How to run a library

Bill has a follow-up post to the one I commented on previously.  He quotes his original claim
In short, absolutely everything can be thought of, without logical contradiction, as not existing,
and then goes on to say
But doesn't the bolded sentence contradict what I said in earlier posts about the impossibility of there being nothing at all, that there must be something or other, and that this can be known a priori by pure thought?
His worry appears to be that
1. Everything is contingent,
2. Necessarily, there exists something,
are inconsistent. But is that so? A library of N books might operate with a maximum of N-1 books out on loan at any one time. At any time, any given book may possibly be on loan, yet necessarily at least one book remains on the shelves.  The example relies on the isomorphism between modal and deontic logic.  The librarian is specifying that
1.  At any time, any book may be loaned out,
2.  At any time, at least one book must remain on the shelves.
Translating on the shelf as existent and loaned out as non-existent shows that Bill's worry is groundless.

But then he goes on to give an argument for the much stronger
2*.  Something exists necessarily.
On my library analogy this is equivalent to the requirement that some specific book always remain on the shelves, and this contradicts the requirement that absolutely any book may be loaned out.  So it looks as if Bill has dug himself a hole.  What is his argument for 2*?  He says,
And what is that thing whose nonexistence is inconceivable? What is the case. For if something exists, then that is the case. And if nothing exists, then that is the case. Either way, there is what is the case. Either way, there is the way things are. The way things are is not nothing, but something: a definite state of affairs.

The thought that there might have been nothing at all is the thought that it might have been the case that there is nothing at all. But if that had been the case, then something would have existed, namely, what is the case. Therefore, the thought that there might have been nothing at all refutes itself. By sheer thinking I can know something about reality, namely, that necessarily something exists. By pure thought I can arrive at a certain conclusion about real existence.
It seems to me that there are two ways in which we can understand the phrases what is the case and the way things are, namely an identitarian way, and a modal way.  In the identitarian way what is the case and the way things are are terms  referring to the world as it is.  So Bill is saying that there is the world as it is (which may be empty) and there is also the world as it is.  Even if we accept the world as it is as an entity, about which I'm rather dubious, Bill is double counting here.  In the modal way of understanding these terms we think of them as referring to possible worlds, ie, possible ways the world might be.  Thus the way things are is just one of the myriads of ways the world might be.  And all these ways, as ways, have an equal claim to existence, just as all the ways of dealing a hand of cards or ordering books on a shelf have an equal claim.  We say, for example, that there are six ways of ordering three books. So if we want to think of the way things are as some kind of modal entity within the world we must also allow all the ways things aren't as modal entities of equal status.  Hence even a world devoid of ordinary objects necessarily contains, for every possible world, a modal entity describing that world to an arbitrary level of detail.  This I can't swallow.  Apart from its huge extravagance it simply doesn't cohere with the way I think about modality.  For me, modal thought requires surveying the possibilities from some standpoint outside all of them.

Bill believes that by shear thinking he can arrive at conclusions about real existence.  I'm not convinced in this particular case.  But maybe I am indulging in pseudo-philosophical scientistic denigration of a priori knowledge.

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