From: Stephen Paul King <>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 20:32:17 -0400

Dear Norman,

    Your ability to organize these threads is wonderful! I have some

----- Original Message -----

From: "Norman Samish" <>

To: <>

Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 4:15 PM


> Gentlemen,
> Thank you for many illuminating replies to the "Why does anything exist?"
> question. Three are shown below. It's clear that some hold that there is
> an identity between physical and mathematical existence (although Patrick
> Leahy may disagree). If so, we can phrase the big WHY as "Why do numbers
> exist?" (Answer: Because such existence is a logical necessity.)


    This "identity", does it how at all levels of Existence? I would argue
that it does not and this is the reason that I am suggesting that we look at
Vaughan Pratt's ideas based on Chu spaces as a way to comprehend the
"stratifications" of Existence. The duality we find there is easy to
understand once we get past our prejudices. Consider the duality that exist
between Cantor sets and complete atomic Boolean algebras...

    Consider the Cantor hierarchy and the way that "nameability" seems to
become more and more difficult as we climb higher and higher. In the limit
of the hierarchy, the limit at which physical implementability and
mathematical representability are not longer distinguishable, Nothingness
and Everything are One. Every transformation is a perfect homomorphism, even
an automorphism. This is perfect symmetry. But we must not forget that
Existence must be Complete and thus it follows that all modes of Existence
also must exist, thus we have the example of the Cantor Hierarchy.

> The question (at least as I mean it) can also be phrased as "Why is there
> something instead of nothing?" Or perhaps I am really asking "What is the
> First Cause?"


    First Causes are self-contradicting.

    The reason why this question has no answer is because there is no point
at which the question can be posed such that an answer obtains that is
provably True. This is the proof that Bruno's work shows us. The very asking
of the question is like trying to predict what one will do, given some
Newcombian choice, and then having to wrestle with the implications of the

    Additionally, the notion of a "first cause", in itself, is fraught with
tacit assumptions. Consider the possibility that there is no such a thing as
a "first cause" just as there is no such thing as a privileged frame of
reference. We are assuming that there is a "foundation" that is manifested
by the "axiom of regularity":

Every non-empty set S contains an element a which is disjoint from S.

    Exactly how can Existence obey this axiom without being inconsistent?
Before we run away screaming in Horror at this thought, consider the
implications of Norman's statement here:

> I think the big WHY must be an unanswerable question from a scientific
> standpoint, and that Leahy must be correct when he says ". . . there is
> just no answer to the big WHY." Stephen Paul King says it, maybe more
> rigorously, when he says, "Existence, itself, can not be said to require
> an
> explanation for such would be a requirement that there is a necessitate
> prior to which Existence is dependent upon."
> Norman Samish
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Stephen Paul King writes:
> Existence, itself, can not be said to require an explanation for such
> would
> be a requirement that there is a necessitate prior to which Existence is
> dependent upon. Pearce's idea is not new and we have it from many thinkers
> that the totality of the multiverse must sum to zero, that is the essence
> of
> symmetry. It is the actuality of the content of our individual experiences
> (including all of the asymmetries) that we have to justify.
> Patrick Leahy writes:
> I find this a very odd question to be asked on this list. To me, one of
> the
> main attractions of the "everything" thesis is that it provides the only
> possible answer to this question. Viz: as Jonathan pointed out,
> mathematical
> objects are logical necessities, and the thesis (at least in Tegmark's
> formulation) is that physical existence is identical to mathematical
> existence. Despite this attractive feature, I'm fairly sure the thesis is
> wrong (so that there is just no answer to the big WHY?), but that's
> another
> story.
> Bruno Marchal writes:
> You can look at my URL for argument that physical existence emerges from
> mathematical existence. I have no clues that physical existence could just
> be equated to mathematical existence unless you attach consciousness to
> individuated bodies, but how? I can argue that without accepting natural
> numbers you cannot justify them. So any theory which does not assumes the
> natural numbers cannot be a theory of everything. Once you accept the
> existence of natural numbers it is possible to explain how the belief in
> both math and physics arises. And with the explicit assumption of
> Descartes
> Mechanism, in a digital form (the computationalist hypothesis), I think
> such
> explanation is unique. Also, it is possible to explain why we cannot
> explain
> where our belief in natural numbers come from.


    Bruno, the only problem that I have with your thesis is that you do not
seem to understand that physical existence and mathematical existence have
equal ontological status, one is not prior to the other and both emerge from
the Existence that is Nothingness, necessitating each other. This is just
the beginning.


Received on Thu May 19 2005 - 20:36:17 PDT

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