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Can existence be a property?

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posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 10:08 AM
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One of the most intractable questions in philosophy is why there is something rather than nothing. We don't know the answer but we know there is something. There is existence. But it seems to me that existence is not a property of things that are, rather things that are are properties of existence. To show that existence is not a property of things let X have the property 'existence'. In general it makes sense to see a thing and its property as distinct items because if they were not distinct the idea of a property is superfluous.

Assume that X has the property 'existence'. We ask if X, as a distinct reality, exists. If we say No then it is incoherent to say X has a property because non existent things cannot have properties, let alone that of existence. So, X exists in its own right. But this means existence as a property of X is superfluous since X exists anyhow.

This means that existence is not a property because such a property of already existing things would be unnecessary. Existence is what is and has properties rather than the other way round.




posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 10:16 AM
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Things that exist have properties.
there are no things that exist with no properties.
existence can thus be describe as a state of having properties.
However, un-manifested potential may contain properties which do not yet exist.
edit on 22-12-2013 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 10:33 AM
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I feel a chicken and egg scenario on the matter.

I would say... Existence is more like a perspective. One day you see it and another day you don't.
However... What you don't see, can be seen by someone else.

We can also see things, that must exist as we see them, yet they don't. Like starlight that left it's star millions of years ago, and when it finally comes into our sight, the star is non existing.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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I'd have to say that existence is the sum of all properties. Not sure if the that could be considered a property though.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 

EnPassant

Yeah yeah, sure sure. I'm on board with this perspective. The question I would like to toss back is this. What do we do with those sillies who think it is the other way around?



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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rom12345
Things that exist have properties.
there are no things that exist with no properties.
existence can thus be describe as a state of having properties.
However, un-manifested potential may contain properties which do not yet exist.
edit on 22-12-2013 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)


But the question is, What is it that has properties? There must be some ultimate, non material, substance that has properties. The physical universe is a collection of properties but something must be having these properties. In my thinking this substance must be ultimately real and is existence itself. What is said above, about X, is true of all X and must therefore be true of God; God is existence itself (if there is a God, that is)
edit on 22-12-2013 by EnPassant because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 


EnPassant
But the question is, What is it that has properties?


All that exists has properties.
Properties typically have values, most of which change constantly.

An instance of a concept can have the property "exists" : the value of which would be True.

If true, un-manifested concept can have properties, and thus exist as a potential or function.
If false, the properties of the concept are irrelevant.

I would not presume to know the properties of that which they call God.
edit on 22-12-2013 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 01:58 PM
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I think Existence is the essential property of everything we perceive, taken for granted. A thing without the property of Existence would not even be on our mental radar. Thus you can conclude that thoughts exist and anything you can think of exists somewhere. There may be a way to perceive a thing without Existence but I don't think humans can do such.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 03:02 PM
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rom12345
reply to post by EnPassant
 


EnPassant
But the question is, What is it that has properties?


All that exists has properties.
Properties typically have values, most of which change constantly.

An instance of a concept can have the property "exists" : the value of which would be True.

If true, un-manifested concept can have properties, and thus exist as a potential or function.
If false, the properties of the concept are irrelevant.

I would not presume to know the properties of that which they call God.
edit on 22-12-2013 by rom12345 because: (no reason given)


Properties can have properties. For example, matter is a property of energy and matter can have the property 'round' as in a round coin. When you say an instance of a concept can have the property 'exists' you are really talking about a concept as a property. A concept might be of a machine. But when the machine is built it is, if it is made of metal, a property of metal. You are using the word 'exists' in terms of simple language. A concept can only ever be a property (as a concept it is already a property of the mind that conceived it.) True existence is that which is there from the beginning, the substance of all realizable concepts and all being. This substance seems to be mind.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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Socrato
I think Existence is the essential property of everything we perceive, taken for granted. A thing without the property of Existence would not even be on our mental radar. Thus you can conclude that thoughts exist and anything you can think of exists somewhere. There may be a way to perceive a thing without Existence but I don't think humans can do such.


But my point is that existence is not a property at all. For example you may, in simple language, say an apple exists. But the quality 'apple' is not an existence, it is a property of the matter that makes up the apple. 'Apple' is a property. Likewise with all things you can name, they are properties of something else and everything is ultimately a property of existence.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 

There is a general problem you are looking at that has a basis in information and computer science; specifically with regards to hierarchies/taxonomies versus tags. Tags are things that are properties of an item. Hierarchies place items as either parents, peers, or children.

Tags can often easily be made into a hierarchy. However tags don't necessarily require a hierarchy.

To illustrate this lets look at an example:

House, TV, owner

The owner might be trying to catalog things he recently purchased.

Owner (tags: house, tv)

This could be represented as:

Owner
|-House
|-TV

or

Owner
|-House
|__|-TV

The second hierarchy shows what the owner has and the order in which they are contained.

In another scenario we might want to understand how things are spatially arranged. Like so:

House
|-Owner
|-TV

This shows the house contains the owner and the tv.

Basically a hierarchy is a reflection of a relationship between items that can change relative to the question being asked.

What you seem to be trying to get at is, "What is more essential?"

"Existence" or "the thing that exists"

Do things come in to existence (a property) or is existence all there is- so things must come from it? (existence as a universal)

Then you show it is a bit of a tautology,

"This means that existence is not a property because such a property of already existing things would be unnecessary."

This would indicate that existence, as a property versus a hierarchical model, would put the "thing" and "existence" on the same level as peers. Neither is the parent or the child. They are cosubstantial.

There is another way to think about the question though.

To really answer what is more essential, lets think about something imaginary like a unicorn.

Is existence a property of unicorns? No and yes, depending on your meaning.

If you mean do they exist on planet earth in the present day. The answer is no. However if we were to ask do they exist in fiction? Then most certainly.

So existence is a property of a domain and nonexistence is a property of something outside the domain.

The intersecting "and" (or conjunction) between existence and nonexistence occurs when the domain expands.

Meaning if I am a genetic engineer and I splice in the appropriate GATC sequence of a gazelle with a horse's DNA. Then we just brought our mythical unicorn into existence. The Venn diagram overlaps and it transitions from "not in reality" to "into reality."

Existence is a place, imaginary or real. It just depends where and when.
edit on 2013-12-22 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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Consciousness transcends all that can possibly be understood as matter .

For me the idea that consciousness exist presents that consciousness it tangible and observable and it is. When a neuron fires not only is there a clearly observable effect, there is also a quantum effect.

This effect is measurable with regard to EPR Paradox, we need not consider Penrose's works but that offers a perspective. In consideration, the electro-chemical effect generated by thought is quantum entangled, with its surroundings. In retrospect some can claim that the effect is minimal but if quantum mechanics has shown us anything, is that fundamentally, minimal effects have transcendent potential.

Any thoughts?
edit on 22-12-2013 by Kashai because: Content edit



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 05:50 PM
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Also implied is that Consciousness has a wave function that constitutes all of reality, that can be collapsed.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


The concept of the hierarchy is a property of the mind. If nothing existed from the very beginning no universe could have arisen from it. This means there was something from the beginning from which the universe arose because the universe and everything in it is a property. The property 'universe' could not exist unless there was substance, in the beginning, to make it manifest. This is why Hawking is wrong when he says the universe came out of absolutely nothing at all. What I am saying is that the something that existed from the beginning cannot be a property or it would be preceded by the thing that makes it a property. The something that is from the beginning exists and it not a property, it is existence itself. In the beginning there was existence. Existence is the substance of all things. Things are properties of existence. If you say things have the property of existence you will see that the thing you are talking about is actually a property and it is ultimately a property of existence so existence cannot be a property of it.

To say that an apple exists and therefore existence is a property of the apple is incorrect and is only the result of habitual thinking. It is merely a semantic habit. The apple is a property of existence.
edit on 23-12-2013 by EnPassant because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-12-2013 by EnPassant because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 


What I am trying to get across is something kind of odd.

"Existence is all the things that are, were, and will be."

That is how you are talking about existence.

Then I tried to illustrate that existence can also arguably more accurately represent things that currently exist.

So to continue with the example of the apple.

If we are talking about a real apple in a fruit basket in your home. There was a time it didn't exist. There is a time it does exist. And then there will be a time when it no longer exists.

There was even a time when the "template" of what an apple is didn't exist because the plant hadn't come into existence yet.

These two definitions hopefully get across what I see as being rather curious.

Existence is the whole "axis" and existence is also broken up into "manifested" (physical) and "not manifested" (imaginary).



I have this strange feeling that somehow the whole axis sort of folds in on itself over the half. Something like x*(3π/2) mod 2π.




If nothing existed from the very beginning no universe could have arisen from it. This means there was something from the beginning from which the universe arose because the universe and everything in it is a property.


I have a fairly unique view on zero (definition). So we probably would be speaking at cross-purposes if we were to get into the nothing → something debate, but I would love to take it further.


Thanks for the lively discussion.
edit on 2013-12-23 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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Xtraeme
reply to post by EnPassant
 


What I am trying to get across is something kind of odd.

"Existence is all the things that are, were, and will be."

That is how you are talking about existence.

Then I tried to illustrate that existence can also arguably more accurately represent things that currently exist.

So to continue with the example of the apple.

If we are talking about a real apple in a fruit basket in your home. There was a time it didn't exist. There is a time it does exist. And then there will be a time when it no longer exists.

There was even a time when the "template" of what an apple is didn't exist because the plant hadn't come into existence yet.

These two definitions hopefully get across what I see as being rather curious.

Existence is the whole "axis" and existence is also broken up into "manifested" (physical) and "not manifested" (imaginary).



I have this strange feeling that somehow the whole axis sort of folds in on itself over the half. Something like x*(3π/2) mod 2π.




If nothing existed from the very beginning no universe could have arisen from it. This means there was something from the beginning from which the universe arose because the universe and everything in it is a property.


I have a fairly unique view on zero (definition). So we probably would be speaking at cross-purposes if we were to get into the nothing → something debate, but I would love to take it further.


Thanks for the lively discussion.
edit on 2013-12-23 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)


Again you are using the word 'apple' as existence in ordinary language 'The apple exists'. But 'apple' is a property. Existence has the property 'apple'. Imaginary and actual things are properties. Existence is not a state it is a substance. In the beginning there was existence. Existence took on properties such as 'apple' 'star' 'concept' etc. My whole point is that existence is at the heart of everything. 'The apple exists' is not a true statement. 'Existence has the property apple' is more correct because existence precedes the apple. It precedes everything. You need to get rid of ordinary language. We can say 'The apple is' if we mean the property 'apple' is there but not 'The apple exists'. Existence exists and it is the only thing that exists, all else is property. If God exists God is equivalent to existence. There is no difference. Replace X, in my first post, with 'God'.
edit on 23-12-2013 by EnPassant because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 


I understood your point. If I hadn't I wouldn't have said, "Existence is all the things that are, were, and will be." I am trying to say that the two ideas (existence as a temporal *observable* thing and existence as all there is) are actually interconnected in a bizarre way.


Imaginary and actual things are properties.


Exactly. This is why I said the whole "axis" is "existence" and the subcomponents of what we typically refer to as "imaginary" or "manifested" are the positive and negative parts of the axis. I am saying that somehow these things fold in on themselves to transition between the halves.

Does that make sense? (asking honestly I realize it may not)

Basically you can think of the positive half as "manifested existence" and the negative half as "imaginary existence." So when I said, "... existence is a property of a domain and nonexistence is a property of something outside the domain." Since you include everything in the domain; existence includes everything

The oddity is that when we start thinking "everything that is, is a part of existence." Then it starts to seem muddy to talk about "imaginary" or "manifest" because they all just are a part of existence. Meaning theoretically at some point all things will have manifested. So the entire axis is manifest without an imaginary part and the axis sort of changes where the origin lies (instead of at zero, it starts at -∞).

I get the feeling that this is what you are saying when you say that "existence" is the root node. It's a starting point and everything else comes from it. Think of this as the point on the far left with the ray pointing right (i.e. next to where it says "The whole thing (possibly with direction)").



Yet at the same time we can see that there are the two halves as properties for how we subdivide existence in the observable world (apple didn't exist as even an idea, the template comes into being, then there are instances of apples, but each apple instance first doesn't exist, then exists, then doesn't exist again). That is why I can't shake that somehow this whole totalizing component maps to a half at times, but also in other moments represents the entire axis. The best I can do to describe this sort of behavior is to try to give it this quasi-mathematical (x*(3π/2) mod 2π) / graphical representation.



Imagine this is just a top-down view of what we originally thought was a line or a line segment. The bottom half (Q3/Q4) shows us the whole axis when viewed side-on. The top shows us just one half (Q2).
edit on 2013-12-23 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 05:55 PM
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Man, you don’t mess around with the trivial issues, do you? You ask a very deep, thought provoking question. You get 2 thumbs up from me for that one.

Anyway, as I understand it, existence as a property has been debated by philosophers, metaphysicists, mathematicians, logicians and the like since at least the days of Aristotle. And, as far as I know, to this day there is no consensus on it. There are a few different schools of thought on it, but no single one agreed upon by all.

I kinda think of it in terms of mathematics/set theory, which includes the empty/null set; the set containing no elements. In a sense it’s like the number 0 in number theory, which is a number with no value. You might think, since the empty set has no elements, then the empty set itself doesn’t exist. But, on the other hand you could equally say that it must exist, as it has properties; the property being “it contains no elements”. I believe the pretty much accepted view is that a shared property of all sets is that they contain at least one member being the empty set.

Now, a hypothetical situation. Imagine for a minute that there exists multiple universes. Furthermore, these universes form clusters, similar to the way stars and galaxies do. In that scenario you could view these clusters as sets having the properties of containing both individual universes, as well the empty set. The universes come and go over time (everything has a life), the extinct universes joining the empty set. I’m probably way off base here, but it would then seem to me that both our existence and nonexistence (when we bite the dust) are valid properties of that set.

I don’t know. Just taking a stab at it. One site that might shed a little more light on the subject would be the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. They attempt to explain “existence” there.

Anyway, great question, EnPassant. Wish I had an answer. I’ll defininately check in from time to time to read what others come up with.

Adios.



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by EnPassant
 


Existence and property are 2 words describing the same things, properties/property exists, that which exists is properties. Existence is the fact that there is something rather then nothing, that which is something is someway, the way that the something is, is known as properties, or that information which can describe and detail that which exists. Because that which exists is a certain way, and the certain way that that which exists is, is known as that which exists properties.

Its 2 sides of the same coin, literally like asking is a quarter heads or tails? A quarter exists, it is the sum of its properties.
edit on 23-12-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)


The properties in order to get a general pizza to exist are dough, sauce, cheese. Take away dough, sauce and cheese, and your pizza does not exist.
edit on 23-12-2013 by ImaFungi because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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A semantic rabbit hole !
In this i fear, the words 'property' and 'existence'
are overburdened with multiple meanings and contexts,
also with seemingly interchangeable dominance.

It may serve well to define terms explicitly:

I think a "property" is a descriptor for a quantifiable aspect of an item, real or conceptual.

As for the domain, I wonder,
If truly nothing existed,
would the non manifested potential to exist remain ?






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