My name is Travis Morgan.

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Why is there something rather than nothing

When a theist asks,

“Why is there something rather than nothing?”

it is just a poor and unproductive way to ask “where did everything come from?”

The problem with the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” is that it is presented in a way as though “nothing” is another something that could “be,” which is not what “nothing” defines.

Only “something” can “be.” There cannot “be” nothing, because “nothing” doesn’t exist, it isn’t something, and therefore there isn’t anything to nothing to “be.”

We can’t say “well, there is both something and nothing” because nothing “isn’t.” There isn’t an “is” to nothing. There can only be an “is” to “something.”

But the question asks for an “is” to nothing – “Why ‘is’ there something rather than nothing?”

They might as well ask “why are circles round but squares aren’t?” It is just as silly.

What they really want to lead you to is that we don’t know exactly how something (matter, or what have you) came to existence. This often leads to the question, “how can something come from nothing” The theist will argue that because we don’t have that answer, then therefore “god did it.” Of course with this they are committing a logical fallacy, particularly an “argument from ignorance.” And if you use there claim against them, that if “something cannot come from nothing” than their god couldn’t have come from nothing, they will say, “but god has always existed and is outside of time and space.” So they believe a supernatural all-powerful, all-knowing being, has always been, but they can’t believe that perhaps something natural has always been? Seems rather curious and self-serving.


  1. Herbert Berkley

    I see the something from nothing question to be important.. Everything we know has a cause and an effect. What things in our reality currently just “pop” into being such as the complex order of our universe?

    How does science explain a reality based on causes and effects that came into existence from no first cause and the subsequent effects that followed suit? Seems ironic to me that a reality based on causes could come from no first cause.. Or that motion, as we understand it in physics, happens absent something to begin that motion. What is the formula for measuring motion without something to start motion?

    Also.. We don’t go around making the assumptions for the “pop” theory.. Where things merely pop into existence for some easily defined intelligent purpose. Houses don’t just pop into existence, nor cars, nor complex technological devices yet somehow the order in which all these complex things exist came from no intelligent first cause… They just happened? That’s it? That’s a logical fallacy of the highest order..

    It’s not self-serving to raise questions such as this.. Perhaps in the context of cheap rhetoric they may be but the deeper meanings if such questions have been raised for centuries.. And no real answers have come into being.. Save One being who claims to be the designer of this reality.. When looking for a list of logical, and reasonable, answers to the question, “From where do we come?” I think the idea of God has merit..

  2. I think we have to accept the fact that there are some things we just cannot ever know the answer to….they are unfathomable, beyond the ability of our minds to comprehend. I too have grappled with the conundrum of “something” versus “nothing,” and have also realized that “nothing” cannot be. If you try to imagine “nothing” (or “nothingness”) you might think of darkness or emptiness…..BUT darkness and emptiness are still things (“somethings”)— qualities or descriptions of states of being, if you will…..and round and round we go. Another similarly frustrating concept that we could all lose sleep over is the idea of “infinity” or “eternity.” How can the universe (or time or anything) just go on and on forever without end…..that just can’t be! But… if the universe did end, then what would lie outside of that, and would that go on forever and ever? If not, what would lie beyond that? And on and on we go (pun intended.)

    Here’s the BIG question that can, and does, keep many of us awake at night…..Is there life (existence) after death?? Well, we MAY never know– We can’t know the answer to that while we are still alive (at least I don’t believe we can) and if after death there is just oblivion or nothing (there’s that pesky idea of nothing again) we won’t know then either….because we won’t be able to know anything; we’ll just be dead! Sigh….it’s just so unfair. Of course, the only way we could ever know the answer to this question is if there IS some type of existence after death. I can only hope…. I just hate not knowing something.

    Another thought that may give us some comfort is that if there is no further existence after death, only oblivion, then we should all be quite used to it. In fact, it would actually be our more “natural state.” Huh? Well, think about it– where were you before you were born?…..You weren’t…. for eons and eons. You have actually not existed a whole lot longer than you have existed. And it probably wasn’t so bad. (Did you ever have one of those moments when studying History and you read that something or other happened in say 1839 and you think to yourself…..Gee, where was I ??)

    One last bit of babble….I actually remember wondering this as a young girl….if I were to take a piece of paper and keep ripping it in half, could I ever make it totally disappear? No…because I would always have two pieces (halves.) (Not considering the practical impossibilities of doing this.) I think this puzzle is one of those mathematical paradoxes or some such. This idea puzzled and frustrated me to no end.

    It seems I used to think about these kinds of things more often in my youth. (Especially after having smoked a particular type of weed that I won’t mention here.) I would think and think until I was exhausted. And then I would go get something to eat. Now that I’m older I try not to think about the mysteries of the universe so much. I just try to live each day the best that I can, then I get something to eat and go to sleep.

    P.S. I am one of your IM subscribers, Travis. I always suspected you were a deep thinker.

  3. magnificent points altogether, you just won a emblem new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any sure?

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