I'd like to preface my first post by saying that I've never led a book discussion nor have I been a member of one in nearly a decade. I attempted to find discussion questions for TPA but none existed despite my constantly rephrased google searches. That said, let's get started.
I kind of felt that this first section was a bit redundant. It basically just said, "Hey, you can't get something from nothing. Science > Religion" but was rather verbose about it. It's a great opening for the book itself but I feel that it could have been just as easily excluded.
I absolutely adored section four! " ....But rather how much more often / Has that same vaunted Religion brought forth deeds sinful and godless." All of my elementary arguments and / or my "Really? I don't feel like talking about this now." debates stem from this. How can something so holy cause so much destruction? How many people have raped and pillaged under the symbol of atheism versus Christianity or Islam?
That said, I did gloss over a good deal of the bits about life coming from seeds because, well, that's not new or interesting information to me.
"But do not think that the gods condescend to consider such matters / Or that the mark the careers of individual atoms / So as to study the laws of Nature whereunto they conform." Is this the first statement against Intelligent Design?
"Know that the soul, too, is scattered abroad, and dies much more quickly, / And is sooner resolved back into its primary atoms" I could have sworn that I read, once a good time ago, an article about the soul being an atom. I can't find the article and I read so much science fiction I can't say for certain that the article existed in a world not created by an author. This section did make me think about that and recall the fact that the human idea of a soul is one of the few things Christians catch me on. I don't think they're real but I can't convince anyone else of that.
I just want to copy and paste the entire thing in a document, memorize it and quote it to everyone. It's equal parts uplifting and depressing. It also rather shamefully reminded me of a cracked.com video about the first marriage.
That all said I loved the visuals in this section. I think I read and reread Book 1 a dozen times because my imagination kept running off with me.