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Philosophy/Existence

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Question
What is the cause of existence?


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Answer
The answer depends on perspective. If you're a physicist of the most modern persuasion, there's no need for an explanation since everything creates itself; see:

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/ast123/lectures/lec17.html

...and look at the Quantum Fluctuations section.

Philosophers laugh at this, and say, "Hey, you forgot to ask how the quantum vacuum came to exist." Physics has not response other than, "Well, we have to start SOMEWHERE."

One philosopher-type response is "God, who was by definition not created, started it all."

The physicists (and a lot of other philosophers) respond with, "Hey, you just postulated that God exists without any evidence, or even an argument. It's a rabbit pulled out of a hat, instead of an answer to a question."

The upshot. There is NO agreement among those who have pondered the question deeply about why anything exists, let alone what the cause is.

My own opinion is that the physicist will, sometime in the near future, find a bit of mathematics that says that the universe cannot NOT exist; claiming it didn't at any point is a contradiction.

The philosophers will then reply, "That assumes that your math accurately reflects reality, which is as dicey as the claim that God has to exist..."

Sorry that nobody has a good handle on this.

Regards,

Charlie

Philosophy

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Charles K. MacKay

Expertise

I can answer a number of questions in philosophy; my academic concentrations (graduate school at Cornell) are ethics, political philosophy, and 19th-century German philosophy (Marx, Hegel, and hangers-on.)

Experience

EDUCATION:

BA, New College, 1971, Philosophy and Religion
Awarded four graduate fellowships upon graduation

MA, Cornell University, 1974
Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

All course work and dissertation drafts completed for Ph.D. Cornell University, 1971-1975, Social and Political Philosophy, Danforth Fellowship

Courses in statistics and microeconomics, George Washington University and The American University, 1976-1978

EXPERIENCE: Health Insurance Specialist 2005 - Present
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service
US Department of Health and Human Services

Allentown Business School Instructor (Computer Science) 2003 - 2005

Northampton Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy 2003 -2005

Lehigh County Community College
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Computer Science


PUBLICATIONS:

Medicare Made Easy (with Charles B. Inlander) Addison-Wesley, 1989

Good Operations, Bad Operations (with Charles B. Inlander) Viking Press, 1993

Health Rebooted: Information Changes Everything (in press), 2008


Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts, Philosphy and Religion, New College, 1971 Master of Arts, Social and Political Philosophy, Cornell University, 1975

Awards and Honors
Danforth Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Fellowship

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