Why is there something rather than nothing?” studies have become a field provided with copious Templeton funding. Yale recently had the 2011 WITA (Why is there Anything?) conference (see their blog), which was funded by the Templeton and Yale Divinity School. Rutgers sports the Rutgers Templeton Project in Philosophy of Cosmology, and they now have a blog where they ask a list of questions ending in a grand finale with lucky number 13 being the ‘WITA question ’ in its better known version:


13) Why is there something rather than nothing?

I imagine that all of these will be discussed during the course of our project. However, I suggest holding off definitively answering question 13 until our grant has expired.

A New York Times article by Dennis Overbye introduces Lawrence Krauss and his new book A Universe From Nothing, which, you guessed it, is much about the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” The book sadly commits the mistake of taking the multiverse as an argument against a creator deity (Which I criticized with Mix Science and God correctly or Don't.) A modest agnostic expects a multiverse, but the multiverse does not turn around and banishes God (many worlds concepts ‘decouple’ creators, but this is a very different argument which has not been expounded yet anywhere sufficiently). Moreover, Krauss comes with self contradictory statements like “Maybe in the true eternal multiverse there are truly no laws”.

So is there still no progress on the WITA-question? Why there is something instead of nothing pointed out that the “nothing” is misleading for starters and must be interpreted correctly in order to avoid much ado about nothing.

That was step #1, after which a partial answer was presented in two further steps, namely pointing out that the question is a pseudo-question as long as it is not improved, brought into a better form by reducing the bad terminology related to the term “exist” implicit in it (step #2). Otherwise, the answer that tautological modal realism in a fundamental description by definition implies (#3) is simply Because it is Possible! *, which however is not the satisfactory answer sought of course. The rather more valid question that is hidden in the pseudo-question nevertheless remains: Why is anything possible at all?

This question is fundamentally about being conscious and consciousness being vacuous without content (see "intentionality", "aboutness"); it is about phenomena rather than about existence of “anything”. Mere ‘physics’ (in its ill-defined version as being the mechanics of a world) is not going to answer it, though it might take a physicist to do the necessary philosophy.


* Although this answer seems simple, it is not easily understood. After all, if the posed question were about any other system but totality, the given answer would not only be wrong, but preposterously so: That something is merely possible does precisely imply that it is not necessarily actualized.


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