On A Manual for Creating Atheists – How Street Epistemology Works

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Fascinating information on Street Epistemology from Faith & Self Defense

Peter Boghossian is author of A Manual for Creating Atheists and chief promoter of what he calls ‘Street Epistemology.’

“This book will teach you how to talk people out of their faith. You’ll learn how to engage the faithful in conversations that help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their beliefs, and mistrust their faith. I call this activist approach to helping people overcome their faith, ‘Street Epistemology.’ The goal of this book is to create a generation of Street Epistemologists: people equipped with an array of dialectical and clinical tools who actively go into the streets, and the community–into any and every place the faithful reside–and help them abandon their faith and embrace reason.”

A Manual For Creating Atheists, Peter Boghossian, Chapter I, Pitchstone Publishing, 2013

Boghossian gives credit to both ‘ancient philosophers’ and the more recent ‘Four Horsemen’ of atheism: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. However, Boghossian says he is taking what they started to the next level.

“The Four Horsemen identified the problems and raised our awareness, but they offered few solutions. No roadmap. Not even guideposts. Now the onus is upon the next generation of thinkers and activists to take direct and immediate action to fix the problems Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, and Hitchens identified.”

A Manual For Creating Atheists, Peter Boghossian, Chapter I, Pitchstone Publishing, 2013

Dr. Boghossian’s determination to create a generation of street epistemologists has gained national and international response. The website, street epistemology.com, is intent on building an initial group of ten-thousand people ‘who will be active and engage others and teach others better ways to come to knowledge.’ The names and locations of some of the street epistemologists ‘who have committed to educating the world’ are listed on the website’s ‘Join’ page.

Boghossian invites street epistemologists to ‘be one of these Horsemen.’ He goes on to write, ‘you will transform a broken world long ruled by unquestioned faith into a society built on reason, evidence, and thought-out positions.’ Boghossian tells street epistemologists that their work will pay off ‘by potentially helping millions–even billions–of people to live in a better world.’ (Chapter 1)

How Street Epistemology ‘Works’

Street epistemology is, according to Peter Boghossian, ‘talking people out of their faith.’ Notice the keys terms: ‘talking’ .. ‘people’ .. ‘out of’ .. ‘their faith.’  The following definitions and directives concerning those terms are taken from streetepistemology.com and A Manual for Creating Atheists.

‘Talking’ for a street epistemologist begins by asking questions, listening actively, manifesting empathy, and establishing a rapport. That includes meeting the person at their window, speaking softly, in a non-threatening fashion, and making them talk about the reasons why they believe ‘faith is the pathway to truth.’  Once street epistemologists have ‘earned the right to proceed with the next steps,’ they are encouraged to preach by example, mirror the speech of the person they’re talking to, and use the socratic method…

Be sure to read more.

Breaking Down Street Epistemology

Street Epistemologists – On Guard 1

Street Epistemologists – On Guard 2

Street Epistemologists – On Guard 3

Street Epistemologists – On Guard 4



Categories: Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. James

    To say that what I have read here shocks me would be an understatement. Speechless actually. Wow. The enemy is organized. Yet further evidence that we have to be prepared, diligent, and ready to engage in conflict with that enemy. Passivity is not an option. As an ex military man, you are well aware that a pure defense is not really a defense. A key part to successful defense is the willingness to conduct offensive operations. Of course, by offense I mean in this case a willingness to boldly and confidently spread the Gospel and engage the naysayers.

    If I ever had any doubts that active engagement with non believers is absolutely necessary, they are gone after reading some of this.

    Thanks for the reality check Brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wally,

      That was exactly the response I was hoping for. Atheists may tell you they simply lack belief but that is often not case at all. Many of them are part of a coordinated and very deliberate effort.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting, Wally. So you fully support ISIS and their religious madness? You fully support the American Reconstructionists who want to stone children to death in American public squares?

      Like

      • John
        That is the most absurd statement I have ever heard. Where on earth do you draw a correlation between what I said and the statement you just made?
        Specifically, and I will type slow here to insure you get the point. I said Christians should
        1. Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.
        2. Confront with boldness and truth, untruth when we see it.
        No where in my statement did I even remotely suggest the use of violence against either non-believers or children. In fact, John, you can find nothing in anything I have ever written or commented on to suggest that I support such things.
        I can, therefore, only come to one of several conclusions.
        1. You are slow and don’t understand the written word very well.
        2. You intentionally twist and distort the words of others to gain your point.
        3. You intentionally lie.
        4. You are making a joke, and this is where we all go ha, ha, ha and have a good laugh.
        Just to be charitable, I will cast my vote for # 4 and go have a chuckle now.

        Like

        • Wally, you called secularism the “enemy.” This clearly means you favour all religious expression over that of tolerance. In turn, that means you support the Reconstructionists and ISIS.

          And do please enlighten me: when have I ever lied?

          Like

          • It will not be entertained John, not sure what part of that you don’t understand.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ahh…so apparently the issue is lack of understanding the written word. Or perhaps my explaining. No problem.

            Secularists are not my enemy, nor atheists, nor anyone. Satan is the enemy I was referring to. My comparison to a military operation was purely illustrative in nature. In fact, I said that quite clearly in my comment when I said the following.

            “Of course, by offense I mean in this case a willingness to boldly and confidently spread the Gospel and engage the naysayers”

            John, If you don’t lie or twist, then at best you do habitually insist on telling others what they mean, even when they clearly say they mean something else. You pick how you want to frame what you do.

            This is a clear statement. I certainly do not support ISIS. Nor to I believe in or support Reconstruction ism. Now that that is said, if you continue to insist I do, then it is either a lack of understanding on your part, or an intentional twisting. You pick, and whatever shoe fits, you wear it.

            Like

            • Ah, so you’re saying I’m possessed by (or working for) Satan now?

              Like

              • “sure, that’s a stretch, but its where the thought goes”

                No John, that is where you took the thought. I never took it there, and to take it there is one of the four options I presented. You pick. I’m still all for having a good laugh at this point, because I am pretty sure # is out too, because I think your reading comprehension and understanding are just fine and dandy.

                Just like saying I implied you are demon possessed? Really? I search deep and I don’t see that anywhere. Again you pick the option which best explains that quantum leap.

                Like

      • Typo..non believers or children. James please correct that thanks.

        Like

      • Wally said no such thing John, your accusation is absurd and will not be entertained.

        Like

        • About what, lying? He wrote it! I’d like him to tell me when I have ever lied.

          If you’re referring to my allusion that Wally supports the Reconstructionsits and ISIS then, sure, that’s a stretch, but its where the thought goes. It is, after all, exactly their thinking: “Our is fine… it’s those ‘other’ religions which are horrendous.”

          Isn’t that exactly what what ISIS says 😉

          Like

      • You see, what you guys don’t seem to get is this: it’s because of secularism that you can practice your religion in peace. There is no denying the truth of this statement, and if it weren’t for the secular state (what Wally calls THE ENEMY) then you’d be dealing with constant war, much like what is happening in the theocratic Middle East right now.

        Again, you show me where I called either secularism or the secular state the enemy John. Show me. Show me the words, John. I was quite specific in identifying who I said the enemy was, remember? In fact, you took THAT statement and misrepresented it, so I know you read it. Yet, you persist in saying I called secularism the enemy. Again, you pick your category.

        By the way? You don’t know jack about me. It might surprise you to hear that you are talking to the last person on the planet who supports a church and state marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, and kudos to you for presenting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those guys wear me out James LOL.

    Like

      • Agreed. But, it’s all good. If this is what God wants done, He will provide the resources to keep it up. He has proved that time and time again to me.Note, I said they wear me out, not Him. When I feel I may be slipping some I go to one of my favorites and it reassures me vastly.

        “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

        That one is underlined, highlighted and circled for easy and quick reference in times of need.

        Like

        • That is a good one Wally, and true. The Lord will always renew our strength 🙂

          What John and people like him don’t understand is that they are indeed doing Satan’s work.

          True they don’t worship him or do his work knowingly but they are unquestionably working for the father of lies. Their comments on blogs like ours often make God’s case as well as we do.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Jesus said: “for whoever is not against YOU is for YOU.” (Luke 9:50)

    Which contrasted with: “Whoever is not with ME is against ME, and whoever does not gather with ME scatters”. (Matthew 12:30)

    So in regard to the disciples of Jesus those who are not actively against you are still your friends. However in regard to Jesus himself those who are not actively for him are his enemies.

    Like

    • Ok Peter, not sure what your point there was to tell the truth. But you have done some substantial Scripture twisting here I fear. Luke 9:50 which you reference was part of a larger passage. The very specific thing being referred to was man who was actually doing things claiming to be doing them in the name of Jesus. You sort of wrenched that one verse right out of its context. It had absolutely nothing to do with requiring that I, or any other believer be friends with any other person.

      Scripture overall is quite clear that we belong to someone. Period. We belong to the one true God, or we belong to The Devil.

      I notice quite glaringly that you somewhat chastised James and I here, yet you let an completely unfounded and inflammatory statement by John Zande go unanswered.

      Who’s side ARE you on Peter?

      Liked by 1 person

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