Tag Archives: backfire

I have decided to argue with the flat earth society

For better or worse I have decided to argue with the flat earth society today. I almost hate to rehash the arguments against something so silly. But I want to use these arguments against the flat earth society as an example to make a different point.

Point #1against the flat Earth: the size of the conspiracy would have to be vast. Every NASA engineer, every phone engineer, every astronomer: they would all have to be involved in hiding the truth of the flat Earth if such a thing existed.

Point #2 against the flat Earth: If you go to the equator, you can see stars appear to rotate around both poles. It’s hard to resolve that without having a North and a South Pole. If the earth is flat, there can only be one pole right in the center.

Point #3 against the flat Earth: Someone in Texas sees the sun rising while someone in Korea sees it setting. A little triangulation would put the sun right beneath the surface of the Earth in Africa. That seems… problematic.

Having established these points, I want to back up.

Engaging the flat earth society by drawing their attention to these problems will be entirely ineffective. In fact, it might backfire. If I pointed these facts out to someone who held flat earth beliefs, they would almost certainly decide that I was part of the conspiracy. As such, nothing I said could possibly be trusted.

I think that the problem is that I am claiming authority. I claim to know the truth and I claim that they are wrong. I seem to be a part of the Establishment. I seem to be trying to force them to believe something. If they resent my position of “power,” they will tend to be hostile to my claims.

I suggest the following hypothesis. Educators will be more effective in dispelling false beliefs by pointing out a different form of authority with students from a young age. I suggest that the only real authorities are observation and reason. Maybe this can reduce that resentment-of-authority phenomenon.