1. Standard memberKellyJay
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    20 Jun '09 19:42
    Nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.
    From a club post of mine:

    "I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a null value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    holder, no place, the lack of any and all values of any kind, no cause,
    no reactions, no material, no force, no pressure, no singularity, no
    before, no during, no after, for me right now it seems its only real
    description would be to define what is not there since speaking of it
    gives it shape. "
    Kelly

    From BibleGateway.com
    Genesis 1 (New Living Translation)

    Genesis 1
    The Account of Creation
    " 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
    3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day" and the darkness "night."

    And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day. "

    We are left with choices here, can we have a beginning of time without
    cause, can we really have an event without something taking place
    before it, can we really get everything from nothing? It is faith that has
    us accepting God as the cause of all things outside of Himself since
    He is eternal. Without God there is nothing acting upon nothing to
    give everything a reason for being, and if you accept that you too are
    acting upon faith!

    If you believe in an eternal universe the reasons for that are what?
    Is it that you do not want to accept God and for no other good reason
    you have nothing to hang your hat on so you accept an eternal
    universe? If you wish to deny faith in this discussion, what is it that
    think you have that dispels faith and demands reason alone points
    to your views on the beginning? If you have another view I have not
    covered what is that?
    Kelly
  2. Hmmm . . .
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    20 Jun '09 20:01
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.
    From a club post of mine:

    "I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a null value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    ...[text shortened]... s on the beginning? If you have another view I have not
    covered what is that?
    Kelly
    What synchronicity! I have been thinking about this very question! πŸ™‚

    The philosopher G.E. Moore noted that people tend to treat “nothing” as if it were a “queer sort of ‘something’.”

    But, at the basic level, nothing is just nothing—not even an expanse of empty space (which, to even think about, needs a prior concept of dimension). But that seems to be the way people think about it when they posit creatio ex nihilo. And they imagine God as an entity floating, as it were, in a vast expanse of empty space.

    If there was nothing but God before creation, then God had nothing to create out of except—God. That is a basic premise of non-dualism (whether the non-dualist is a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Taoist, etc.). For the non-dualist, “God” (by whatever name and conceptualization*) is the ground of being from which, in which and of which every form (such as you and I, as well as stars and stones) is generated. And all is inseparably entangled and integrated in/by that ground.

    For the dualist-theist, that seems to be problematic. Therefore, nothing must become “some queer sort of ‘something’” out of which a separate entity—the God being—creates.

    _____________________________________________________________

    * E.g., whether that ground is in some sense “personal” or not.
  3. Joined
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    20 Jun '09 20:531 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.
    From a club post of mine:

    "I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a null value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    s on the beginning? If you have another view I have not
    covered what is that?
    Kelly
    …"I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a NULL value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    holder, no place, the lack of any and all values of any kind, no cause,
    no reactions, no material, no force, no pressure, no singularity, no
    before, no during, no after, for me right now it seems its only real
    description would be to define what is not there since speaking of it
    gives it shape. "
    (my emphasis)

    I don’t know why you find it so hard to get your head around it -I use the null value all the time in java as just a vacant space in virtual memory that a variable temporally points to until the program decides exactly what meaningful value should go there.
    Usually that variable is defined as being of the most general type i.e. of type “Object” and its definition written as:

    Object (…identifier goes here&hellipπŸ˜‰ = null;

    although it can be a more specialised object type depending on the context.
  4. Standard memberKellyJay
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    20 Jun '09 23:141 edit
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…"I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a NULL value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    holder, no place, the lack of any and all values of any kind, no cause re&hellipπŸ˜‰ = null;

    although it can be a more specialised object type depending on the context.
    [/b]Two things:
    When you quote you do not get to change the text.
    I said nothing was a hard thing to wrap one's mind around not the
    null values which I described as something other than nothing.
    Kelly
  5. Standard memberKellyJay
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    20 Jun '09 23:19
    Originally posted by vistesd
    What synchronicity! I have been thinking about this very question! πŸ™‚

    The philosopher G.E. Moore noted that people tend to treat “nothing” as if it were a “queer sort of ‘something’.”

    But, at the basic level, nothing is just nothing—not even an expanse of empty space (which, to even think about, needs a prior concept of dimension). But that s ...[text shortened]... _____________________________

    * E.g., whether that ground is in some sense “personal” or not.
    "If there was nothing but God before creation, then God had nothing to create out of except—God."

    Which in my thinking is why God is greater than the creation, He could
    be nothing less, He is more the universe cannot contain Him.
    Kelly
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Jun '09 00:241 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    "If there was nothing but God before creation, then God had nothing to create out of except—God."

    Which in my thinking is why God is greater than the creation, He could
    be nothing less, He is more the universe cannot contain Him.
    Kelly
    My point is that the universe itself is then an expression/manifestation of God (or the Tao or Brahman, etc,; I’m not limiting myself to any particular conception of the ground-of-being, nor suggesting that they aren’t different).

    That really becomes panentheism (not pantheism), which I think is subsumable under the broader rubric of non-dualism.

    I would suggest that such a God is not “supernatural” (as in separate/separable) from the cosmos, but, perhaps “summa-natural”. Here is part of something that I posted in another thread—

    ====================================================================

    “The Holy One manifests in myriad forms; I sing the glory of the forms.”

    —Kabir

    ________________________________________________

    If one takes a kind of gestaltic view of non-dualism, wherein figure/form and ground form a whole gestalt, then God (or Brahman, or Tao, etc.—depending on one’s particular view) is seen as the ground of being from which, in which and of which all manifestations (figures/forms) are generated. (Protestant theologian Paul Tillich had a “pre-trinitarian” formula: ground-of-being, power-of-of being, and form-of-being [his term was “being-itself”, i.e., existentiated being]; the non-dualist Kashmiri Shaivites have a similar formulation).

    We never actually perceive the ground, we only perceive the figure/forms (whether individually: the tree; or grouped: the forest). But we can only perceive any figures/forms because there is some ground against which to perceive them (I would suggest that the same is true with regard to thought-conceptualization as well). The ground is only intimated—but the figures/forms and the ground are ultimately inseparable, being necessary aspects of the whole gestalt.


    The “One” refers, in such non-dualistic thought, to the Whole, the all-in-all-without-another—the gestalt. Different religious philosophies assign different attributes to this One.

    What any non-dualist system rejects is supernaturalist-dualist theism: i.e., that God is a being wholly separate from the cosmos. (Using the word “supernatural” here to mean extra-natural or non-natural.

    This kind of “gestaltic” non-dualism is neither, it seems to me, a simple “sum of parts” pantheism (which by its very terms retains a trace of dualism: separable parts to sum), nor a reductionist monism in which the figure/forms are not “really real” but delusions. That is why I (following such as the third Zen patriarch Seng Tsan and others) prefer the term non-dualism to either monism or pantheism. I am a non-dualist.

    Such non-dualism is found across religious philosophies, e.g., in Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Kashmiri Shaivism, Sufism (in Islam), Kabbalah (in Judaism) and people like Meister Eckhart in Christianity (although supernaturalist-dualists would reject those streams of the otherwise mono-theistic religions).

    ==============================================

    Hope all is well with you and your family, KJ.
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    21 Jun '09 04:11
    Originally posted by vistesd
    My point is that the universe itself is then an expression/manifestation of God (or the Tao or Brahman, etc,; I’m not limiting myself to any particular conception of the ground-of-being, nor suggesting that they aren’t different).

    That really becomes pan[b]en
    theism (not pantheism), which I think is subsumable under the broader rubric of non-dualism ...[text shortened]... ==============================================

    Hope all is well with you and your family, KJ.[/b]
    All is well, recovering from a B-day a few days ago, doing the party
    thing with my family today...had to work during the day. πŸ™‚
    KJ
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    21 Jun '09 06:33
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.
    From a club post of mine:

    "I said nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, in
    programming I can have a null value, strictly undefined with nothing
    in it, yet it is there, a place holder for whatever is to come which
    means it isn't strictly nothing. Nothing goes way past that, no place
    ...[text shortened]... s on the beginning? If you have another view I have not
    covered what is that?
    Kelly
    The framing of this discussion limits itself to a three dimensional perspective; frame of thought.

    Who is to say there has to be a beginning of time? Sure, for us in our existence it is what we experience but that does not necessarily mean that is all which is so. Is there other experiences beyond that which we are limited by, and bound to?

    I'm not going to answer 'no' to that question. Even if it's a purely philosophical exercise, it is one that bears merit in my mind.
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    21 Jun '09 08:54
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Two things:
    When you quote you do not get to change the text.
    I said nothing was a hard thing to wrap one's mind around not the
    null values which I described as something other than nothing.
    Kelly[/b]
    …When you quote you do not get to change the text.


    I didn’t change your text.

    …I said nothing was a hard thing to wrap one's mind around
    NOT the null values which I DESCRIBED as something OTHER THAN nothing.
    (my emphasis)

    Sorry, with the way I was reading it, I misunderstood you πŸ™‚ I apologies πŸ™‚
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Jun '09 09:23
    Isn't it possible that the idea that there MUST have been "a beginning" simply demonstrates the limitations of the human mind and perception?

    "Time" is a clumsy construct anyway. Do we dismiss a 'past stretching backward infinitely' mainly because it's too difficult for most of us to imagine it?
  11. Standard memberKellyJay
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    21 Jun '09 12:17
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…When you quote you do not get to change the text.


    I didn’t change your text.

    …I said nothing was a hard thing to wrap one's mind around
    NOT the null values which I DESCRIBED as something OTHER THAN nothing.
    (my emphasis)

    Sorry, with the way I was reading it, I misunderstood you πŸ™‚ I apologies πŸ™‚[/b]
    "I can have a NULL ..." what you wrote.
    "I can have a null...: what I wrote.

    Yes you did, and for the other thing if that is the worst that happens
    between us we are in great shape no worries.
    Kelly
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    21 Jun '09 13:17
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Nothing is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around.

    I agree with you there.

    I don't have faith in god nor in any other explanation for why there is something rather than nothing.

    I wouldn't say that anything demands that reason alone informs my views on the beginning, that's a choice. There are interesting speculations about the nature of the universe and its beginning of course, but that's all they are for now.
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    21 Jun '09 16:53
    Before we go anywhere we must get the old strawman out of the way. As far as I know there is nobody who has actually thought about the subject that believes the universe 'came from nothing'. Kelly correctly points out that true 'nothing' does not even have space-time attributes but for some reason he doesn't point out that placing said 'nothing' at a point on the timeline is invalid by definition.
    To even suggest that there was a 'before' shows a lack of understanding of spacetime. If spacetime is finite in the time dimension then there is no 'before' and any 'creation' event takes place in a dimension other than 'time'.
    There may have been a 'before' the big bang but any such before would be decidedly part of our universe and would include both space and time and not 'nothing'.
  14. Standard memberKellyJay
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    22 Jun '09 12:08
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Before we go anywhere we must get the old strawman out of the way. As far as I know there is nobody who has actually thought about the subject that believes the universe 'came from nothing'. Kelly correctly points out that true 'nothing' does not even have space-time attributes but for some reason he doesn't point out that placing said 'nothing' at a poin ...[text shortened]... part of our universe and would include both space and time and not 'nothing'.
    I'm discussing 'nothing' if you want to tell me how you can have time
    in nothing I say you have changed the subject to something.
    Kelly
  15. Standard memberKellyJay
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    22 Jun '09 13:56
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Before we go anywhere we must get the old strawman out of the way. As far as I know there is nobody who has actually thought about the subject that believes the universe 'came from nothing'. Kelly correctly points out that true 'nothing' does not even have space-time attributes but for some reason he doesn't point out that placing said 'nothing' at a poin ...[text shortened]... part of our universe and would include both space and time and not 'nothing'.
    I actually believe the cause of the universe is outside of it, or better
    said not part of it including our time line. I see God as having no
    issues there, but any other reason or cause has the issue of getting
    out of the starting block without a reason for being, let alone doing so.
    Kelly
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