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Philosophy

Why is there Something rather than Nothing?

It really is a mystery.

The first – and quite probably last – question will always have to be this one. All of our logical, mathematical and physical technologies or explanations and the essential cognitive hyper-extension of conceptual or material artefacts and information or energy-processing (i.e. computational) systems that we inhabit (and that equally, inhabit us) – this is all in some sense “real”. Why, however, is anything real at all?

There seems to be no essential necessity for our world, no reason that this (or any other) Cosmos might have occurred rather than not and in which case – that is, had it not happened – none of us would even be here as the sentient, intelligent results of a long and turbulent 13.78 billion year causal chain of logical evolution.

Is it possible that even the absence of a thing, that is – of a world or Cosmos – is only itself possible by inverse relationship to the presence of a thing and that in some counter-intuitive way the spontaneous emergence of a hyper-inflating spacetime is the necessary consequence and logical corollary of a nothingness and essential void that, in this way as divided against itself, brings or calls itself into existence, bootstrapped and unintelligible, impossible, perfectly paradoxical and completely mystifying?

This is the original Cloud of Unknowing and in acquiescing to the potentially unanswerable nature of such questions we do not need to assert that there is no “reason” for a world to exist, but rather that such existence is of a class of entities which possess – strictly-speaking – neither existence or non-existence and finding ourselves intimately and inextricably embedded in this apparent mystery we should have no better purpose than to accept that something, indeed, is occurring here and even if that may indeed and quite literally be (a special kind of) nothing, it is still worth investigating.

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