By Mathew Goldstein
This video Street Epistemology: Slaying Dragons and Spotting Cons from the "Skeptrack" of the 2016 Dragoncon conference features Atheist Alliance International president Robert Penczak, also a member of Richmond Humanists who sometimes appears on the Fairfax Virginia podcast Road to Reason: A Skeptic's Guide to the 21st Century, and WASH member David Tomayo who is president of Hispanic American Freethinkers. It also features John Loftus, an author of ten books, whose blog Debunking Christianity is very good. I always find myself agreeing with John Loftus when his topic is atheism versus competing beliefs. Despite the title of his blog he tends to target theism and religion generally.
The aforementioned Dragoncon video advocates for practicing the street epistemology that is promoted in Peter Boghassian's book A Manual for Creating Atheists. We are told that the partisan book title originated with the publisher as a marketing ploy. I have read the book and I will say that title has some merit as a description of the book's content. Nevertheless, epistemology is about the quality of belief justification and learning to recognize and avoid common pitfalls such as confirmation bias. Atheists are prone to employing bad epistemology. So this topic is more general than atheism versus theism. It is addressed to, targets, and challenges, all of us. Atheism is merely a conclusion. How we go about reaching our conclusions is a skill that can be honed which affects the conclusions we reach across the wider range of decisions we confront. The web site for volunteer participants is https://streetepistemology.com/