Originally posted by twhitehead
I have no idea why the universe exists. What I do know is that there has to be at least one brute fact. A fact that just is, and has no 'why' behind it. Even theism has to suppose that Gods existence is a brute fact.
I would say that existence is a brute fact. If the universe is a subset of existence, and it had a creator, or is part of a larger reality whether physical or not, whatever the set of all things is, its existence is a brute fact.
Another potential brute fact is yielded from considering this: If the purpose of the universe is supporting life, what is the purpose of life? Does it itself support a further purpose? If so, we are faced with a potential infinite series. If not, we are faced with life being a brute fact.
On the infinite series:
In his classic work, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter depicts a scene in which Achilles, while conversing with a certain Genie, questions it as to just who (or what) GOD is (pages 103 to 126). The Genie, having made numerous references to this GOD entity already, is all too pleased to answer. He informs Achilles that "GOD" is an acronym which stands for "GOD Over Djinn" (where "Djinn" designates a rather large collection of genies).
Achilles is perplexed and a bit disturbed by this answer. How can an acronym stand for something that includes the original acronym? Isn't that circular? Self-reference? Nonsense?
But the Genie is unperturbed. It calmly explains (though it thought it was well-known) that "GOD" is a recursive acronym; it stands for "GOD Over Djinn", as already noted, and this in turn stands for "GOD Over Djinn, Over Djinn". This second expansion, of course, can be expanded a third time into "GOD Over Djinn, Over Djinn, Over Djinn", and so on. So, unlike regular acronyms (which have just one measly expansion), the recursive acronym "GOD" has an unending sequence of expansions!
So GOD rolls up the alpha and omega that centers on Life, and specifically, on us Humans.🙂