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Why there is Something rather than Nothing$
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Bede Rundle

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199270503.001.0001

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Essence and Existence

Essence and Existence

(p.95) 5 Essence and Existence
Why there is Something rather than Nothing

Bede Rundle

Oxford University Press

It is difficult to see how purely philosophical considerations might lead to an understanding of why there should be anything at all. After looking at the cosmological and ontological arguments for the existence of God, and considering issues associated with the notions of essence and existence, a negative answer is returned to the question whether it makes sense to suppose that there might have been nothing. No particular being had to be, but there had to be something. This leads on to a discussion of the question whether it can be said that the universe began to exist, as Big Bang cosmologies would appear to imply.

Keywords:   Big Bang, cosmological argument, essence, existence, necessity, ontological argument

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