I find myself incessantly returning to the brute mystery of existence, and find Leibniz’s pioneering answer to the fundamental question of metaphysics (as it is sometimes referred to) 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' painfully unsatisfactory. Neither do modern attempts armed with the anthropic principle and the explanatory tool kit of multiverse cosmology bring a satisfactory outcome, as far as I'm concerned.
My current reflections confront logical reasons – identified by some philosophers – of our inability to satisfactorily answer this question. Some claim, as Roy Sorensen observes (SEP), that the question 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' is unanswerable. The question stumps us by imposing an impossible explanatory demand, namely, to deduce the existence of something without using any existential premises.
Venturing upon those ruminations once again, this morning I wondered whether the most universal of ontological categories, that of existence, along with its various modalities, may not be just one of a number of fundamental categories, or not even among fundamental ones to some other, cosmic mind – a mind that would see our limits as we see those of a toddler's inability to run the marathon. The mystery of existence need not be any more fundamental to such minds than some empirical fact to us, and as such not holding any special explanatory requirement. To such minds, the reason why there is something rather than nothing may have a caliber of metaphysical profundity no greater than asking why the sky is blue.
What I mean by other, more general fundamental categories, is a cosmic state of affairs whereby existence is a contingent property of another kind of "stuff". It is generally agreed that predicating existence of entities is a category error, thus on this grounds, Anzelm's famous ontological proof falls short of delivering the goods. But what follows if we allow it, but methodically? That is, what if we boldly allow existence to be a property of the universally ubiquitous slithy toves that gimble mimsly every now and then? And a contingent property at that, whereby the brilling frequency determines whether the slithy toves have it quibberly, intermittently or in a number of other modes of gimbling? That is, what if to some cosmic minds Anzelm's argument is not fallacious? But even so, this presumably wouldn't be a satisfactory answer to the question, which isn't conclusively answered but rather supplanted by its "broader" counterpart "Why the slithy toves gimble at all?"
The aporias, which confront us with limits to reasonable explanation may very well be nothing less than the limits of our cognition – necessary limits, venturing beyond which would depart from any sense and meaning – one could delve so far into the mystery’s darkness as to abandon any possibility of even articulating the potential discoveries. This may even explain why such aporias exist, e.g. whether the universe has a beginning or is eternal, and why, in their essence, they conjure necessarily incomplete and unsatisfactory explanations. This inability to bring forth a satisfactory explanation to conundrums that span the limits of our cognition is much like trying to evoke deep emotion through a masterful symphony that is limited to being conveyed via the dull clanging of a stick against stone.
To sum up the above rumination, it suffices to say that the impossibility of meeting this explanatory demand seems to stem from the fact of existence – being a fundamental category of thought – places a limit on what it means to explain anything.