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The Possibilian Manifesto

Are you completely over the whole ‘fundamentalist religion vs militant atheism’ scene? Do you embrace the tools of science, but love to speculate on what could possibly be. Of course you do, you’re a regular visitor to The Daily Grail. Well then, my friend, you may just be a ‘Possibilian’.

Here’s neuroscientist and author Dr David Eagleman discussing the philosophical stance he calls ‘Possibilianism’:

Sure, you could say that Eagleman writes off psi from his list of possibles a bit too quickly. You could also argue that not everything explanatory has to be about objective scientific fact (for example, Eagleman’s apparent assumption that creation myths of various cultures are solely a ‘best guess’ about how things actually happened). But I don’t mind this Possibilian crowd at all, they seem like my type of people. Just as long as I don’t have to sign away my life savings and drink some Kool-Aid, I’m in!

By the way, if Eagleman’s name rings a bell, it may be because we’ve mentioned some of his research previously – he’s the neuroscientist who tried to figure out if the ‘time dilation’ experienced during a near-death experience allowed real-world slow-motion recall. He’s also the author of Sum: Forty Tales of the Afterlives (Amazon US and UK).

And if that pose he’s striking in the still-frame to the video is anything to go by, he’s got the whole ‘starting a new religion’ thing down to a fine art…

  1. Second That
    [quote=Greg]Just as long as I don’t have to sign away my life savings and drink some Kool-Aid, I’m in![/quote]

    I’m pretty much down for any movement that is better than the current XD

    Personally, for the lack of faith I found in religions, I found in the humble idea of infinity ∞ ∞ ∞ And what ever revolution that happens would be environmentally-conscious and pro-education so YAY SCIENCE!

    p.s. Good luck with the floods out there Greg!

    p.p.s. Don’t get sentimental with your possessions if you need to leave them HAHA Oh Wait not the iPad!

  2. Not bad
    I too did take issue with some of his premises —Science being comfortable with holding multiple hypotheses on the table? tell that to the guys having a war over a peer-reviewed paper on PSI that hasn’t even been published yet! also, the idea that we all are “products of our culture” and that we don’t see different opposing ideas evenly distributed in the social landscape fails to observe the impact of counter-culture, and that not all ideas get the same level of “air-time” on the communications channel.

    But I did like this. Give me a possibilian any time over a die-hard atheist or fundamentalism. At least they are showing a bit more humility —not too much, though.

  3. Great Doubt and Earnest Attention to Observation?
    Um … it all sounds terribly well kinda Buddhist to me. I mean it’s hip and has its own domain name and appeals to the pluralist masses and all but … as they say: It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

  4. from the avoiding Newton’s sleep Dept.
    Yes, the spirit of Model Agnosticism lives on!

    (~12 models of what QM really means. ~11 models of evolution. At least 4 models of logic. It’s all good)

  5. Possibilianariatarianalism
    Great stuff!
    Those who believe in an external truth are at an advantage, but those that think they understand that truth are at a disadvantage, beautifully described by possibilianariatarianism.
    Don’t believe in God, know there’s a God, but don’t you come quantifying the unquantifiable to me! As the ‘G’ word is so controversial, I’ll end with the phrase – God is not offended by the word cunt.

    1. Last time I checked…
      You know, last time I checked, Greg Taylor didn’t wear a big white beard or threw lightning bolts out of his hand.

      My point: The Grail might be a haven, but that’s partly because we *do* have a language etiquette around here. So please, a bit of restraint when writing those comments, which are more than welcome —as are you 🙂

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