Where are the Street Epistemologists?

A little over a year ago, John Loftus excitedly reviewed Peter Boghossian’s silly book as follows:

Peter Boghossian’s new brilliant book will change our nomenclature and effectiveness in disabusing believers of their faith. His book will definitely change the religious landscape.
Nomenclature refers to the names we give to phenomena.
So he’s calling on a potential legion of people who are willing to help cure believers of their faith virus. He calls them “Street Epistemologists” who are equipped with the tactics he presents in his manual.
I think that with the Socratic Method as an excellent tool in our toolkit (as he explains in chapter five), Boghossian has given the Street Epistemologist a better understanding of how to argue believers out of their faith, even if many of them still probably cannot be argued out of it. He writes, “In order to reason them out of their faith they’ll have to be taught how to reason first, and then instructed in the application of this new tool to their epistemic condition.” (p. 63)
This is the brilliant part of Boghossian’s book. I look forward to the results in the years to come.

Well, it’s been over a year now, so where is this promised change in “our nomenclature and effectiveness in disabusing believers of their faith?”

As far as I can tell, no one outside of the Cult of Gnu has taken Boghossian’s book seriously. I have seen no glowing reviews from mainstream scholars or scholarly publications. And no one outside of the Cult of Gnu has adopted Boghossian’s twisted definition of faith. In fact, I don’t even see Dawkins or Harris adopting Boghossian’s nomenclature.

And where is the legion of “Street Epistemologists?” Over the last year, we had a single Street Epistemologist show up at this blog and after some of us asked him a few questions, he ran away.

There is a Street Epistemology website that is trying to put together a list of 10,000 people “who will be active and engage others and teach others better ways to come to knowledge.” From my quick count, I see about 75. So after one year, they only need another 25 people to reach 1% of their goal. According to Alexa, the site gets about 2 visits/day, so it may take a century of more for them to hit their goal.

There is a Facebook page. And it has a 178 “Likes.”

There is another FB page with Loftus and Boghossian as administrators that has a whole 596 members. LOL. Doesn’t seem all that impressive to me, especially since Loftus himself has over 4000 members on his FB page, meaning only about 15% of his fan base is interested in curing the religious of the brain virus.

So, one year after Loftus’s revolutionary predictions about Boghossian’s revolutionary book, I see no change in “nomenclature” and neither is there any “legion of people who are willing to help cure believers of their faith virus.”

The Gnu Atheists have much faith.

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9 Responses to Where are the Street Epistemologists?

  1. TFBW says:

    Where can I find one of these eager street epistemologists? I would love to engage them in discussion. Epistemology and Socratic method are my happy place. I don’t do Facebook, though.

  2. Dhay says:

    The first Facebook page’s second link (6 Jan 2014) is to a “Help Street Epistemology get started” fund-raising page which aims to raise $900. In the 45 weeks since has raised the princely total of $0 from 0 contributors. Rush now, folks, for it says, “Extended time! Our deadline has passed but you can still help.”https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cfnma?psid=f0d66a53fc244154a1d5b1ef36c9686b&fb_ref=share__62Zjvb

    Lots of enthusiasm, then.

  3. Bilbo says:

    Maybe if they stand on street corners with signs saying, “Will do street epistemology for food”….

  4. Crude says:

    Well, there was a serious flaw in PeteBog’s plan.

    See, it turns out streets are *outside*. They are not indoors, located conveniently next to the computer. This causes a lot of things inconvenient to many of the Cult of Gnu, such as a lack of anonymity, extended contact with direct sunlight, and perhaps most important of all – an inability to quickly search on Google for responses to objections people bring up, and which the cultist can quote while feigning understanding of the subject in general.

  5. Dhay says:

    I see one of the other three Admins at the “another FB page” has just started posting at TheologyWeb, as evidenced by his using same logo there as on FB, and by his sometimes spouting that weird Boghossian-acolyte emphasis on faith being “blind faith”; but at least he’s engaging in discussion, which is what TWEB (and Street Epistemology at its best) is about.

    The first Facebook page looks, to me, like a fake, or an outright scam: it’s very inactive; the logo is different to the official logo; the starter of the fund-raising page is the anonymous “Steve Epistemologist”.

  6. TFBW says:

    … at least he’s engaging in discussion …

    Link, please? Actual engagement is rare and valuable. I hope you’re not getting my hopes up unduly.

  7. Dhay says:

    Investigating further, I strongly suspect I have indeed got your hopes up unduly, there being some direct and indirect evidence they are not the same person. He seems to be just another run-of-the-mill New Atheist.

  8. TFBW says:

    Oh well, false alarm. It happens. Keep searching.

  9. BenYachov says:

    So hypothetically God doesn’t exist so I should care about being an Evangelist for Atheism why?

    There are drugs to take, whores too….well you know…enemies to be destroyed & stupid idiots to take advantage of for personal gain.

    I always thought the whole point of Atheism was to sleep in on Sundays. Yet to hear these silly Gnus I have to be just as active a religious as I would a believer?

    So what is really in it for me to be a Street Epistemologist? If it doesn’t make me money or help me bed supermodels then no thanks.

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