Why is there something rather than nothing?
At the beginning of this semester I went to my first philosophy class, Philosophy of Religion. The professor told us what was going to be on the final exam, just one question. We had the whole semester to consider just one question: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Throughout the semester we read many essays by people who believed, or didn't believe. Naturalists and non-naturalists. People who declared there was life after death, or there wasn't. Who stated that science made it so that religion couldn't exist, and vice versa. I thought and thought, what could possibly be the answer to this question? What if I don't believe that there is something? What if there is nothing? Then how do I answer that question at all?
Now during the last week of the semester, I realize that I was looking at it all wrong. The question that lie within the question is the answer. Of course there is something rather than nothing, the real question that lie there before me the entire semester was really what is that something?
So, what is the something?
But that word can't fully describe what I mean.
We as humans have the same question, no matter race or creed, the question is universal: how can we find the ultimate and unlimited happiness? We answer this question through series of beliefs and faiths. Some chose to believe that there is a god, some chose to believe that there is reincarnation, or salvation, or enlightenment. This question is arisen within ourselves as we search our entire lives to find the solution. We look to outside sources, tangible and non-tangible. The reality is that the answer to question is something that we must find within ourselves. What we chose to believe in and have faith in, outside of what fact and science says, the things that answer our question. Why is there something rather than nothing? Because the something is innate, because we want to be happy, we want to find the answer to our questions that validate our existence.We chose to believe in things that will bring us, and do actively bring us, happiness. In this way, there is no real answer to the question is there something or nothing? Because it's always something, it's just a matter of what that something is for each of us. The something is not things that are objects, or people, or places. But things that empower us to be better humans, to love more and care more. The things that change us outside of comprehension. The love or connection that we have with other beings, or the god that we believe in, or the entity that is the force of life for all beings that we chose to believe is there. The something is within us. The realization that our ultimate goal, as described by many greats of many different beliefs such as Dalai Lama, is happiness. No matter what we chose to believe in, there's no real right or wrong answer because there are so many kinds of happiness and ways to reach to it, and the it's unique for all of us. We chose to believe what exists because it answers the something that calls within us. So, of course there is something rather than nothing, and that something always answers the question, "how do I find ultimate and unlimited happiness?"
While there is so much more to this than I can fully express through human language which is so limited, the underlying answer is there. We each find the answer to our internal question in many different ways. There can't just be one way, one religion, one belief, that answers the question of our life for all beings that exist, because there are so many different cultures, beliefs, experiences, and people. The happiness that I'm referring to is one that is beyond the definition of our word "happiness," it's something that can't be defined by a general answer but must be defined by ourselves and what we chose to believe.
So to my professor's question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Because the something is inescapable. The something isn't always a god, it isn't always one singular answer, but it varies for each of us. The something is what drives us, the something what ever it may be that lives within us, is the answer to our existence. To our, and may I use this word for lack of better, happiness. There is something because we chose to believe in order to answer our questions.
Perhaps I can't fully express this something in order for it to be comprehensible. And perhaps I may be quite wrong about this entirely. But for me, the answer is quite clear and even something that I may be working the rest of my life to answer. For me to define if there is a god or not, (which is a totally different question than that of which I have been attempting to answer, but let me use this as an example of what I mean), is nigh impossible. I do not know that I could possibly answer this question of whether or not a god exists. But I know that I exist, and I know that there is a reason that I exist, and I am a thinking individual and being. I don't know the answers to why I exist, but I know the answer to things that bring me happiness. For moments there are tangible things that bring me happiness which fade away. But peace of mind, when I can escape the thought of the world and feel whole within myself, that brings me what may be a pure happiness. And perhaps that doesn't really answer the question of why I exist or what created me, or whether or not there is an entity that has power over us all, but the pure happiness, which as aforementioned is something beyond our definition, is something that validates my existence. Maybe one day I will be certain that there is reincarnation, or that there is a god, or entity of some sort. And perhaps that knowing will give me the clear answer to these questions. Until then, I know that there is something because I feel the drive within myself, because I know that love exists, and peace and happiness exist. But to find the unlimited and ultimate happiness, which will alleviate all worry, pain, and suffering, which for Buddhists this is enlightenment, for Christians it is salvation by God, this is the answer which will validate my existence.
For me, the something exists. The something isn't one answer. Why is there something rather than nothing? Because we are all searching for an answer, and that something will answer it. It just depends on what that something is for you. So, what is your something?