My question is why is there something instead of nothing, and is this indicative of a universal will, not god as such...possibly not even sentient, just a Will to be/exist/create?

Because I may be wrong but existing requires energy (stars/planets/universes/people/big bang) and nothingness requires nothing, so surely it's easier for nothing to exist?

Surely it takes more 'effort' for a star to exist than not, and everything returns to entropy/nothing eventually, if I'm not mistaken...so why bother?


I would answer based on the Weak Anthropic Principle.

Even within our Universe, space is actually pretty sparsely populated. Some modern theories of cosmology require a lot of nothing. A lot more nothing than just one largely empty universe. So it is probable, in order to support 'something' there are lots and lots of places where there is nothing, or at least virtually nothing.

But we, being something, are not close to those places. We would find it hard to exist there, as we require energy flow to maintain ourselves. Even if it were easy to get there and stay around, had we originated there we would not have faced the complex challenges that made us into beings capable enough to talk about it.

Our existence is not evidence of the pervasiveness of existence, any more than our body temperature of 98.6F is an indication that this should be the average temperature of the universe. Such a deduction is a premature generalization.

That said, we have good evidence that virtual particles exist: that empty space is constantly falling apart into pairs consisting of a positive and a negative version of some random particle, which temporarily exist and then annihilate each other. Observations like black hole radiation and the nonuniformity of cosmological background radiation make this theory likely. That would support an assumption that there is a tendency toward things existing, if only a slight bias.

Once energy exists, it does not go away. Without some kind of miracle, it is endlessly conserved. So it is not 'more work' to keep the energy around, taking more complex patterns over time, than for it to have come into being to begin with. It would be harder to invent the negative energy necessary to get rid of the accidentally occurring energy.

One current rendition of the Big Bang theory then says it was the bad luck of a particular virtual particle to be trapped in a very small space, and as a result we have a universe. But that eons after that, the star just happens, because the energy released by that trapped particle has to go somewhere, and that star was the easiest place.

  • I like this answer, I think it answers the why energy takes the form of a star/planet/person etc well in so that it was the easiest place for it to go, not necessarily because it 'wanted/willed' to be a star. I think the mystery of why the energy came into existence in the first place is still open but I'm not sure it can be answered. I think my thinking is limited to too small a timeframe to comprehend the fact that a will has anything to do with it, maybe it is just a series of paths of least resistance, over an unimaginable timeframe that lead to a result?
    – Thomas
    Nov 4 '16 at 23:04

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