About three years 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 about three years now and 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 three years, 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.” Three years after setting it up, they have 66 members.
Clearly, the tiny, timid community of street epistemologists need some help. Fast. So Boghossian has come up with a way to help energize this flailing community. Consider what Gnu activist Jerry Coyne recently wrote:
Over lunch I learned about Peter’s new app, which is out in some places. It’s apparently designed to help nonbelievers rebut every possible argument for religion and superstition, and I’ll give more details when it’s released in the U.S.
LOL! An app! What a shot in the arm. The street epistemologists need an app to tell them what to say and soon they will have one. If you are a street epistemologist who needs to test out your app, feel free to cure some of us of our mind virus with one of your interventions.
There is a potential downside of this app. If you have interacted with Gnu atheists in the past, you already know they all tend to sound the same. Dime-a-dozen. But I’m concerned once they all begin relying on their app that this problem will only get worse.