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  • I find it difficult to understand that in the era of the atom bomb, anyone can say we don't know whether or not atoms exist. However, I would say that we don't know whether atoms (and void) are ALL that exists. It is the idea that there could be something other than material existence, that in my view is a more accurate way to think about this question. In this case, I think can say that we don't know. Since we do know that atoms exist, this basis for Epicurean philosophy remains sound. Even if …
  • You are correct, and I've used incorrect phrasing. But I think you know what I meant.
  • The answer to the question about pink ponies I would give is the same for any assertion like that, "yes, there may be conditions and/or circumstances about which we have no information yet that could allow for this. But, under our current understanding, common sense determines that it is highly improbable". All I am saying is that there are mysteries. But, in the context of our personal lives and pleasant living, some mysteries are so beyond our capabilities that they just don't matter. We "know…
  • Thanks, that is very helpful. The line in PD25 about referring actions to the end of nature is particularly relevant. It speaks to what I said about the danger of admitting other metaphysical possibilities. Is it fair to say that once one opens those doors, the tsunami of speculative theories, assertions, floods the philosophical landscape? Once someone buys into any of these explanations, it often leads to the wide variety of religious beliefs which Epicurus faced from all sides. And that is a …
  • Ok thanks. I look forward to hearing and discussing more. I hope members here understand that I am not trying to negate EP or argue for an alternative position. I genuinely stumble over this point. Frankly, without solidly finding firm philosophical ground for asserting there is "nothing other than atoms and void" and being able to explain this, EP is in the same position as other systems of thought, and yes, religions. ie: a metaphysical belief system. I seriously want to penetrate Epicurean th…
  • (Quote from Nate) Answer: Reality is comprised of whatever causes parts to combine to make wholes. Do parts combine without a cause? Can they cause themselves to combine due to their inherent attributes? If so, what caused those attributes? Is there an infinite regress of causes, meaning nothing started this process? There are serious philosophical arguments involved in this, but they take us a long way from EP and what I think is its strength, a practical set of principles for achieving happine…