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Philosophy/COncerning The Universe and Science


QUESTION: Okay, the question I would like to ask is how do we really know if the ideas of atom is actually a real thing considering that it came from the imagination of one persons mind and then became a considerable existence in this day and age. Understanding the Placebo. And the power of beliefs. Could it be just one reality? And if I decided to use my imagination to think about what is the smallest essence of existence and I decided to not believe the Indian philosopher and democrates. Would I in essence be introducing to the world anther existence in which hundred's of years later it continue to be "true?" Especially understanding factical mathematics? And also, could this be why in quantum macahnics that things just continue to change with no real "Existance" at all. All because maybe a God is showing people this is just an idea? Of which their world is built upon in which could change at all time but we still really juts live in ignorance.

ANSWER: Atomic theory is based upon observation that is confirmed by other observers in the scientific community.  The strength of atomic theory, i.e., why it is the prevailing paradigm, lies with its predictive and explanatory power.  It simply works.

Regarding alternatives, one cannot just think things into existence.  Ideas, by themselves, have no effect on the objective existence of the world around us.  No matter how hard I wish the car key in my pocket to belong to a 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo, it unfortunately remains essentially and invariably tied to my 2004 toyota minivan.


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QUESTION: Thank you for your words of wisdom and answering my question for free. But I have one more. If it actually was by "observation," that atomic theory was proved just because in the past, Then why did it originate in one persons mind and then to others when their was no microscopes then in existence and but in this "paradigm" it actually is a reality? A reality in which keeps proving its self "true" as though in quantum mechanic when the observer affects the observed and reality is created? Hence, the great big mystery of which has found an end...and for 100 years no one is still able to explain why. Things are the way they are in "atomic theory"? Thank  you. :) And but yet your car can be accredited to thousands of thinking individual's who have brought about such a "reality?" From the first initial idea? The cause.    ??????   Hence....The placebo..."EFFECT"?

Be careful not to confuse Atomism espoused by Democritus and other ancient philosophers with modern atomic theory.  One is philosophical conjecture, the other is scientific theory based upon direct observation and experimentation.  Modern atomic theory is based upon the scientific work of J.J. Thomson, Earnest Rutherford, Neils Bohr.

Also, with respect to my car.  Be sure not confuse the name 'car' which is a social convention that does require consensus of understanding among many people, with the object car, that exists independently of any knowing subject.


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Steven R. Storch


Ethics, Existentialism and Phenomenology, Continental Metaphysics

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