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The Big Question: Why The World Exists

1739 words - 7 pages

The big question: Why the world Exists
Jim Holt likes asking questions, rather big ones. In the book, 'Why does the world exist?', he takes on one of the biggest questions in his conversation with scientists and theologists. Jim Holt raises the central question Why is there something rather than nothing. He questions the origin of everything in this book. In the book, Jim Holt, himself wants to know how nothingness, a state in which nothing exists, gives rise to the universe in which all things exist. The book goes into detail about the mystery of existence. Not just our existence, but everyones and everything. To come up with an answer to this perplexing question, Holt interviews various people. Holt travels across the world, to England, France and United States to find answers to the mystery of existence. He interviews religious people as well as atheists, physicists and philosophers and Platonist. Holt visits each of these people posing the question, Why does the world exist? And Why is there something rather than nothing? He writes about their responses to this question. The answers the various theologists and philosophers give us a vivid glimpse of the speaker, but do not solve the riddle of the existence.
In the book, Jim Holt interviews people from theologists like Richard Swinburne, to philosophers of science such as Adolf Grunbaum, from theoretical physicists like David Deutsch, Regular physicists such as Steven Weinberg, to Platonist’s like Roger Penrose. In my essay, I have chosen to look at the ideas established by the philosopher Adolf Grunbaum as well as the theologist of Swinburne. Jim Holt describes the exchanges between them as an 'intricate metaphysical ping pong match.' Both of these theologists are very interesting. Adolf Grunbaum on one hand, doesn’t care about the question about why the world exists, and doesn't see any fascination with the topic. He doesn't believe in God for the explanation of the world. On the other hand, Richard Swinburne is very intrigued by the topic and takes to God to explain this phenomenon. I found it interesting, both philosophers, but very different ideas.
Adolf Grunbaum is a philosopher of science as well as a critique of psychoanalysis. He was a man of immense stature. Jim Holt describes him in his book as, 'The greatest living philosopher of science.' One of the reasons Grunbaum became so famous was due to the fact that launched a powerful attack on the Freudian Psychoanalysis. Grunbaum was also antipathetic to religious beliefs. His disenchantment with religion, began with his interest in philosophy. Grunbaum was one of the philosophers who saw Jim Holt as asking the wrong questions.
Grunbaum in the book, explains to Jim Holt that creation is a pseudo-problem. He thought of the existence of the world as unresolvable, a nonstarter. According to him, there was no reason to be puzzled or in awe of the mystery of the existence of the world. He sees the world as very much to be...

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