Why is There Something Instead of Nothing?
Without question, there is something. All you need to do is look around to know that with certainty. But why is there something? And if no one is there to observe the something, is it really there? If you are not there the something certainly it is not there for you. To you and your being, something can become nothing in an instant, a moment of inattention on the 405 Freeway, an accidental overdose of a lethal medication that was meant to keep you alive, a cancerous growth in the brain that displaces your personality, thoughts, knowledge, skills, and replaces you with a bunch of wild DNA without an obvious purpose. If you believe in physics (and who doesn’t?) entropy will win in the long run and things will become more disorganized, further apart, turn cold and disappear into the vast infinity. Eventually there will be nothing again as there was prior to the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, which is not all that long ago when you consider terms like eternity and infinity. Even time itself was not there before singularity blew and inflated into something we now can all see, besides space and time are cousins we are told by the theory of Special Relativity. Einstein’s calculations showed that the universe was not constant, but he put in a constant (lambda- λ) to correct what he thought was an error in his work. The something keeps inflating at the speed of light and actually keeps accelerating at increasing speeds according to Georges Lemaître, the Belgian priest who was critical of Einstein’s constant universe calling it “abominable physics”. Eventually, even Albert Einstein had to admit that his theory of the constant universe was wrong, and he called the λ the greatest blunder of his life once he was presented with the evidence by the famous Priest/Physicist. When space has expanded to fill all there is will it stop? And since space and time are made of different fibers of the same cloth, will time also become non-existent? That would not be a new thought as before the Big Bang it did not exist either.
But more short term, and before we risk that time too will stop, we all own a bit of that precious commodity. Whatever time is, it is finite, cannot go back, cannot be stopped, although it slows when under increased gravitation or at speeds approaching that of light. It actually will stop at a certain point in time for each of us. You have heard the term, “Running out of time.” For some of us it spans a longer time and for others it is very brief indeed. There is the theistic answer of the eternal life, but I am very skeptical of what I cannot see, feel, or experience with my current senses. Besides the eternal life idea that so many of the world’s religion promise, just seems too improbable, too complicated, too pie in the skyish. Just think of the enormous bureaucracy that would have to manage the billions of souls of the past present and future that would mill around in the parallel universe of hell and heaven, especially now that Pope Francis has spoken Ex cathedra that all pets now will also be with us in the afterlife. Would the very famous people have to be segregated to protect them from the paparazzi? Would husbands who cheated on their wives be with wife one or with the interloper? Or would they all live happily ever after as a threesome? Or as the Eagle’s song Hotel California says, “It could be heaven, or it could be hell”? Speaking of music, what music will play up or down there? Will it be days and days of never ending Richard Wagner Operas? Or will it be dissonant, and ear-piercing Metallica before Dave Mustaine left that band? Will we party with the Apostles and the Prophets? Just think of all human pleasures which we enjoy, gourmet and fattening foods, “In and Out” Burgers, concerts, comedians, sex, peeled grapes, good wines, fancy fast cars, haut couture, Paris, the Grand Canyon, the World Cup, witnessing the great migration on the Serengeti etc., etc. Do you think that any of that will be permitted, and who will do all the cooking, not to mention the cleanup? Perhaps all the inhabitants of hell! But could you trust them? Even the chief arch angel, the carrier of light, Lucifer, betrayed the Boss and spawned a revolution. Judging by how they behaved on earth, I would not trust anyone from that crowd. My advice is for everyone that has a dog, they should carry their own pooper scooper around when walking their dog in heaven, especially on the streets paved with gold.
For me when it’s over it’s over. Although I take solace in the thought that my DNA will go on in my genetic and spiritual progeny. True it will not be me personally and everything will turn to nothing for my being. But I have left something on this earth, I have influenced something, someone, and some of that will influence or affect others. As Dan Brown wrote in the Inferno, “So long as they speak your name, you shall never die.”
So, you see, why there is something is ephemeral for each of us as individuals. There is something only if you are there to perceive it. It becomes nothing as soon as you are not there to observe it. Why is there something that exists? Because you observe it and it is what makes life worth living. Observing is very much like examining. You cannot observe without examining and visa versa. As Socrates said, “The non-examined life is not worth living!” But it comes in and out of existence just like some subatomic particles exist and then disappear. You cannot know the speed of an electron is traveling and also know its position at the same time. This was established by Werner Heisenberg in his “Uncertainty Principle”. As soon as you observe something it no longer is the same. Uncertainty is the operative word. Nothing is certain and as soon as something is observed it is changed. Once the observer is gone, the something no longer exists, at least as it pertains to you.
That is why life is for the living. Live life as if it were your last day on earth, for it may be! Tomorrow may not ever exist in your time line.