Teaching atheists to avoid facts

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The more I read about Street Epistemology, the more interesting it becomes.

“When I teach beginning Street Epistemologists how to help rid the faithful of their affliction and anchor their beliefs in reality, one of the most difficult strategies to get across is: do not bring particular pieces of evidence (facts, data points) into the discussion when attempting to disabuse people of specific faith propositions. Many rational, thoughtful people think that somehow, magically, the faithful don’t realize they are not basing their beliefs on reliable evidence–that if they were only shown solid evidence then voila, they’d be cured! This is false. Remember: the core of the intervention is not changing beliefs, but changing the way people form beliefs–hence the term ‘epistemologist.’ Bringing facts into the discussion is the wrong way to conceptualize the problem: the problem is with epistemologies people use, not with conclusions people hold.”

A Manual For Creating Atheists, Pitchstone Publishing, 2013, chapter 4, Interventions and Strategies

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Categories: Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity

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