Pseudo-question

By | January 30, 2014

The reason why professional philosophers deride the problem, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” as a pseudo-problem isn’t because it is actually a pseudo-problem or irrelevant, rather it is scorned as a valid line of inquiry precisely because it is completely flummoxing and essentially destroys – as quantum mechanics does now to science in many ways – their entire enterprise.

Note that I am not saying that philosophy is worthless or that this fact renders it futile. Quite the opposite.

But I am saying that foundational questions that introduce (metaphorical) infinities into any field in general are often dismissed or derided. It is the nature of humanity to do such things.

As William James said, “Philosophy stares, but brings no reasoned solution, for from nothing to being there is no logical bridge.”

Philosophy might never be able to answer this question. Science almost certainly won’t be able to, either. Deciding something is outside of one’s domain and then denigrating those as childish who undertake to at least wish for an answer is far easier than saying, “Yes, philosophy in this respect is likely forever to be broken, but that’s ok as it is at least useful for many other things.”