Flat earth theory. Serious question

I like to think of myself as open-minded.

However, I didn’t really think that flat-earth people were serious. I thought it was just an amusing thing folks used to be social and have some fun.

But after spending a few minutes on the web, I discovered there is an official society, and there appear to be a number of conspiracy videos on YouTube.

I watched a couple of the videos, and I think I understand what they are saying from a visual perspective. I don’t want to get into the technical questions I have on what is underneath, etc.

What I am not clear on is why they believe there is a conspiracy to cover up this “fact”. If the earth was flat, why would the governments of the world try to keep it quiet?*

Is this a religious thing? Was there a mention of a flat earth in the bible somewhere? Or are there aliens tied to this idea? I am just not clear on what the benefit of telling the masses that the earth is round buys the folks who run the planet.

*Disclaimer - This is a serious question. I am not in any way trying to make light of someone’s personal beliefs. If you want to respond, please keep in mind we are in GQ, not the Pit.

Wikipedia article on Paranoia.

From the Flat Earth Wiki:

I don’t think it’s so much about a conspiracy as I think they think everyone else just has it wrong and they have it right. Except for NASA, which is conspiring to hide their inability to launch rockets.

To boldly go…

Flat Earthers have supporters all around the globe!


This is not what I am after. Please don’t impart your feelings in a GQ question.

This was helpful, but this seems to cover the “NASA did not send a man to the moon.” theory, amd according to the things I’ve read/watched, there is much more to it than this. They have a working model of what the earth looks like. They talk about the earth as a flat disk, centered on the arctic and surrounded by a huge wall of ice (Antarctica.)

The space travel angle may be a part of this, but I don’t think someone who thinks the space program was a hoax would necessarily believe the earth is flat.

They start with a flat-earth premise.

It is more than just moon hoax, though that seems to be a part of it. It is the supposed inability to launch a rocket at all. Now, how they get from we can’t get into space at all but pretend to in order to control the earth from space I don’t get. It’s not like the Russians would have been fooled. I also wonder how they explain the V2 rocket which went up and definitely went down.

I personally saw the Apollo XVII launch, and if they could get that big a bird as far as I saw it, they could get a smaller one into orbit, unless there is glass ceiling or something. But they have to dispute the possibility of getting to orbit, since that proves they are wrong.

I also wonder how they explain why great circle air routes work. Do all airlines burn up extra fuel to preserve the conspiracy?
So, either this is a joke or they are very, very stupid.

Or as I’ve read - there is nothing to sphere but sphere itself - but watch your step!

Typical fucking Borealist crap. Do they give any reason why it’s not centered on Antarctica and it’s the Arctic that surrounds the outside?

Where are the physicists? Isn’t there some theory that the whole universe is 2D and the 3rd spatial dimension is just an illusion?

You are correct in that it IS a religious thing. Not in an organized recognized church sort of thing, but in the ‘taking it on faith’ thing.

Its dogma, all other contrary evidence will be systematically dismissed or ignored.

Yeah, how does it really differ from the 6000 year old earth “theory”? As for circumpolar fights, an arctic centered disk might explain that in part. I don’t know if there are Buenos Aires to Sydney flights, but they would go over the south pole. But don’t confuse them with facts.

Are there turtles supporting the disk?

Is there any reason people couldn’t live on the other side of the flat disk? I mean, you could have a two-sided flat earth, right? That makes as much as much sense as a one-sided one, doesn’t it? It could even turn on a freaking axis, just be a flat disk with an imaginary spindle through it, so half could get day while the other half gets night.

Of course it’s stupid, but it’s no more stupid than any other flat earth theory.

Lets see. We’ve got all these pictures of sphere-like planets. Why would the Earth look any different? CGI? Got it! :smack:

Crypto I say this seriously, let’s not apply logic here. It will only slow us down.

Flat Earthers did not arrive at their position by reasoning and logic. They did not define their position with reasoning and logic. They do not defend their position with reasoning and logic.

Bringing reasoning and logic in will not help you. I was sharing the rants of Francis E Dek Esquire (Your only hope for a future!) with a friend. They asked me to logically explain Dek’s conspiracy theories. I explained such a thing was impossible. Dek was obviously a paranoid schizophrenic. His beliefs had no logical consistency. The same can be said of the beliefs in question here.

I done forgot to add a link to Francis E Dec


If you read the flat Earth site, apparent gravitational effects on the disc are due to the acceleration of the disc, so you’d fall off the other side unfortunately.

It’s hard for me to believe that flat-earthers aren’t just trolling everybody for some sort of kick.

ETA: **DocCathode **a few posts above wasn’t there when I loaded the thread. What he said. …
I’d suggest this to the OP:

There is more than one separate body of Flat Earthers (“FE”). Because their evidence is mostly fabricated, there’s no reason any two FE societies have to have the same motives or the same explanations.

So your challenge is *not *to discover why FE’ers think there’s a benefit for governments to cynically push the Spherical Earth (“SE”) perspective. It’s to figure out why dozens of such FE sects each have their own FE “facts” and their own FE “science” and their own FE rationale for the FE cover-up perpetrated by the SE mainstream.

Beyond that, each adherent who joins a sect is free to join for his/her own reasons. And to buy into the central tenets of his sect to varying degrees. Since their “facts” are specious and their “science” is sophistry, by definition an adherent can’t actually *understand *the science correctly. At best he can parrot the argument blindly but accurately. At worst he parrots only the crudest gists of them.

Because Flat!!!1! is about as deep as many of these “thinkers” get, and it’s impossible for actual thinking to be that much deeper or else the FE magic would evaporate under its own contradictions.
My bottom line: I appreciate the OP’s question and I agree with the intent of his curiosity. But I think this is akin to asking “what’s really at the end of a rainbow? We know it’s not a pot a gold, so what is it?” The problem isn’t that there’s nothing special at the end of a rainbow. The problem is there is no end of a rainbow at all.

Great question!

I’m still skeptical of the whole seriousness thing myself - much of the material does seem like it could be an elaborate in-joke/whoosh that I’m not fully “getting”. Many of the arguments that they use are so specious that it makes me wonder how any rational person with a high-school level understanding of science could actually believe them.

I get it. I am not saying you are wrong, you understand.

I was just wondering if they came to this via some biblical passage, or if there was some other driving force?

I know that some of these folks think the Moon landing was a hoax, however what Voyager described implies they don’t even believe there was a rocket launch. I thought some flat earthers believed the astronaut’s were launched into low earth orbit, thereby solving the problem of eyewitnesses to rocket launches.

RivkhaChaya, I have no idea what is on the “other side”, or why people couldn’t live there. Maybe there IS another tribe of mudpeople down there. To be frank, I couldn’t find a video explaining the basics, (and sitting through just one of these videos will make your head explode. I especially like the “no flight paths across antarctica” proof.)

I guess I was hoping for something uh… Tangible. I think the “earth is 6000 old” folks claim a biblical source.

If there is no real answer to this, I guess I will survive. Honestly, I can’t wrap my head around the purpose of “the big secret”. This crazy “spherical world” concept has been here for a looooooong time now, before any instant global communication was even possible, where the ruling class and bankers could get together, agree on the spherical planet idea and and fool us all.

Maybe the conspiracy lies with globe manufacturers, who would be stuck a pantload of inventory if the truth came out.

Even if the earth WERE flat, it wouldn’t change my travel plans too much. I have no desire to go to Antartica, so I suspect I will be on the flat part for the rest of my days.