classify as "something".

Happy journey.



posted on Nov, 17 2007 @ 11:17 PM
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Think of the universe as a bubble. Inside the bubble, we have existence, even in the vacuum of space. Outside the universe, unless there's something bigger, there's nothing.

No way to see the lack of existence or experience it in any way, because existence is closed. Having a hole in existence would break logic.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:15 AM
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no-thing(ness) can exist no more than any or every thing.


nothingness... all encompassing.
..as is everything.

all one.. or.. nothing.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:25 AM
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The existence of nothingness may be possible in the time of death.

(When you die, that is.)



[edit on 18-11-2007 by TheoOne]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:28 AM
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it doesn't exist, but we humans have to place labels on everything. it's just empty space so we have to give it cubic feet measurements, fancy names and things..but there's nothing there..it only exists in our imagination. Because we like mapping places and things, even when they have no mass.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:28 AM
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how so?

..everything that was still is, except you the way you're talking when one dies.

..so how does that leave nothingness?
..your nothingness..? or..

..nothingness in relation to what?

..tricky thing to get stuck in, this question.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:28 AM
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reply to post by AncientVoid
 


I don't know if nothingness exists. I do know that if it ever did then from there on it is all would! does that help?



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:30 AM
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Don't you think that would be sort of illegal when putting "Exist" and "Nothing" in the same sentence?

Therefore, there's no existence if "nothingness" exists, and "nothingness" cannot exist.

[edit on 18-11-2007 by TheoOne]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by AncientVoid
 


To put it another way: If there ever was nothing, then there would allways be nothing from that point on.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:36 AM
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hm. i was just thinking again or.. letting my mind wander. (what's the difference, i see none),
.. and rather than "can nothingness exist"
isn't it more like "does nothingness exist"

makes the answer a hell of a lot easier.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 02:39 AM
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energy can neither be created nor destroyed... right?

so we are, or we aren't.

it is, or it ain't.

everything or nothing
all or none

but doesn't that still make one?

..that's what catches me.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 04:05 AM
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but you cant never prove there's nothing-ness..people will always argue that there's something there. Because you can't see it, it might not exist. but in reality it does.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 05:13 AM
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Originally posted by hollyjo
energy can neither be created nor destroyed... right?

so we are, or we aren't.

it is, or it ain't.

everything or nothing
all or none

but doesn't that still make one?

..that's what catches me.



Ummm energy can be created or destroyed.

Don't believe everything that school teaches you.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by AncientVoid
 


I am voting nay.

(And the fact that you - or anyone, for that matter - have a hard time "imagining" it at all should be a good indicator of its status... : ))

Everything and anything that exists has, by definition, an essence.
The essence of nothingness is... well, nothing.

Wouldn't that, in philosophically more appropriate terms, equal NON-existence?

So, if nothingness were to exist, its existence would consist of... NON-existence.

Good question, as always.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by AncientVoid
 

Of course it could exist.
Actually, you already answered you own question. The "concept" of nothingness exists because you already talked about it.



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by Jazzyguy
Of course it could exist.
Actually, you already answered you own question. The "concept" of nothingness exists because you already talked about it.


Only as a WORD, Jazzguy. ; )
Or, if we were to stretch it, as a "concept" - but an unintelligible one.
It cannot be grasped by the human mind.
So, even it "existed", it would exist outside the realms of the human mind, on an abstract plane.
But since there is very good "evidence" that the human mind is the "creator" of the world as WE see it, it (= such a concept) would bear no relevance to our concept of the world/space.

Essence actually means "being".
Which is why every single thing in existence - even a concept - has to have an essence.

In this case, the essence of nothingness would be NON-existence... ; )

BTW, I know you weren't replying to me - but let's think of this as a cocktail party... ; )




[edit on 18-11-2007 by Vanitas]



posted on Nov, 18 2007 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by jedimiller
it doesn't exist, but we humans have to place labels on everything. it's just empty space so we have to give it cubic feet measurements, fancy names and things..but there's nothing there..it only exists in our imagination. Because we like mapping places and things, even when they have no mass.


IIRC Quantum Mechanics tells us that there has to be something there - Gravity still has an effect in a vacuum therefore there *Must* be something for it to have an affect on. If there were truly nothing in a vacuum - nothingness, void, a massive blankness - then gravity should have no effect on the objects distanced apart in a vacuum.

I hate string theory and all that guff so much because it intrigues me to the point I dribble and can't sleep... it's so infuriatingly incomprehensible..

Especially that silly show, The Elegant Universe.





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