One of the questions I have heard countless times since I started this blog is, “Why do you believe?”
When asked, atheists are quick to point out that they like this question because, while they claim to understand the faith as much as any believer, they need to know why people believe so they can better understand believers as individuals. This, they say, makes for better and more honest conversation that could possibly lead the atheist to a deeper knowledge of the faith and why believers accept it.
While these atheists seem genuine, friendly, and engaging, they have a goal and are using a common tactic called Street Epistemology to achieve that goal.
Street Epistemology is a buzz word in the atheist community. I believe they (atheists) think they’ve found a sure-fire method for talking Christians “out of their faith.” How are they doing it?
You can watch street epistemologists at work in hundreds of videos on the Internet. While each atheist has his or her personal style, the techniques are basically the same. Knowing what they are doing and how they are doing it is one key to preparing Christian young people to talk with them in public and private venues.
Street epistemologists use the basic technique of ‘presenting unreasonable arguments reasonably.’ They sound reasonable while asking questions, but the questions they ask are often unreasonable.
As one street epistemologist says about himself on his YouTube channel – “I ask random people how they arrived at their God belief, and if they are using a possibly unreliable method to arrive there, try to help them discover that.” That sounds reasonable. He wants to know how people arrive at their belief in God and if in his judgment they used a ‘possibly unreliable method’ to arrive at that belief, he will ‘try to help them discover that.’
Read more about Street Epistemology at the link above and don’t fall for “Why do you believe?” or “What bit of evidence made you accept faith?” or “What do you know that I may not?” lines of questioning, they are tricks.
For atheists reading this, it’s not important for you to know why anyone has faith in Christ anyway when you will only be judged, in the end, on why you do not.