How closely have you examined your deeply held beliefs? How confident are you that your beliefs are true? What are the reasons you have that give you your level of confidence in your belief?
In this episode we take a critical look at beliefs. Beliefs of all kinds. Belief in God, karma, the law of attraction, ghosts, spirits - anything. In this episode of Isn't Life Curious? I had the chance to sit down for a conversation with Anthony Magnabosco - a leader in a movement that seeks to critically examine and question deeply held beliefs through repeated non-confrontational questioning known as Street Epistemology. Anthony has spent the past eight years or so engaging strangers in short respectful conversations that challenge the participant to pick a deeply held belief and explain why they believe what they believe is true. In Socratic fashion, Street Epistemology relies on repeated questioning to peel away the "baggage" that is stacked on top of a belief so that the core ideas at the center of the belief can be exposed and examined.
Anthony has had several hundred chats (many of them on camera and uploaded to his YouTube channel) on a variety of claims including Gods, ghosts, karma, law of attraction, and a variety of social and political topics. He is a Founder and the current Executive Director of the new nonprofit organization Street Epistemology International. Anthony has given dozens of talks and workshops on Street Epistemology at conferences and events domestically and internationally in an attempt to spread practice of this method far and wide in hopes that it will help lead to a more reasonable and thoughtful society.
Learn more about Street Epistemology at http://www.streetepistemology.com
In our first episode to kick off the show, we are joined by Dr. Steven Novella, most famously known as the producer and host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe Podcast and author of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe book. Dr. Novella is a neurologist and professor at Yale School of Medicine and an advocate of the skepticism movement. In our conversation we talk about the concept of reality vs perception and how to evaluate whether we are in touch with reality or are lost in our own fictions and hallucinations that our brains produce for us so easily. We discuss some of the cognitive biases that we wrestle with every day, common misconceptions about skepticism, the failings of public education in promoting critical thinking skills in kids, the severe consequences that may be in store if humans can't learn to think better, and much more!
Learn more about The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe at https://www.theskepticsguide.org/