Why is there something rather than nothing?
July 25, 2012
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Slate takes on the issue, paying special attention to Jim Holt’s new book Why Does the World Exist?
…an infinite regress into the abyss of the ancient but still hardy Aristotelian First Cause problem: Any proposed First Cause such as “the laws of quantum mechanics” will presuppose a cause previous to it that caused the purported First Cause. You can never get to nothing by going backward. And you can never get to something by going forward from nothing because you’re back to the big question: How do you (initially) get something, anything, from nothing? This isn’t, by the way, as some who have tried to discredit it have suggested, a “religious” question. It’s a philosophical question. And at its heart, it’s a common-sense question. Don’t let them fool you into thinking you can’t understand it.