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Tags debate , flat earth , flat earthers , Nathan Thompson , SciDanMan

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Old 2nd June 2019, 05:12 PM   #1
Steve001
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A live Flat Earth debate hosted by SciDanMan

This previous live flat Earth vs not a flat Earth hosted by SciManDan debate between Conspiracy Catz and flat Earther Nathan Thompson reminds me of the current no rockets in a vacuum thread plus other threads.
https://youtu.be/BXQ5VCKxioc
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Old 3rd June 2019, 01:30 AM   #2
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I do not think people should debate flat earth believers. It only gives them credibility.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 01:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I do not think people should debate flat earth believers. It only gives them credibility.
This. Flat-earthers are complete wingnuts.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 08:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I do not think people should debate flat earth believers. It only gives them credibility.
Originally Posted by gerdbonk View Post
This. Flat-earthers are complete wingnuts.
I would agree, but there appears to be persons, seemingly lots, out there whom fall for this idiocy. For that reason such nonsense in all it various forms needs to be exposed for what it is.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 09:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
I would agree, but there appears to be persons, seemingly lots, out there whom fall for this idiocy. For that reason such nonsense in all it various forms needs to be exposed for what it is.
I disagree on three counts.

First, I don't think very many people are "falling for" it at all. I think for most people, it's a pose they adopt for personal amusement, or as a result of some other dissatisfaction already present in their lives. I think very few people are actually believing the Earth is flat.

Second, so what if people believe the Earth is flat? For almost everybody, almost all the time, the Earth *is* flat, in every practical way. Even the parts of your daily life that really do depend on the Earth being round, like GPS on your phone, work whether you believe them or not. About the only people for whom the nonsense of a flat Earth needs to be exposed are space mission planners, and they already know the truth anyway. As nonsense goes, the flat earth is a good example of nonsense that doesn't really need to be exposed at all.

Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed. You're trying to solve a problem of information, but the real problem is one of choice. You're talking about it as though we have to expose a great lie for the good of all mankind. But I think you're actually just trying to put a stop to a game of silly buggers that you don't approve of. Let it go, is my advice. It's not actually all that important, and the people you're trying to stop from having fun aren't interested in quitting their game on your account anyway.

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Old 4th June 2019, 12:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree on three counts.

First, I don't think very many people are "falling for" it at all. I think for most people, it's a pose they adopt for personal amusement, or as a result of some other dissatisfaction already present in their lives. I think very few people are actually believing the Earth is flat.

Second, so what if people believe the Earth is flat? For almost everybody, almost all the time, the Earth *is* flat, in every practical way. Even the parts of your daily life that really do depend on the Earth being round, like GPS on your phone, work whether you believe them or not. About the only people for whom the nonsense of a flat Earth needs to be exposed are space mission planners, and they already know the truth anyway. As nonsense goes, the flat earth is a good example of nonsense that doesn't really need to be exposed at all.

Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed. You're trying to solve a problem of information, but the real problem is one of choice. You're talking about it as though we have to expose a great lie for the good of all mankind. But I think you're actually just trying to put a stop to a game of silly buggers that you don't approve of. Let it go, is my advice. It's not actually all that important, and the people you're trying to stop from having fun aren't interested in quitting their game on your account anyway.
OK, you've convinced me. (I already had some similar thoughts myself, but you sort of crystalized at least 2 good reasons.)

I'll just add this: There's simple ignorance and there's willful ignorance. Flat eartherism is the latter, not the former. The former can be fixed. The latter cannot be fixed except by the person doing it themselves. I cannot talk anyone out of their willful ignorance, no matter how persuasive or clear or articulate my arguments might be. So it's important to understand which kind of ignorance you are dealing with, because that determines how you should deal with it.
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Old 4th June 2019, 01:21 AM   #7
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My only hope is that a flat earther isn't put in charge of calculating the path of the ISS, the coordinates for a telescope, or even a southern airline route.
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Old 4th June 2019, 02:44 AM   #8
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I used to be a flat-earther. When I was Five. I also believed in God, and UFOs, and Santa. Then I observed certain things that didn't add up, and cracks appeared in my belief. I went up to my parents and exclaimed "Santa doesn't exist!" And they said "Yes, its true - we've been lying to you".

The problem with flat-earthers is they never learned that lesson. Instead of taking the opportunity to purge themselves of other irrational beliefs, they felt betrayed by the truth. The truth took Santa from them, and made the World a bit less magical and more dreary. So they rejected it, and replaced Santa with other fantasies.

You will never convince a flat-earther that the Earth isn't flat, because they already know it isn't. But they want to believe in a fantasy - ie. something that even they know isn't true. And a flat Earth fits the bill nicely. On a local scale the Earth is 'flat' so they can go about their daily lives without fear. It's a much safer fantasy than say, believing you can fly.

After I revealed the truth about Santa to my parents, they implored me not to tell my little brother. "Let him find out for himself" they said. So I didn't, and he had a few more years of magic. Who are we to stop flat-earthers from having a little harmless fantasy in their lives? We already took Santa from them, and now this? No, we should pretend that the Earth really is flat, while 'debating' that it isn't.
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Old 4th June 2019, 03:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree on three counts.

First, I don't think very many people are "falling for" it at all. I think for most people, it's a pose they adopt for personal amusement, or as a result of some other dissatisfaction already present in their lives. I think very few people are actually believing the Earth is flat.

Second, so what if people believe the Earth is flat? For almost everybody, almost all the time, the Earth *is* flat, in every practical way. Even the parts of your daily life that really do depend on the Earth being round, like GPS on your phone, work whether you believe them or not. About the only people for whom the nonsense of a flat Earth needs to be exposed are space mission planners, and they already know the truth anyway. As nonsense goes, the flat earth is a good example of nonsense that doesn't really need to be exposed at all.

Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed. You're trying to solve a problem of information, but the real problem is one of choice. You're talking about it as though we have to expose a great lie for the good of all mankind. But I think you're actually just trying to put a stop to a game of silly buggers that you don't approve of. Let it go, is my advice. It's not actually all that important, and the people you're trying to stop from having fun aren't interested in quitting their game on your account anyway.
I couldn't agree with this more. As far as conspiracy theories go, this one only harms the believer, even if only to make them look spectacularly stupid to those around them with a bit of common sense. Even BF believers are slightly more dangerous in that they are likely to wind up shooting themselves or others in the pursuit of furry feet. Look at all the information that has been thrown at rocket man in that thread, nothing penetrates that flat earth mindset because they don't want it to. Although the rest of us, I think, have enjoyed the education that has come from it.
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Old 4th June 2019, 11:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree on three counts.

First, I don't think very many people are "falling for" it at all. I think for most people, it's a pose they adopt for personal amusement, or as a result of some other dissatisfaction already present in their lives. I think very few people are actually believing the Earth is flat.

Second, so what if people believe the Earth is flat? For almost everybody, almost all the time, the Earth *is* flat, in every practical way. Even the parts of your daily life that really do depend on the Earth being round, like GPS on your phone, work whether you believe them or not. About the only people for whom the nonsense of a flat Earth needs to be exposed are space mission planners, and they already know the truth anyway. As nonsense goes, the flat earth is a good example of nonsense that doesn't really need to be exposed at all.

Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed. You're trying to solve a problem of information, but the real problem is one of choice. You're talking about it as though we have to expose a great lie for the good of all mankind. But I think you're actually just trying to put a stop to a game of silly buggers that you don't approve of. Let it go, is my advice. It's not actually all that important, and the people you're trying to stop from having fun aren't interested in quitting their game on your account anyway.
I disagree. Almost entirely. Embracing ignorance is dangerous. Whether, we are talking about flat earth, Geo-centricsm, anti-vaccine, climate-denying or any of the make believe gods that condemn human sexuality, evolution, the superiority of men or various races. Beliefs inform actions.

Ridiculous ideas are deserving of ridicule.
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Old 4th June 2019, 11:09 AM   #11
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It's pointless, the shape of the earth is not a matter for debate. It is a matter of fact.
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Old 4th June 2019, 11:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
My only hope is that a flat earther isn't put in charge of calculating the path of the ISS, the coordinates for a telescope, or even a southern airline route.
My only hope is that people will stop pretending this is a serious risk.

---

Of course, I also hope that people will stop pretending the Earth is flat.
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Old 4th June 2019, 11:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
It's pointless, the shape of the earth is not a matter for debate. It is a matter of fact.
So is evolution, global warming, and the germ theory of disease. Facts don't stop the ignorant and those that prey on ignorance.
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Old 4th June 2019, 11:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
It's pointless, the shape of the earth is not a matter for debate. It is a matter of fact.
How do you get consensus about a fact, except through debate?

Hell, our whole criminal justice system is based on the premise that facts are discovered through formal debate. Would you walk into a courtroom and tell the judge that the defense's argument is pointless, because the accused's guilt is not a matter for debate, it's a matter of fact?

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Old 4th June 2019, 11:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My only hope is that people will stop pretending this is a serious risk.

---

Of course, I also hope that people will stop pretending the Earth is flat.
I hope people will stop pretending that Trump EVER tells the truth.

But like winning the lottery, there is little chance of any of this happening.
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Old 4th June 2019, 12:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I hope people will stop pretending that Trump EVER tells the truth.

But like winning the lottery, there is little chance of any of this happening.
What about the danger posed by flat-earthers? Are you concerned that their embrace of ignorance will put the ISS at risk?
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Old 4th June 2019, 12:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What about the danger posed by flat-earthers? Are you concerned that their embrace of ignorance will put the ISS at risk?
No. But let's not pretend embracing any ignorance is totally benign. The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.
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Old 4th June 2019, 02:05 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How do you get consensus about a fact, except through debate?

Hell, our whole criminal justice system is based on the premise that facts are discovered through formal debate. Would you walk into a courtroom and tell the judge that the defense's argument is pointless, because the accused's guilt is not a matter for debate, it's a matter of fact?
Criminal justice is not science.

Direct observation shows us that the earth is not flat.

You are using exactly the same ******** as the Flerfers themselves.

go to Dover, see France from the cliff top. Go to the beach and don't see France.
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Old 4th June 2019, 02:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No. But let's not pretend embracing any ignorance is totally benign. The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.
How melodramatic!

I'm still not convinced that flat-eartherism is a problem that needs solving.
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Old 4th June 2019, 02:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Criminal justice is not science.

Direct observation shows us that the earth is not flat.

You are using exactly the same ******** as the Flerfers themselves.

go to Dover, see France from the cliff top. Go to the beach and don't see France.
You're debating. You're making arguments from observation to prove a fact.

The only way to convince anyone of a fact is to debate the fact with them.
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Old 4th June 2019, 03:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How melodramatic!

I'm still not convinced that flat-eartherism is a problem that needs solving.
Compared to creationism, global warming, religions and other absurdities I'd agree. Nevertheless, falsehoods and creeping willful ignorance should not be treated as if it is ok.
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Old 4th June 2019, 04:26 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I disagree on three counts.

First, I don't think very many people are "falling for" it at all. I think for most people, it's a pose they adopt for personal amusement, or as a result of some other dissatisfaction already present in their lives. I think very few people are actually believing the Earth is flat.

Second, so what if people believe the Earth is flat? For almost everybody, almost all the time, the Earth *is* flat, in every practical way. Even the parts of your daily life that really do depend on the Earth being round, like GPS on your phone, work whether you believe them or not. About the only people for whom the nonsense of a flat Earth needs to be exposed are space mission planners, and they already know the truth anyway. As nonsense goes, the flat earth is a good example of nonsense that doesn't really need to be exposed at all.

Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed. You're trying to solve a problem of information, but the real problem is one of choice. You're talking about it as though we have to expose a great lie for the good of all mankind. But I think you're actually just trying to put a stop to a game of silly buggers that you don't approve of. Let it go, is my advice. It's not actually all that important, and the people you're trying to stop from having fun aren't interested in quitting their game on your account anyway.

You disagree, ok. But we debated creationists since Darwin was alive. How many debate pages so far with Gingervytes or Pixie of Key or Bjarne? Why have such a forum at all if not to engage those that spread falsehoods? Why participate at all on a forum that was originally set up to present the skeptical position? When we debate we aren't necessarily trying to change the mind of someone. What we are doing is speaking to the fencesitters. I'm sure you know that. So, are you here to hear yourself just argue for its own sake? I hope not.
You know this too that the best thing about the interwebs is it allows good ideas to flourish. The worst thing about the interwebs is it allows bad ideas to flourish - faster. It's as true now as it was during Samuel Clemens time.
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A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
An relavant article.
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The internet, as we are all patently aware by this point, is awash with some incredible nonsense. In recent years, some of that nonsense has managed to gain a disturbing amount of traction: the anti-vaxxer movement, a religious belief in alternative medicine, the flat Earth theory, and even astrology have all experienced a tremendous surge of interest and support in online spheres.
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...o-anti-vaxxers

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Old 6th June 2019, 03:37 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How do you get consensus about a fact, except through debate?

Hell, our whole criminal justice system is based on the premise that facts are discovered through formal debate. Would you walk into a courtroom and tell the judge that the defense's argument is pointless, because the accused's guilt is not a matter for debate, it's a matter of fact?
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Criminal justice is not science.

Direct observation shows us that the earth is not flat.

You are using exactly the same ******** as the Flerfers themselves.

go to Dover, see France from the cliff top. Go to the beach and don't see France.

Exactly!

Just how absurd does something have to be for us to ignore those making outlandish claims. Is it necessary to engage in serious debate with someone claiming the moon is made of green cheese?
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Old 6th June 2019, 04:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Exactly!

Just how absurd does something have to be for us to ignore those making outlandish claims. Is it necessary to engage in serious debate with someone claiming the moon is made of green cheese?
For those that want to know how to treat flat earthers and other such people a very good answer is to laugh at them and treat their views with contempt.
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Old 6th June 2019, 06:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How melodramatic!

I'm still not convinced that flat-eartherism is a problem that needs solving.
Here's the problem: The fact is that you are not entitled to your opinion if it is BS. If you run round in public claiming the world is flat you deserve to be ridiculed and harassed for your CHOSEN STUPIDITY.

Remember that people were burned at the stake for daring to say the earth was round, and that the sun was the center of the solar system, and that the planets revolve around it.

18 Astronauts and Cosmonauts during space-flight related accidents, and the crew of Apollo 1 died on the launch pad during a test, and I'm not counting the test pilots mankind has lost testing airframes that put us into space. Some intellectual hillbilly dumb enough to believe that the earth is flat, and that space travel is a lie needs to ridden into the ground until he goes back to whatever rock he's crawled out from under, and shuts his pie hole.

Flat Eartherism, like ant-vaccers, is recent trend that had taken root thanks to the internet, and like any parasitic intrusion it needs to be confronted.

Every time.
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Old 6th June 2019, 06:39 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Third, it's trivial to expose, for anyone who actually wants to have their mind changed. But flat-earthers don't want their minds changed.

The Netflix documentary Behind The Curve does a great job of demonstrating this. Flat-earthers have gotten the money together to perform a series of experiments. They spent $20,000 on a laser gyroscope. If the earth were round, it would move by about 15 degrees an hour; if flat, not at all. Sure enough, the gyroscope moved 15 degrees. Rather than accept this evidence, they tried enclosing it in a glass case to stop the cosmic rays. It still moved 15 degrees. Last they said, they were trying to build a quartz case or something.

They also came up with a much cheeper experiment. They found a 3 mile stretch of waterway and placed boards with holes cut in them exactly 8 feet above the water mark. If the earth were flat, then a light shined through the first board would be visible through the hole in the last board 3 miles away. Sure enough, it wasn't. Over the radio, they asked the guy to hold the light as high as he could (several feet above the intended target). When he did that, they could see it.

So, flat-earthers have conducted experiments that were consistent with a globe and inconsistent with a flat plane. And not one of them changed their beliefs. They simply stated that their experimental design must be wrong and went on believing.

No amount of debate or evidence can sway any of them. You cannot, to borrow an expression, reason someone out of a belief he wasn't reasoned into.
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:18 AM   #27
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Flat earther agrees with SciDanMan (in part).
https://youtu.be/bWKqpBINNRE

P.S. The flat earther however thinks there's no gravity.

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Old 7th June 2019, 09:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Here's the problem: The fact is that you are not entitled to your opinion if it is BS. If you run round in public claiming the world is flat you deserve to be ridiculed and harassed for your CHOSEN STUPIDITY.
I disagree.

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Remember that people were burned at the stake for daring to say the earth was round, and that the sun was the center of the solar system, and that the planets revolve around it.
I don't remember any such thing. I doubt you do, either.

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18 Astronauts and Cosmonauts during space-flight related accidents, and the crew of Apollo 1 died on the launch pad during a test, and I'm not counting the test pilots mankind has lost testing airframes that put us into space. Some intellectual hillbilly dumb enough to believe that the earth is flat, and that space travel is a lie needs to ridden into the ground until he goes back to whatever rock he's crawled out from under, and shuts his pie hole.
I disagree. I think you are investing way more outrage in this than it actually deserves. Your vehement appeal to emotion is not a big selling point for me.

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Flat Eartherism, like ant-vaccers, is recent trend that had taken root thanks to the internet, and like any parasitic intrusion it needs to be confronted.
I disagree. Flat Eartherism is not actually dangerous. Just offensive (to some).

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Every time.
I disagree. I think that this sort of thing almost never needs to be confronted. Certainly not with the degree of outrage you are proposing. You've been triggered badly by this issue, and I don't think that's a rational response.
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Old 7th June 2019, 03:10 PM   #29
Lurch
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The flat Earth nonsense and other woo is quite personal for me because my sister is afflicted with this mindset. I get the very real impression that for her it's beyond just a "wanting to believe" stage.

This by itself puts me in the camp of desiring to confront such claptrap. And knowing how anti-intellectualism is generally on the rise only boosts my worry about the potential for a pervasive dumbing down of society and the way this can infect policy makers. I mean, just look at the current result of widespread dumb****ery in the US, with an administration headed by a witless ignoramus and attracting more of the same.
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:30 PM   #30
p0lka
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I just find it irritating that people can believe claptrap.

I tend to react when i'm irritated.
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:43 PM   #31
theprestige
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Originally Posted by p0lka View Post
I just find it irritating that people can believe claptrap.

I tend to react when i'm irritated.
So do animals. Reverend Mother Mohiam wonders if you are a human being.
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Old 7th June 2019, 04:56 PM   #32
p0lka
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
So do animals. Reverend Mother Mohiam wonders if you are a human being.
heh, well i'm not the kwisatz haderach, but my reaction is rational.

Tends to be a big 'got any evidence for that?'.
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Old 9th June 2019, 07:27 PM   #33
Wowbagger
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Originally Posted by Sherman Bay View Post
My only hope is that a flat earther isn't put in charge of calculating the path of the ISS, the coordinates for a telescope, or even a southern airline route.
...or designing GPS related systems, or calculating "keyhole" orbits for diverting giant meteors heading towards us, or produce an accurate app charting where the Sun is located.... There's a LOT of things flat Earthers can't do.

I, for one, hope they start trying to do the things ONLY THEY can do: Make a journey to the underside of the planet, for example. They currently seem to lack ambition in that direction, though.
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Old 12th June 2019, 06:55 PM   #34
Puppycow
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
The flat Earth nonsense and other woo is quite personal for me because my sister is afflicted with this mindset. I get the very real impression that for her it's beyond just a "wanting to believe" stage.
I have a couple of family members who also believe some kooky things or things I consider to be irrational. My mother has a lot of "New Age-y" beliefs, like homeopathy, astrology, etc. My brother is a devout Christian. While these are both (to me) irrational, they both otherwise seem to be healthy, normal, intelligent people with successful lives.

Out of curiosity, do you think this mindset of your sister's (such as belief in flat Earth nonsense) actually harms her and prevents her from having an otherwise happy, successful, well-adjusted life?

BTW, I've never had any success in trying to argue against either of their belief systems, and I learned that it is better to not even try because I cannot bring them around to seeing things the way I do. So as long as they don't bring it up first, I won't bring it up first, either.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:28 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Exactly!

Just how absurd does something have to be for us to ignore those making outlandish claims. Is it necessary to engage in serious debate with someone claiming the moon is made of green cheese?
If there is a sudden upswing in the numbers of green-cheesers spamming videos on YouTube and social media resulting in a flood of green-cheeserism in the public consciousness, perhaps it might be time to take this particular irrationality seriously.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:34 PM   #36
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
I, for one, hope they start trying to do the things ONLY THEY can do: Make a journey to the underside of the planet, for example. They currently seem to lack ambition in that direction, though.
Go over the edge in a capsule to check the sex of the turtle?
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