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Offline Tom Bishop

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PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« on: June 04, 2021, 05:46:56 PM »
This came out a few days ago, and appears  to be of interest: https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/13006

I am working through it. It's over 400 pages in length. One of the key points of interest is whether it was a serious or satirical organization. The author claims that it was a mix of the two.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 06:08:56 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tumeni

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2021, 10:00:39 PM »
Is there any link between that FES and this one?
=============================
Not Flat. Happy to prove this, if you ask me.
=============================

Nearly all flat earthers agree the earth is not a globe.

Nearly?

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2021, 06:34:04 PM »
Is there any link between that FES and this one?

It's related in that the serious people interested in furthering FE mostly held Leo Ferrari's society as an example of what not to be, but a minority liked him. I find the situation similar to when Thork was getting warnings and disapprovals for using humor in the upper foura, despite his semi-serious points. The dissertation author goes to lengths to argue that the points Dr. Ferrari was making had a serious basis, and should be merited as scholarly works that contributed to his work as a philosopher. The humor may have distracted from this, and his contributions have remained unsung.

FE's advocates were not always serious. The FAQ from the theflatearthsociety.org times originally had some satirical content ("some people believe that the earth rests on four elephants and a turtle"), which was updated and erased over time. And it is plain to me that Samuel Shelton and Charles K. Johnson had some saterical content in their Flat Earth Societies as well (Flat Earth Membership Cards, "Galileo was a liar" Flat Earth News headlines). I suspect the very name Flat Earth Society was originally meant to be a saterical name, probably used as a tool to draw attention and publicity to the concept and research and ideas they were advocating.

In contrast, the original advocates like Rowbotham and Blount  originally named it the Zetetic Society and then the Universal Zetetic Society, primarily exploratory organizations based on a a philosophy of skepticism. The only satire found there is mockery of the RE model. The Zetetic societies drew attention in advertisements by poising sensational relevation (ie, Rowbotham's lecture series 'Earth Not a Globe!') rather then direct humor (ie. Ferrari's slogan 'We're on the Level') . The original societies were definitely much different than the organizations which spawned after it.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 11:59:19 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline stack

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2021, 12:34:38 AM »
In contrast, the original advocates like Rowbotham and Blount  originally named it the Zetetic Society and then the Universal Zetetic Society, primarily exploratory organizations based on a a philosophy of skepticism.

It seems that Rowbotham and Blount's societies were primarily focused on scriptural support for a flat earth, as opposed to a philosophy of general skepticism. Rowbotham's Chapter XV closing in "Earth Not a Globe", "GENERAL SUMMARY--APPLICATION--CUI BONO", is solely focused on and chock full of biblical references as "proof". And Blount's Universal Zetetic Society put forth the following preamble:

OUR MOTTO

For God and His truth, as found in Nature and taught in His Word.

OUR OBJECT

The propagation of knowledge relating to Natural Cosmogony in confirmation of the Holy Scriptures, based upon practical investigation.


I would say that mere healthy skepticism was not the main thrust of their efforts, but very scriptural heavy.

As for Ferrari's, I'll have to read through the Ferrari doc you posted. From previous exposure to his society, I always thought it was a satirical approach to promoting informed skepticism and FE was used as sort of an extreme example, a made-up fulcrum upon which examination teeters - Not really to espouse FE belief itself. But I'll read through it. Thanks for posting it.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2021, 12:40:22 AM »
It seems that Rowbotham and Blount's societies were primarily focused on scriptural support for a flat earth, as opposed to a philosophy of general skepticism. Rowbotham's Chapter XV closing in "Earth Not a Globe", "GENERAL SUMMARY--APPLICATION--CUI BONO", is solely focused on and chock full of biblical references as "proof".

Incorrect. In the last chapter on the topic of philosophy Rowbotham is using FE as evidence for scripture, not scripture as evidence for FE. I would suggest that you actually read it carefully, rather than making baseless assumptions.

“ It is quite as faulty and unjust for the religious devotee to urge the teaching of Scripture against the theories of the philosopher simply because he believes them to be true, as it is for the philosopher to defend his theories against Scripture for no other reason than that he disbelieves them. The whole matter must be taken out of the region of belief and disbelief. In regard to elements and phenomena belief and disbelief should never be named. Men differ in their powers of conception and concatenation; and, therefore, what may readily be believed by some, others may find impossible to believe. Belief is a state of mind which should be exerted only in relation to matters confessedly beyond the direct reach of our senses, and in regard to which it is meritorious to believe. But in reference to matter, and material combinations and phenomena, we should be content with nothing less than conviction, the result of special practical experimental investigation. ”

  “ The Christian will be greatly strengthened, and his mind more completely satisfied, by having it in his power to demonstrate that the Scriptures are philosophically true, than he could possibly be by the simple belief in their truthfulness unsupported by practical evidence. On the other hand, the atheist or the disbeliever in the Scriptures, who is met by the Christian on purely scientific grounds, will be led to listen with more respect, and to pay more regard to the reasons advanced than he would concede to the purely religious belief or to any argument founded upon faith alone. ”

 “ If, after the severest criticism, and comparison with known causes of phenomena, the Scriptures are thus found to be absolutely truthful in their literal expressions, it is simply just and wise that we take them as standards by which to test the truth or falsehood of all systems or teachings which may hereafter be presented to the world. Philosophy is no longer to be employed as a test of Scriptural truth, but the Scriptures ought and may with safety and satisfaction be applied as the test of all philosophy. They are not, however, to be used as a test of science and philosophy simply because they are thought or believed to be written or dictated by inspiration, but because their literal teachings in regard to natural phenomena are demonstrably true. ”

  “ If after so many ages of mental struggling, of speculation and trial, of change and counterchange, we have at length discovered that all astronomical theories are false; that the earth is a plane, and motionless, and that the various luminaries above it are lights only and not worlds; and that these very facts have been declared and recorded in a work which has been handed down to us from the earliest times--from a time, in fact, when mankind had lived so short a period upon the earth that they could not have had sufficient experience to enable them to criticise and doubt, much less to invent and speculate--it follows that whoever dictated and caused such doctrines to be recorded and preserved to all generations must have been superhuman, omniscient, and to the earth and its inhabitants pre-existent. That Being could only be the Creator of the world, and His truth is recorded in the Sacred Writings. The Scriptures--the Bible, therefore, cannot be other than the word and teaching of God. Let it once be seen that such a conclusion is a logical necessity; that the sum of the purely practical evidence which has been collected compels us to acknowledge this, and we find ourselves in possession of a solid and certain foundation for all our future investigations. ”
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 12:47:59 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2021, 12:52:20 AM »
I disagree. Anyone can read chapter XV and decide chicken or the egg for themselves. You can't deny Blount though. Scriptural through and through.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2021, 01:21:06 AM »
Even in the quote you provided, it says "in confirmation of the Holy Scriptures, based on practical investigation"

She took Rowbotham's philosophy at the end of his book and continued it.

An advert for Blount's society:

https://books.google.com/books?id=VocXAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA362



See: "Prove all things; hold fast on that which is true"

It sure sounds like she was using the physical research to support scripture, as opposed to using scripture to support the physical research.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 02:27:05 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2021, 01:54:15 AM »
Even in your quote, it says "in confirmation of the Holy Scriptures, based on practical investigation"

She took Rowbotham's philosophy at the end of his book and continued it.

An advert for Blount's society:

https://books.google.com/books?id=VocXAQAAMAAJ&lpg=PA362



"Prove all things; hold fast on that which is true"

It sure sounds like she was using the physical research to support scripture, as opposed to using scripture to support the physical research.

I disagree. The point is, it doesn't matter either way. Using scripture to support FE or using FE to support scripture. It's all predicated on biblical notions. In a "Hey, if you're a good Christian, the bible supports the FE and FE investigation supports the bible. It's all wrapped around and within scripture - Christian doctrine. Why bring up the bible if FE stands on it's own through "investigation"? Why make the bible some sort of litmus test, a benchmark? I guess through FE "investigation" the bible is supported as factual or vice versa, and all other religious doctrines are out. FE = Christian, Christian = FE. That's pretty much the mantra.

And you'll also find, at least from what I've seen, the YouTube world of FE seems to be heavily weighted in Christian dogma. So at least Ferrari was coming at it from a skeptical/philosophical standpoint and using FE as a hilarious extreme example and not cow-towing to some Christian ideology to make his point.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2021, 02:08:55 AM »
Quote
I disagree. The point is, it doesn't matter either way. Using scripture to support FE or using FE to support scripture. It's all predicated on biblical notions. In a "Hey, if you're a good Christian, the bible supports the FE and FE investigation supports the bible. It's all wrapped around and within scripture - Christian doctrine. Why bring up the bible if FE stands on it's own through "investigation"? Why make the bible some sort of litmus test, a benchmark? I guess through FE "investigation" the bible is supported as factual or vice versa, and all other religious doctrines are out. FE = Christian, Christian = FE. That's pretty much the mantra.

Have you ever opened a book about the Victorian era to see what the issues in society were about?

https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/the-victorians-religion-and-science

"If there was any single belief that characterized the Victorian era it was Christian belief. Religion pervaded social and political life to an extent almost unimaginable today."

In the 1800's the theme was science vs. religion, even more-so than the 1700's. Darwin-evolution controversy, Shroud of Taurin photographed, religion in schools, separation of church and state debates, etc.

Considering that Aristotle used his science to reject religion, Galileo used scripture to argue for heliocentrism, Newton used divine influence to shore up problems with his model, religious tie-ins are par the course here.

Another article:

https://victorianweb.org/science/science&religion.html

"During the nineteenth century, the entities we refer to as 'science' and 'religion' both underwent dramatic changes. It would consequently be naïve to expect to be able to find one simple and unchanging relationship between the two. The relationship has varied across time and geography, and from one individual to another. In addition to the historical interest of the nineteenth century debates between science and religion, there is a great historiographical significance. The way in which science and religion have been perceived in the twentieth century was heavily influenced by the writings of late nineteenth-century historians of science and religion, whose influence we have only recently begun to move beyond."

"At the beginning of the nineteenth century in Britain, religious faith and the sciences were generally seen to be in beautiful accordance. The study of God's Word, in the Bible, and His Works, in nature, were assumed to be twin facets of the same truth."

"This harmony between science and faith, mediated by some form of theology of nature, continued to be the mainstream position for most men of science, and most interested individuals, right up to the 1860s, at least. But it did come under threat. In the 1820s and 1830s, some working-class radicals saw a chance of using certain versions of the sciences for political ends."

The Victorian FE movement was active around that time of debate.

Rowbotham and Lady Blount were concerned about religion, the most controversial and talked about thing of the era, wowzers. I wonder why they would talk about religion. So confusing!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 02:33:28 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2021, 04:39:54 AM »
Rowbotham and Lady Blount were concerned about religion, the most controversial and talked about thing of the era, wowzers. I wonder why they would talk about religion. So confusing!

Like I said, I would say that mere healthy skepticism was not the main thrust of their efforts, but very scriptural heavy.

Thanks for proving my point.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2021, 06:09:20 AM »
Rowbotham and Lady Blount were concerned about religion, the most controversial and talked about thing of the era, wowzers. I wonder why they would talk about religion. So confusing!

Like I said, I would say that mere healthy skepticism was not the main thrust of their efforts, but very scriptural heavy.

Thanks for proving my point.

Unless you didn't bother to read or understand what they were skeptical of: The accepted science model of the time.

Leo Ferrari would also be talking religion, pro or con, in Victorian Era England. They were all about that. Rather, the 1970's was less about religion and more about general non-conformity. Ferrari was a wacky hippy professor type, so his society was about that.

We don't talk about religion so often here in this FES because it's not as important to society anymore. And the hippy era is over. It's not important to be so wacky and clever for non-conformist purposes, so Ferrari's themes might be done with.

You are mainly the person barging into threads spamming about religion and how you hate religious people, or whatever it is you say. The Victorian Era is really where the science vs. religion controversy comes from and why we're still talking about it now. The FE Theory was part of that saga, and part of that history in a way. But I don't see what your anti-Christian seething against the old Victorian societies really has to do with this dissertation about Leo Ferrari.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 01:26:50 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2021, 01:20:40 PM »
If you go back to my original post, you'll see why I brought it up. I was disagreeing with your statement regarding Rowbotham & Blount's societies being "primarily exploratory organizations based on a a philosophy of skepticism".  Where did I say I hate religious people? Try and stay on topic.

In short, Rowbotham/Blount, not simply healthy skeptics at large, but predominantly using FE to bolster Christian ideology & Christian ideology to bolster FE. Ferrari and Co, FE satire as a means to the contrary and skeptical, an actual real philosophy of skepticism without the underpinnings of religious dogma.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: PhD Dissertation on Leo Ferrari's Flat Earth Society
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2021, 01:47:15 PM »
Incorrect. The second chapter of ENAG outlines the philosophy of skepticism and the need for physical evidence to confirm theory. Even Blount's little explanation of her society in the religious-themed advertisement says to "prove all things". It literally says that they want to do the opposite of what you want it to say, since dogma doesn't try to prove itself.

Demand evidence for all things. Prove all things. That is the basis of skepticism, regardless of whether you want to address religion with that idea. Dogma says that something is true and that's that, which is the opposite. You should look up the definition of that.

In Rowbotham's chapter on religion he says that religion is a state of mind generally outside of direct evidence, that people believe it on faith, but physical evidence is more than faith and so that should be preferred and so on. He is consistent in using physical evidence to support a theory as outlined in Chapter Two.

So you don't know about the Victorian Era's controversies, you don't know what dogma is, and you don't know about skepticism. Did you just want to spam this thread with religious rants?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 01:47:16 PM by Tom Bishop »