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Absolute Nothing

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Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Mon Aug 04, 2003 10:14 pm

Does anyone here believe in a state of absolute nothingness? Also, can the human mind completely comprehend the total absence of light, sound, matter, etc.? <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby klewlis » Tue Aug 05, 2003 12:45 am

it's hard... the closest I can come to envisioning it mentally is emptiness within a confined space... and even then my observation is present ;)
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby annis » Tue Aug 05, 2003 1:24 am

[quote author=Keesa link=board=13;threadid=364;start=0#2743 date=1060035251]<br />Does anyone here believe in a state of absolute nothingness?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />What exactly do you mean by this? What's a state of nothingness? The usual sorts of nothing (like zero, the vacuum of space) seem to cause no particular difficulty.<br /><br />
Also, can the human mind completely comprehend the total absence of light, sound, matter, etc.? <br />
<br /><br />Again, how are you using comprehend? What is there of a total absence to comprehend? Total sensory silence is difficult, since even our nervous systems are a bit noisy, at least as far as our brains are concerned.<br />
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 05, 2003 12:02 pm

[quote author=William Annis link=board=13;threadid=364;start=0#2755 date=1060046699]<br /><br />What exactly do you mean by this? What's a state of nothingness? The usual sorts of nothing (like zero, the vacuum of space) seem to cause no particular difficulty.<br /><br />And yet, even space has things in it-planets, meteors, tiny particles of dust. Zero, the lack of something, does exist-so, does that make it a Something to fill up our hypothetical Nothing? By "state of nothingness" I would mean a place or area or space that had nothing in it-no sound, no light, no planets, no dust-no concepts, even. It sets up a sort of tricky web of semantics; if this "state of nothingness" exists, would the idea of Nothing be Something? We have the words to describe such a state, but I was wondering if we had the concepts to go with them, or are the words themselves merely empty nothingness? ;)<br /><br />
Also, can the human mind completely comprehend the total absence of light, sound, matter, etc.? <br />
<br /><br /> What is there of a total absence to comprehend? Total sensory silence is difficult, since even our nervous systems are a bit noisy, at least as far as our brains are concerned.<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />That was exactly the point I was trying to make. Our minds seem to work-or, mine does, at least-by imagining something, usually an image, but occasionally a sound. If there's nothing there, there's nothing for my mind to make an image of-so wouldn't that mean that I can't comprehend it? <br /><br />At any rate, it's kind of neat to think about! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby benissimus » Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:23 pm

I believe that there is absolute nothing.<br /><br />I believe the human mind can "absolutely comprehend" nothing (oh boy here we go on verbal disputes :P).
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby annis » Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:38 pm

[quote author=Keesa link=board=13;threadid=364;start=0#2777 date=1060084935]<br /><br />And yet, even space has things in it-planets, meteors, tiny particles of dust. Zero, the lack of something, does exist-so, does that make it a Something to fill up our hypothetical Nothing? By "state of nothingness" I would mean a place or area or space that had nothing in it-no sound, no light, no planets, no dust-no concepts, even.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Please, I beg you, distinguish things from concepts. A concept is a noun, but it's not a thing that exists in the usual sense of that word, Plato and his later interpreters notwithstanding.<br /><br />Since I subscribe to a philosophy that insists philosophy has no appropriate goal except to reduce human suffering, my next question is what purpose does a state of nothingness serve? :)
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 06, 2003 11:16 am

[quote author=William Annis link=board=13;threadid=364;start=0#2887 date=1060126682]<br /><br /><br />Please, I beg you, distinguish things from concepts. A concept is a noun, but it's not a thing that exists in the usual sense of that word, Plato and his later interpreters notwithstanding.<br /><br />I wonder-can nothingness be complete while even a concept remains? I don't know. <br /><br />Since I subscribe to a philosophy that insists philosophy has no appropriate goal except to reduce human suffering, my next question is what purpose does a state of nothingness serve? :)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Well, the first answer that popped into my head was one that said that where nothing exists, pain can't exist. Then again, we wouldn't, either, and quite frankly, I prefer both sorrow and joy over Not Being. So, I would have to say that it serves no purpose, unless, of course, the discussion becomes sufficiently enthralling or sufficiently ludicrous that it takes one's mind off of a present pain. Does pain (in your own body) exist even when you aren't thinking about it? But then, that's a topic for a different thread altogether... :)<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Zeus the Goddess » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:35 pm

I have only one thing to say:<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby benissimus » Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:38 pm

I am going to have to side with The Goddess on this one...
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:57 pm

I'll agree with that. ;D<br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Fri Aug 15, 2003 12:26 pm

Re:Why Learning is Horrible <br />« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2003, 08:23:07 AM » <br /><br />--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Perhaps it is the centre of the donut that is the absolute nothing they are searching for in another thread. <br /><br />Quote from Vinobrien <br /><br />Here's our answer, everybody! ;D <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby ASim » Sat Aug 16, 2003 2:48 pm

Assuming you meant your original question seriously, my five cents for what it's worth:<br /><br />There are several ways to understand the original question. The donut hole doesn't work, I am afraid, although there is an issue about the ontology of holes (I believe the philosopher David Lewis has on article on holes, possibly reprinted in vol. I or II of his Collected Papers).<br /><br />If you read "state" literally, the answer is "no." For there to be a state, there has to be something of which it is a state or that is in that state (e.g., my having a headache yesterday, Socrates' being asleep Monday after the end of the Peloponesian war). But for something to be in a state of "nothingness" could, I assume, amount only to be in no state. That either means that it is a kind of object that has no states in the first place (numbers perhaps, assuming "being currently thought of by Ansgar" is not a state of a number -- which I believe is the better view of what states are NOT), but that's not what you mean, I bet; and the typical physical objects we are "familiar" with (quarks, molecules, dogs, solar systems, the universe) always are in some state or other, or else they wouldn't exist. For short, if something can have states at all, it cannot be in a state of nothingness.<br /><br />Or do you mean: do I believe that it could be the case that there would be nothing rather than something (this is phrased after Leibniz's question, i.e. "why is there something rather than nothing?"). Applying some pop-physics: could there have been nothing before the "big bang" (ignoring the issue of causation for the sake of argument); or could the universe make "pop" and self-devour and there is NOTHING, REALLY NOTHING LEFT. Yeah, no problem, I can entertain that as a conceptual possibilty. Or not? -- would in that case numbers still exist, even though there is nothing that could think of them? I have no idea! So, what I don't have a problem with is thinking the there are no physical objects.<br /><br />However, I cannot THINK OF NOTHING. Thinking has an object, and although I can entertain the thought THAT NOTHING EXISTS (I just did!), I cannot have NOTHING (or nothingness, if you will) as the object of my thought. Thoughts have an "object" (unlike pains, which are states of a person), as the following dialogue will reveal:<br /><br />Q: "What are you doing?"<br />R: "I am thinking."<br />Q: "Of what?"<br />R: "Nothing, just thinking."<br /><br />For me, it's obvious that either R is lying (in the way your significant other does when he/she says the last sentence, and you get really nervous about what he/she is really thinking of and about) or R has to learn what "thinking" means in the English language.<br /><br />So what do you mean?<br /><br />-- Ansgar.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Zeus the Goddess » Sun Aug 17, 2003 6:17 pm

What, my friends, is a donut without a hole?<br />(Even jam-filled donuts have holes, though they be jam-filled)<br />Hole is part of donut's definition!<br />Hole contains the essence of donut<br /><br />O ASim!<br />Was the philosopher David Lewis speaking of donuts in his article on holes?<br /><br />Hole of donut contains everything which is not donut<br />Nothing is not donut<br />Nothing, therefore, is contained in the hole of donut<br />Hole is part of donut, making it something other than nothing<br /><br />Conclusion:<br />THE HOLE OF THE DONUT IS NOT NOTHING!!!
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 10:54 pm

Following this line of thought, I would say, then, that you do not believe in absolute nothing. If hole of donut contains everything that is not donut...and yet everything that is donut...and nothing only exists in hole of donut...and hole of donut is something, not nothing...then nothing (by this definition) does not exist! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Skylax » Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:13 pm

[quote author=Keesa link=board=13;threadid=364;start=0#2743 date=1060035251]<br /> Also, can the human mind completely comprehend the total absence of light, sound, matter, etc.? <br />Keesa<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I believe we can comprehend a total absence of sight (French "vision") : you don't feel that you see something trough the back of your head; yet you don't feel that you don't see anything (as when you close your eyes)... so, in the back of your head, it is absolutely nothing in relationship with sight. Absolutely nothing.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:24 am

Every facet of our perception of the world has its foundation on the three, empirical spacial dimensions. To think is to see in three dimensions, for the structure of thoughts has its predication on three dimensional particles, thus it is not specious necessarily to assume every thought to be three-dimensional. If one contemplates the state of the stateless, his best attempt will render a three dimensial blackness, which is fallacy. The question posed is fallacious in itself; to ask one to give motion and character to the intrinsically motionless when the very asking of question verlily makes requisite the thing to remain in unbeing conceptually, we are dealing in the commerce of the fallacious and non-germane. So to recapitulate: I don't believe it is even pertinent to attempt to describe or imagine nothingness.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby benissimus » Tue Aug 19, 2003 6:10 am

How, then, do you describe the thoughts of a person who has always been blind? Do you not think that it is possible to imagine a scenario in which vision is not present, but the other senses are?<br /><br />As for the previous question, I do not think it possible to be able to imagine something without the five senses. I can only imagine the indifferent insanity that would accompany any situation without any senses.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby ASim » Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:57 pm

I would think that holes exist, and aren't candidates of "nothing". Of course, speaking of holes presupposes (entails) that there is something of which or in which the holes are holes; i.e., speaking of holes carries additional ontological commitments, similar to speaking of borders (between at least two things), corners, cuts (in things), edges, containers, aggregates (of several things), subsets (of bigger sets) etc.
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Re:Absolute Nothing

Postby Emma_85 » Mon Aug 25, 2003 9:28 pm

Quote from: Keesa on August 05, 2003, 12:14:11 AM <br />Also, can the human mind completely comprehend the total absence of light, sound, matter, etc.? <br />Keesa <br /><br />Hmm... I’ve been wondering about that, too.<br />The thing is what is the total absence of light, sound and matter? A vacuum in a dark silent room? The human brain is not meant to be able to imagine that sort of thing. Just like it's difficult to get to grips with what a million years are, or that we are made up of atoms.<br /><br />I’m not sure what people who are born blind see or if they see at all. The thing is how would you know if they could see or not? Like when you close your eyes you see blackness or something like that at least, but still you see something. Your world is like a black blob, but it's still a black blob, not non-existent.<br />If you lose your eyesight, you can still see in that way. <br />I don't know what it's like if you were born with out sight though. It would be interesting to know, certainly.
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Postby threewood14 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:51 pm

http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... php?t=1466

view my little idea that sorta has something to do with yours
i think it is amazing that people from everywhere think about the same thing without ever talking to one another

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