3

Is nothing really nothing or is it something? Like is 0 something or nothing? And if nothing is something then would it be right to say that if nothing existed, something existed. And something must have always existed?

5
  • 1
    O is a number: it is "something". There are no "nothings". Feb 8, 2022 at 13:59
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? What is nothing? Feb 8, 2022 at 14:00
  • 1
    Once you put a label on nothing that label is something. But labels can be put only when something is around to be them, and nothing can only be singled out then. So no, you are presupposing something to label nothing, to then conclude that something was always there is circular.
    – Conifold
    Feb 8, 2022 at 14:00
  • 1
    Zero is real. Assume that it is "nothing"=no value, no existence, no... and delete the rightmost zero from the amount of your bank account. Do you think that "nothing happened"? Feb 8, 2022 at 14:04
  • See Nothingness Feb 8, 2022 at 15:04

2 Answers 2

4

Contrary as it seems from grammar "nothing" is not a noun. Instead, the word is used to negate sentences:

Nothing moves quicker than light = There is not anything, that moves quicker than light.

0

Yes, I think "nothing" is a "something" and that because of this "something" must have always existed. My rationale is below.

First, it's very important to distinguish between the mind's conception of "nothing" and 

"nothing" itself, in which the mind would not be there.  When I use the term "nothing", I'm talking about "nothing" itself. 

Second, we define "nothing" as the lack of "something" from the perspective of our

minds, which exist and our "something". In the mind, "nothing" just looks like nothing. But, in "nothing" itself, the mind would not be there, so we can't say for sure whether or not "nothing" itself is the lack of all existent entities.

    How can "nothing" be a "something"?  I think it's first important to try and figure out why any “normal” thing (like a book, or a set) can exist and be a “something”. I propose that a thing exists if it is a grouping. A grouping ties stuff together into a unit whole and, in so doing, defines what is contained within that new unit whole.  This grouping together of what is contained within provides a surface, or boundary, that defines what is contained within, that we can see and touch as the surface of the thing and that gives "substance" and existence to the thing as a new unit whole that's a different existent entity than any components contained within considered individually.  This idea of a unit whole or a unity as being related to why things exist isn't new.

Next, when you get rid of all matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts,

laws or constructs of physics/math/logic, possible worlds/possibilities, properties, consciousness, and finally minds, including the mind of the person trying to imagine this supposed lack of all, we think that this is the lack of all existent entities, or "absolute nothing" But, once everything is gone and the mind is gone, this situation, this "absolute nothing", would, by its very nature, define the situation completely. This "nothing" would be it; it would be the all. It would be the entirety, or whole amount, of all that is present. Is there anything else besides that "absolute nothing"? No. It is "nothing", and it is the all. An entirety/defined completely/whole amount/"the all" is a grouping, which means that the situation we previously considered to be "absolute nothing" is itself an existent entity. It's only once all things, including all minds, are gone does “nothing” become "the all" and a new unit whole that we can then, after the fact, see from the outside as a whole unit. One might object and say that being a grouping is a property so how can it be there in "nothing"? The answer is that the property of being a grouping (e.g., the all grouping) only appears after all else, including all properties and the mind of the person trying to imagine this, is gone. In other words, the very lack of all existent entities is itself what allows this new property of being the all grouping to appear.

Some important points are:
  1. Because  the mind's conception of "nothing" and "nothing" itself are two different things, our talking about "nothing" itself (which is derived from the mind's conception of "nothing") doesn't reify "nothing" itself.  Our talking about it has nothing to do with whether or not "nothing" itself exists or not.

  2. Again, it's very important to distinguish between the mind's conception of "nothing" and "nothing" itself, in which no minds would be there. These are two different things.

    There's more on this at:

https://philpapers.org/rec/GRAPST-4

and at my website at:

https://sites.google.com/site/ralphthewebsite/

A physicist in India published a similar idea that the mathematical zero is the basis of

existence at:

Bhattacharyya, S., Zero—A Tangible Representation of Nonexistence: Implications for Modern Science and the Fundamental. Sophia (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11841-021-00870-4

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .