Street Epistemology: Emily | Avoiding Behavioral Cages – VIDEO


Street Epistemology: Emily | Avoiding Behavioral Cages
San Antonio, Texas
27 October 2016

Emily usually questions her beliefs “to the bone”, but has recently acquired a belief that she makes an exception for because it brings her comfort and does not affect other people.

Reblogged 1 year ago from


  1. I would have loved to hear you ask a question along the lines of "What process could we use to determine whether a belief is an exception to the rule of trying not to believe things that might not be true."

  2. She sounds like she is a freethinker, possibly has become an atheists recently. She sounds that she is trying to figure things out without the need to believe in an imagined deity.

    I wonder if she does make contact you should tell her that you are an atheist.

    If she is an atheists she might appreciate links to American atheist or The American humanist association or similar groups.

    Really enjoyed this talk. It can't have been easy thinking on your feet as the conversation unfolded.

    Well done. I hope that she emails you.

  3. The only bad thing about giving someone a GoPro while they walk is they could just take off with it.

  4. I would have liked to ask her, if there is an other term for "energy", that would do the job. A secular one like "attitude" for example. It would also be interesting, if she thinks, that it can be trained, how you behave on your current "energy". So it could turn out to be more harmeful to you, if you are not used to experience negative "energy" anymore, if you accidentally fall into it, because you are not trained.

  5. When people talk about stuff like "energy" would it be helpful to clarify if they mean "some type of magical/mystical force" or just "emotions/behavior"? So many people throw around words like "energy, vibration, frequency".

  6. A really good talk. She seems like someone I would love to see more talks with because I think she can explain herself very well and is willing to think about her views out loud.

    Great talk and I hope she emails you back for more 🙂

    The video idea sounds great. I would love to see what they think about after.

  7. Damn i wish i could guide a conversation like that Tony, absolutely love this series, you do a damn good job coming off as nonthreatening and easy to talk to. I can only imagine the shit id get into if i were to try this format in my locale!

  8. I just watched The Atheist Delusion by Ray Comfort and it made me realize something. Obviously Comfort has tried to interview possibly hundreds of people, and the only people he could find that were susceptible to his pathetic arguments were put in the movie. At the end of the movie he gets multiple professed atheists to believe that a god exists. His whole argument throughout the movie is basically the watchmaker argument. What I realized is how easy it is to manipulate an individual's thought process to lean them in whatever way you wish. All you need is a rehearsed argument that sounds convincing. This is the core of the problem with everything. When I first opened the door to the atheist community I thought everyone was so rational, but what I was actually doing was listening to the greatest thinkers the atheist community has and applying that level of intelligence to this whole group of people. The problem is the same one that torments public education; that is not teaching people how to think, but instead teaching them what to think. Instead of teaching them how to find water, people like Comfort lead them directly to a poisoned puddle. Street epistemology is what we need now more than ever.

  9. I had the impression she was using the terms "positive" and "negative" energy more as figures of speech, nothing supernatural, and that her "belief du jour" was just describing how personal interactions could work and be dealt with.  When she said she has a lot of beliefs I wonder if she just meant she has a lot of views on things. Towards the end I was glad to see she seemed much smarter than I thought she was and open to analyzing beliefs and seeing them for what they are, which included being detrimental.

  10. It sounds like she is confusing a claim about her behavior (that she will benefit from a positive state of mind) with a claim about the existence of positive/negative energy. The former is nebulous but sensible. The latter is harder to justify, and is not a prerequisite for a good attitude. I hope she'll think about the difference.

  11. They care more about how it makes them feel than whether or not it's true.

  12. Great talk Anthony. your questions revealed there was a little more going on up there than I initially gave Emily credit for. Clearly something has happened in her life recently which has caused upset among family and friends and her new found belief is a way of compartmentalising the negative feelings towards her. I guess starting work in a strip joint hasn't gone down to well among the people who matter to her!

  13. 'Keep the energy light bright and nothing can cling to you'. The very beginning of magical/wish thinking.

  14. Anthony that's a great idea at the end !! , really would like to see someone's thought process. It would be interesting ! Nice talk!

  15. Its the difference between a positive state of mind and a negative state of mind. There are no energies. I can almost see how people can believe in this crap, but she is not close to analitical at all!! Its pulled out of thin air, and it seems that even she may know that.

    You cant just invent ways the world works and call it truth. Invent laws and rules. Its what "wise men" have been doing for 1000s of years. Many of them take what they like and dont like, and perhaps a personal belief and teach that as truth. Some are much more original than others. But because of their own conviction or ability to deliver with conviction these "gurus" have all sortd of unquestioning fools believing them. Question is "can you prove that?" (a positive and negative energy should be measurable), and is it a correct interpretatation of reality (quantum physicists say reality is in part made out of fields but that doesnt mean a tuning fork can affect those fields like many actually believe!!!)

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