Philosophers, I need your help!

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  1. profile image0
    KFushaposted 5 years ago

    http://s3.hubimg.com/u/8038134_f248.jpg
    Last night, I came across a paragraph in the very first page of a book titled "Why Does The World Exist?" by Jim Holt, which puzzled me for hours.
    I wrote a Hub about it, which you can find here: http://kfusha.hubpages.com/hub/If-There … -Forbidden
    But now I am interested in hearing your perspective, your interpretation of these sentences. The paragraph reads as follows:

    "Suppose there were nothing. Then there would be no laws; for laws, after all, are something. If there were no laws, then everything would be permitted. If everything were permitted, then nothing would be forbidden. So if there were nothing, nothing would be forbidden. Thus nothing is self-forbidding. Therefore, there must be something. QED."

    In your opinion, is this statement plausible?  If yes, why?  If no, why not?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      A nifty puzzle.  Seems to me that although the logic is correct, the meaning of the term "nothing" is changing through the paragraph.  When the original meaning is used, coupled with the changed meaning that is assumed to be identical with the first, it causes conflict.

      1. profile image0
        KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        You are absolutely right. I also made the same observation. In my opinion, the term "nothing" initially refers to a human society functioning in the absence of laws and governing authority and then transforms into "the existence of nothingness".

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          Just so.  Sometimes it's "the absence of anything" and sometimes it's "none of what is there".  Hard to describe.

          1. profile image0
            KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            It is absolutely fascinating how the combination of a few words can have such a huge, almost uncompromisable meaning.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Wrong language.  Us the language of mathematics and it is nearly impossible to produce such a statement.  English is not well suited for exacting, precise or logical discussion.

              1. profile image0
                KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Yes, I totally agree with that statement.

                I read a book a few weeks ago in which the author had dedicated a whole chapter to Latin. I was amazed at how a language which is considered "ancient" was so much more profound and precise than modern-day English. The translation of a phrase which was easily understood in two simple Latin words, would require at least 10-15 English words in order to preserve the exact meaning.

    2. kess profile image59
      kessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      It merely and involved way of saying.
      Since nothing is bound to negate itself, it is the cause of everything..
      thus something comes from  nothing.


      Here is a common conversation...

      Me: You are Life
      Other: No I am not.
      Me: If you are not Life then you are death.
      Other: No I am not..

      Now since Other   will not accept that he is Life
      neither that he is death... Then what is He?

      Will Other realise that if he accept that he is Life...then Life  he is..or
      If he is death, then Life He Is.

      His error is that he remains in the stagnant place, which causes him to be self destructing (Death)

      1. profile image0
        KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        That is very profound and insightful, and I thank you for sharing it. However, I was referring to the specific, above-displayed paragraph and whether it is a plausible statement, or not.

        1. kess profile image59
          kessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          I merely simplified it....

          there are very many ways to say the same thing.

          1. profile image0
            KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            You are absolutely right, there are an infinite amount of ways to say the same thing, but mine was a yes or no question, referring specifically to the author's passage. I am having trouble relating what you said to the paragraph I displayed and the question I asked.

            p.s. I personally wouldn't call that simplifying, but thank you for answering, regardless.

            1. profile image0
              KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              Deleted

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Under your post, clicking the "more" button will bring up an "edit" button, at least for a while.  Eventually the option is removed.

                1. profile image0
                  KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  Thank you, sir!

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    Welcome.  I know that button well! big_smile

            2. kess profile image59
              kessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              If I said yes , or even no...

              would you have understood.

              I am sure you would be asking for more context

              1. profile image0
                KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Well, if you would have paid close attention to the forum post before you decided to reply to it, you would have noticed that my question clearly states, "In your opinion, is this statement plausible?  If yes, why?  If no, why not?".

                1. kess profile image59
                  kessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  So  you are saying my explanation does not relay to you my position to  your initial question?

                  if that where you want to be, then i shall leave you be..

                  1. profile image0
                    KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    No, it does not. This is not a theological post. It is one that poses a question from a philosophical or linguistic perspective. Let's just agree to disagree. Have a great day.

  2. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    Take two Wittgensteins and call me when you see the fallacy.

    Basically it is a word game, not a real argument.  You can't turn nothing into something by saying nothing cannot destroy/forbid itself and therefore must exist.  That's just nonsense.  Nothing has nothing to destroy/forbid.

    1. profile image0
      KFushaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That is a really interesting point of view. "Nothing has nothing to destroy/forbid." I love it.
      And yes, you are absolutely right. It is nothing more than a linguistic garble.

 
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