Here’s something that I think everyone, whether theist or atheist, believer or skeptic, should be able to agree on:
An evidence-oriented, scientific approach wants to explore all reasonably possible interpretations of data, gathering as much surrounding information as possible, so as to guard against bias and select the best possible interpretation from among all the possible choices.
A credulous approach draws conclusions based on insufficient information, and is especially eager to draw hasty conclusions from snippets of data that support prior beliefs.
Is that a fair statement?
With that in mind, is it possible that Dr. McGrew’s allusion to the “knock-out” could have been more thoughtful in its original context than street epistemologist Anthony Magnabosco wants to make it appear in this video? Wouldn’t an evidence-oriented viewer want to explore and find out, before jumping to any conclusions? Does Magnabosco’s quote-mining invite that kind of exploration?
Literate, educated people universally know that there’s only one way to discover what any writer or speaker intends any analogy to mean: by reading or listening to what they say about it. That information is missing in this video.
Is this video then more supportive of an evidence-oriented, scientific approach to knowledge, or of thoughtless, biased credulity?
A “street epistemologist,” for those who don’t know, is someone who practices “intervention” techniques taught by Peter Boghossian in his Manual for Creating Atheists. You can view Tim McGrew’s and my full discussion for more on this, and you’ll also hear what Dr. McGrew really meant about the “knock-out game.” Magnobosco wants us to be embarrassed over it, but in context, for those with enough curiosity to push past credulity and explore the evidence, that just doesn’t work.
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