Stephen Hawking says universe not created by God

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Teleological (September 10, 2010, 09:50:10 AM):
Teleological, you are terribly confused. On the "something coming from nothing" question, you should really read up on quantum mechanics. And... who cares if he doesn't restrict himself to the "classical metaphysical conception"? That conception is based on nothing more solid that human intuition, and, since the universe is not only stranger than we conceive, but stranger that we can possible conceive, there is just no reason to think our intuitions are a guide to truth. Dawkins has a most excellent TED Talk on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_our_queer_universe.html

Michael, it is not an intuition that circles are not squares or triangles have three sides, it is also not an intuition to understand that from nothing, nothing comes. It is a plain and simple logical statement, classical or not is irrelevant. Nothingness cannot become actual by itself. Nothingness has no being. On its own it does not even have the potential to be something simply because nothingness has nothing. If you do not accept this, at least provide some form of logic to support it. Bringing in quantum mechanics to try and confuse quantum vacua or quantum foam or the appearance of virtual particles or whatever with pure nothingness won't help. Heck, even wiki can give you an answer:
Nothing:
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Science

In mathematics, "nothing" does not have a technical meaning. The number zero is often used interchangeably with the term. It could also be said that a set contains "nothing" if and only if it is the empty set, in which case its cardinality (or size) is zero. In other words, the word "nothing" can be an informal term for an empty set.

In physics, the word nothing is not used in any technical sense either. A region of space is called a vacuum if it does not contain any matter, though it can contain physical fields. In fact, it is practically impossible to construct a region of space that contains no matter or fields, since gravity cannot be blocked and all objects at a non-zero temperature radiate electromagnetically. However, even if such a region existed, it could still not be referred to as "nothing", since it has properties and a measurable existence as part of the quantum-mechanical vacuum.


With regards to intuitions (not logical statements), intuitions should at most be pointers to something objective and not be viewed infallible.
cyghost (September 10, 2010, 10:18:02 AM):
Nothingness cannot become actual by itself.
No, you need pabi to mold and work nothingness and form it into somethingness ::)
Michael Meadon (September 10, 2010, 15:15:10 PM):
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Michael, it is not an intuition that circles are not squares or triangles have three sides, it is also not an intuition to understand that from nothing, nothing comes. It is a plain and simple logical statement, classical or not is irrelevant.


That triangles have three sides is definitional; it's a priori. It does not bear on human intuitions about the empirical world, i.e. what is a posteriori. Furthermore, the question of why there is something rather than nothing is an exceptionally complicated topic both in philosophy and cosmology. I don't know the formal literature (I've only read Nozick's Philosophical Investigations on this), so I don't presume to have a strong opinion. I'd suggest that unless you know the literature, you should rather keep quiet as well. Also, how to adequately define "nothing" is itself a complicated question: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/#TheAnyNot
Teleological (September 10, 2010, 15:27:54 PM):
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Michael, it is not an intuition that circles are not squares or triangles have three sides, it is also not an intuition to understand that from nothing, nothing comes. It is a plain and simple logical statement, classical or not is irrelevant.


That triangles have three sides is definitional; it's a priori. It does not bear on human intuitions about the empirical world, i.e. what is a posteriori. Furthermore, the question of why there is something rather than nothing is an exceptionally complicated topic both in philosophy and cosmology. I don't know the formal literature (I've only read Nozick's Philosophical Investigations on this), so I don't presume to have a strong opinion.

So why say others are confused about it? I suggest you don't say others are confused about a complicated topic of which you presume to not have strong opinions or knowledge about the formal literature. Also that "nothing comes from nothing" is also defintional and an a priori logical statement.

I'd suggest that unless you know the literature, you should rather keep quiet as well. Also, how to adequately define "nothing" is itself a complicated question: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/#TheAnyNot

I am familiar with the Aristotelian-Thomistic view and definition of nothingness so we can proceed from there if you like.

Michael Meadon (September 10, 2010, 18:31:49 PM):
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So why say others are confused about it? I suggest you don't say others are confused about a complicated topic of which you presume to not have strong opinions or knowledge about the formal literature. Also that "nothing comes from nothing" is also defintional and an a priori logical statement.

I'm not metaphysician, nor do I know the this literature, but my philosophy degree equips me to spot nonsense when I see it.

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I am familiar with the Aristotelian-Thomistic view and definition of nothingness so we can proceed from there if you like.

I'd rather chew my own arm off. That Thomists still exist is an indictment of philosophy.

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