What is Street Epistemology?
Epistemology is a branch of philosophy. It is concerned with the theory of knowledge (Wikipedia). The Street Epistemology (SE) method typically involves a 10-minute discussion. The discussion is between an SE practitioner (a Street Epistemologist) and someone who believes in God (or another supernatural belief). Initially, the religious person often gives several reasons for their belief in God. But the underlying reason usually comes down to ‘faith’. SE allows people to reflect on how they arrived at their deeply-held beliefs.
Challenging Religious Faith
Furthermore, through the brief discussion, SE attempts to help people align their beliefs with reality. Eventually, maybe long after the discussion, some religious people may come to the conclusion that supernatural beliefs are not true.
For instance, Anthony Magnebosco has a discussion with Katie. He starts by asking her to talk about something that she believes is true. Katie chooses to discuss her belief in God. As evidence for God, she talks about how complex nature is. As an example, she talks about the human eye. She cannot understand how all of the creation could come from the Big Bang. Katie had a miraculous escape after a bad car accident. God saved her. Prayer seems to work, which is further evidence of the existence of God, says Katie. Nevertheless, she has some doubts about her God belief. Anthony asks her whether other gods, such as Vishnu are true? Finally, Anthony asks Katie how she knows her God is real…
In conclusion, SE seems another effective method of ‘challenging religious faith’. What is your opinion?
However, all the videos I’ve seen of Street Epistemology are filmed in the USA. Why isn’t anybody filming SE in the UK? Who will be the first UK Street Epistemologist?
More at StreetEpistemology.com.
Join Atheism UK for £12/£24 a year.