Why do things Exist?

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Amanvir's picture
Why do things Exist?


It’s 10 o clock at night here, as I was sleeping I started to get some next level existential thoughts, so I decided to make an account to get some answers from like minded people.

The one thing I cannot wrap my head around, is the idea of existence. I want you all to picture similarly from my perspective, so I’ll try my best.

For the sake argument let’s just say it’s the birth of the universe and no life currently exists, which means no consciousness is present to notice existence. All we have is rocks, particles etc swirling around endlessly. Why do these things exist? What’s the point in space?

Why do particles exist? Why does space exist?? This is giving me a lot of anxiety thinking about this, but it’s equally deep and interesting for It

I don’t expect an answer, but I would like to hear people’s perspective if they also struggle with this.

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Whitefire13's picture
Hey Aman...hi! I saw you

Hey Aman...hi! I saw you wrote ... “This is giving me a lot of anxiety thinking about this,”

Curious as to why you’re feeling anxiety thinking about space? Or is it just the idea of existence?

Amanvir's picture

It’s just the thought of not knowing. The fact things some how exist (without meaning), has me thinking “what if?”;
- a “god” exists
- there’s more to life
- afterlife

I know deep down these things are irrational, yet it’s hard to shake off this idea that existence is here for no apparent reason other than to exist

boomer47's picture
@Aman singh

@Aman singh

Not sure where you head is mate . Did something happen ,or are you usually this introspective?

I'm assuming the notion of death is part of your thoughts about existence. Apologies if it is not.

Can't say I've ever questioned my own existence.*** However, I have still not fully resolved some big metaphysical questions . Such as; Is there a god? Do I have a soul and is there an afterlife? Does free will exist?

My tentative answers to all of those question is "I do not believe so" . However, I have no idea if I'm right. Ironically, if I am right, I'll never know. My brain may go into near death experience as I die and that would be nice.

At 72, I ponder my own mortality a lot. Those questions simply didn't arise in my 20's. I was about 30 before it sunk in that death applied to me personally. How do you think they get soldiers to go and fight? The notion of personal death simply does not occur to young men especially.

I went looking for answers, for truths in my early twenties. 50 years later I have far more questions than answers, about anything. I sometimes briefly envy the quiet certitude of many believers with their absolute truths. Sadly, such truths are smoke in the wind as far as I've been able to tell.

A couple of quotes I like for their pithiness :

"The problem with life is that it stops" Franz Kafka

"I was not
I was
I am not
I don't care "

From an ancient Roman tomb on the Via Apia, not far from Rome .

I went looking for answers, for truths in my early twenties. 50 years later I have far more questions than answers, about anything. I sometimes briefly envy the quiet certitude of many believers with their absolute truths. Sadly, such truths are smoke in the wind a far as I've been able to tell.


*** I stumbled upon an answer in my late twenties, before I had actually given the matter much thought .It was in a book 'Evidence and Inference'.I forget the name of the author. What I took away from that book was the ideas that the only thing which may be inferred (concluded) from a fact is itself. That a fact justifies its own existence **

.Now this was over 40 years years ago, I understand I might be completely wrong. I will accept correction if I am a mistaken

**An answer to the teleological /watchmaker argument for the existence of God, and I found it helpful.

Amanvir's picture
Thanks, it was an interesting

Thanks, it was an interesting read

CyberLN's picture
Hi, Aman. You’re asking a

Hi, Aman. You’re asking a lot of ‘why’ questions. I think one of the most profound philosophical things ever said is, “shit happens.” You can ask why but perhaps the answer is as simple as “because it is.”

Amanvir's picture
I agree that it’s most likely

I agree that it’s most likely that shit happens, but it’s still mind blowing for me. I think it’s more of inward hit against my own ego. We assume consciousness is provides meaning, but does meaning even exist

Whitefire13's picture
@Cranky... I probably relate

@Cranky... I probably relate mostly to:
"I was not
I was
I am not
I don't care " From an ancient Roman tomb

I did this type of thought exercise years ago when I almost died.

boomer47's picture


"I did this type of thought exercise years ago when I almost died."

I suspect the experience may have had the result of a greater enjoyment of life (?)

There is an old English black comedy film called' Kind Hearst And Coronets' . The protagonist goes around murdering his relatives who stand in his way of inheriting a title. He is caught and sentenced to hang. The night before his scheduled execution, he writes his memoirs. He makes the observation that knowing one is to be hanged in the morning clears the mind wonderfully.

I've been close to death twice. Once at age 8 whenI fell down an open cut mine. Smashed my arms and head , but should have died. All I remember is being spoiled by the nurses in the small country hospital and of crying when dad came to see me---mum was also in hospital, 7 months pregnant with an ovarian cyst the size of a cricket ball. Mother and baby survived. That was a bad year for my family

Second time is more peripheral . Age 21 , army. Had finished 3 months basic and 3 months corps training . Sent to a reinforcement centre.From there next step was 3 weeks jungle training in Queensland, then Vietnam------

Sitting in my tent, a thought occurred; "I'm going to Vietnam, there are people there who will try to KILL ME! Fuck that!"

Through pure the serendipity of being in the right place at the right time, I avoided going Vietnam. Instead I went to Malaysia, considered a holiday a posting .(wives and kids went too) There were 1200 blokes in my intake. Of that number, 12 of us went to Malaysia.

"Close to death" includes the probability of killing another human being. Had I done that the guilt would have destroyed me. I was implacably agains the Vietnam War on several levels.Thank the FSM I had the wit to keep that opinion to myself!

Whitefire13's picture
@Cranky “ suspect the

@Cranky “ suspect the experience may have had the result of a greater enjoyment of life”

It certainly has and I’ve never lost it. And clarity to what is important and valuable to me. Time and experiences. I don’t “waste” time and I love experiencing. I’m also seriously not afraid of death or even the dying experience. I’ve had the “chemical” kick in (no NDE though).

Cognostic's picture
@No particles, no nothing?

@No particles, no nothing? Please explain how "nothing" can exist. You are making a "nothing of the gaps" assertion. Nothing is not much different than a god. To assume "nothing" existed (an oxymoron by the way) you have to demonstrate that nothing is a possibility. We know no such thing...

What we do know is that what we once thought of as empty space is now loaded with energy and amazing particles that seem to pop in and out of existence. What we do know is that our model of physics breaks down at Planck time. If you want to know whether or not the universe had a cause..... well, you are just going to have to stand in line and wait like everyone else. That, or you can run about making inane assertions that this or that caused the universe to come into existence.

Please define nothing and demonstrate how it exists in the real world.

Amanvir's picture
This is very true. I think it

This is very true. I think it’s my assumption that no existence would = nothing. What we don’t know is nothing is even possible. Thanks for your reply, it helped to clear things up.

Randomhero1982's picture
One simple answer could be,

One simple answer could be, "why not".

Which may not give anyone comfort, but then the universe doesn't care about our feelings.

But another point to consider is perhaps the universe is all there is and ever has been.

If the universe has always existed then our being here is inevitable.

Amanvir's picture
For me I don’t think it’s

For me I don’t think it’s about comfort, but longing for answers. This question can’t be answered, but the most frustrating thing is that my brain cannot comprehend the idea of existence just existing. Logically I get it, that “shit happens”, but it’s nearly impossible to wrap my mind around.

Randomhero1982's picture
Well that is your

Well that is your interpretation, but the fact is, we do not know if it can or cannot be answered.

A theistic approach can never answer the question, only science can.

And with that, there are many theories and hypotheses that are viable working models (not necessarily the right models, but they are at least have substance) in which the universe may be eternal, or there may be a universe (or many worlds) an arrow of time may go infinitely into the past as well as the future...

The fact is we dont know, yet.

But it may one day be answered and that is beautiful and something worth thinking about and looking in to.

Cognostic's picture
@Randomhero1982: "But it may

@Randomhero1982: "But it may one day be answered" And then the religitards will move God one space back and ask the question..... "Well, what then created the thing that created us in this universe?" It's a never ending well of bullshit.

Tomcolumbus's picture
[Quote]"I was not

[Quote]"I was not
I was
I am not
I don't care "

From an ancient Roman tomb on the Via Apia, not far from Rome .[/quote]

This reminds me of something Samuel Clemens purportedly said.
"I was dead for billions of years before I was born and I was not inconvenienced in the slightest."

David Killens's picture



I am comfortable in the fact that we do not know everything. There will always be more questions than answers.

Grinseed's picture
Quantum fields.

Quantum fields.
Its a weirder universe than we can imagine.

Estimated age of universe 13.8 billion years.
Estimated age of homo sapien sapiens 200-300(?)thousand years.
Assuming we are alone and there are no gods then it does not appear that the universe is contingent on consciousness. Its been a universe for insentient rocks and stuff for a far longer time.
Vanity makes us assume we are important.
Statistically we are infinitesimally insignificant; philosophically we are the centre of the universe.

edited "200-300" to "200-300 thousand years"...I am not a YEC

Amanvir's picture
Exactly. I cannot seem to

Exactly. I cannot seem to detach myself from my own ego and vanity. This is why I am struggling with these questions and thoughts. The fact that existence can continue on without the need for any observations from some form of sentient being, is just beyond my own comprehension.

I wish I could just let go

CyberLN's picture
Aman, you wrote, “I wish I

Aman, you wrote, “I wish I could just let go”

You actually can, you just won’t. In other words, you have the power to do it. People engage in thoughts or behaviors because there’s some sort of payoff in it for them. That payoff can be positive or negative. Once you move past that payoff, you can give up that with which you are currently uncomfortable. It doesn’t happen overnight. But no one is going to do it for you. Think, ask, read, consider....do what you’re doing now, talk about it. You’ll get there.

Whitefire13's picture
@Aman, you also wrote “ The

@Aman, you also wrote “ The fact that existence can continue on without the need for any observations from some form of sentient being, is just beyond my own comprehension.”

This deserves a why? (Lol). Mentally, I can be pretty confident that Australia exists without my experiencing it... or other “types of planets” without my thinking about it.

You seem to be engaged in a form of “mind-candy”, which I thoroughly enjoy :) HOWEVER I pull myself back by asking “What the fuck can I do about it?” (usually nothing). or ...”it just “is”” ... or “ does this really effect me?”

Grinseed's picture


That detachment is really quite hard.

I recall how disappointed I felt, when I realised the universe would go on relentlessly without me witnessing things like that phenomenal event of the sun come up in the morning. I never get tired seeing or thinking of sunrises but. it does seem to lose a lot of its impact personally without me in the picture. However I start thinking of the number of sunrises I missed in the billions of years before I was born. Then I have to accept of course I am not really needed for any celestial event. I have never witnessed the "aurora borealis". It apparently occurs without me all the bloody time.

But I take heart knowing that while my ego/vanity is unimportant as far as the machinations of the physical universe is concerned, it is an immeasurably important necessity, for me, for the relatively short duration of my life, and in the memories of those I leave behind. All of which makes my life, and yours, way more important than the relatively abstract and ultimately useless concepts such as the age and bigness of the universe, for which I have very little use other than as an outlet for sincere awe and wonder.

Thoughtful little stargazing ape that I am, the universe and all its profundities still remain a enormously satisfying distraction to ponder on until my granddaughter invites me to play our silly, funny, games with her unicorn dolls again.

Everything is relative.

Whitefire13's picture
Ahhhh - birdfriend- “until my

Ahhhh - birdfriend- “until my granddaughter invites me to play our silly, funny, games with her unicorn dolls again.”

That’s beauty!!! There is the meaning...

Calilasseia's picture
And while Grinseed has pretty

And while Grinseed has pretty much beaten me to it, I'll elaborate a little on this matter.

Basically, whenever a metric space exists, the evidence to date is that said metric space is endowed with a set of quantum fields, and with every quantum field, is associated one or more particles that said quantum field can create or annihilate, depending upon the presence of sufficient energy for the purpose, of course.

The fields associated with bosons are responsible for such particles as photons, the W and Z particles for the weak nuclear force, and gluons for the strong nuclear force. Presumably, gravitation is responsible for its own set of bosons, the gravitons, but these haven't yet turned up in a particle accelerator experiment. One interesting theoretical result, however, is that if any spin-2 boson is ever found in a particle accelerator experiment, it will be unique, and will constitute the candidate for the so far elusive graviton. But I digress.

Fields associated with spin-½ particles, or fermions, on the other hand, are responsible for matter. And each of the fields in question has its own creation and annihilation operators. There's a field for leptons (electrons, muons and tauons), and a field for quarks. Excitation of those fields with energy inputs facilitates particle synthesis.

Grinseed's picture
Far more eloquently and

Far more eloquently and precisely expressed than my lazy link and crayon on cardboard summation. Short as it was Cal there were a few gems in your post that you have clarified for me. Cheers.

Sheldon's picture
Well we know something is

Well we know something is possible, but we don't know that nothing is possible.

I don't even know how we can make any assertions about nothing, though theists often seem to think they can.

We don't currently have a clear picture of how life originated, but again we know it's possible, and we know natural phenomena are possible. Occam' razor would suggest adding unnecessary and unevidenced claims are likely to be wrong.

I think its better to ask how than why, as why to me always seems to come with baggage, like the unevidenced religious claims there is some overarching purpose to human existence, and species evolution doesn't support that claim at all.

Amanvir's picture
Thanks. The concept of

Thanks. The concept of nothing is interesting, we always assume there’s a beginning. Nothing is basically a man made word. I wouldn’t know where to begin in having to understand the idea of “absolute nothing”, I think that will end up being worse than my original question lol

Cognostic's picture
@Aman Singh: You seem to be

@Aman Singh: You seem to be confusing the philosophical or mathmatical idea of nothing: "a concept," with the idea of a scientific nothing which is full of quantum particles, gravity, and energy fields. "The universe is a thing, there is no "nothing" inside the universe. Outside the known universe is outside the known universe and it is the "UNKNOWN." We have no idea of the physics of time, space, or matter, beyond our own universe. We live in a bubble of cause and effect. We live in a bubble of physical laws that we are beginning to understand. What's outside that bubble is currently beyond our abilities to understand; however, if you are going to assert something / anything exists out there, you are going to have to back up your assertion with facts and evidence.

MTheory's picture
Hello Aman,

Hello Aman,

Theoretical Physicist Michio Kaku & Stephen Hawking describe "god" as cosmic music/Mtheory. Each video is approximately 5 minutes long.



Cognostic's picture
@Physicist Michio Kaku: Hop

@Physicist Michio Kaku: Hop on the magical train ride to the edge of the universe and pretend you can understand it all; erroneous conclusions and a whole lot of Woooooo Woooooo as you travel along. Free bullshit sandwiches served at the half way mark. Come along and join us on the Kaku Express.... Woooooo Wooooo.


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