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Why Does The Universe Exist?

Here's philosopher Jim Holt delivering a TED talk with one of the TED-talkiest titles ever (just listen to the audience laugh in a paroxysm of absurd self-awareness): "Why does the Universe Exist?" And yet it's a pretty great presentation.

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In all seriousness, I know it's popular these days to give TED a hard time for being ineffectual, navel-gazy, and paradoxically vapid, but I'm going to come down on Holt's side here and say this his presentation serves as a thoughtful and engaging introduction to the mathematical, philosophical, scientific and religious sides of nothingness and something-ness . If you're into this sort of thing, you will thoroughly enjoy Holt's 2012 book of a similar title, which, like his talk, is filled with plenty of name-dropping, sure, but also an ample helping of more rigorous, in-depth exploration.

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DISCUSSION

Corpore Metal

See, having read some of his other stuff, I have to ask? Why does there have to be a reason? Can't all just be? If the universe appears to be more and more indifferent and absurd the more we comprehend it, why can't that absurdity go all the way to the existence of reality itself?

I have no problem with investigating this mystery scientifically, but I don't think we'll ever find an satisfactory answer.

And the problem I do have is that there are still far too many of us that naively point at this mystery and then start mistakenly arguing from first cause for things like gods—which only multiplies entities.

Why is there something instead of nothing? Why not?

In dead seriousness, really, why does there have to be a reason?