Comment author:Jude_B
19 September 2016 03:20:01PM
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So when you ask, "Why did Sherlock Holmes tell Watson that...?"

You assume that Holmes exists?

Also, when you ask why some complicated theorem in number theory is true, you are basically asking for a proof from first principles (say Peano Arithmetic), you don't need to assume that numbers exist (which would make you a Platonist).

Comment author:torekp
05 September 2016 11:52:36AM
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This. And if one is willing to entertain Tegmark, approximately 100% of universes will be non-empty, so the epistemic question "why a non-empty universe?" gets no more bite than the ontological one.

## Comments (45)

BestI lose no sleep over this. I think people who do are just confused by language.

I'd say that if you examine your concept of "why", you find it presupposes existence.

*0 points [-]So when you ask, "Why did Sherlock Holmes tell Watson that...?"

You assume that Holmes exists?

Also, when you ask why some complicated theorem in number theory is true, you are basically asking for a proof from first principles (say Peano Arithmetic), you don't need to assume that numbers exist (which would make you a Platonist).

I said as much in one of my replies to turchin. But that doesn't mean that the question has no answer.

But some people do like Tim Urban http://waitbutwhy.com/table/why-is-there-something-instead-of-nothing

I think that it is overkilling argument, as it may be applied to almost any question. Why Sun looks like a circle? Why we value human existence?

This "why" expresses some kind of lacking knowledge or confusion, but not exactly appropriate wording to really describe what is going on.

So our inability to find adequate wording for something as already incorporated into "why".

This. And if one is willing to entertain Tegmark, approximately 100% of universes will be non-empty, so the epistemic question "why a non-empty universe?" gets no more bite than the ontological one.