Friday, March 26, 2010

thoughts inspired by a conversation

So I’ve decided to introduce a series on conversations –whether in the form of a dialogue or ideas that spiralled from a conversation—that I’ve been having with people; conversations that seem to linger after silence.

My friend mentioned a question that has been on his mind, and frankly on mine, lately: it is the question that Martin Heidegger posed in his Introduction to Metaphysics, "Why are there beings [or something] at all, instead of Nothing?"
I’m wondering how to go about answering this question, while avoiding a purely theological answer that begins and ends with God, which isn’t necessarily problematic, but even with the existence of God, you wonder about existence. To begin to answer this question, we must define nothing. What is nothing? Well, nothing is the lack of something and it is nothing. It is an indefinite non-thing, empty, neutral—neither evil, nor good. Is something the opposite of nothing, or does it spring from nothing? My mind’s a bit inert, so I shall finish my thought when my mind’s back in motion.
Does my definition of nothing have any clout? Is the question a mere tautology and pointless to ask?

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