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How does Objectivism answer this centuries old question?

asked May 29 '14 at 06:04

KineticPhilosophy's gravatar image


edited May 29 '14 at 11:41

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

I don't think it can.

(Feb 19 '15 at 15:27) Marce11o Marce11o's gravatar image

The meaning of "why" in this question is unclear. It might mean one or more of the following:

  • Who or what created the universe?

  • For what purpose was the universe created?

  • How do we know that the universe exists and is real?

In any case, Objectivism points out that the question is inherently invalid. If there is nothing, i.e., if nothing exists, then the question doesn't exist; the questioner doesn't exist; the questioner's audience doesn't exist; computers don't exist; the Internet doesn't exist; Objectivist Answers doesn't exist; houses, office buildings, cars, airplanes, the earth and sun, weather, and so on all don't exist. Even if one is actually just a brain in a vat being manipulated by a mad scientist, "nothing exists" implies that the scientist doesn't exist, his computer doesn't exist, the wires and electrodes connecting one's brain to the scientist's computer don't exist, the vat doesn't exist, and even the brain doesn't exist. Even if one is actually just a brain in a vat, it still remains true that:

Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

(See "Existence" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.)

If something, call it 'X', created existence, then who or what created 'X'? If 'X' simply is, without any antecedent reason, then why might not existence simply exist, without any antecedent cause? Objectivism holds that existence exists and is what it is, and that these are axiomatic facts that precede and are relied upon by all "why" questions, all "causes," and all specific (localized) instances of "nothing."

answered May 30 '14 at 00:19

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

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Asked: May 29 '14 at 06:04

Seen: 1,394 times

Last updated: Feb 19 '15 at 15:27