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Jingle-man t1_j23x5o5 wrote

>How can you know that there is nothing outside of our universe, or nothing beyond it?

Because the word "universe" literally means all that exists. If there's something beyond what we call universe, then what we call universe isn't universe at all.

>is it actually possible that the universe would not have been?

Is it possible that Possibility could not have been? ... is what you mean to ask. As I say, language fails.

>How could a particular state of affairs ever emerge from a non-state of affairs, except by random occurrence or necessity?

That is quite literally the Great Question, that no one is qualified to answer. But how could Occurrence itself be a random occurrence? "Randomness" refers to the interaction of possibilities; so how can randomness exist prior to existence and possibility itself?


Polychrist t1_j244foz wrote

Well, that’s just the thing— if it’s nonsense to talk about occurrences not occurring, or possibilities not being possible, then it seems the universe must exist out of necessity. To say that it is possible that possibilities wouldn’t exist, is nonsense— therefore it is a contradiction to say that the universe could’ve not been.

Perhaps the universe only exists because it would’ve been a logical contradiction for it not to have.

Or perhaps the universe (not just the observable universe post big-bang, but the potential multiverse structure beneath it which you would also deem part of the “universe,” or “all that exists,”) has always existed, and is persistent unchanging in some sense, and therefore could not have not been either.

I’m just not sure that it made sense when you said that it’s possible that there would’ve been nothing, and that makes it beautiful that there’s something. I would argue that it’s either not possible that there was nothing, I.e. the existence of the universe itself is necessary, I.e. it’s non-existence would be a contradiction, or else other non-necessary entities may exist.


Jingle-man t1_j249jeo wrote

>I’m just not sure that it made sense when you said that it’s possible that there would’ve been nothing, and that makes it beautiful

It didn't make sense at all, because language can't really capture this kind of thing well. But to be fair, I said "the universe might as well not have been" which isn't wrong. There's no reason for the universe to exist, but neither is there any reason for it not to exist. The universe is "unnecessary" in that its existence itself is not a matter of necessity. The universe truly "doesn't need to exist" because "need" implies necessity. But as I've said again and again, Necessity is not necessary. It is (that is, the universe is) unnecessary.


Polychrist t1_j249q4x wrote

And I disagree. I think the existence of the universe is necessary.