Asking the question “Why is there something instead of nothing?” almost always inspires a reaction of awe or wonder. This emotional response is both appropriate and desirable, whether or not a legitimate answer to the question is obtainable. The question is deep, and the fact about which it asks is impossible to explain by citing some other fact or some antecedent condition. In this paper I consider several possible responses, including a rejection of the question as meaningless, positions that posit the existence of a necessary being, and teleological explanations that posit the instantiation of value in the world. It is argued that each of these positions is either an unacceptable response or fails to diminish our sense of awe at the existence of the world.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI jpr_2001_10
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