Is FET Dangerous?
« on: July 10, 2018, 04:33:54 PM »
Quote from: Neil Degrasse Tyson
There's a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country.  It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy.  Ofcourse, in a free society, you can and should think what ever you want and if you want to think the world is flat, go right ahead.  But if you think the world is flat and you have influence over others, then being wrong becomes being harmful to the health the wealth and the security of our citizenry.

We want to make sure, that the next person who joins the board to ask questions about their newly found belief, aren't misinformed. That the social presence of TFES doesn't lead young people to believe what TFES is actually claiming. To me, that's just as dangerous as religious indoctrination.

People might be coming here because they aren't sure, and then they see your facile arguments and they might start believing in nonsense. Believing in nonsense gets people killed.

Is Flat Earth Theory dangerous?
Is tfes.org dangerous?
Is it harmful if a young person becomes convinced that the Earth is flat?
Is it harmful to our community for prominent figures to declare belief in the flat Earth?
What if you don't believe it? What if you're just messing around.  Is that dangerous?

What do you think?

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 04:43:02 PM »
I think FET is very dangerous.

Rejection of objective facts is all over our political spectrum now, and it's very dangerous. If we're willing to throw away facts and just believe whatever we want, the future is doomed.

If we just decide to believe that printing money will solve our economic problems, our economy is doomed, and people will start to starve. Yet that's exactly what is happening in Venezuela right now.

What if we decide that nuclear war wouldn't be all that bad?

We can differ in ideologies, but we all share the same facts. It's time to start respecting facts again.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 04:48:46 PM »
This is a bizarre question. Exploring the world that surrounds us and trying to discover the truth should be viewed as nothing but beneficial to the individual.

I guess your question requires for one to, by blind faith, assume that the FET and/or Zetetic method are entirely incorrect. But even if that were the case, I can't see where the danger would be coming from. In case of the anti-vaccine movement, the potential risk is fairly clear: if vaccines are an effective way of preventing disease but people decide that they're actually an evil autism potion, well, we're gonna see a whole more disease out there.

It's great that you presented some quotes to open this thread. I believe that investigating the individuals who are afraid of FET may help us understand the underlying motives behind this assassination attempt. We've got Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an individual who frequently makes money by showing up on television and supposedly explaining why the Flat Earth Theory is bunk - but he doesn't address the theory at all. Instead, he talks about how gravity would squish the Earth into a ball, or makes inane statements about lunar eclipses.

We also have andruszkow, to whom I will be slightly kinder since he doesn't appear to be getting rich from his spreading of FUD. I will also not attack him here directly, but I will point out that he made his motivations clear in multiple threads here.

douglips's comment is a non-sequitur for reasons stated above. I do not yet know what his reasoning for making this attack might be. That said, Thork's response to his accusation in the original thread is pretty much spot-on.

I will close this conversation by highlighting the very real risk of militant Round Eartherism. And, unlike all these cries, it's not just a hypothetical.
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Offline JRowe

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 05:00:07 PM »
I like how the RE perspective is to just look at it from their own closed view of the world.

If FET is true, it is not dangerous. In that case RET should be the one that gets all the scorn you heap onto FET.
Mainstream science has become a cult, much like political discourse. You must agree with A, B and C to fit in; politically it's even more nonsensical, there's no reason topics like healthcare and homosexuality should be even remotely correllated and yet huge swathes of people are expected to only believe the same thing about one if they think the same about the other, and magically somehow they do! Borderline brainwashing. You get told to fit into a specific political model, left or right, Republican or Democrat, Labour or Tory (US-UK dual citizen here) so you end up doing just that even when all the disparate things surrounding you should not be connected.
Scientifically it's the same. You are taught what people believe, not how it was developed, not why it is believed; not for years on at least, by which point it's nicely ingrained.

But, just for fun, let's take a step back and look at it from a neutral perspective. No, forget that, let's look at it from your perspective, let's look at it from the FET-is-all-rubbish-and-wrong point of view.
What then? What is FET? It's people who are mistaken about something, and who go out... and try to work things out for themselves. Look at this society. It is open minded, it accepts different models and points of view. Yes it gives suggestions, what people have learned before, but it doesn't yoke you to them. One of the strengths of FET is open-mindedness. The FES tells us to go ahead and think for ourselves, a far cry from all the paranoid comparisons you're drawing.
It doesn't tell people to gout out and hurt each other, it doesn't tell people to start risking their lives or doing anything close.

And that's what sums it up, really. The danger is not FET, the danger is cults. Sure there are people like Dubay who want people to blindly follow him and to connect disparate threads, much like modern political parties, but he's one voice out of many. Someone interested in FET is going to google it and find a whole wealth of content to explore, multiple youtube channels discussing multiple models, and then this forum happily telling them to take their time, to see what works.
FET tells us to think for ourselves, not to blindly follow, and it is blindly following that has gotten the world into the mess it now is.
My DE model explained here.
Open to questions, but if you're curious start there rather than expecting me to explain it all from scratch every time.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 05:06:33 PM »
Well, first off,  I really don't appreciate the fact that the OP did not include any opinions of their own. I prefer an OP that includes their own thoughts rather than merely asking a very open ended question.

As Pete has already said, the question itself is bizarre, if only because we might have to suppose how dangerous the truth truly is. While telling people the truth might be inherently dangerous in some kind of way (e.g. the people would turn against a government they perceive as lying to them); we should not be frightened away from exposing truth merely because that truth is deemed dangerous to the world's current order. I could see that the answer to FET being dangerous is "yes" but I also believe that danger may be worth it in the grand scheme of things. Not so much that "the ends justify the means" but rather we are unraveling the damage already done by others.

In essence, we should ask not if FET is dangerous, but rather if RET is dangerous. An ongoing lie can do so much more damage than the truth could ever hope to accomplish. How many innocents continue to believe sweet fictions like Neil Armstrong hobbling about on the moon after climbing out of a capsule made of tin foil? Surely these sweet lies are the real danger to our society, not any sort of danger surrounding FET itself.

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 05:19:25 PM »
Very good points all.

The OP and my own post are dramatically flawed. They both ASSUME that the flat earth conjecture is not only wrong, but is obviously, provably wrong. I really should retract my statements and edit them. I'll leave them stand as credit to my admission of wrongitude.

What I should have said was, "Any belief in something that is obviously, provably wrong is dangerous because the rejection of objective facts is dangerous."

"Exploring the world that surrounds us and trying to discover the truth" is in no way dangerous. That is precisely what we should be doing. That is what a great many FE people say they are doing. So far, I haven't spoken to any FE believer who is actually doing that. So far, every single one of them is doing the opposite of that. A great many of them (as represented here in this thread) accuse me as an RE of failing to be objective. What this tells me is that we have a misunderstanding about what objectivity even is.

We can debate whether or not FE is obviously, provably wrong or not. But we already know that debate won't get us anywhere. It is really not the point, and I should apologize for writing as if it were an accepted fact.

Offline iamcpc

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 05:35:27 PM »

Is Flat Earth Theory dangerous?


What one? Since I've started researching this I've found like 30
If you mean the general idea that the earth is flat then the level of danger depends on how many people believe it and how strongly that belief affects other aspects of life. Generally I would say no.

If the flat earth theory comes along with rejecting standard units of measurement, cartography, moon rotation, navigation, satellites, laws of physics, astronomy, trigonometry, flights etc then I would say yes.


Is tfes.org dangerous?

I think that spreading the belief that no one knows what a map of the earth looks like is harmful.


Is it harmful if a young person becomes convinced that the Earth is flat?

One person? no. Not harmful. Even if a young person comes to the belief that they can't leave the house because the air is acid the percent is so small it's insignificant. If you drink a gallon of water that is 1 ppm cyanide you will be perfectly fine.

If that belief also comes with  rejecting standard units of measurement, cartography, moon rotation, navigation, satellites, laws of physics, astronomy, trigonometry, gravity, optics, flights, shipping logs etc and also spreads then I would say yes.

Is it harmful to our community for prominent figures to declare belief in the flat Earth?
What if you don't believe it? What if you're just messing around.  Is that dangerous?
What do you think?

If that belief spreads and if it comes along with rejecting things previously listed above it's much more harmful. Regardless of who declares it or what they really believe.

If one person declares that trees turn into air into ACID and chops down all the trees in his yard no big deal. If he convinces his neighbors to do the same and the belief spreads then it's dangerous.

















Offline iamcpc

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 05:46:58 PM »
This is a bizarre question. Exploring the world that surrounds us and trying to discover the truth should be viewed as nothing but beneficial to the individual.

Trying to discover the truth requires first saying you don't know what the truth is. The problem here is that many people here already have deep beliefs that they know what the truth is. A deep seated belief that something is fact or true is the opposite of Zetetic method.

A perfect example is cartography. As someone who has personally used road maps, atlesses, nature maps, GPS, google maps etc in various global travels, backpacking Europe, canoeing the great lakes, backpacking mountains, road trips, sailing trips and the like  I would say that there is VERY strong evidence that suggest that we have fairly accurately mapped the surface of the earth in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. (I've never personally been to Africa or Australia).

According to many people here such as Tom Bishop there is no accurate map of the earth. This is NOT an attempt to discover the truth. This is NOT Zetetic method. This is NOT exploring the world around you. This is the opposite. Verifying the accuracy of a map is pretty simple. Take a road trip. Explore the world around you.


Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 06:04:43 PM »
I think the driving ideals behind the Flat Earth hypothesis are good things. We should be ever curious, always trying to look behind the curtain and learn more about our world and everything in it. There's nothing wrong with this, in fact it's something that should be taught and encouraged to blossom more in our children. The 'dangerous' part of FE, imo, comes not from those looking to actually do this, but from those who are simply looking to trade one blind belief for another. The ones that watch a FE vid or two, or look at this site and simply think "Right on, down with the system!" or similar. There is no danger in exploring common held truths. If those truths turn out false, then we have progressed. If they hold up to scrutiny, they have become all the stronger for it. The danger lies in those who aren't interested in truth, but power. No matter which side they come from. In that vein I see lots of danger simmering within the 'pot' of Flat Earth. There's resentment towards the 'elite' building and for many that simply means those who are smarter/richer/more in some way than them. FE along with other things is becoming a potential flash point for these types. In that way FE IS dangerous. But no more so than any other anti-establishment conspiracy imo.

The dangers of FE essentially become most prevalent if it loses it's core, loses it's 'way' as it were. If it becomes less about learning and exploring things for yourself, and more about simply anti-establishment. Some fringes are starting to appear this way, but for the most part I believe it's still holding steady to that core ideal.

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Offline Tumeni

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 11:15:26 PM »
Exploring the world that surrounds us and trying to discover the truth should be viewed as nothing but beneficial to the individual.

What explorations have you done, then?

When did you do them, what did you do, where were the results recorded? Who peer-reviewed what you did?
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Pete Svarrior "We are not here to directly persuade anyone ... You mistake our lack of interest in you for our absence."

Tom Bishop "We are extremely popular and the entire world wants to talk to us. We have better things to do with our lives than have in depth discussions with every single curious person. You are lucky to get one sentence dismissals from us"

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 01:16:44 AM »
Apologies for the OP without my own opinion.  My excuse is that I posted it at the beginning of my work day intending to make a first and a second comment, but work got busy and I haven’t been able to come back until now.

Let me give my motivation in posting this topic.  I discovered tfes.org a year ago and I truly enjoy the interaction here.  I understand and identify with the RET I have been taught in school, but am also intrigued by the alternative ideas presented by FET.  During the past year, I’ve been through several phases as a tfes.org member.  I started with a discover phase where I just posted to understand better.  I passed through a truth phase where I wanted to correct people who were posting falsehoods.  I went through a project phase where I wanted to put effort in building models or maps to prove my points. Lately I’ve been in a clarification phase where I mostly just look for opportunities to clarify what someone else might be saying hoping for a peacemaker effect.
This past weekend I saw a perspective that could allow me to participate on the forum in a new way.  One that is more supportive and explorative of the FE ideas.  I find myself wanting to participate in talking more about flat-earth possibilities and my favorite flat-earth mind benders.  I want to be there when people first catch that glimpse and say, “No. Wait… Could it?  I never thought… No… wait a minute… I? What?”  I just love watching someone’s mind expand with possibilities.

This past weekend, as I contemplated speaking up more for FET, I felt a need to be honest with myself and what I write in the forum.  I’m not interested in creating a character.  I thought a lot about the questions I asked to open this topic.  I am exploring the possibility of finding a way to be a genuine FE contributor, but I do need to have this discussion and feel good about it.
In the end, I don’t believe sharing FET is harmful.  I agree with the general warnings people are giving about the dangers of rejecting factual evidence.  I can see how that is a problem with vaccinations and global climate change.  I can see how discordant beliefs in these areas cause damage to individuals and civilizations.  FET isn't the same.  Looking for ways to explain our world in a different model than the generally accepted one doesn't alarm me.  I like it.

I am out of time, but I am interested in this discussion.  Thanks all.

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 01:30:59 AM »
My point is that there's a difference between someone honestly believing in FET and asking questions, and someone merely taking that side of the argument "for fun". If in the course of your argument you are misrepresenting facts, then people might believe your (false) statements.

Asking a question isn't dangerous - but making up answers, especially if those answers breed distrust of the scientific method, is dangerous. I don't have a problem with people making arguments in good faith, or even just-for-fun but based on real data. I have a problem with people deliberately lying (e.g. "The power lines don't exist on Lake Pontchartrain").

I have never seen Tom Bishop say something that I thought was an intentional lie (as opposed to a mistake or misinterpretation), but that's all I've ever seen from, um, certain other people I've been especially critical of recently. As a result, I respect Tom Bishop. I have yet to develop respect for some others.

My worry is someone coming here and learning that "NASA is lying - don't believe them" is one step closer to going to a vaccine forum and thinking "Gee - if they lied about the moon landing, maybe they're lying about vaccines too." I'm not saying you are killing babies, I'm saying you're not helping save babies. There's a difference.

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Offline Tumeni

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 08:03:53 AM »
Not dangerous, but grossly misleading.

We have a selection of individuals who claim to be empiricists, who claim to be in a search for the truth, who claim to be doing research.....  but when asked for empirical data, when asked for details of what experimentation they've done, what was involved in their research, what the results of it were, when it was done, etc.  -  they go strangely quiet.
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Pete Svarrior "We are not here to directly persuade anyone ... You mistake our lack of interest in you for our absence."

Tom Bishop "We are extremely popular and the entire world wants to talk to us. We have better things to do with our lives than have in depth discussions with every single curious person. You are lucky to get one sentence dismissals from us"

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 02:20:14 PM »
but when asked for empirical data, when asked for details of what experimentation they've done, what was involved in their research, what the results of it were, when it was done, etc.  -  they go strangely quiet.
You fundamentally misunderstand the Zetetic flavour of empiricism if your go-to response to it is to demand that someone writes up their proceedings for you. The expectation is that, should you wish to join us in this format of pursuit of truth, you will perform your own experimentation for your own development and satisfaction. Ultimately, your mistake is that you walked into a room of people who (to some extent) reject the conventional ways of doing science, and then decided to stand in the middle of the room and exclaim your shock (in a true Paul Joseph Watson style) in the fact that no one wants to do conventional science with you.

What's next? Will you visit your local bingo club and complain that no one's interested in a friendly rugby match?

My worry is someone coming here and learning that "NASA is lying - don't believe them" is one step closer to going to a vaccine forum and thinking "Gee - if they lied about the moon landing, maybe they're lying about vaccines too." I'm not saying you are killing babies, I'm saying you're not helping save babies. There's a difference.
But looking at the people here, this does not seem to happen. If anything, I would say that we occasionally get visitors who are already convinced of other conspiracies, and when we don't entertain their proposals, they leave disappointed. Or have I missed something? Do you have reasons to believe that your fears are substantiated in the context of the Flat Earth Society?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 02:26:59 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline Tumeni

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 03:20:41 PM »
You fundamentally misunderstand the Zetetic flavour of empiricism if your go-to response to it is to demand that someone writes up their proceedings for you.

I'm not demanding.

You say "Exploring the world that surrounds us and trying to discover the truth" as if that's what you've done, or what you're currently doing.

All I ask is that you tell us what you've done, how it's going, what you've discovered. If it's all detailed somewhere else, just a link or a pointer will do.


The expectation is that, should you wish to join us in this format of pursuit of truth, you will perform your own experimentation for your own development and satisfaction.

The thing is, I don't see the need to. I'm happy with what others have done in this respect, and happy with my own observations thus far. As a 'for instance', mainstream science holds that there are orbital satellites all around us. I'm happy with that. I see nothing from my own experience that causes me to disagree. I can find multiple sources, independent of those who launched the satellites, and those who operate them, to confirm that the orbital satellites are there. Plane Wave Instruments, the Space Goedesy Facility, radio amateurs communicating with the ISS, etc.

If you're not, that's fine, but at least offer some inkling as to why you're not happy with the accumulated works of science in relation to globe earth, and some background on what you've actually done.
   

Ultimately, your mistake is that you walked into a room of people who (to some extent) reject the conventional ways of doing science, and then decided to stand in the middle of the room and exclaim your shock in the fact that no one wants to do conventional science with you.

No, I've walked into the room and asked those who reject the conventional way to tell me what they've actually done, when they did it, and where the results were recorded. That's all.

Or do you regard recording what you've done as too "conventional" for you?

If you walk into my room, and ask what's happening with whatever is being discussed, you'll be immediately referred to textbooks, papers, journals, and other peer-reviewed material to show what's going on in whatever field you've asked about. All I'm asking is what you have on what you've done, when, how, etc.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 03:44:45 PM by Tumeni »
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Pete Svarrior "We are not here to directly persuade anyone ... You mistake our lack of interest in you for our absence."

Tom Bishop "We are extremely popular and the entire world wants to talk to us. We have better things to do with our lives than have in depth discussions with every single curious person. You are lucky to get one sentence dismissals from us"

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 01:53:18 PM »
Interesting. In some ways there is not much harm in it. I actually don't think most of the people on here who are FE proponents actually believe in it really. In fact, I think that might be the big "in joke" on this whole site. I've actually seen someone on here flip to arguing for FE for the fun of it, I suspect most of them are doing that.

I don't think in itself it's dangerous. It has become relatively well known (not on the scale of bronies, but right up there) but mostly people mock it, it's almost become a by-word for being simple minded or stupid.

So I don't think there's any harm in it, but it is a symptom of a society which seems to increasingly not value truth. And this is where the movement is potentially troublesome as they paint themselves as seeking truth when they are doing the reverse, if anything.

I agree with Pete that trying to discover truth is a good thing, but reject the notion that the FES is doing that. If there is any effort to create a coherent flat earth model that works then I don't see much evidence of it.
"This is literally just a few people talking about it for a brief time every day on their spare time. That’s the flat earth movement" - Tom Bishop

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2018, 03:08:52 PM »
I actually don't think most of the people on here who are FE proponents actually believe in it really. In fact, I think that might be the big "in joke" on this whole site. I've actually seen someone on here flip to arguing for FE for the fun of it, I suspect most of them are doing that.
We have a long tradition of accepting devil's advocates, for a number of reasons. The most important, to me, is that we can't (from a moral standpoint, not a technical one) be arbiters of who does and doesn't truly believe in what they say here. It just wouldn't be right. But aside from that, we have a tradition of striving to discuss ideas, not individuals. If someone can present a sensible argument for either side, why should we stop him? This sort of exercise is good for everyone anyway.

In the end of the day, if someone here is arguing for RET but they say something that's completely out of kilter with your model, I'll do my best to correct them. Does it mean I believe in RET? No, but it's the honest thing to do. We are not here to "win" conversations.

Now, there are some exceptions to that. Two things that we absolutely don't tolerate is sockpuppetry and "double agents" - people who claim to argue for the "wrong" side, but who deliberately make terrible arguments to weaken that side.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 03:15:56 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 09:13:04 PM »
In essence, we should ask not if FET is dangerous, but rather if RET is dangerous. An ongoing lie can do so much more damage than the truth could ever hope to accomplish. How many innocents continue to believe sweet fictions like Neil Armstrong hobbling about on the moon after climbing out of a capsule made of tin foil? Surely these sweet lies are the real danger to our society, not any sort of danger surrounding FET itself.
This is interesting because it's the same argument RE uses against FE.  I disagree both ways.
I am proposing that if FE is flat out wrong, and I believe it anyway, it really doesn't harm me.
Likewise if the moon landings 40 years ago are totally fake, but I believe them anyway, it really doesn't harm me.

Rejection of objective facts is all over our political spectrum now, and it's very dangerous. If we're willing to throw away facts and just believe whatever we want, the future is doomed.
I agree with this.  We should all avoid presenting false data as fact.  The best of us are open minded enough to shift our beliefs to correct data when we recognize it, but not everyone can.  I believe that enough of us do.

If the flat earth theory comes along with rejecting standard units of measurement, cartography, moon rotation, navigation, satellites, laws of physics, astronomy, trigonometry, flights etc then I would say yes.
I don't see this happening with FE.  The members of this forum use all these things in daily life and use them in discussions on this site.  Even those who don't believe in satellites orbiting a round earth pull out their phones and follow the navigation prompts as they drive.

The dangers of FE essentially become most prevalent if it loses it's core, loses it's 'way' as it were. If it becomes less about learning and exploring things for yourself, and more about simply anti-establishment. Some fringes are starting to appear this way, but for the most part I believe it's still holding steady to that core ideal.
I agree this is true about anything.  Look for truth in another framework: good. Anti-establishment: bad.

Asking a question isn't dangerous - but making up answers, especially if those answers breed distrust of the scientific method, is dangerous. I don't have a problem with people making arguments in good faith, or even just-for-fun but based on real data. I have a problem with people deliberately lying.
I like this.  This sums it up to me for both sides.  "I must not tell lies" -Harry Potter ootp

Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2018, 01:16:08 AM »
Is Flat Earth Theory dangerous?
No.

Is tfes.org dangerous?
No.

Is it harmful if a young person becomes convinced that the Earth is flat?
No.

Is it harmful to our community for prominent figures to declare belief in the flat Earth?
No.

What if you don't believe it?
That's most people.

What if you're just messing around.  Is that dangerous?
No.

You don't think I'm going to post here sober, do you?  ???

I have embraced my Benny Franko side. I'm sleazy.

Offline Catnip

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Re: Is FET Dangerous?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 11:57:02 AM »
I think it's harmless as heck. The shape of the earth is ***the furthest*** issue from what should actually be addressed, like curing cancer or ending world hunger. I don't care if I'm living on a triangle as long as our species can thrive on it.