AgapeFire

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In a debate and/or conversation (possibly both) that I heard Richard Carrier speak in, he said that he had shown in his writings that something can not only come from nothing, but that something always comes from nothing. 

I vaguely recall him telling the audience to check out his writings on this area and him saying (very rough paraphrase, which may be inaccurate):

"When you have nothing, that means you have no constraints on what is possible,  Therefore, everything is possible and everything happens that is possible.  You get everything.  So, you always get something from nothing.  In fact, you get everything."

a.)  Does anyone have Carrier's verbatim thoughts on this? 

b.)  Assuming this rough paraphrase is accurate, why hasn't Carrier won the Nobel Prize or top prize in philosophy for solving such a deep metaphysical question? 

Does Carrier not confuse "nothing" with "something" still?  True nothingness, as Dr. Craig has suggested, would preclude even the potentiality for something.  There's not even potentiality, because that potentiality would be "something."  At least this is how I understand Dr. Craig's version of "nothing."

But, how should we understand potentiality?  Is it really "something"?  Is it even possible to never have potentiality at all?   Potentiality doesn't mean that thing will be instantiated in the actual world, of course, but could potentiality be a necessary something?  Might it have to exist? 

Am I just confused with these concepts?  Thoughts on any of it?

-AF

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« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 10:11:23 pm by AgapeFire »

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Paterfamilia

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Carrier gets a rabbit (and a Deathstar) from nothing.

“ The principle point is that Proposition 4 entails the probability of Nothing spontaneously becoming anything is not zero. It logically cannot be zero. As it only could be if something existed to stop that happening. And by definition nothing exists when there is Nothing to stop that Nothing from becoming something else. And note that whatever then happens will also be totally uncaused, except insofar as it is caused by Nothing itself. Because whatever happens will be uncaused by anything whatever except the logically necessary fact that Nothing cannot limit what comes to exist. As being Nothing, it lacks any forces or constrains to limit what happens.

Of course, what could then come to exist includes time, space, contents, and properties. And indeed this is true even of rabbits and deathstars. By the very definition of those terms, you can’t spontaneously create those things without also creating a spacetime manifold in which they can exist, complete with laws and properties. For instance, an inalienable property of a rabbit is that it has a nonzero width. And for it to be alive requires change (an active metabolism), which requires a nonzero expanse of time. As well as all the laws of physics needed to realize the rabbit and hold it together, from atomic bonds to inverse square laws, even the basic forces and particles of the Standard Model. Otherwise, it would entail a logical contradiction to say anything else that Nothing spontaneously generated could aptly be called “a rabbit.”

Here - https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14486
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Paterfamilia

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My reading of this didn’t uncover what he was talking about in describing nothing as still containing anything that is logically necessary.   I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I did look for what this “logically necessary” thing might be.

It seems to me that this is where we have to keep in mind that logic is causally impotent.  He is making a positive statement that a state of nothingness has no physic that prevents anything from happening, ergo, anything can happen.  And if a rabbit happens to happen out of nothing (since nothing exists to prevent a rabbit from happening out of nothing), well, it is a universe unto itself.  Voila - multiverse!

Logically sound - utterly false.  (And embarrassingly silly)
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belorg

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My reading of this didn’t uncover what he was talking about in describing nothing as still containing anything that is logically necessary.   I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I did look for what this “logically necessary” thing might be.

It seems to me that this is where we have to keep in mind that logic is causally impotent.  He is making a positive statement that a state of nothingness has no physic that prevents anything from happening, ergo, anything can happen.  And if a rabbit happens to happen out of nothing (since nothing exists to prevent a rabbit from happening out of nothing), well, it is a universe unto itself.  Voila - multiverse!

Logically sound - utterly false.  (And embarrassingly silly)

If i recall correctly, Carrier's view is that absolute nothingness contains absolutely nothing, that is, it doesn't contain any laws, not even the laws of logic.
Nothing doesn't contain the law that "ex nihilo nihil fit",

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kravarnik

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My reading of this didn’t uncover what he was talking about in describing nothing as still containing anything that is logically necessary.   I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I did look for what this “logically necessary” thing might be.

It seems to me that this is where we have to keep in mind that logic is causally impotent.  He is making a positive statement that a state of nothingness has no physic that prevents anything from happening, ergo, anything can happen.  And if a rabbit happens to happen out of nothing (since nothing exists to prevent a rabbit from happening out of nothing), well, it is a universe unto itself.  Voila - multiverse!

Logically sound - utterly false.  (And embarrassingly silly)

If i recall correctly, Carrier's view is that absolute nothingness contains absolutely nothing, that is, it doesn't contain any laws, not even the laws of logic.
Nothing doesn't contain the law that "ex nihilo nihil fit",

It also contains no potentiality, so it cannot become anything, because there's no possibility.

If one assumes that there's "nothing" alongside some set of possible things to exist, then that's not nothing, but rather Plato's realm of forms not being actualized. Which isn't nothing.
"And even if you crush my body and drain it 'til the last drop - you can never touch my spirit, you can never touch my soul. No matter how bleak or how hopeless, no matter how hard or how far - you can never break my conation. Tear the will apart from desire." Insomnium - Weather the storm

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belorg

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My reading of this didn’t uncover what he was talking about in describing nothing as still containing anything that is logically necessary.   I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I did look for what this “logically necessary” thing might be.

It seems to me that this is where we have to keep in mind that logic is causally impotent.  He is making a positive statement that a state of nothingness has no physic that prevents anything from happening, ergo, anything can happen.  And if a rabbit happens to happen out of nothing (since nothing exists to prevent a rabbit from happening out of nothing), well, it is a universe unto itself.  Voila - multiverse!

Logically sound - utterly false.  (And embarrassingly silly)

If i recall correctly, Carrier's view is that absolute nothingness contains absolutely nothing, that is, it doesn't contain any laws, not even the laws of logic.
Nothing doesn't contain the law that "ex nihilo nihil fit",

It also contains no potentiality, so it cannot become anything, because there's no possibility.

If one assumes that there's "nothing" alongside some set of possible things to exist, then that's not nothing, but rather Plato's realm of forms not being actualized. Which isn't nothing.

Well, Carrier would (probably) say that if there is nothing, there is also no law that says that there must be a potentiality in order for something to come into existence.

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Gordon Tubbs

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In order to get something from nothing in the way Carrier says it, he has to assume that some kind of modal power exists (i.e. something) that determines what is and is not possible. Therein lies the contradiction. Possibilities, even if totally unconstrained, are somethings from which other things can come.

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Jabberwock

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In order to get something from nothing in the way Carrier says it, he has to assume that some kind of modal power exists (i.e. something) that determines what is and is not possible. Therein lies the contradiction. Possibilities, even if totally unconstrained, are somethings from which other things can come.

To claim that something cannot come from nothing, you have to assume that some kind of modal power exists that determines what is and is not possible, but then it is not nothing.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Paterfamilia

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He includes the "logical necessity" caveat in his description of nothing, but I couldn't find any listing of what he considers to be logically necessary.
"First I knocked them out of a tree with a rock.  Then I saved them."

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kravarnik

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My reading of this didn’t uncover what he was talking about in describing nothing as still containing anything that is logically necessary.   I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I did look for what this “logically necessary” thing might be.

It seems to me that this is where we have to keep in mind that logic is causally impotent.  He is making a positive statement that a state of nothingness has no physic that prevents anything from happening, ergo, anything can happen.  And if a rabbit happens to happen out of nothing (since nothing exists to prevent a rabbit from happening out of nothing), well, it is a universe unto itself.  Voila - multiverse!

Logically sound - utterly false.  (And embarrassingly silly)

If i recall correctly, Carrier's view is that absolute nothingness contains absolutely nothing, that is, it doesn't contain any laws, not even the laws of logic.
Nothing doesn't contain the law that "ex nihilo nihil fit",

It also contains no potentiality, so it cannot become anything, because there's no possibility.

If one assumes that there's "nothing" alongside some set of possible things to exist, then that's not nothing, but rather Plato's realm of forms not being actualized. Which isn't nothing.

Well, Carrier would (probably) say that if there is nothing, there is also no law that says that there must be a potentiality in order for something to come into existence.

Nothing is the lack of any positive quality. Trying to say that "nothing" is "something", because there's no "law" which states that it cannot be "something", or "become something", is actually arguing for something, rather than nothing.
"And even if you crush my body and drain it 'til the last drop - you can never touch my spirit, you can never touch my soul. No matter how bleak or how hopeless, no matter how hard or how far - you can never break my conation. Tear the will apart from desire." Insomnium - Weather the storm

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kravarnik

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In order to get something from nothing in the way Carrier says it, he has to assume that some kind of modal power exists (i.e. something) that determines what is and is not possible. Therein lies the contradiction. Possibilities, even if totally unconstrained, are somethings from which other things can come.

To claim that something cannot come from nothing, you have to assume that some kind of modal power exists that determines what is and is not possible, but then it is not nothing.

No, this is what actually nothingness entails. If there's no positive quality - consequently of which, not a thing that imputes possibility, or potentiality, or whatever one wants to call the capacity of something coming into existence, - then nothing is nothing. It's not a thing.


Something not coming from nothing is not a modal power, but what nothingness is: a lack of being. When there's lack of being, then there's lack of any properties. When there are no properties, then there's no capacity of any power, or possibility. If there are no properties, no capacity of any power, or any possibility, then that's not a thing and will always be not a thing.


One cannot maintain the non-sense of saying "lack of being can become being, because it's a lack of being and nothing restraints it from becoming being". But lack of being entails the lack of any power, or property. Non-being is the anti-thesis of being and as such, when we say "something cannot come from nothing", that's because we define nothing on the basis of what "a thing is" - that is, we define "non-being", on the basis of what "being is". To say something cannot come from nothing is because we know what "being is", and on that basis, the complete lack of it is conceived as such.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 03:39:13 pm by kravarnik »
"And even if you crush my body and drain it 'til the last drop - you can never touch my spirit, you can never touch my soul. No matter how bleak or how hopeless, no matter how hard or how far - you can never break my conation. Tear the will apart from desire." Insomnium - Weather the storm

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Gordon Tubbs

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In order to get something from nothing in the way Carrier says it, he has to assume that some kind of modal power exists (i.e. something) that determines what is and is not possible. Therein lies the contradiction. Possibilities, even if totally unconstrained, are somethings from which other things can come.

To claim that something cannot come from nothing, you have to assume that some kind of modal power exists that determines what is and is not possible, but then it is not nothing.

Therefore, some supreme modal power exists, one which is either an unconstrained possibility or that which constrains possibilities.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 12:02:17 pm by Gordon Tubbs »
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Jabberwock

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Therefore, some supreme modal power exists, one which is either an unconstrained possibility or that which constrains possibilities.

Therefore? The existence of the modal power is the assumption, not the conclusion.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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OrthodoxJew

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The exact quote is brought up in this video by elephant philosophy.

https://youtu.be/yRL6Z_Vn-Lw

Why does anyone waste their time on this clown.
שמע ישראל ה אלוקינו ה אחד
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

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Gordon Tubbs

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Therefore, some supreme modal power exists, one which is either an unconstrained possibility or that which constrains possibilities.

Therefore? The existence of the modal power is the assumption, not the conclusion.

An unconstrained possibility exists or there is something that constrains possibilities.

Either way, one of those is the supreme modal power. Therefore....
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