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Questions tagged [existence]

Ontological and metaphysical questions about the study of existence, being and the structure of reality.

8
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11answers
1k views

Proof Universe Came From Nothing?

Consider the following proof: (1) Let the Universe be defined as the set of all things. (2) It is impossible for a thing to come from itself. (You can't be your own parent) (3) 2 implies a set of ...
5
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3answers
725 views

“I think, therefore I am” - How does “I” establish “I” before “I” can “think”?

The famous Cogito ergo sum opens with "I" can think, therefore "I" am. How does "I" establish "I" before "I" can "think"? in other words how did "I" establish "I" before it could think in the first ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

What were Descartes's justifications for the human ability to doubt, and why did he think it was so important?

In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true. This was done in order to build a system of belief that would consist of only ...
4
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2answers
657 views

Is Descarte putting the cart before the horse when he says 'cogito ergo sum'?

Famously Descartes said 'Cogito ergo sum'. I'm a bit puzzled by this. I do not need to think in order to assert/understand/intuit that I exist: when I wake up in the morning I immediately intuit that ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

How should we understand the teletransportation thought experiment?

Please read the short story here:Beam me up First, I'd like to to know whether there is anything inherently inconsistent about this teletransportation idea? Is there fundamental reasons which say it'...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

How well did Aristotle feel his belief in the eternity of the universe was established?

In the Middle Ages, Aristotle's belief that the world was eternal posed a major theological challenge for the many people who held a religious belief in Creation. Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for ...
-3
votes
1answer
783 views

One sentence to describe everything [closed]

How would you put together a reasonably short sentence, in order to describe everything? By everything, I mean that the sentence would be broad enough to cover any possible subject by recursive ...
-2
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1answer
379 views

The meaning of life [closed]

What's the purpose of our existence? :) Religions say that without the made-up gods humans have no purpose to live. Is meeting your maker the ultimate reason to live?
13
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4answers
1k views

Proving that man is not born with certain skills?

I was arguing with my father about the nature of the human mind. I believe that a man is not born with a predetermined skill, such as painter or composer, and that through hard work and dedication, a ...
0
votes
2answers
604 views

Does time exist? [closed]

When we try to define time, we define it based on an event which happens periodically. For example, in a clock,we say that the time elapsed is 1 minute if the second hand completes 1 revolution. Here ...
5
votes
5answers
830 views

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death?

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death? I am asking this because many philosophers have tried to prove the existence of god (Descartes through the Meditations) by saying that he ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

In what sense if any could something without mass or energy exist?

I have long been interested in physics as (working toward) a description of absolute truth and, as a consequence, have had a number of discussions with people with religious and metaphysical beliefs ...
-2
votes
2answers
343 views

What are the latest arguments for/against the existence of God? [closed]

What are the newest or latest arguments for or against the existence of God? What is the state of this debate? After proponents and critics have argued and responded to everything so far, what else ...
32
votes
11answers
1k views

How can one differentiate nonexistent entities?

How is it possible for things that do not exist to not be the same? How can one differentiate nonexistent entities? How can I know the difference between ghosts and werewolves if neither exist?
2
votes
3answers
8k views

Is illogical = not logical?

I think law of excluded middle makes sense to mean that a statement should be either logical or illogical but in this case I don't assume "not logical" = "illogical" since the author didn't say "...
5
votes
3answers
615 views

If ontology is theory of existence, then what is theory of essence?

Some words in philosophy are usually represented as theory of x. For example, logic is the theory of reasoning, epistemology is the theory of knowledge, ontology is the theory of existence, etc. On ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between existing in the mind and non-physical existence?

How could one detect the subtle difference, if any, between imagining a being and using the imagination to interact with a non-physical being? To provide some context for this question, I will give a ...
49
votes
23answers
7k views

Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
2
votes
4answers
855 views

Is it possible to determine an object's nonexistence? [closed]

The fish bowl argument is the observation that things are the way they are not due to some improbable (or otherwise) happenstance but rather because we are completely unfamiliar with the alternative. ...
71
votes
19answers
31k views

Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?

I've heard it postulated by some people that "we can't truly know anything". While that does seem to apply to the vast majority of things, I can't see how 'cogito ergo sum' can possibly be false. ...