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Old 06-25-2011, 12:32 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Possibilianism

I don't remember whether this topic was discussed here, in a diavlog or in the forum. I don't think it was.

It looks like Possibilianism has gathered some popularity. After learning what it means, I wondered what the difference is with agnosticism. In this video, the creator of the term, really dismisses agnosticism based on one of its acceptions, but not the original (Huxley's) one. I have always used the term agnosticism* to define my own position as an acknowledgment that we can't disprove the existence of something (immaterial) that is not accessible to scientific inquiry. It's not a doubt or indecision, it's a technicality. From that perspective, there wouldn't be much difference with the basic proposition of possibilianism.

However, it seems that Possibilianism is a bit more. It's expanded to include other beliefs, or possibilities that are still obscure or inaccessible to inquiry. And it also adds another component, it calls for scientific inquiry. So it isn't just a philosophical/ religious position but a proposition of scientific inquiry which accepts the premise that uncertainty exists.


*Addendum: for my fellow commenters who always like to cite Russell:

Quote:
As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.

On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.
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