Where did reality come from?

Ficciones

Member
A Christian thinker asked me: "where did reality come from?"

It's absurd to ask where reality came from. I shall explain.

If one supposes that reality came from somewhere, its origin must be either real or unreal.

It's absurd to suppose that reality came from unreality. Consequently, reality must have come from something real.

But hold on - if that origin was real - then it was also constitutive of reality - and therefore reality (in that Christian's scenario of reality "coming from somewhere") would have existed before it existed - which is equally absurd.

Consequently, reality must not have come from anywhere.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
A Christian thinker asked me: "where did reality come from?"

It's absurd to ask where reality came from. I shall explain.

If one supposes that reality came from somewhere, its origin must be either real or unreal.

It's absurd to suppose that reality came from unreality. Consequently, reality must have come from something real.

But hold on - if that origin was real - then it was also constitutive of reality - and therefore reality (in that Christian's scenario of reality "coming from somewhere") would have existed before it existed - which is equally absurd.

Consequently, reality must not have come from anywhere.
Like your materialist mantra which claims nothing created everything.

If you are limited to circular "reasoning" it makes sense you call people absurd when you have no argument.

"In the Beginning...." Were you there?

By the way you "explained" nothing.
 

Whateverman

Active member
[...] if that origin was real - then it was also constitutive of reality - and therefore reality (in that Christian's scenario of reality "coming from somewhere") would have existed before it existed - which is equally absurd.

Consequently, reality must not have come from anywhere.
This honestly was a fun mental exercise.

At some point, metaphysics becomes physics, and we simply do not have the ability (yet) to bridge that gap in a coherent way. We don't have the language or knowledge for concepts like "existence coming into being", even though it seems obvious that things have beginnings and therefore existence must have had one as well, etc.

(By the way, I'm assuming that for the purposes of this thread, "existence" and "reality" are synonymous. Feel free to disagree if you do.)

Simply put, I think subjects like this one focus on the moment when language and understanding break down - the point where we can't describe what's going on without that description raising other questions. I neither think that reality has or does not have an origin; it may (or may not, as it were), but until I have more data to go on, I'm reserving judgement. I wont claim that our language proves the universe did or did-not have a beginning, just as I wont seriously entertain the idea than semantics drive our understanding of where/why we exist.
 

The Pixie

Member
(By the way, I'm assuming that for the purposes of this thread, "existence" and "reality" are synonymous. Feel free to disagree if you do.)
Actually, I assumed not. I think Ficciones is including God in reality (if he exists), though I suspect the Christian who asked the question did not.

I think the point is that we all have something that mysteriously just exists. It could be the universe; an atheist might suppose the universe just popped into existence or is eternal. It could be the multiverse. Or it could be God. Whatever it is, we have this things that just is, that has no cause or creator.

Of course, the Christian might say that that is not a problem for God because he is necessary (or whatever). But we can suppose the universe has that special property. Or the multiverse. Or whatever. We really do not know.
 

Furion

Member
It's true that nothing created everything, in the sense that everything wasn't created. So yes, nothing created everything.
So nothing created anything, and reality came from nowhere.

Reality is here, the universe is here, and your explanation for it is...nothing from nowhere.

I do believe you've fully bought into the meaninglessness of everything. The universe is dead matter, and so are you.

Unfortunately, you have the dubious distinction of grasping that you are nothing from nowhere. Better off being the ant, who knows nothing but goes about his day nonetheless.

Now take the further step and wring every drop of merriments from life. It may be nothing, but it will make you merry for a short season.
 

Torin

Member
This honestly was a fun mental exercise.

At some point, metaphysics becomes physics, and we simply do not have the ability (yet) to bridge that gap in a coherent way. We don't have the language or knowledge for concepts like "existence coming into being", even though it seems obvious that things have beginnings and therefore existence must have had one as well, etc.

(By the way, I'm assuming that for the purposes of this thread, "existence" and "reality" are synonymous. Feel free to disagree if you do.)

Simply put, I think subjects like this one focus on the moment when language and understanding break down - the point where we can't describe what's going on without that description raising other questions. I neither think that reality has or does not have an origin; it may (or may not, as it were), but until I have more data to go on, I'm reserving judgement. I wont claim that our language proves the universe did or did-not have a beginning, just as I wont seriously entertain the idea than semantics drive our understanding of where/why we exist.
Nobody is claiming that concrete details like the Big Bang theory can be derived this way. The point is just that nothing can cause reality, since the cause of reality would have to be real. We know this because we've abstracted the concept of reality from observation, just like every other concept. The claim that the concept of reality "breaks down" at some arbitrarily chosen point (whatever that even means) is transparently question begging.

You are repeating the old bromides of mysticism: "Reason is limited, language and understanding are limited, I'm not going to explain why though, you just have to have faith, I can't prove it but I feel like it's true."
 

Ficciones

Member
This honestly was a fun mental exercise.

At some point, metaphysics becomes physics

Nope. Physics can add nothing to this discussion. Physics can explore why and how the current state of affairs developed from a previous state of affairs; we're talking about why and how there's any state of affairs whatsoever, and whether the question even makes sense.

, and we simply do not have the ability (yet) to bridge that gap in a coherent way. We don't have the language or knowledge for concepts like "existence coming into being", even though it seems obvious that things have beginnings and therefore existence must have had one as well, etc.

If existence came into being, then you have (literally and not figurately) something from nothing: once, there was absolute metaphysical nonbeing, and then there was being. In any other scenario you have what is - whatever that may happen to be - a world of some kind - simply changing.

(By the way, I'm assuming that for the purposes of this thread, "existence" and "reality" are synonymous. Feel free to disagree if you do.)

Simply put, I think subjects like this one focus on the moment when language and understanding break down - the point where we can't describe what's going on without that description raising other questions. I neither think that reality has or does not have an origin; it may (or may not, as it were), but until I have more data to go on, I'm reserving judgement. I wont claim that our language proves the universe did or did-not have a beginning, just as I wont seriously entertain the idea than semantics drive our understanding of where/why we exist.

In a way this is what I'm driving at. I'm pursuing the question to its conclusion to show that it ultimately undoes itself. Either reality came from nothing, or else there was always reality of some sort.
 
Last edited:

Furion

Member
Yes, because reality didn't come from. This is what Christians also believe - there was always something, except they call it God.

So atheists believe reality never came into existence, it always was? Or you are claiming reality only came into existence with the big bang, or something else.

Christians believe reality has always existed within God.
 

Whateverman

Active member
Actually, I assumed not. I think Ficciones is including God in reality (if he exists), though I suspect the Christian who asked the question did not.

I think the point is that we all have something that mysteriously just exists. It could be the universe; an atheist might suppose the universe just popped into existence or is eternal. It could be the multiverse. Or it could be God. Whatever it is, we have this things that just is, that has no cause or creator.

Of course, the Christian might say that that is not a problem for God because he is necessary (or whatever). But we can suppose the universe has that special property. Or the multiverse. Or whatever. We really do not know.
That sounds way more simple than what I (thought I was) was responding to. Sure, it appears that some things "just exist", and that this existence can't be immediately explainable via logic or empirical facts/knowledge.

I thought the question was a bit deeper than that.
 

Whateverman

Active member
Nobody is claiming that concrete details like the Big Bang theory can be derived this way. The point is just that nothing can cause reality, since the cause of reality would have to be real. We know this because we've abstracted the concept of reality from observation, just like every other concept. The claim that the concept of reality "breaks down" at some arbitrarily chosen point (whatever that even means) is transparently question begging.
I neither said nor suggested that the concept of reality breaks down. Instead, I said that our language is inadequate to describe or explain what happens (re. did reality begin to exist).

You are repeating the old bromides of mysticism: "Reason is limited, language and understanding are limited, I'm not going to explain why though, you just have to have faith, I can't prove it but I feel like it's true."
That's unfair, and you're wrong. Saying that language and understanding are limited is a literal and objective fact.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
A Christian thinker asked me: "where did reality come from?"

It's absurd to ask where reality came from. I shall explain.

If one supposes that reality came from somewhere, its origin must be either real or unreal.

It's absurd to suppose that reality came from unreality. Consequently, reality must have come from something real.

But hold on - if that origin was real - then it was also constitutive of reality - and therefore reality (in that Christian's scenario of reality "coming from somewhere") would have existed before it existed - which is equally absurd.

Consequently, reality must not have come from anywhere.
Is there some place I can get on your version of reality? Or must I have always been a part of this reality of which you speak?
I.e., where can I get on the merry-go-round?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Since reality exhausts the real, either there was always reality, or else something came from nothing.
I don't see where your circular argument has shown that reality has always existed.
You clearly did not always exist, so you have no idea what you're talking about.
I know I didn't always exist, so my reality did not always exist.
 
Top