07/17/2013 08:51 am ET Updated Sep 15, 2013

What If I'm Wrong?

Who is Ethan Porter? According to Ethan, he is: a Philosopher of Science, Professor of Darkness, Harbinger of Despair, and (among plenty of other things -- just ask him) The Most Wrong Man in the World, He Who Dared to be Wrong.

Ethan also believes: Future man will likely divide time into two eras, before the time of Ethan Porter and after (BEP and AEP, respectively). When he is not making ridiculously hubristic statements, he can be found making other ridiculous claims, usually but not always (sometimes for fun) designed to get his interlocutors to stop, think, and justify their position. These question topics include, but are not limited to, philosophy (of mind, meta-ethics, ethics), science (genetics, evolution, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience), politics (as a Libertarian he must defend attacks by both fronts), religion, and anything else that sounds interesting or could be made to sound interesting. When he is not arguing with others (he prefers the term "discussing") he spends his time weight lifting (he is particularly enthralled with Crossfit at the time), reading, t'workin noobs on Halo, and enjoying a well-balanced beer.

Now, you must be wondering how he could possibly ever be wrong... or hoping he's never right. Which is it and which will it be? You'll have to watch his eight-minute presentation from the What If...? Conference 02013 to find out for yourself. But more importantly than if Mr. Porter is right or wrong, what about you? Do you think you're more often right or wrong? Regardless of your answer (right or wrong), from where do you believe you're getting your beliefs? What if, what matters is a lot less what we believe and a lot more how we develop our beliefs?

We all exist in and interact with the same universe. This universe is constant and does not change from one individual to the next; yet, despite this fact, there is always disagreement amongst its inhabitants as to what the nature of reality is. There are things to know of this world, but we as humans are not really very good at knowing them. If we are to place a high value on truth and the degree to which or beliefs track it, as Ethan believes we should, then we must fight the urge to assume that we have already found truth. We must ask ourselves: What if I'm wrong?

What If I'm Wrong?