On May 25, 2007, at 4:21 AM, Dead Psycho wrote:
for nothing to really exist you need something, else there would be nothing to call nothing. so if in the absence of something you have nothing then you must really have something to call nothing.
let me continue just to clarify.
say i had something (i don't know what because i haven't thought of that yet, nothing came to mind). and i lost it. would i really have nothing instead. or would i have the absence of something which is actually something itself which you could call nothing, but as nothing is actually something nothing really exists.
all the best
To which I replied:
Hi Dead Psycho, thanks for your comments.
I made a valiant attempt to be confused by your assertion that nothing requires something in order to exist. Unfortunately I was unable to find any way to become confused by your platform for debate, leaving me no choice but to totally own you. Of course the ownership of which I speak is merely metaphorical and will hopefully not have any bearing on aspects of your life beyond the scope of this rebuttal.
First of all, you tear down your entire argument in your initial statement which says, "for nothing to really exist you need something, else there would be nothing to call nothing."
As for the existence of nothing, we have held firmly to the fact that nothing exists in the sense that "it" doesn't. Yes, there are many other uses of the *word* nothing (which is something), which have to do with something, but that doesn't make nothing something. It is true that there must be something (intelligent life) to comprehend nothing, but comprehension is far from necessary for nothing to exist.
As for the lack of something leaving us nothing to call nothing, we have already established that the lack of something would really leave us nobody to call nothing nothing, or nothing to call nothing nothing. Which I might point out shows (even with your own flawed logic) that nothing would still exist in the absence of something. However, this is really the only place (this issue of perception) in which your case holds some small merit. You seem to believe that people must comprehend and label nothing in order for "it" to exist. Yes, in order for people to comprehend nothing there must be 1) People, and 2) something to use as a label to draw a line between the concepts of nothing and anything. But this idea is based on the assumption that perception changes a thing or indeed changes nothing.
There are documented cases where perception changes nothing but only in the sense that it does not change anything except the person who has developed the perception. Certainly, nothing (the real nothing that exists in the sense that "it" doesn't) has not been changed in the slightest by perception. Although it is true to say that at times something has been changed by perception, this doesn't tie it to my previous statement because something and nothing are not necessarily related, as you might expect due to the fact that they are not usually opposites and certainly not mutually exclusive. Something may be able to displace nothing (this is a point of great debate), nothing may be able to replace something (this is also hotly debated), but nothing cannot negate something in any equation. See my "Volley Nothing" blog posting on February 3rd 2007 for further details. http://xymyl.blogspot.com/2007/02/q-volley-nothing.html for more information regarding acceptable use of nothing as an opposite of something.
This idea that one thing or indeed nothing needs something to bring it (or "it") into existence is a just a rip off of the old chicken and egg argument. I will reiterate that the word nothing required something or someone to coin that word, but that word is unnecessary if nothing exists in the sense that everything doesn't. As for the chicken or the egg argument, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I had an answer for that simple argument when I was an 8 year old chicken farmer. The birds that are today called chickens were derived primarily from Red Jungle Fowl and at times interbred with other fowl. The fact that selective breeding has been used to develop the various strains of chickens that exist throughout the world means that there was a point of divergence from it's ancestral form at which it began to be called "chicken". This chicken would have arrived via the egg which was produced from parents that were closer to the original characteristics of the main progenitors. Being that the resultant chicken would be markedly different from its parents and would arrive via the egg, we have to conclude that the egg came first because that first chicken had parents that were either Red Jungle Fowl or an intermediate form. Sorry for the wordiness, just wanted to make it clear.
As for your question regarding the absence of something, yes, you could say that you have the absence of something, which would be a true opposite of something and thus is also something. To say you have nothing when you lose something is more of a figure of speech than a literal statement, but it can be appropriate to use such a term if all or almost all of the specific category of something to which you were referring had been mislaid.
Of course, nothing isn't.