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  • Excellent question and opportunity for discussion. Here's a quick response from me for now. We know "atoms and void" are not exactly the fundamental building blocks of the universe now. Physics tells us that the universe is made of quantum fields. But, at the level we at which humans need to "care about," we can deal with atoms (and their direct constituents: protons, electrons; quarks, and so on) and the void that surrounds them. What this means to me is that "atoms and void" is shorthand for a…
  • (Quote from EricR) I would say it is accepted as fact that it is true that we live in a purely material universe. "Atoms and void" is the shorthand for this foundational tenet of the philosophy. From my perspective, it's no more a "belief" than to say that someone hasa "belief" in biological evolution or a "belief" in gravity.
  • (Quote from Matt) I can deeply appreciate where you're coming from. I too have/had some affinity for that line of thought. My only caution would be to echo Lucretius (e.g., say Bacchus for wine, etc) and to see that language as purely poetic and not literal.
  • (Quote from Matt) In an absolute/objective perspective, no question. Totally agree. From my relative/subjective perspective, I am much more important than the shark. I am in awe of the universe and its complexity and my miniscule existence in it, and I can take pleasure in that contemplation. In my choices and rejections, I operate as if I have importance... Because I do... to me. In *some* ways, it echoes the Buddhist Two Truths as to absolute and relative existence.
  • "The sage will declare a definite position and not remain in doubt or be puzzled."…emain-in-doubt?authuser=0
  • A nice YouTube summary of Lucian's A True Story.