Research Project
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:53:34 AM »
Hi all,

I am graduate student working on a research project exploring a cultural framework of a population in order to try a tell their story, about themselves, from their own lens. I was tasked with exploring a population that I did not have prior experience with before to observe and learn from it. I choose the Flat Earth Society because of its rise in popular media lately and was hoping some of you would assist me. I have a few questions that anyone can answer to help me with my project. Feel free to answer as many of as little question you feel comfortable with. If there is anything I missed that you believe would be important feel free to add it in your comment. Thank you for you time!

  • What was the event that made you believe in the Flat Earth? What made you reject the Round Earth model?
  • How long have you believed in the Flat Earth?
  • Since endorsing this belief have you encountered evidence that made you question the Flat Earth?
  • What kind of interactions do you have with individuals from outside the community? (Round-Earthers? Or other conspiracy theory groups?)
  • Are you comfortable/feel safe sharing your views with individuals in real life?
  • Are there differing opinions about the Earths shape or other aspects of the Earth within the community?
  • How are differences discussed or resolved?
  • What role, if any, does the Bible play in your understanding of the Earth? What role does the Bible play in the beliefs that the community as a whole hold?
  • Do you believe in any other conspiracy theories? Earth or Non-Earth related?
  • Do you think the term conspiracy theorist is a negative, neutral, or positive term?
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 09:05:16 AM by SorryToBotherYou »

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Research Project
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 06:39:01 PM »
Hi there. Since you've asked quite a few questions, I'll try to provide a short answer to all of them for the time being. If there are any answers that you'd like me to go into more detail on, please feel free to ask follow-up questions!

What was the event that made you believe in the Flat Earth? What made you reject the Round Earth model? How long have you believed in the Flat Earth?
I wouldn't say it was down to a single event. I don't think many people would suddenly flip their worldview on its head over a single occurrence - they'd be more likely to simply push it away or get defensive. For me, becoming a Flat Earther was a lengthy and reluctant process. I first encountered the Flat Earth Society sometime around 2010-2011 and engaged in multiple debates over the years. Eventually, my trust in the Round Earth model began to erode, but it's extremely difficult to put an actual timeline on things. I would say that by 2014 I was a committed Flat Earther, but it's all very fuzzy.

Since endorsing this belief have you encountered evidence that made you question the Flat Earth?
Certainly. The most recent example would have been SpaceX's publicity stunt. You know, the one with the red car. It's possible that this has been faked, or that it's inconclusive, but I wouldn't assume that outright. So, as it stands, I'm on the fence.

What kind of interactions do you have with individuals from outside the community? (Round-Earthers? Or other conspiracy theory groups?)
I'm not sure if I understand the question. Being a Flat Earther is not something that defines me as an individual. I don't think my interactions with those who don't share my beliefs are really affected.

Are you comfortable/feel safe sharing your views with individuals in real life?
Not always. I make a judgement call depending on individual. Flat Earthers have been subjected to physical attacks over their beliefs in the past, and I'm no exception to that. Most of the time, this is not a problem, however.

Are there differing opinions about the Earths shape or other aspects of the Earth within the community?
Absolutely.

How are differences discussed or resolved?
Within the Society, we encourage free speech and the exchange of ideas. Resolutions develop organically - either we eventually agree on a point, or we don't. This approach is not without its issues, but it has helped the Flat Earth Theory grow in ways which would previously not be possible.

What role, if any, does the Bible play in your understanding of the Earth? What role does the Bible play in the beliefs that the community as a whole hold?
As far as the Flat Earth Society is concerned, we're not a religious organisation (but not explicitly against religion, either). There are other Flat Earth groups with very different approaches, but I couldn't really comment on them. Personally, I am completely non-religious and uninterested in the contents of the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.

Do you believe in any other conspiracy theories? Earth or Non-Earth related?
Not currently, but I'm not dismissing the possibility of entertaining some of them in the future.

Do you think the term conspiracy theorist is a negative, neutral, or positive term?
A term only means what the users of the term intend for it to mean. Currently, its social context is overwhelmingly negative.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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