Tales Of A Flat Earth

INT21

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Sharon Hill,

...And I'm not a big fan of Jung. ..

The more I read of his work, the less of a fan I am becoming.

INT21
 

INT21

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Analogue Boy,

..One motive would be, ‘If THEY’RE wrong about that, what else are THEY wrong about or hiding?’ ..

Possibly. The conspiracy aspect. Feeds into the Deep State, Illuminati etc.

But the flat Earthers have picked a strange item to lead with.

INT21.
 

Coal

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Conspiracies are very real things. But a conspiracy requires a motive. the conspirators (has to be more than one) are trying to push an agenda. What would be the agenda of the flat Earthers ?
They enjoy and are validated by being in a group of like minded people, that is 'flat-earthers'.
 

Mikefule

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In the first place, it’s not helpful or correct describe some of these thing as ‘stupid’. Even if one takes the view that this is ‘criticising the action not the person’, it’s heard as pejorative and if you want to kick off a row with almost anyone go down the ‘stupid’ route. Almost no-one thinks they are stupid, and if you really want to change someone's mind, this is exactly how not to do it.

In the second place, a lot of perfectly intelligent people believe in irrational things. That on its own undermines any argument based purely on the intelligence of the believer.

What you are perhaps suggesting is that there is a lack of ‘critical thought’, as applied to the beliefs in question. Critical thought can be thought of as exercising the general forms of thought most conducive to sorting the true from the false – or ‘the art of being right.’” (van Gelder 2001).

So one must draw the correct or most likely answer from the available information, using induction, deduction and (then) interpretation and in doing so overcoming bias to make a sound judgement.

It turns out critical thought does correlate with IQ but also with FFM ‘openess’ and also, unlike many other measurable traits or abilities, this is something which can be improved and one can be trained for. If anything, we ought to spend more time on critical thought at school level, including many of the various rhetorical tricks used to confound ones critical facilities (straw men, circular reasoning and so on). That's certainly make politicians' lives harder.

Even so, with good critical thought facilities, we are, as human beings, susceptible to peer pressure, almost hard-wired cognitive biases and also, our own strong innate desire to belong to a group (Sharon’s point about conspiracy theory dynamics is solid).

In other words it isn’t as simple as ‘people are stupid if…'
Coal, I pretty much agree with all of that.

The word "stupid" was introduced to the discussion by someone else, and my first response was directly to that. I then continued to use the the word in a later post as I developed my argument about how I would apply the term.

I would never call someone stupid in an argument with them, or call someone stupid simply because I disagreed with them.

I tend to use the word "stupid" in a very specific way, and perhaps it is my own quirky usage.

There are so many words in the language which mean similar things that I often tend to draw subtle distinctions between them which other people might not.

We have words like stupid, daft, thick, unintelligent, dim, moronic, cretinous, idiotic, slow, etc. which all relate to low levels of intelligence either in terms of ability or behaviour. They do not all mean exactly the same thing, but people will not always apply them in quite the same ways.

A thug who smashes a bus stop is moronic; a new rule from senior management that obviously won't work is idiotic; a junior manager who insists on applying the rule even when it is counterproductive is stupid; a person who takes a long time to understand even simple ideas is dim; and so on.

Specifically in the case of "stupid" I tend to use it to refer to something wilful. In order to be stupid, you need to be intelligent enough to understand an idea or an argument but then choose not to understand it. Therefore, calling someone stupid is not (to me) calling them unintelligent or thick, but quite the opposite.

I have looked at the Flat Earth Society's website. Much of what is on there was clearly written by people who are intelligent and articulate. Many of them clearly have a good grasp of language and of maths and geometry. They are not "thick" or "unintelligent". They no doubt lead fairly normal lives, hold down jobs, pay mortgages, solve crosswords, and understand train timetables just like the rest of us.

However, in the case of their belief in a Flat Earth, they obtusely refuse to understand something that they clearly have the ability to comprehend.

There is nothing wrong with rejecting or challenging conventional ideas; we are all Forteans and should agree with that!

There is nothing wrong with failing to understand the complexities of theoretical physics. I couldn't pretend to understand every detail of why the Earth is a globe, or quite how gravity and orbits work, but I understand the gist of it.

When Flat Earthers go to such lengths to build complex schemes to disprove something that has been proven beyond doubt with abundant and readily available evidence, I can only say that they are wilfully being irrational. Whether we use the word "stupid" or some other word to describe wilful irrationality is then just a matter of labelling.
 

Coal

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However, in the case of their belief in a Flat Earth, they obtusely refuse to understand something that they clearly have the ability to comprehend.
When Flat Earthers go to such lengths to build complex schemes to disprove something that has been proven beyond doubt with abundant and readily available evidence, I can only say that they are wilfully being irrational. Whether we use the word "stupid" or some other word to describe wilful irrationality is then just a matter of labelling.
This depend on one's frame of reference. We consider 'rational' to be the centred around deductive logic e.g. 'modus ponens', one of several classic deductive forms)

If A then B [premise: A implies B]
A [premise: A is true]
Therefore B [consequent]


However, people are wired to also respond to social imperatives - proto-man had social communication and imperatives way before language and writing and its the eventual evolution of deductive logic. People are driven by these old tribal/social imperatives to belong to a group as a priority, even if its totem is some irrational belief - and are behaving exactly as their social reasoning impels them.

I feel disenfranchised.
This group listens to me and validates me.
I need to belong, therefore I believe in the ['irrational'] totem of the group.


We can frame this behaviour as stupid or classically illogical/irrational, but that's to overlook social behaviours and drives million of years in the making. The question (already posed further back up the thread) we perhaps ought to be asking is "Why are many many people joining such groups at this time? What in society has changed such that this seems attractive?" And maybe we ought to figure that out before a serious deranged 'charismatic individual' forms the kind of politician movement none of us want to see.

...consider also that even classical deductionists clump together with other classical deductionists to validate each other and feel part of that group...
 

Sharon Hill

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Why flat-earthers believe:
  • Religious convictions (the bible says the earth is flat)
  • Anti-science, anti-authority, anti-government (NASA), anti-intellectual (includes conspiratorial aspects)
  • Sense of self-importance in belonging to a group that "isn't fooled" by what they are told to believe (also conspiratorial)
  • Personal experience is truth - It's obvious that the earth is flat (can't see the curve)
  • They are radical skeptics - refusing all knowledge is valid (How people like this leave the house each day, I don't know. I doubt they seriously exist but are just contrarians.)
  • Believing just because it's fun and intriguing (may not be serious, just contrarian)
  • A combination of some/all of the above
It's hard to say that people have never been exposed to the idea of a globular earth, so ignorance is not a valid option. Being gullible enough to accept flat eartherism is pushed by one of the above factors. (May be others I haven't thought of.) So yes, it is a failure of critical thinking.
 

maximus otter

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  • Religious convictions (the bible says the earth is flat)
But does it? I’m an atheist, but out of mild interest l typed “Does the Bible say that the Earth is flat?” into Google. The first response lists fifteen Bible verses allegedly “about Flat Earth”. The only two which could remotely be considered “Flat Earthy” (IMHO) are:

Isaiah 11:12 which refers to “the four quarters of the earth”, and;

Revelation 7:1 which talks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth”.

Even the dimmest mediaeval peasant would know that a (roughly spherical) apple or turnip could be divided into four quarters; he would also be only too well aware that there were more than four winds.

maximus otter
 
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Mikefule

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Even the dimmest mediaeval peasant would know that a (roughly spherical) apple or turnip could be divided into four quarters; he would also be only too well aware that there were more than four winds.

maximus otter
For many years, I have had a "ring master" type role in my Morris dancing team, doing all or most of the announcements before and between dances. I am constantly looking for new ideas and gags.

Many years ago, I was quite pleased to come up with the obviously (to me) absurd, "The famous Dolphin Morris Men have danced at the four corners of the globe." Imagine my surprise and disappointment a day or two later when I came across "four corners of the globe" being used seriously by a BBC reporter!
 

Ogdred Weary

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But does it? I’m an atheist, but out of mild interest l typed “Does the Bible say that the Earth is flat?” into Google. The first response lists fifteen Bible verses allegedly “about Flat Earth”. The only two which could remotely be considered “Flat Earthy” (IMHO) are:

Isaiah 11:12 which refers to “the four quarters of the earth”, and;

Revelation 7:1 which talks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth”.

Even the dimmest mediaeval peasant would know that a (roughly spherical) apple or turnip could be divided into four quarters; he would also be only too well aware that there were more than four winds.

maximus otter
Depends on the particular translation to some extent; however, in my admittedly limited experience, you can make the bible "say" pretty much anything you want it to.
 

Xanatic*

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There is also the part where Jesus is hanging out with the Devil on a mountain big enough to see all the Earth from.
 

Min Bannister

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Something interesting I have noticed - there were a couple of copies of 1984 in the Flat Earth shop, a book that just that morning I had announced to my husband I was finally going to read. When we asked the guy in the shop what could be the purpose of Them pretending the Earth is a globe when it is really flat, he said it was a way to control us.

I am now reading it and have just got to a bit where Winston is being told, against everything he knows to be true, that the Earth is really flat, the sun moon and stars revolve around it and are only a short distance away.

Kind of ironic really..
 
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I wonder how 'Them' telling us that the world is a globe would keep the population under control. Maybe to stop us all running to the edge for a look over the side?

I don't think that the shape of the planet would make me behave any differently to my usual.
 

AlchoPwn

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I wonder how 'Them' telling us that the world is a globe would keep the population under control. Maybe to stop us all running to the edge for a look over the side? I don't think that the shape of the planet would make me behave any differently to my usual.
Having communicated this same question with the Flats, they insist that the truth that is being hidden is that beyond the mountains of Antarctica (the Mountains of Madness imo), that form the ring around our part of the endless flatness of the world and keep our oceans in, there are endless fertile lands with abundant resources. If we discover this, we will all try to escape the "illuminati run bondage gulag" we apparently live in. Sounds great no? It's a classically American fantasy. The dream of an endless frontier. On the other hand, this illuminati run bondage gulag sounds like a great name for a nightclub.
 

EnolaGaia

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This refleccts one of the angles I've pondered in relation to motivations for embracing a flat earth - i.e., that reversion to a flat-earth model represents a refutation of our world's / planet's finitude and resultant limitations.

It strikes me as a desperate hopefulness ... Better a model that may afford additional frontiers (i.e., growth) than a model that most definitely excludes them.
 

Analogue Boy

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Having communicated this same question with the Flats, they insist that the truth that is being hidden is that beyond the mountains of Antarctica (the Mountains of Madness imo), that form the ring around our part of the endless flatness of the world and keep our oceans in, there are endless fertile lands with abundant resources. If we discover this, we will all try to escape the "illuminati run bondage gulag" we apparently live in. Sounds great no? It's a classically American fantasy. The dream of an endless frontier. On the other hand, this illuminati run bondage gulag sounds like a great name for a nightclub.
Ah. So that’s where the clouds go after they pass over the mountains of Antarctica. Where do they go after that though?
I’m thinking everything goes all Pixar once you reach the outer hub.
 

Peripart

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I wonder how 'Them' telling us that the world is a globe would keep the population under control. Maybe to stop us all running to the edge for a look over the side?

I don't think that the shape of the planet would make me behave any differently to my usual.
Maybe, if enough people ran to the edge, the World would tip over?
 

Sharon Hill

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But does it? I’m an atheist, but out of mild interest l typed “Does the Bible say that the Earth is flat?” into Google. The first response lists fifteen Bible verses allegedly “about Flat Earth”. The only two which could remotely be considered “Flat Earthy” (IMHO) are:

Isaiah 11:12 which refers to “the four quarters of the earth”, and;

Revelation 7:1 which talks of “four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth”.

Even the dimmest mediaeval peasant would know that a (roughly spherical) apple or turnip could be divided into four quarters; he would also be only too well aware that there were more than four winds.

maximus otter
That is up for debate. Creation Ministries didn't want people to think they were so backward that they actually believed the earth was flat so they made an effort to dispute this idea. But fundamentalists will really reach. I suppose it doesn't just apply to Christianity. To turn it around (in a way that maybe makes a bit more sense), more than half of flat earthers consider themselves religious. A poll, for what it's worth: https://today.yougov.com/topics/phi...t-flat-earthers-consider-themselves-religious

The older you get, the more you don't fall for this stuff.
 

INT21

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..I wonder how 'Them' telling us that the world is a globe would keep the population under control. ..

As Min Bannister will discover as she reads more of 1984, the point is 'they' would have to reenforce our belief that the World is flat to the extent that it would be unthinkable to believe otherwise. Because thinking otherwise would essentially be a crime against society. So you are not going to question the fact. But should 'they' suddenly decide the world is spherical, always was and always will be, then you had better believe that. And you had better have always believed it.

Min will come to love Big Brother.

INT21.
 
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