We might consider the term nothing as something without anything, absolute absence of anything. Well, this is hard to comprehend. For millennia, the concept of nothing, especially in religion, was something that cannot be, a nonexistence. However, the phrase, “something which cannot be, a nonexistence”, is a little counter intuitive. You cannot really describe the word nothing with something in the same sentence. My point is that the concept and word “nothing” is so hard to conceive that even dictionaries and sources such Merriam Webster and Oxford dictionaries have trouble defining the word without incorporating a noun or an idea into the definition. What this means, is that the only concept we have to grasp the idea of nothing is the result of having no existence or value. As I mentioned before, “nothing” is probably the hardest topic to grasp conceptually.

To reference back toward religion, and the view it holds pertaining to the nothing concept, Ex Nihilo was a term in Latin that was typically associated with theological studies which meant, “out of nothing.” This term was typically used in biblical terms especially with respect toward creation. To dissect this a little more, nothing was something used for creation, so does that mean nothing is something?

I believe that there cannot simply be nothing, there has to be something. Without anything, even if there was a sliver of so called, “nothing”, the Universe would just be reverted to a state of non existence. In actually, if the idea of nothing were to be true, nothing would exist in the Universe. In fact, there would be no Universe, I cannot even explain what would be the cause of nothing. To try and clear up my language, there is no language to describe what I am trying to describe. The word nothing is an idea which falsely reflects what the word is trying to convey. Nothing is, by now, sounding more like a very tangible and concrete idea, which it is, but is becoming more and more diluted with its meaning and its connotation.

My biggest fear is not knowing, and having no consciousness. Believing in a religion can ease the mind of the possible eventuality of non existence of the consciousness. Sometimes I will think too hard about what will happend when I die. The strenuous thought process in contemplating what life would be like without a conscience or what death may hold is a fruitless attempt which often leads to confusing, proliferating and fathomless endeavors for the mind to comprehend. My philosophy is: Time is never on our side and this means that we, the human race, must infinitely amuse ourselves with seemingly infinite knowledge of trivial ideals until our clock runs out. Ironically, trying to study the essence of “nothing” may be another infinitesimal or trivial ideal that we must amuse ourselves for, (as one may put it), conscious stimulation. The repetition of learning, working, and living, will keep us from going insane.

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Is Nothing something that we can comprehend? by Judge Thomas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Mia 8 months ago

    Thomas,
    I think this is the trippiest post I have ever read. Nothing truly is one of the hardest ideas to grasp. How can “nothing” exist in a world where everything is defined as a something? My question now is, what is the proper way to use this word? I can see how in some situations nothing can exist, for example if someone asks if you have clothes in your closet, and there happen to be none, there is “nothing” of clothes in there. And there are some things that contain nothing of a certain something. But, relating to your post of something being nothing, I don’t really know what to say. I like that you said that “my biggest fear is not knowing” because that is my biggest fear too. I want to know facts, especially about mysterious/controversial ideas, and it is terrifying to be left in the dark. I know you enjoy debates, so I found a debate about what is nothing. I hope the both of us can draw some more intake on this subject from the video! Thank you for writing about this, I’m excited to see more of your future posts.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-existence-of-nothing-live/

  2. Zach 10 months ago

    This is an extremely deep and well thought out post, Thomas. I often think about the concept of nothing as well, mostly when I think about death. If there truly is no heaven or hell, no afterlife to look toward, and we simply cease to exist when we take our final breath, will nothingness feel like anything or will we have no feelings or consciousness to experience nothingness with? I highly recommend that you take a look at this article by independent UK (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/this-is-what-its-like-to-be-dead-according-to-a-guy-who-died-for-a-bit-10068959.html), which is a person who died for several minutes before being brought back by medicine and who felt what it truly is to feel nothing. I will look forward to your next post.

  3. Olivia 10 months ago

    Wow! This was very mind bending but very intriguing! While reading I tried to define “nothing” in my own terms and found just how hard it is to not use the word “something” or another word along those lines. How did you come up with a question this abstract and complex? I also liked how you tied religion into it and how so many people can believe in “nothing” because they have never seen it.

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