Re: is information the bottom line?

J. R. Molloy (
Fri, 12 Feb 1999 12:56:43 -0800

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote,
>Molloy's answer logically applies just the same here: "Why is the sky
>blue? Well, if it wasn't blue, we wouldn't be asking that question."

If "Why is the sky blue?" has the same logical applicability as "Why does anything at all exist?", then just as Aristotle and his contemporaries had insufficient data to accurately (and completely) answer both questions, so we have an inadequate information base to answer the second question. The bottom line of this information gap: We haven't yet got enough information at our disposal to reliably answer the (second) question -- which comes close to restating what you've already mentioned in this regard. IOW, in all honesty, we don't know the answer, yet.

Can we absolutely deny that nothing at all exists in the absence of principles which explain why anything at all exists? If so, then those principles exist as essential, rather than existential facts. This implies the existence of something which presently remains an undetectable mystery. Even if someone or something could tell me the answer, with my present capabilities I could not verify it. This explains part of the urge some of us have to figure things out for ourselves -- even if it means figuring out that we can't know just yet.

I suspect that if I knew why anything exists at all, I'd know better than try to communicate this science via email. Anyway, do we all agree that no one (presently) knows why anything exists at all? --J. R.