Why Do People Believe The Earth Is Flat?

Flat-earthers as their name suggests are people who believe that the world isn’t spherical or isn’t almost spherical but rather.

Flat-earthers as their name suggests are people who believe that the world isn’t spherical or isn’t almost spherical but rather flat Now I’m not here to mock those beliefs or show the fuzzy thinking behind those beliefs Not that I think it’s necessarily wrong to do so but I am here to ask Why do people believe in something that is so easily disproven? Out of all the conspiracy theories and pseudosciences is out there I think modern incarnations of theory surrounding a Flat Earth are remarkable not because of their outlandish nature But because the Earth’s nature as a spherical body is so established as fact Many Greeks stopped believing in a flat earth two and a half thousand years ago Pythagoras stated that the earth was spherical in the sixth century, BC Aristotle provided evidence for a spherical earth three hundred and thirty years before Christ Unlike the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun much of Europe in the Middle Ages believed in a spherical earth China was one of the last places to accept a spherical earth, and they still started to do it four hundred years ago It’s very easy to prove that the earth is not flat There’s the earth curved shadow on the moon. There’s the curvature of the earth there’s astrology Mathematics and the fact people have gone in one direction for long enough they finished where they started and didn’t fall off Jumbo, of course when I say that I’ll go around the world in 80 days I mean, I’ll walk around the rim anything else would be absurd modern belief surrounding a flat earth started with Samuel Rowbotham who published a pamphlet in 1849 called zetetic astronomy which he later expanded Into a book that seems to have originally been called earth and after globe Presumably he had to send his choice for the title via telegram and wanted to save on the letters Interestingly he wrote under the pseudonym Parallax, which I’m inclined to say is very modern of him Did you know that George Rockwell Schmitt is actually a pseudonym? I don’t know why I choose that as a pseudonym, but my real name is Parallelogram Steve Parallelogram and my archenemy is Alan Rhombus Rowbotham was a great debater And he made a lot of money charging for lectures as well as from other ventures such as selling quack medicine flat earth ideas prevailed in corners of the pseudoscientific community for years after Rowbotham But it wasn’t until 1956 that the Flat Earth Society Was established by Samuel Shenton With a few exceptions what the society now believes is that the earth is a disc At the center of the disc is the North Pole Around the rim is a wall of ice, and from above the disc looks like the flag of the United Nations That same belief model also holds that the Moon and Sun are the same size about 32 miles in diameter Now as with any belief flat earthers don’t agree on everything Many don’t believe in gravity as common science might understand it They believe that the reason we don’t float away from the Earth’s surface is because the earth the disc that is the earth is being propelled upwards at about 32 feet or about 10 meters a second So why do people believe this stuff? There’s no question a number of people who are part of the Flat Earth Society a part of it as a joke There’s no questions some people who talk about it being reality are really being ironic They’re trolling or maybe they’re trying to make a point about critical thinking however I think out of all the people who publicly argue that the earth is flat only a small percentage are insincere I think that the vast majority of flat earthers are sincere in their belief. I think a lot of that belief comes from ignorance from people taking spirit levels on planes To monitor whether or not the pilot would dip the nose of the plane to compensate for curvature of the earth Two arguments from people who just cannot believe that anyone can live in a spherical world Australia without holding on Read any Flat Earther message board or comments on a Flat Earther video and there are many rhetorical questions presented to pick holes in the idea that we live on a spherical earth However these questions are usually very basic I certainly don’t think this is true of every flat earther But I think for an enormous amount of flat earthers their belief stems from ignorance I think really their belief often comes down to their inability to really accept that the world is round their inability to accept that it looks flat, but on a cosmic level it really isn’t Issues of religious literalism also play a role. Beliefs surrounding the earth being flat have often referred to various Holy texts as proof or at least as justification for the belief. I think this is less of an issue now But if your religious beliefs are so obviously contradicted by science I think the strategic thing to do would be to reinterpret the text But I think religious literalism is really only a motivation for a few flat-earthers today Modern flat-earthers are usually conspiracy theorists Unusually they often don’t believe in other conspiracy theories But still they do cite a global conspiracy to keep the real nature of the world from the public usually orchestrated by NASA Aside from the magical thinking here’s the problem: I can find no compelling reason to fake the world as a sphere If the world was a disc what would the benefit be of saying it was a sphere and Wouldn’t hiding that fact make it very difficult in this modern age Now there are of course theories and no doubt answers to my questions as with any conspiracy theory there are explanations and as with any conspiracy theory, it’s Attractive because it questions established Authority and asserts the people in charge are in total control It asserts that we are powerless That is attractive to the disenfranchised the marginalized and the angry those who want to think that they are powerless and conversely, those who want to think they’re one of the few with secret and valuable knowledge University of Kent psychologist Karen Douglas has said that a lot of the power behind flat earther beliefs Lie in the fact that they are vague and that they exercise minority influence In this case being somewhat effective because the claims are outlandish and therefore intriguing Because flat earthers are often vocal about their beliefs and because the core of the movement if you want to call it that a well-rehearsed and can counter opposition. Look in the comments. There’s probably someone who can counter everything I’ve said. There’s probably someone who can prove that the world is flat You’ve just got to follow their link. In fact much of the pseudoscience and conspiracy theories surrounding a flat earth are highly convoluted and contain a lot of information They kind of remind me of a Jorge Luis Borges story: Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius Which mixes an imagined reality with our own the conspiracy theories the anecdotes the apparent empirical evidence and the very convoluted explanations can be quite compelling, but theories science Basic facts don’t come down to who argues better I think really a flat earth is attractive for people to believe in Mostly because of the same reasons other conspiracy theories are attractive What makes this different is it’s very easy to disprove So you have people who double down and spend an awful lot of time nurturing what really is a fantasy Other than that I think Samuel Rowbotham Exploited the idea for fame and wealth and in the modern setting. I think some individuals have seen that by Claiming that the earth is flat. They can gain some notoriety I think really very few people believe this stuff however You can never underestimate the power of ignorance or contrarianism That’s about all I’ve got to say about flat earthers, and why they believe what they do. As ever, thank you very much for joining me Don’t forget to leave a like and join me next time where I’ll be talking about political correctness See you then

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