Philosophy Magazine

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Seven

By Mmcgee
Written by faithandselfdefense

We are continuing to report about HOW atheist street epistemologists do what they do.

If this is the first time you’ve read anything in this series, we invite you to read these articles when you have time. You may find the background helpful –

Street Epistemology: Basic Strategy

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part One

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Two

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Three

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Four

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Five

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Six

You may also find it helpful to read about the history of atheist street epistemology in our free Ebook, Street Epistemologists ‘On Guard’.

Tactics Indepth

I’m using four primary sources for this part of our report –

  1. A Manual for Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian
  2. StreetEpistemology.com
  3. Complete Street Epistemology Guide: How to Talk About Beliefs (Last Update: 10 May 2016)
  4. Street Epistemology videos

We have been looking at Section 2.4 from the Complete Street Epistemology Guide (CSEG). That’s the section titled When to use it

“You can use Street Epistemology whenever a truth claim is being made. However it is most useful for extraordinary claims, such as miracles and supernatural phenomena, including:

●  Existence of one or more gods or immaterial persons (theism).

●  Phenomena that violate or suspend the operation of natural laws (supernaturalism,paranormal and psychic phenomena, miracles, karma).

●  Biological death does not end one’s existence as a conscious being (afterlife,reincarnation, resurrection).

●  The effectiveness of healing modalities that science based medicine rejects asunproven or ineffective (quackery).

●  The scientific validity of an idea or system which has never been adequatelyresearched or fails under scientific testing (pseudosciences).

●  A covert but powerful force/group is responsible for certain events or situations,where evidence of that force/group is lacking (conspiracy theories). In such cases, we often encounter the following justifications, and the Street Epistemologistasks whether they are sufficiently reliable to warrant belief in the claim.

Christian Defense #3

We looked at Christian Defense #1 and #2 in previous articles.

  • Defense #1 is to teach your children not to engage with atheist street epistemologists until they train in faith defense.
  • Defense #2 is to train your children in the basics of faith defense.

We move now to Defense #3.

“Equip your children to defend Christianity in the real world.”

We looked at what Christian faith defense training looks like in the last part of our series. It includes both show and tell.

This has similarities with training children in self defense:

  • Teach techniques
  • Practice techniques
  • Demonstrate techniques (pre-determined situations)
  • Perform techniques (real world situations)

Head knowledge is not enough in self defense. Students must also know how to use techniques in real-world situations. Training should emphasize physical safety while allowing students to get hands-on training to build both understanding and muscle memory. Training is age-appropriate. A class of pre-school children is not going to train the same way a high school class trains.

Head knowledge is also not enough in faith defense. Students must also know how to use what they’ve learned in real-world situations. Training should emphasize spiritual safety while allowing students to get training that builds understanding and spiritual memory. Training should be age-appropriate.

Example #1

Parents teach their children about evidence for the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and credibility of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Parents who have not received their own training in those areas can find resources through their church and trusted Christian organizations that focus on faith defense.

Children will ask great questions when they find themselves in a spiritually safe and comfortable environment. Parents, as their faith defense instructors, should welcome every question and do their best to help their children understand the answers. As their children get older, parents can role play a variety of worldviews to help their children understand how other people think and believe.

Parents can also model how to talk with people about the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and reality of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As children watch and listen to what their parents do and say with someone from a different religion or worldview, they will grow in their understanding of how to talk with others about Christ.

Example #2

Children’s Church and Youth Leaders teach their students about evidence for the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and credibility of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Children will ask great questions when they find themselves in a spiritually safe and comfortable environment. Church and youth leaders who work with children and teens should welcome every question and do their best to help them understand the answers. As the children get older, church leaders can role play a variety of worldviews to help them understand how other people think and believe.

Church and youth leaders can also model how to talk with people about the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and reality of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As children watch and listen to what their youth leaders do and say with someone from a different religion or worldview, they will grow in their understanding of how to talk with others about Christ.

Example #3

Christian School Leaders teach their students about evidence for the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and credibility of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Students will ask great questions when they find themselves in a spiritually safe and comfortable environment. Teachers and other school leaders should welcome every question and do their best to help students understand the answers. As children get older, teachers and school leaders can role play a variety of worldviews to help them understand how other people think and believe.

Teachers and other Christian school leaders can also model how to talk with people about the existence of God, reliability of the Bible, and reality of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As children watch and listen to what their teachers and school leaders do and say with someone from a different religion or worldview, they will grow in their understanding of how to talk with others about Christ.

Example #4

Christian parents and teachers take their children/students with them as they defend Christianity in real-world situations.

It’s one thing to tell students what you would do if talking with an opponent of Christianity. It’s another thing to show students what faith defense looks like in a real-world situation.

Practice

Self-defense techniques are taught slowly, methodically and carefully so students understand what they’re doing, why they’re doing them and what effect the techniques will have on other people. The students practice the techniques with the teacher and other students in a controlled and safe environment to gain an understanding of how each defense works. Practice sessions will expand in speed and intensity based on how well students are able to execute the skills in a way that is safe, efficient and effective.

The same is true with faith defense. Faith defense is based on developing critical thinking skills. One perspective of those skills comes from academia – (University of Michigan)

  • Analyzing
  • Applying Standards
  • Discriminating
  • Information Seeking
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Predicting
  • Transforming Knowledge

Another perspective of those skills comes from the Bible where reason and logic are highly desired and used.

“And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.” Acts 19:8

  • Isaiah 1:18
  • Acts 17:2, 17
  • Acts 18:4, 19
  • Acts 19:8-9
  • Acts 22:1
  • Acts 24:25
  • Acts 26:24-25
  • Philippians 1:7
  • 1 Peter 3:15

Christian young people are often told that their “faith” in God is no more than wishful thinking and that they have no evidence for God’s existence. The truth is that Christian young people have access to a massive vault of evidence they can use to defend belief in God’s existence, in the credibility of the Bible, and the reality of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Once Christian young people learn about the evidence, they need to understand how to use that evidence in a process that is reasonable and logical. Christian parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors and other adults in young people’s lives should be able to help their young students practice what they know in a safe environment.

Practice may include role playing between student and teacher and student and student. That’s similar to self defense training. The topic is selected and two people choose different views of the topic. Examples of topics would be –

  • Existence of God
  • Reliability of Bible
  • Reality of Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Examples of differing views of the topic would be –

  • Christian / Atheist
  • Christian / Agnostic
  • Christian / Hindu
  • Christian / Buddhist
  • Christian / Muslim

Role playing is just one method of training. There are many others. Be creative and enjoy the process with your students!

Demonstrate

Demonstration in martial arts/self defense is based on pre-determined situations. Students know who will attack them, the nature of the attack (e.g. empty hand, stick, knife, gun) and the speed of the attack (eg. slow, medium, fast). Students won’t know exactly how their partner(s) will attack, so their responses should demonstrate how well they understand defending against a variety of attacks.

Demonstration in faith defense is based on pre-determined situations as well. Let your children/students know in advance who will approach them and with what worldview they will approach. What students won’t know is what argument(s) their dialog partner will include. It is a test of how well they understand the worldview.

Perform

Performance in martial arts/self defense is based on real world situations. Students will not know who will attack them, will not know the nature of the attack nor the speed of the attack. It is the ultimate test of their learned skills in a controlled environment. Safety to everyone involved is vital.

Performance in faith defense is also based on real world situations. Students will not know what worldview(s) their partner will approach them with nor whether their partner will be a friendly or unfriendly opponent. It is the ultimate test of their learned skills in a controlled environment. Safety to everyone involved is vital.

What’s At Stake

What’s at stake in self defense are basic temporal values of life and safety.

What’s at stake in faith defense are eternal values of salvation and obedience to God.

Nothing in life is more important.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Street Epistemology: Basic Tactics, Part Seven

Advertisements February 8, 2019February 7, 2019 · Posted in Faith Defense · Tagged atheism, Children and Teens, Christianity, Faith Defense, street epistemology, They ·

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