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Why do we have something instead of nothing?

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  • Panera Bread

    4625 West William Cannon Drive, Austin, TX (map)

    30.222101 -97.843361

  • Our presence in the universe is something too bizarre for words. The mundaneness of our daily lives cause us take our existence for granted — but every once in awhile we're cajoled out of that complacency and enter into a profound state of existential awareness, and we ask: Why is there all this stuff in the universe, and why is it governed by such exquisitely precise laws? And why should anything exist at all? We inhabit a universe with such things as spiral galaxies, the aurora borealis, and SpongeBob Squarepants. And as Sean Carroll notes, "Nothing about modern physics explains why we have these laws rather than some totally different laws, although physicists sometimes talk that way — a mistake they might be able to avoid if they took philosophers more seriously." And as for the philosophers, the best that they can come up with is the anthropic principle — the notion that our particular universe appears the way it does by virtue of our presence as observers within it — a suggestion that has an uncomfortably tautological ring to it.

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  • Walt

    All the stuff in the descriptive paragraph is spilt milk. Talking about what it is that exists (universes, laws of physics, stuff, etc) misses the the whole question. Perhaps a more relevant question is how is it that there can be anything? Or, why is nothing impossible?

    September 12

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  • Kasey C.
    Organizer,
    Event Host

    After 20 years in the Pacific NW, I have returned to my home state of Texas. I have lots of... more

  • Joe

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