Heraclitus answered to Parmenides with these two words : “μεταβάλλον αναπαύεται» (metavalon anapavetai) i.e. “in rest is changing”, and that means we may perceive the environment/the Universe as to be static but in the same time it evolves i.e. it is changing/moving.
"Nothing Comes from Nothing" and Parmenides
That is a funny anecdotal story Elli.
After all I am Laughing Democritus!
Just so we are clear I’m not a great lover of Parmenides in general. I’m simply using his ideas on being and nothing to help conceptualize something that I’m sure is very troubling for many people...envisioning an eternal universe.
I mean whether we are talking about big bangs, singularities, collapsing fifth dimensional universes, steady state universes etc. there is the need to conceptualize this principle of the eternal universe. Something does not come from nothing ex nihilo.
If I was a Neoplatonist I would say the aggregate One manifests the universe and chain of being perpetually through emanationism. In the eternal now. None of that is provable in reality or observable. But they also held to an eternal universe. I believe the Aristotelians did too, as do many “eastern” philosophies that shall not be named here.
Also again even the biblical narratives and myths like Zurvanism in Iranian philosophy held to the notion of a pre-existing “thing”...god, principle,etc that either creates or simply manifests the universe, often from “itself” or a slain enemy like a dragon etc. like Tiamat in Babylonian myth. Creatio ex nihilo in concept anyway simply isn’t feasible...since everyone, no matter who, has a first principle.
I think as far as we Epicureans go, it depends on how far we want to defend the position of an eternal universe. Getting into modern physics and other philosophical arguments beyond the more simple assertions.
I think there is ample observable and logical evidence that the universe is eternal. It may go through “changes” but those changes really make no difference to me as an Epicurean.
It’s easy enough to say it’s eternal and move on with my day seeking out pleasure.
With all that being said with modern physics, Parmenides and a host of exhausting (monstrous) eastern philosophies being brought up as a comparison...I’m satisfied with the Lucretian and Epicurean assertion of the eternal universe.
However it actually looks or looked doesn’t ultimately have a bearing on my pleasurable living.
I’m happy with laughing about Democritus’s keen observations of the changes in female sexual evolution rather than going mad worrying about first principals, but I’m always willing to go there! 😂
If I was a Neoplatonist I would say the aggregate One manifests the universe and chain of being perpetually through emanationism. In the eternal now.
And the probable best response if you were to say that would be: "What weed are you smoking?"
Hahaha that’s real Neoplatonist terminology!
Should you wonder why I embraced materialism and Epicureanism? 😅