Nothing

“Why is there something rather than nothing?” is a question without meaning.  The term “nothing” relies for its meaning on the absence of “something.”  If there is no Something in existence, then there cannot be Nothing.  Put another way, we arrive at the notion of some primordial Absolute Nothing by simply inserting a negative sign in front of the totality of Somethings.  But we can only conceive of Nothing as an independent reality if it is a place where all Somethings are absent; and a place can only exist within coordinates defined by somethingness.  Or again, there cannot be an absence of somethingness before it is even a potential reality that can be absent.  If the nothingness contained that potential it would not qualify as Nothing.  And without that potential there is “no there there.”  So when it comes to Absolute Nothing, Gertrude Stein was right and Ira Gershwin was wrong.  We could never have had “plenty o’ nothin’.”

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