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eight bits

Street evangelism

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eight bits

In the beginning, Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland (Oregon) State College,

https://www.pdx.edu/...eter-boghossian

wrote a book called A Manual for Creating Atheists. The book begat a movement called Street Epistemology.

http://www.streetepistemology.com/

In last month's "Talk Jesus in England" thread, Christians were being encouraged to engage non-believers in conversations about Jesus.

Street epistemology encourages atheists to engage believers in conversations about Jesus (or whatever the believer believes in). Have a listen,

That's one of more than 200 videos on Magnabosco's channel.

Magnabosco never tells Elizabeth to lose Jesus, or became an atheist. His goal is not debate, nor to advocate atheism, but only to inspire the interviewee to question his or her belief in whatever religion they profess. (I chose this video since Elizabeth has obviously already thought about her religion a lot, and so the quality of the exchange is epecially good. There is also a briefer after-conversation here:

)

I have a number of questions and concerns about this activity. Here are enough to begin a discussion:

When asked, the interviewer doesn't disclose that his actual objective is opinion change. He doesn't lie, he is truly interested in faith and so forth, but he isn't candid, either. Is that ethical?

What if a Mormon missionary said only, "Oh, I'm interested in religion, especially Christianity. It's a hobby of mine...," never mentioning LDS, but saying how to contact him later?

More generally, when religious people do something very much like this, some atheists complain about it. Ought I not to conclude that evangelism of strangers is a praiseworthy activity if I agree with the message, and despicable if I disagree?

Is soft-sell effective? Is it likely, in the words of the book title, to create atheists? (Should English Chrisitans be studying these videos?)

Finally for now, why shouldn't Elizabeth, for example, be satisfied with her current views, and how those views might naturally ripen as time goes on even if that turns out to be a deeper commitment to her religious faith?

This is at least equally the thread of davros of skaro, who posted a different Magnabosco video in another thread. We kicked around the idea of a "street epistemology" thread, and now I've ended up posting this. OK, OK, davros wouldn't have titled the thread "street evangelism" instead of street epistemology; forgive me, but isn't that what it is?

Edited by eight bits
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Davros of Skaro

Thank you Eight Bits. I knew you would format, and pose questions that's a better thread model than I would have.

I have to check out the Elizabeth video (not sure I have seen this one yet?).

Here's an interview with Peter Boghossian.

Can I talk you out of your faith (Seth Andrews TTA):

I do not see anything unethical. The Xtian Apologist uses the Milk and solid food approach which is deceptive to me. The body language of the many interviewees show the struggle of internal questioning. There's much to learn from this approach.

Edit: Yes I seen this one with Elizabeth, and it's a good one.

She's 75% faith 25% research in her belief. She admits that she prefers opposite of that. Many great vids with some updates and people of wide array of beliefs.

Edited by davros of skaro
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Kenemet

I think it creates avoidance.

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Sherapy

In the beginning, Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland (Oregon) State College,

https://www.pdx.edu/...eter-boghossian

wrote a book called A Manual for Creating Atheists. The book begat a movement called Street Epistemology.

http://www.streetepistemology.com/

In last month's "Talk Jesus in England" thread, Christians were being encouraged to engage non-believers in conversations about Jesus.

Street epistemology encourages atheists to engage believers in conversations about Jesus (or whatever the believer believes in). Have a listen,

That's one of more than 200 videos on Magnabosco's channel.

Magnabosco never tells Elizabeth to lose Jesus, or became an atheist. His goal is not debate, nor to advocate atheism, but only to inspire the interviewee to question his or her belief in whatever religion they profess. (I chose this video since Elizabeth has obviously already thought about her religion a lot, and so the quality of the exchange is epecially good. There is also a briefer after-conversation here:

)

I have a number of questions and concerns about this activity. Here are enough to begin a discussion:

When asked, the interviewer doesn't disclose that his actual objective is opinion change. He doesn't lie, he is truly interested in faith and so forth, but he isn't candid, either. Is that ethical?

What if a Mormon missionary said only, "Oh, I'm interested in religion, especially Christianity. It's a hobby of mine...," never mentioning LDS, but saying how to contact him later?

More generally, when religious people do something very much like this, some atheists complain about it. Ought I not to conclude that evangelism of strangers is a praiseworthy activity if I agree with the message, and despicable if I disagree?

Is soft-sell effective? Is it likely, in the words of the book title, to create atheists? (Should English Chrisitans be studying these videos?)

Finally for now, why shouldn't Elizabeth, for example, be satisfied with her current views, and how those views might naturally ripen as time goes on even if that turns out to be a deeper commitment to her religious faith?

This is at least equally the thread of davros of skaro, who posted a different Magnabosco video in another thread. We kicked around the idea of a "street epistemology" thread, and now I've ended up posting this. OK, OK, davros wouldn't have titled the thread "street evangelism" instead of street epistemology; forgive me, but isn't that what it is?

Wow, you have done a fantastic job on this prompt. I will read and listen and give my arguements.

Thank you for this Paul, you are giving me an oppourtunity to refine the skills I have been learning as of late.

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Davros of Skaro

I think it creates avoidance.

Please explain.

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Sherapy

Paul,

I would not be comfortable with going door to door for atheism, myself, (other then to encourage critical thinking) yet,

I think in American Culture our educational system provides its citizens with the tools to critically think, and with Common Core now instituted, there will be more of an emphasis on critical thinking starting in elementary school, therefore there is no need to try and curb side convert.

The only time I think I have an obligation to be responsible for making sure another thinks critically was with my own children and I did do that, and one friend, ( an obvious situation of harm to another person/ see story below) I didn't tell them what to think I taught them how to think, I started very young, I didn't need to choose what they should think, my sons still talk things over with me to get many perspectives, anyone even a person with faith can think critically.

Yes, I think it is unethical to covertly impose what to think on another person, especially a child, we must look out for them.

I do not think it is overtly unethical to strike up a conversation about atheism or God because of the ability to give ones honest opinion and the right to disagree.

Finally, I'd offer my experience as food for thought. I have amazing conversations with my friends, I have all kinds too. I talk to my dad about God, I talk to my middle son all the time about his relgious path and we explore mine, the only other person I know in real time who is not into God is my middle sons girlfriend ( remember my middle boy is catholic), we a have great conversations which enhance each other's lives, not everyone has wisdom but most do regardless of their path, I take what I want and leave the rest and vice versa.

I am journeying through with a very dear teacher friend of mine who has left the Mormon church (from her childhood), she is the only one who I would say (besides my mom) who I can say was obviously brainwashed. I knew it too, I saw it, yet, I never once mentioned it or did anything but support my friend who made some of the most awful decisions I have ever seen a human being make, judging and pointing out that she was brainwashed would have only served to to push her away, ( I did have the help of a Psychologist who specializes in brainwashing, guiding me so I didn't do anything to harm my friend further).

She was in a Warren Jefferies type situation with a bishop of her church who was manipulating and exploiting her, awful things out of respect to her I will keep private. I supported her, I kept my mouth shut a lot, when someone is brainwashed they are loyal to the brainwasher, period. It's uncanny how loyal one is In this situation, my therapist friend saw her when she was desperate for free, but then the brainwasher would find out and stop outside influences. My friend went on to marry this monster, I was with her the morning she was to marry him and she was so unsure I tried to encourage her not to marry him but she did anyways. I would not see my friend again for one year, ( very sad) until another teacher friend of ours told me was in the hospital with kidney failure, she had been shot by her husband, she almost died, she went back to him, yes she did.

This is the reality of brainwashing it's not so easy to get out of it or see it, what finally made her see it and get out was when her husband told her she would be sharing their marital bed with one of his girlfriends. That is the moment that she found the part of her that could said no and mean it, it was not easy for her to get out, he was a psycho, it took a year, but she did it and now she has begun the long journey of healing and it will be a long road.

The things that really helped according to her: to not be judged, to be respected as a human being by at least one person no matter how many mistakes she was making, patience, meeting me wasn't calculated or planned out on my part, I wasn't an Athiest seeking to convert a Relgious person, it was timing, the right place at the right time, I never knew what lurked under the surface, she was a teacher, I liked her and respected her as an equal, it didn't matter that she was a Mormon, to me she was someone fun, new to get to know. She told me she had never had a secular friend, it was not encouraged, she said my genuine like of her, my kindness to her, and realness ( the most important two words are 'for me this works' and this is my attitude about being an atheist) was the thing that made her take a chance, neither of us knew the journey we would embark on (I was stunned as I started to get to know her, she was adept at putting on a happy face) I had resources thank goodness, and years of therapy myself it really was useful in this situation, but if I hadn't have I would have found a way to get expert advice, I would have paid for it too.

Now a days we have nurtured a friendship that is based in trust and honesty and we talk candidly, honesty suits her she loves just speaking her truth and she told me a few days ago that for the first time in 58 years she is living, she is really living.

Oh and she still believes in God, but she wants to forge her own way with the God thing.

Edited by Sherapy
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Tiggs

When asked, the interviewer doesn't disclose that his actual objective is opinion change. He doesn't lie, he is truly interested in faith and so forth, but he isn't candid, either. Is that ethical?

No, not in my books. It's basically hiding intent, knowing that full and frank disclosure would lead to other outcomes.

Is soft-sell effective? Is it likely, in the words of the book title, to create atheists? (Should English Chrisitans be studying these videos?)

Probably.

I once read that the most gifted of communicators could gently angle a conversation to make you come to a conclusion by yourself, without ever saying what that conclusion should be.

Finally for now, why shouldn't Elizabeth, for example, be satisfied with her current views, and how those views might naturally ripen as time goes on even if that turns out to be a deeper commitment to her religious faith?

I guess that depends on your worldview.

In general - I'm happy to live and let live. I don't think atheism is for everyone. I believe that some people cope with the world better because of their religious beliefs, and that, in general, people should be left alone to believe whatever it is they believe in.

That said - I also believe in the strict separation of religion and state and that no religious belief should ever justify hatred or murder.

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eight bits

davros

The Xtian Apologist uses the Milk and solid food approach which is deceptive to me.

Ya think? I don't admire the behavior in Christians, why should I admire it in seculars?

Kenemet

I think it creates avoidance.

Please do explain...

Tiggs

It's basically hiding intent, knowing that full and frank disclosure would lead to other outcomes.

Golly, I do understand why the agenda is hidden. It bothers me that the agenda is hidden... in the name of truth. And not just passively hidden. Magnabosco is asked directly, and he answers artfully, to conceal rather than to inform. We're burning down the village in order to save it?

I once read that the most gifted of communicators could gently angle a conversation to make you come to a conclusion by yourself, without ever saying what that conclusion should be.

Coincidentally, Sheri and I had a conversation recently whether Socrates (most gifted for sure) knew the conclusion (i.e. was debating) or was exploring the question (was uncertain himself what the right answer was). My guess is, for Socrates, sometimes one, sometimes the other.

In this case, however, the street epistemologist does have a final right answer in mind. I admire the skill, no question.

I guess that depends on your worldview.

OK, but I was seriously asking about Elizabeth specifically. She's done "due diligence" as far as critical thinking goes. She isn't accepting what's been handed to her, she even appeals directly to a heuristic with a secular following (any coherent plan is better than no plan - often so, IMO).

Elizabeth disagrees with her interviewer, but she isn't broken. In what sense, then, is it a good idea to fix her?

Good for you to recognize that atheism isn't for everyone. But the SE isn't making any effort to distinguish among passers-by. SE seems very much like an activity whose justification is that atheism is a good thing for everyone.

That sounds familiar to me, having grown up in a Christian culture. Except it was Jesus, not atheism, who saved.

Sheri

Damn, that is one hell of a story. Your friend should seriously consider writing a book.

Her story is also a much more dramatic version of what I had in mind back in the Mormon cartoon thread for the short video made by the ex-Mormon woman, Lee:

On the one hand, Lee's horizons have expanded enough to get her out of LDS, but she is still far from having any sophisticated epistemology to apply to her life choices. (I think LDS is a rotten deal for women, and that goes beyond whether its religious dogma is plausible as a fact claim or how in general religious doctrines should be evaluated.)

In this thread, I would ask two hypotheticals.

- Suppose Lee had made her video after talking with a street epistemologist. She has changed, but not in the direction toward atheism or away from faith as a guide to truth. Would that be a "win" for street epistemology?

- Instead, suppose that Lee, as she is in the video, now meets a street epistemologist for the first time. The SE shoots a Socratic torpedo amidships into Lee's still shaky cognitive architecture. That could turn out badly, IMO. The SE has no idea what (s)he's shooting at. Is it wise to shoot?

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spartan max2

At my college there are two groups that show up every once in a while. A Christian group that yells about things and passes out bibles and a atheist group that yells about things and has a poster.

They both annoy me and I dout either of them have changed anyone.

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Tiggs

Golly, I do understand why the agenda is hidden. It bothers me that the agenda is hidden... in the name of truth. And not just passively hidden. Magnabosco is asked directly, and he answers artfully, to conceal rather than to inform. We're burning down the village in order to save it?

Apparently, he is.

Coincidentally, Sheri and I had a conversation recently whether Socrates (most gifted for sure) knew the conclusion (i.e. was debating) or was exploring the question (was uncertain himself what the right answer was). My guess is, for Socrates, sometimes one, sometimes the other.

My depth of knowledge concerning Socrates speeches is amazingly shallow, so I'll have to defer to your collective wisdom.

OK, but I was seriously asking about Elizabeth specifically. She's done "due diligence" as far as critical thinking goes. She isn't accepting what's been handed to her, she even appeals directly to a heuristic with a secular following (any coherent plan is better than no plan - often so, IMO).

Elizabeth disagrees with her interviewer, but she isn't broken. In what sense, then, is it a good idea to fix her?

She feels very close to God and believes everything in the Bible that Jesus said is true. She knows that a lot of it has to be taken on faith, and she managed to defend her belief for more than 5 minutes under questioning. As far as I'm concerned - she appears to be a thoughtful, intelligent Christian. I don't think she needs fixing.

Good for you to recognize that atheism isn't for everyone. But the SE isn't making any effort to distinguish among passers-by. SE seems very much like an activity whose justification is that atheism is a good thing for everyone.

Sounds that way to me, too.

I'd much rather that atheist evangelism wasn't a thing. Truth is - moving from the point where you believe that there's an infinitely powerful being watching out for you, that's going to grant you eternal life, to one where you've been left entirely to fend for yourself in the Universe is a massive leap in mindset. It's not something that most people can just do, on demand. Some people really aren't in a place where they'd be able to cope with the realisation that there is no higher power, no cosmic justice, and no higher purpose in life.

Add to that the concept of actual death - the realisation that everyone they've ever loved who is dead is really gone forever, and that they're going to be, too - and it can easily become too much to handle for someone who previously thought that everything was unicorns and rainbows.

IMO, for some new atheists, that pain gets redirected into hatred for the religion that they think lied to them - or all religion, in general. They feel betrayed and angry and lash out.

And those are just the ones that manage to get there on their own.

If people become atheists, then they really need to do so at their own pace - not by having their current support structure weakened and then sharply kicked out from under them.

Edited by Tiggs
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Stubbly_Dooright

In the beginning, Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland (Oregon) State College,

https://www.pdx.edu/...eter-boghossian

wrote a book called A Manual for Creating Atheists. The book begat a movement called Street Epistemology.

http://www.streetepistemology.com/

In last month's "Talk Jesus in England" thread, Christians were being encouraged to engage non-believers in conversations about Jesus.

Street epistemology encourages atheists to engage believers in conversations about Jesus (or whatever the believer believes in). Have a listen,

That's one of more than 200 videos on Magnabosco's channel.

Magnabosco never tells Elizabeth to lose Jesus, or became an atheist. His goal is not debate, nor to advocate atheism, but only to inspire the interviewee to question his or her belief in whatever religion they profess. (I chose this video since Elizabeth has obviously already thought about her religion a lot, and so the quality of the exchange is epecially good. There is also a briefer after-conversation here:

)

I have a number of questions and concerns about this activity. Here are enough to begin a discussion:

When asked, the interviewer doesn't disclose that his actual objective is opinion change. He doesn't lie, he is truly interested in faith and so forth, but he isn't candid, either. Is that ethical?

What if a Mormon missionary said only, "Oh, I'm interested in religion, especially Christianity. It's a hobby of mine...," never mentioning LDS, but saying how to contact him later?

More generally, when religious people do something very much like this, some atheists complain about it. Ought I not to conclude that evangelism of strangers is a praiseworthy activity if I agree with the message, and despicable if I disagree?

Is soft-sell effective? Is it likely, in the words of the book title, to create atheists? (Should English Chrisitans be studying these videos?)

Finally for now, why shouldn't Elizabeth, for example, be satisfied with her current views, and how those views might naturally ripen as time goes on even if that turns out to be a deeper commitment to her religious faith?

This is at least equally the thread of davros of skaro, who posted a different Magnabosco video in another thread. We kicked around the idea of a "street epistemology" thread, and now I've ended up posting this. OK, OK, davros wouldn't have titled the thread "street evangelism" instead of street epistemology; forgive me, but isn't that what it is?

I think this is very interesting. I will be honest, and haven't viewed all of the videos, ( I want to, and will ) but what I have viewed, ( bits of the Amanda and the Paul interviews ) I have a particular feeling on it.

Now, I think, it's cool that an Atheist is going out and doing this. Maybe, because I'm glad it's rounding out that Atheists should do it, if believers have been doing for some time.

Now, my feelings of anyone doing it, well, I'm not a fan of it. I don't know if it's because I'm introvert, or I and my belief feel strongly the personal part of it, and that it also argues strongly against prosetylizing and just encouraging others, who other wise wouldn't start the conversation themselves, into discussing it.

I do note, that the interviewer has a sign with him, and it's seems he is asking. If I happened to walk by, and see that, and feel I don't want to do it, I know, I would feel confident that I could walk on by and not be judged and bothered. ( I will note though, I have a feeling that I could give some very inspiring answers to the questions. And that a part of me could enjoy the interview. )

I have viewed a bit of the Amanda video, and see her answering questions with her belief and how she is raised. I did bits of it, and I noticed something with her body language. In the beginning, she was very open and eager. While clicking further into the video, I noticed her pauses, and a bit of tension in her body. I'm thinking, this was probably wasn't a good idea. ( I'm still noting that the individuals did volunteer still for this. )

I did the same for the Paul video. Even before he was being interviewed, ( and the fact I couldn't hear his answers, he seemed to mumble them. ) I saw right from the start, how defensive his body language was. His body was rim rod straight, and he had a 'something to prove' aura about him. ( I'm glad the interviewer feels talking about his belief, himself, was not a good idea here. ) So, I'm not sure, if Paul had a right to feel defensive, or should the interviewer should feel defensive. (and of course, this could be very educational in how the responses and why are good to learn about. )

Like I said, I haven't fully viewed all the videos, and fully viewed the ones I have, ( I plan on it, or try to :o ) but to me, I think it's something I would probably walk on by with. And of course know, that that is fine with the interviewer.

So, I wonder, the answers, if only particular people stop and answer, could that end up being a particular representation of believers and not all of them, because some decided not stop to be interviewed for particular reasons.

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Davros of Skaro

Apparently, he is.

My depth of knowledge concerning Socrates speeches is amazingly shallow, so I'll have to defer to your collective wisdom.

She feels very close to God and believes everything in the Bible that Jesus said is true. She knows that a lot of it has to be taken on faith, and she managed to defend her belief for more than 5 minutes under questioning. As far as I'm concerned - she appears to be a thoughtful, intelligent Christian. I don't think she needs fixing.

Sounds that way to me, too.

I'd much rather that atheist evangelism wasn't a thing. Truth is - moving from the point where you believe that there's an infinitely powerful being watching out for you, that's going to grant you eternal life, to one where you've been left entirely to fend for yourself in the Universe is a massive leap in mindset. It's not something that most people can just do, on demand. Some people really aren't in a place where they'd be able to cope with the realisation that there is no higher power, no cosmic justice, and no higher purpose in life.

Add to that the concept of actual death - the realisation that everyone they've ever loved who is dead is really gone forever, and that they're going to be, too - and it can easily become too much to handle for someone who previously thought that everything was unicorns and rainbows.

IMO, for some new atheists, that pain gets redirected into hatred for the religion that they think lied to them - or all religion, in general. They feel betrayed and angry and lash out.

And those are just the ones that manage to get there on their own.

If people become atheists, then they really need to do so at their own pace - not by having their current support structure weakened and then sharply kicked out from under them.

The thing is Tiggs (and Eight Bits) people that want to believe will continue to believe (the mind have mechanisms for that.) The videos are good insight on human behavior, and it encourages people to stop and think (they can continue on automatic anyway which they probably will.)

I personally like to include facts when dealing with believers, because they never took the time to do the research. Last Easter at a Diner this guy believed that "Resurrection" was exclusive to Christianity. I did not say anything, but later I wished I did.

This thread is bringing close to a post I've been wanting to do for awhile. It involves fellow Atheists and the friction I get from them. I understand why, for it's part empathy, and some being exbelievers looking by their own standpoint.

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Br Cornelius

As far as I am concerned the path to atheism/agnostism should be travelled alone. Proselytizing is abhorrent whoever practices it.

Br Cornelius

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Davros of Skaro

As far as I am concerned the path to atheism/agnostism should be travelled alone. Proselytizing is abhorrent whoever practices it.

Br Cornelius

The path to Veganism should be travelled alone.

See what I did there?

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Sherapy

davros

Ya think? I don't admire the behavior in Christians, why should I admire it in seculars?

Kenemet

Please do explain...

Tiggs

Golly, I do understand why the agenda is hidden. It bothers me that the agenda is hidden... in the name of truth. And not just passively hidden. Magnabosco is asked directly, and he answers artfully, to conceal rather than to inform. We're burning down the village in order to save it?

Coincidentally, Sheri and I had a conversation recently whether Socrates (most gifted for sure) knew the conclusion (i.e. was debating) or was exploring the question (was uncertain himself what the right answer was). My guess is, for Socrates, sometimes one, sometimes the other.

In this case, however, the street epistemologist does have a final right answer in mind. I admire the skill, no question.

OK, but I was seriously asking about Elizabeth specifically. She's done "due diligence" as far as critical thinking goes. She isn't accepting what's been handed to her, she even appeals directly to a heuristic with a secular following (any coherent plan is better than no plan - often so, IMO).

Elizabeth disagrees with her interviewer, but she isn't broken. In what sense, then, is it a good idea to fix her?

Good for you to recognize that atheism isn't for everyone. But the SE isn't making any effort to distinguish among passers-by. SE seems very much like an activity whose justification is that atheism is a good thing for everyone.

That sounds familiar to me, having grown up in a Christian culture. Except it was Jesus, not atheism, who saved.

Sheri

Damn, that is one hell of a story. Your friend should seriously consider writing a book.

Her story is also a much more dramatic version of what I had in mind back in the Mormon cartoon thread for the short video made by the ex-Mormon woman, Lee:

On the one hand, Lee's horizons have expanded enough to get her out of LDS, but she is still far from having any sophisticated epistemology to apply to her life choices. (I think LDS is a rotten deal for women, and that goes beyond whether its religious dogma is plausible as a fact claim or how in general religious doctrines should be evaluated.)

In this thread, I would ask two hypotheticals.

- Suppose Lee had made her video after talking with a street epistemologist. She has changed, but not in the direction toward atheism or away from faith as a guide to truth. Would that be a "win" for street epistemology?

- Instead, suppose that Lee, as she is in the video, now meets a street epistemologist for the first time. The SE shoots a Socratic torpedo amidships into Lee's still shaky cognitive architecture. That could turn out badly, IMO. The SE has no idea what (s)he's shooting at. Is it wise to shoot?

I can't help but think of Socrates myself, he said if you want to get someone to think ask them questions, in the end of Apology he does ask one thing of his comrades. "Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, - then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands" ( Plato, Apology). In otherwords, use great tenacity and diligence to those that claim to know things that cannot be known and use questioning to get them back on track, to remind them to see that they really don't know after all. With that being said yes, epistemology ruled the day in Lee's case, her thesis ( in her own words) advances that one can leave the church for other reasons other then shortcoming, that was their hold, and she had to prove it to herself and did prove to to herself. She demonstrates critical thinking in my understanding of the definition.

http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/ApologyPlato.html

Question two: In a situation that a person is in peril or doesn't think for themselves the first thing is to get them to set boundaries for themselves, you want to save their life first, you want them to be able to protect themselves. How do you do this? You have to get them to understand what that means and why it's important, through the course of helping my friend and spending time with her we had to assess whether she even could do this, we eventually found a way to show her, she would ask things like I am sorry to bother you, or ask are you busy, or is this a good time to talk? These were the ways we were able to frame an understanding of what boundaries are. By her asking this she showed she was capable of grasping boundaries ( respect ) and she needed to apply them to herself too, we took the teachings of the church and used them to help ease into other perspectives. You just want them to think for themselves, your not in the business of deciding what that is, if someone can think for themselves they will be able to discern the good from the bad themselves. This is what my Psychology mentor taught me.

For my mom: we did the same thing we set up boundaries in our relationship, before we could ever address Relgious aspects we had to have a foundation built on mutual respect ( in our situation as her daughter not aspiring to her standard of virtue, religion was her highest ideal, we had to work at finding a way to bring two views in the same room, we avoided religion all together as it only served to delay growth and provoke the situation for the level we were at), we established boundaries by taking a psychology course together to establish a 'new' mutual authority. My mom died before we ever got any further, in the sense of perspective taking, the tiny progress we made took 5 years, it may have went faster if we lived closer, and if my mom had more socialization ( in diversity), acumen, and oppourtunites to cultivate it.

So I'd say two things are important before curbside evangelism ( making connections )can be useful, establishing more than one authority is critical and so is setting boundaries.

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Davros of Skaro

I can't help but think of Socrates myself, he said if you want to get someone to think ask them questions, in the end of Apology he does ask one thing of his comrades. "Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, - then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands" ( Plato, Apology). In otherwords, use great tenacity and diligence to those that claim to know things that cannot be known and use questioning to get them back on track, to remind them to see that they really don't know after all. With that being said yes, epistemology ruled the day in Lee's case, her thesis ( in her own words) advances that one can leave the church for other reasons other then shortcoming, that was their hold, and she had to prove it to herself and did prove to to herself. She demonstrates critical thinking in my understanding of the definition.

Question two: In a situation that a person is in peril or doesn't think for themselves the first thing is to get them to set boundaries for themselves, you want to save their life first, you want them to be able to protect themselves. How do you do this? You have to get them to understand what that means and why it's important, through the course of helping my friend and spending time with her we had to assess whether she even could do this, we eventually found a way to show her, she would ask things like I am sorry to bother you, or ask are you busy, or is this a good time to talk? These were the ways we were able to frame an understanding of what boundaries are. By her asking this she showed she was capable of grasping boundaries ( respect ) and she needed to apply them to herself too. you take the teachings of the church and use them to help ease her into other perspectives. This is what my Psychology mentor taught me.

For my mom: we did the same thing we set up boundaries in our relationship, before we could ever address Relgious aspects we had to have a foundation built on mutual respect ( in our situation as her daughter not aspiring to her standard of virtue, religion was her highest ideal, we had to work at finding a way to bring two views in the same room, we avoided religion all together as it only served to delay growth and provoke the situation for the level we were at, we established boundaries by taking a psychology course together to establish a 'new' mutual authority. My mom died before we ever got any further, but this took 5 years, it may have went faster if we lived closer, and if my mom had more social experience.

So I'd say two things are important before curbside evangelism can be useful, establishing more than one authority and setting boundaries.

This reminds me of something recent. A woman brought up "There has to be something? Where did this all come from?". I just told her that she is committing a logical fallacy. I then told her to Google "God of the gaps logical fallacy". If she looked it up, or forgot about it, at least I gave information.

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Sherapy

I can't help but think of Socrates myself, he said if you want to get someone to think ask them questions, in the end of Apology he does ask one thing of his comrades. "Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, - then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands" ( Plato, Apology). In otherwords, use great tenacity and diligence to those that claim to know things that cannot be known and use questioning to get them back on track, to remind them to see that they really don't know after all. With that being said yes, epistemology ruled the day in Lee's case, her thesis ( in her own words) advances that one can leave the church for other reasons other then shortcoming, that was their hold, and she had to prove it to herself and did prove to to herself. She demonstrates critical thinking in my understanding of the definition.

http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/ApologyPlato.html

Question two: In a situation that a person is in peril or doesn't think for themselves the first thing is to get them to set boundaries for themselves, you want to save their life first, you want them to be able to protect themselves. How do you do this? You have to get them to understand what that means and why it's important, through the course of helping my friend and spending time with her we had to assess whether she even could do this, we eventually found a way to show her, she would ask things like I am sorry to bother you, or ask are you busy, or is this a good time to talk? These were the ways we were able to frame an understanding of what boundaries are. By her asking this she showed she was capable of grasping boundaries ( respect ) and she needed to apply them to herself too, we took the teachings of the church and used them to help ease into other perspectives. You just want them to think for themselves, your not in the business of deciding what that is, if someone can think for themselves they will be able to discern the good from the bad themselves. This is what my Psychology mentor taught me.

For my mom: we did the same thing we set up boundaries in our relationship, before we could ever address Relgious aspects we had to have a foundation built on mutual respect ( in our situation as her daughter not aspiring to her standard of virtue, religion was her highest ideal, we had to work at finding a way to bring two views in the same room, we avoided religion all together as it only served to delay growth and provoke the situation for the level we were at), we established boundaries by taking a psychology course together to establish a 'new' mutual authority. My mom died before we ever got any further, in the sense of perspective taking, the tiny progress we made took 5 years, it may have went faster if we lived closer, and if my mom had more socialization ( in diversity), acumen, and oppourtunites to cultivate it.

So I'd say two things are important before curbside evangelism ( making connections )can be useful, establishing more than one authority is critical and so is setting boundaries.

Paul, another point Socrates made was against sophistry seeking to persuade to a certian view, I think it is evangelism in modern garb, ( regardless of the side) while I admire the conviction, and commitment to something on one hand, I think Socrates was saying something similar to your point that the examined life is the life that is lived with virtue and saying I don't know when one doesn't know or can't know is the highest virtue. In otherwords he is not saying you must live your life as an atheist, or live your life as a Christain he is saying whatever path you choose question it, and where it reveals holes and vagueness, say I don't know, or I am not sure, or say that is a really good question, and pursue the question and see where it leads in otherwords critical thinking. This is a rational endeavor. It requires practice and diligence, just like any new skill. It also requires time, which we're not used to granting these days. We're constantly in the process of making sense of things, and this is largely a rational activity.

As Richard Paul writes, human beings are both logical and illogical: "They are the only animal that uses meanings--ideas, concepts, analogies, metaphors, models, theories, and explanations--to make sense of things, to understand, predict, and control things. They are also the only animal that uses meanings to negate, contradict, and deceive itself, to misconceive, distort, and stereotype, to become dogmatic, prejudiced and narrow minded. Humans are the only animal whose thinking can be characterized in terms like clear, precise, accurate, relevant, consistent, profound, and fair; they are also the only animal whose thinking is often imprecise, vague, inaccurate, irrelevant, superficial, trivial, and biased" (Critial Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World, 1990).

We have, arguably, a duty to cultivate our intellectual skills. Certainly, our system of democracy assumes an educated citizenry, individuals who are competent to make rational decisions for themselves, rather than letting anyone else do it.

Think of all the information that confronts us religiously and otherwise, every day. Critical thinking does not work in a vacuum. We need knowledge of the issues about which we are thinking critically. "The critical thinking skills you are going to learn cannot substitute for careful investigation of the facts, nor will they teach you how to research the facts on any given issue. What they can do is help you figure out, first, what you need to know in order to think about the accuracy of a claim and, second, how to evaluate the information you unearth." (Stephen Carey, The Uses and Abuses of Argument)

https://www.criticalthinking.org/store/products/critical-thinking-what-every-person-needs-to-survive-in-a-rapidly-changing-world/142

http://www.amazon.com/The-Uses-Abuses-Argument-Fallacious/dp/076740517X

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Liquid Gardens

When asked, the interviewer doesn't disclose that his actual objective is opinion change. He doesn't lie, he is truly interested in faith and so forth, but he isn't candid, either. Is that ethical?

Sure, as you said, 'he doesn't lie'. Although I agree this isn't a debate, his questions are not dependent at all on who he is, that should be irrelevant. Or at least if it is of some relevance to Elizabeth, it would be up to them to demand it be clarified.

What if a Mormon missionary said only, "Oh, I'm interested in religion, especially Christianity. It's a hobby of mine...," never mentioning LDS, but saying how to contact him later?

That sounds fine too as stated, Mormons can discuss Christianity as well as anyone else; the relevance of 'who you are' in the last couple questions, although I agree we aren't in a logical argumentation context, is still too ad hominemesque for me. I think though, not sure, to flesh out your 'what if' that you are maybe proposing, ''...never mentioning LDS and that that LDS doctrine is what this Mormon missionary meant by 'Christianity'". That might be a little more unethical, in that there are some number of people who don't consider LDS to be Christianity and the Mormon should realize this and mention it, there is a whiff of deception or at least misunderstanding there. I don't see anything like that in the atheist evangelist example though, there is no misunderstanding involved in what they are discussing.

More generally, when religious people do something very much like this, some atheists complain about it. Ought I not to conclude that evangelism of strangers is a praiseworthy activity if I agree with the message, and despicable if I disagree?

This isn't technically evangelism to me, there is nothing being advocated; this isn't that much different than stopping someone to ask them their thoughts on drug legalization. I understand the tie-in to his 'Manual to Create Atheists', but if the Elizabeth example is representative of that manual's methods it would be stretching it because evangelism is missing from the content of the discussion. If we were to read the transcript, our 'street evangelist' could be an atheist, he could be a religious philosophy student, he could be a theologian studying the faith of believers.

I've never been approached by religious people really like this, it'd be fun to have a conversation with this tone and content. The very few times I've encountered something similar with theists it is always accompanied by doses of preaching and judgments. To some extent it's the nature of the beast, it's entirely legitimate at some level to take as an insult or obnoxious someone else notifying you that there is something wrong with who you are, that this 'something wrong' is the worst something wrong, and that you deserve what you're going to get, which is not going to be what you like; it may not be put to me as succinctly as that and may be meant in as harmless a way as possible, but it's not always completely alleviated by the smiling 'but I'm a sinner too!' that inevitably follows either.

Is soft-sell effective? Is it likely, in the words of the book title, to create atheists?

I would guess to some extent, as much as anything can be when up against a faith-based position. I know that some people were shaken out of their faith by the 'new atheists' who are always being accused of being too aggressive, and that the aggressiveness will actually work against them as people will just refuse to listen to what they say because it's not in the right tone.

Finally for now, why shouldn't Elizabeth, for example, be satisfied with her current views, and how those views might naturally ripen as time goes on even if that turns out to be a deeper commitment to her religious faith?

She can entirely be emotionally satisfied with them, they don't seem to be harming her or others in any way and they provide benefits to her. Satisfied that they are entirely rational I'm not so sure about, at the very least she was flitting about the perimeter of where special pleading dwells.

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Stubbly_Dooright

As far as I am concerned the path to atheism/agnostism should be travelled alone. Proselytizing is abhorrent whoever practices it.

Br Cornelius

You definitely are not going to get an argument out of me on this one!! I think the description abhorrent is I believe perfect for it. (Although, is he proselytizing, or data gathering?)

I feel my belief looks at proselytizing as very wrong. And yes, it's personal, as I believe all paths are.

The path to Veganism should be travelled alone.

See what I did there?

So what if you can't cook and need a Vegan chef to cook for you? I don't see this as being the same. I don't see Veganism as being personal, just physical.

I can't help but think of Socrates myself, he said if you want to get someone to think ask them questions, in the end of Apology he does ask one thing of his comrades. "Still I have a favor to ask of them. When my sons are grown up, I would ask you, O my friends, to punish them; and I would have you trouble them, as I have troubled you, if they seem to care about riches, or anything, more than about virtue; or if they pretend to be something when they are really nothing, - then reprove them, as I have reproved you, for not caring about that for which they ought to care, and thinking that they are something when they are really nothing. And if you do this, I and my sons will have received justice at your hands" ( Plato, Apology). In otherwords, use great tenacity and diligence to those that claim to know things that cannot be known and use questioning to get them back on track, to remind them to see that they really don't know after all. With that being said yes, epistemology ruled the day in Lee's case, her thesis ( in her own words) advances that one can leave the church for other reasons other then shortcoming, that was their hold, and she had to prove it to herself and did prove to to herself. She demonstrates critical thinking in my understanding of the definition.

http://www.csun.edu/...ologyPlato.html

Question two: In a situation that a person is in peril or doesn't think for themselves the first thing is to get them to set boundaries for themselves, you want to save their life first, you want them to be able to protect themselves. How do you do this? You have to get them to understand what that means and why it's important, through the course of helping my friend and spending time with her we had to assess whether she even could do this, we eventually found a way to show her, she would ask things like I am sorry to bother you, or ask are you busy, or is this a good time to talk? These were the ways we were able to frame an understanding of what boundaries are. By her asking this she showed she was capable of grasping boundaries ( respect ) and she needed to apply them to herself too, we took the teachings of the church and used them to help ease into other perspectives. You just want them to think for themselves, your not in the business of deciding what that is, if someone can think for themselves they will be able to discern the good from the bad themselves. This is what my Psychology mentor taught me.

For my mom: we did the same thing we set up boundaries in our relationship, before we could ever address Relgious aspects we had to have a foundation built on mutual respect ( in our situation as her daughter not aspiring to her standard of virtue, religion was her highest ideal, we had to work at finding a way to bring two views in the same room, we avoided religion all together as it only served to delay growth and provoke the situation for the level we were at), we established boundaries by taking a psychology course together to establish a 'new' mutual authority. My mom died before we ever got any further, in the sense of perspective taking, the tiny progress we made took 5 years, it may have went faster if we lived closer, and if my mom had more socialization ( in diversity), acumen, and oppourtunites to cultivate it.

So I'd say two things are important before curbside evangelism ( making connections )can be useful, establishing more than one authority is critical and so is setting boundaries.

Ah yes I think this is perfect. Now reading the first part of your post, I sometimes get a bit confused of others wanting someone to think for themselves, and go through the process in doing so. I often wonder, if they are doing it to get them thinking for themselves, but in the manner that was taught to them by someone else and no other way, is this helpful or controlling? I just want to also point out, yes, I'm going really weird and far out in my thinking here. ( I think it's because I have far too many people assume that role with me, but it had dangerous consequences. It ended up that I was first encouraged to depend on them, then dropped. Then it was their way of teaching and I found another way, I was judged negatively. ) I'm not saying this of you, or your point is. Like I said, I am getting very weird on this.

I guess it's that we all have a consideration of respecting the other person's comfortableness. ( And it could be that I'm ignoring the fact, that sometimes there is a person who is dependent on others in the first place.

In which going to your second part, I concur whole heartily. ( I hope it's evident that I curcurred on the first part too. ) :yes: I think we all should respect and draw the lines, the boundaries. ( I see a lot of people crossing people's boundaries, it makes me wonder at the audacity of them doing it and why they feel they had the right.

So, I wonder, that questioner on the street, are they respecting the boundaries of people, or they crossing it for their own agenda?

I guess I could sum it all up, no matter what, we need to feel comfortable within ourselves, for ourselves to keep others from getting too comfortable going outside of themselves.

And now, I don't think I made sense. :o

Paul, another point Socrates made was against sophistry seeking to persuade to a certian view, I think it is evangelism in modern garb, ( regardless of the side) while I admire the conviction, and commitment to something on one hand, I think Socrates was saying something similar to your point that the examined life is the life that is lived with virtue and saying I don't know when one doesn't know or can't know is the highest virtue. In otherwords he is not saying you must live your life as an atheist, or live your life as a Christain he is saying whatever path you choose question it, and where it reveals holes and vagueness, say I don't know, or I am not sure, or say that is a really good question, and pursue the question and see where it leads in otherwords critical thinking. This is a rational endeavor. It requires practice and diligence, just like any new skill. It also requires time, which we're not used to granting these days. We're constantly in the process of making sense of things, and this is largely a rational activity.

As Richard Paul writes, human beings are both logical and illogical: "They are the only animal that uses meanings--ideas, concepts, analogies, metaphors, models, theories, and explanations--to make sense of things, to understand, predict, and control things. They are also the only animal that uses meanings to negate, contradict, and deceive itself, to misconceive, distort, and stereotype, to become dogmatic, prejudiced and narrow minded. Humans are the only animal whose thinking can be characterized in terms like clear, precise, accurate, relevant, consistent, profound, and fair; they are also the only animal whose thinking is often imprecise, vague, inaccurate, irrelevant, superficial, trivial, and biased" (Critial Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World, 1990).

We have, arguably, a duty to cultivate our intellectual skills. Certainly, our system of democracy assumes an educated citizenry, individuals who are competent to make rational decisions for themselves, rather than letting anyone else do it.

Think of all the information that confronts us religiously and otherwise, every day. Critical thinking does not work in a vacuum. We need knowledge of the issues about which we are thinking critically. "The critical thinking skills you are going to learn cannot substitute for careful investigation of the facts, nor will they teach you how to research the facts on any given issue. What they can do is help you figure out, first, what you need to know in order to think about the accuracy of a claim and, second, how to evaluate the information you unearth." (Stephen Carey, The Uses and Abuses of Argument)

https://www.critical...nging-world/142

http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/076740517X

Ahhh, yes, very beautiful. I think this should be with everyone. I just wish we all did that on our own, and respect others in doing that too.

I have just now watched the Elizabeth video and feel that as she is a believer, she doesn't seem to feel that it's felt for others to feel, just for herself. Watching her, ( yup, her body language ) she seems to be most confident of what I viewed. I hope the interviewer is learning something of the comfortableness of Elizabeth, and how she stays secular in this world.

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Tiggs

The thing is Tiggs (and Eight Bits) people that want to believe will continue to believe (the mind have mechanisms for that.)

Sure - but it's a lot like telling every kid you meet that Santa isn't real. Or if not telling them directly, dropping some pretty heavy hints:

"Did you ever notice that there are different Santa's at every mall?"

"Have you noticed that reindeer don't fly any other time of the year?"

"Have you noticed that your Mom and Dad always go to bed later than you, on Christmas Eve?"

It's better for them to work it out, on their own.

What's so great about atheism that you feel compelled to save them from their current beliefs?

So what, if it is the truth? Most people can't handle the truth. Hypothetically - if I could show you proof that I was a member of the Illuminati, and I could show you the evidence for an unstoppable conspiracy where the vast majority of the human genepool was about to be purposefully culled in the next 10 years, and then I told you that your genes are no longer required - k thx bai - how is the truth that you have no actual future going to make your life any better, day to day?

In all honesty - wouldn't you be happier not knowing? And wouldn't you be even happier if you genuinely believed that you were going to live forever and that there was cosmic justice built into the Universe? That good will always ultimately triumph evil? That all of this day-to-day existential horror has an ultimate purpose? That everything, no matter how bad it may seem right now, is going to ultimately be okay?

And who are you or I to take that hope away from them?

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Grandpa Greenman

As far as I am concerned the path to atheism/agnostism should be travelled alone. Proselytizing is abhorrent whoever practices it.

Br Cornelius

Ditto... But what a hobby though, spending the day engaging young coed women in conversation.

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Davros of Skaro

So what if you can't cook and need a Vegan chef to cook for you? I don't see this as being the same. I don't see Veganism as being personal, just physical.

I read a Book on how to cook when I was a kid, but I don't think that's what you mean? Most Vegans I encountered were so out of belief and chose the lifestyle which is a concerted effort on their part.

I think what you and others here are saying is that some people cannot function in society without faith. Well faith is a mental construct. They can worship a Teddy Bear and get the same results.

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Davros of Skaro

Sure - but it's a lot like telling every kid you meet that Santa isn't real. Or if not telling them directly, dropping some pretty heavy hints:

"Did you ever notice that there are different Santa's at every mall?"

"Have you noticed that reindeer don't fly any other time of the year?"

"Have you noticed that your Mom and Dad always go to bed later than you, on Christmas Eve?"

It's better for them to work it out, on their own.

What's so great about atheism that you feel compelled to save them from their current beliefs?

So what, if it is the truth? Most people can't handle the truth. Hypothetically - if I could show you proof that I was a member of the Illuminati, and I could show you the evidence for an unstoppable conspiracy where the vast majority of the human genepool was about to be purposefully culled in the next 10 years, and then I told you that your genes are no longer required - k thx bai - how is the truth that you have no actual future going to make your life any better, day to day?

In all honesty - wouldn't you be happier not knowing? And wouldn't you be even happier if you genuinely believed that you were going to live forever and that there was cosmic justice built into the Universe? That good will always ultimately triumph evil? That all of this day-to-day existential horror has an ultimate purpose? That everything, no matter how bad it may seem right now, is going to ultimately be okay?

And who are you or I to take that hope away from them?

I do not see children grow up and telling people they need Santa in their life. Santa is not pushed past a certain age.

I want the truth no matter what, but some people cannot handle it.

My recent post to Stubs touches on what I will say to you.

Yes I know Religion saves people from drug addiction for example. The thing is it's the subconscious that saves them, but at the same time the vacuum gets filled with dogma.

We are all evolved mutated crazy primates. We need more constructive ideologies. I see a worry of do not rock the Boat, do not open the Flood Gates from Atheists. I can understand the empathy towards feelings, but change will balance it's self out. Do you think poor ancient Egyptians when the Greeks conquered them and forced a new God on them?

People are going to continue to believe, but as Eight Bits says the ranks will be less filled in future generations. I say help speed up the process.

Do you think schizophrenia is a genetic trait that should be nourished and bred? Well what do you think allows for that?

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eight bits

GmG

He talks to guys, too. Lol.

Tiggs

If people become atheists, then they really need to do so at their own pace - not by having their current support structure weakened and then sharply kicked out from under them.

Yes, and I think that may be some promising middle ground for davros and Br Cornelius, too.

spartan

Just for you: street epistemologist meets God tester:

Nobody yells at anybody. It's amazing. They even forget to ask Magnabosco if they can pray for him, which is the last of their scripted questions for non-believers.

More information on the God test at

http://skepticexamin...wering-atheist/

Sheri

It occurred to me that you and I may be among very few people on the planet who applaud the critical thinking skill involved in rejecting LDS because the New Jerusalem, as described in Revelation, can't fit in Missouri.

I do worry about a remaining vulnerability there. Better that than her previous situation, though. Good of you to discuss boundaries in this context, too.

LG

Greetings. I'm not as OK with street epsitemology as you are, but you argue your position well and consistently. On your last point,

She can entirely be emotionally satisfied with them, they don't seem to be harming her or others in any way and they provide benefits to her. Satisfied that they are entirely rational I'm not so sure about, at the very least she was flitting about the perimeter of where special pleading dwells.

As to my question's use of the word "satisfied," I didn't mean emotionally; I meant rationally. I don't agree with Elizabeth's apparent current estimate of the situation, but I am hard pressed to locate her even on the perimeter of special pleading.

Stubbly

Lol, there are 200 videos just on Magnabusco's channel, and he's not the only SE'er. I doubt very many people will watch all of them, ever.

I think "Amanda" was with Socrates Jones, rather than Anthony Magnabosco. It is iinteresting that the two SE's, even while doing very similar activities, have different personal styles.

"Paul" was interesting, too. Anthony rattled him, but then Anthony wasn't trying to do that. I agree that Paul seemed to be aggressively postured from the outset, so it was never going to be a smooth encounter, and wasn't.

You'd make a great interviewee, Stubbly.

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Davros of Skaro

Tiggs

Yes, and I think that may be some promising middle ground for davros and Br Cornelius, too.

I'm reminded of how Seth Andrews came to Atheism. He watched a Christopher Hitchens debate. The brutalness of Hitch led him to question his beliefs.

I do not expect to change anyone, but present things they never thought of before.

Did you ever see the video of the Headless Xtian 5 yo girl being held up by a Muslim shouting "Kurfer" (nonbeliever) while others in the background praise allah?

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