Offline Roger G

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The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« on: November 12, 2017, 04:40:49 PM »
I joined this forum very recently as I find the opinions and the information they are based on to be fascinating.

What I would really like to know though is why anybody has a need to believe the world is flat? For that matter why it needs to be believed as any shape at all, whether that is circular, square, spheroid, doughnut shaped or any other shape. For me, the requirement to know in the modern world, is because I need to travel both for recreation and business to various parts of the country and world. The destinations could be great distances or comparatively short ones, by air, on the sea or in a vehicle. To do all this, I need to be able to have access to accurate daily time and the time taken to accomplish different journeys. When I am navigating my boat, I need to use accurate maps and charts in conjunction with instrumentation that enables me to take bearings and know my location at all times. I am also a glider pilot and rely on my knowledge of navigation and meteorology to reach destinations or fly a plotted course. Although GPS is a useful aid in all this, I also need to be able to navigate in the event of power failures. Over the last couple of thousand years and particularly the last couple of centuries, the means have been developed to enable myself and others to be able to achieve this. All of the research and development to this end has appeared to have reached the conclusion that the earth is a globe and all of the maps and navigation equipment that I use are based on this theory.

I would love to hear rational and reasoned debate as to why all the above works fine in my personal experience within the concept of a global planet, but why it doesn't in anyway suggest that the maps and charts are incorrect. If that is the case, then why is there any need to believe that the world is flat when none of the available data backs it up. Also and perhaps more importantly, what does it matter and why is there nobody here that seems to be able to offer scientifically rigorous and demonstrable data that stands up to scrutiny to reinforce their beliefs.

Personally I couldn't care less what shape the planet is providing the data that I use is relevant to the tasks I want to perform. I would love to hear from professional pilots, navigators and global travellers who are flat earth (or any other shape) believers and can relate real world experiences that verifiably support their beliefs.

Thank you  :)

Roger

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Offline Roundy

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 04:42:29 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
Electro-Theologist, Poet, Philosopher, Musician, Etymologist, Egyptologist, Astro-Theologist, Geocentrist, Flat Earther, and Collector of Rare Books.

Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 04:57:01 PM »
IMHO - I believe the FE society, though refreshingly they do not throw it in our faces, 'need' to have a flat earth because of the misconception that the Bible supposedly implies it.  Since the Bible is the 'word of God' - finding out that something God said (or implied) is wrong or mistaken would basically mean that some other parts of the Bible may be wrong.  FE believers are 'literalists' as in - whatever the Bible says is literal true.  That is why when people talk of things which may have occurred 700,000yrs ago they scoff - since the world per the Bible is only about 6,000yrs old.

Offline Roger G

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 04:58:53 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
It looks flat from where? Mountains look flat and 2 dimensional from a few miles away, are they flat as well? When I sail a few miles out into the North Sea on my little boat, I can't see the coast any more even with my very powerful binoculars and 200x lens on my camera. Actually that's not quite correct as I can still see the tops of very tall chimneys or masts until I get even further out. Why is that?

Roger

Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 05:02:19 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
Even though the path of the sun tells us otherwise.

Offline 3DGeek

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 05:29:51 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.

This is a classic example of "Depth=1" thinking.   "A looks like B, so it must be B".

So you're thirsty and you look at a cup filled with a clear liquid - you say "This liquid looks like water, so it must be water"...and you drink it.

That's depth=1 thinking.   And it works OK if the context is right.  But if you were in a chemistry lab and saw a beaker containing a clear liquid - then you shouldn't assume that it's water because it could be concentrated sulphuric acid or something.

If someone tells you - "What's in this cup is sulphuric acid" - but you're really thirsty - you'd want to look a bit deeper into the possibility that your "A looks like B, so it must be B" - and employ some "Depth=2" thinking and ask whether your initial assumption is possibly invalid.

When you do that with "The Earth looks like it's flat, so it must be flat" idea - and someone (me, for example) says - "Well if it's flat, then how could there be sunsets?" - and now you need to do some "Depth=2" thinking.

If you apply your same depth=1 rule, you get:  "If the sun looks like it's touching the horizon then it must be touching the horizon"...but then you need someone to point out "if that were true, then wouldn't it be setting the grass on fire?"...and again you need to think one step deeper.

Shallow thinking such as you espouse is not a viable way to avoid drinking acid...and it's not a good way to live your life because it leads you to all manner of other craziness - like denying that there are spaceships...despite almost everyone saying that they exist.


Hey Tom:  What path do the photons take from the physical location of the sun to my eye at sunset?

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Offline Roundy

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 07:16:56 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
It looks flat from where? Mountains look flat and 2 dimensional from a few miles away, are they flat as well? When I sail a few miles out into the North Sea on my little boat, I can't see the coast any more even with my very powerful binoculars and 200x lens on my camera. Actually that's not quite correct as I can still see the tops of very tall chimneys or masts until I get even further out. Why is that?

Roger

Bendy light. Your problem is that you're overthinking it. I believe the Earth is flat because it looks flat. It is based on pure empirical observation. You can overcomplicate things all you want but you can't change facts.

Also I'm not gonna spend pages and pages refuting your objections and justifying my opinion so it's pointless trying to bait me. Sorry guys.  :(
Electro-Theologist, Poet, Philosopher, Musician, Etymologist, Egyptologist, Astro-Theologist, Geocentrist, Flat Earther, and Collector of Rare Books.

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 10:02:44 PM »

Also I'm not gonna spend pages and pages refuting your objections and justifying my opinion so it's pointless trying to bait me. Sorry guys.  :(

Then why post in the first place Roundy? You just pop in, make a fleeting statement that is as intellectually weak as as water is wet and then refuse to elaborate or justify the ridiculous stance you have just presented?

I'm not trying to "bait" you as clearly you have nothing further to add but I will ask that if you want to make crazy statements you should at least be prepared to back them up.

Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 10:17:17 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
It looks flat from where? Mountains look flat and 2 dimensional from a few miles away, are they flat as well? When I sail a few miles out into the North Sea on my little boat, I can't see the coast any more even with my very powerful binoculars and 200x lens on my camera. Actually that's not quite correct as I can still see the tops of very tall chimneys or masts until I get even further out. Why is that?

Roger

Bendy light. Your problem is that you're overthinking it. I believe the Earth is flat because it looks flat. It is based on pure empirical observation. You can overcomplicate things all you want but you can't change facts.

Also I'm not gonna spend pages and pages refuting your objections and justifying my opinion so it's pointless trying to bait me. Sorry guys.  :(
Look at the sun rise and set in different places, then decide.

Offline Roger G

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 10:28:36 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.
It looks flat from where? Mountains look flat and 2 dimensional from a few miles away, are they flat as well? When I sail a few miles out into the North Sea on my little boat, I can't see the coast any more even with my very powerful binoculars and 200x lens on my camera. Actually that's not quite correct as I can still see the tops of very tall chimneys or masts until I get even further out. Why is that?

Roger

Bendy light. Your problem is that you're overthinking it. I believe the Earth is flat because it looks flat. It is based on pure empirical observation. You can overcomplicate things all you want but you can't change facts.

Also I'm not gonna spend pages and pages refuting your objections and justifying my opinion so it's pointless trying to bait me. Sorry guys.  :(

Well thanks for that informative post :-) 'Bendy Light'? Evidence, documentation, verifiable data? I am beginning to realise that none of the FE people are going to actually answer any of my questions in any sort of scientific or verifiable way, either through lack of knowledge, facts or intellectual capacity.

However I remain waiting in hope.

Thank you,
Roger

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Offline Roundy

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 11:30:13 PM »

Also I'm not gonna spend pages and pages refuting your objections and justifying my opinion so it's pointless trying to bait me. Sorry guys.  :(

Then why post in the first place Roundy?

I was answering his question. I told him why I believe the Earth is flat. That's all I should be expected to do. If this was intended as a debate thread you might have a point in taking me to task for it. But it wasn't. It does nothing but ask for an opinion, which I gave. If you want to read pages and pages of me justifying my opinion lurk moar.
Electro-Theologist, Poet, Philosopher, Musician, Etymologist, Egyptologist, Astro-Theologist, Geocentrist, Flat Earther, and Collector of Rare Books.

Offline Roger G

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 12:02:04 PM »
Here are some empirical observations which qualify as evidence for me of events that I have personally experienced, rather than regurgitating dubious anecdotes and one line answers trawled from the Internet. Can also be used in response to the Standard reply 'It looks flat so it is flat'.

Whilst on a large ship in February of this year I awoke in my cabin and could only hear a subdued hum from the ship, consistent with being stationary. As I could also feel no movement of any sort, I assumed we had docked in Amsterdam, one of our stops. As we were in an inside cabin with no windows, I went up on deck, only to find that we were still at sea in a flat calm, but moving at probably about 10knots from the wake. My senses had told me we were not moving, they were wrong.

A few years ago, whilst learning to fly a glider on instruments, I entered cloud, flying in a straight line. After about two minutes, I felt a movement to the left and an increase in speed, which I interpreted as a entering a gentle descending turn to the left. As I had no visual frame of reference, I applied a normal amount of backward pressure on the stick to ease the descent and made a corrective rudder and aileron movement to the right. The sensation of flying straight and level returned, however the instruments suggested that I was actually still turning to the left and still descending. I increased the back pressure on the stick and added more right turn with the ailerons. Everything felt normal but the sound of air rushing past had increased considerably and the instruments continued to show a left turn and descent. At that moment I came out of the cloud and became aware that the ground was above my head to one side and that I was in a slow steep spin to the left. The control inputs I had made and made the situation worse, with no indication from my own senses that my orientation was wrong. THe lesson I learnt from that is to never just trust your senses if you don't have access to all the facts.

I was in Dover in the UK recently with the family and walking along the beach was thinking that the French coast was only 20.7 miles away. It was a cool clear day but even my binoculars and high zoom camera could only see a distant horizon. About an hour later, We went up to  walk along on 350ft high cliffs and could see very clearly the foreshore and buildings of Cap Gris Nez in France, without binoculars or camera zoom. Using camera or binoculars, the details were sharp and clear considering the distance, although totally hidden by the horizon at sea level.

For many years I have made passages on various small boats including my own, which have required me to use charts and navigational equipment, taking bearings from coastal observations, allowing for tidal and wind errors and getting pretty good at it. I also quickly found that the curvature of the earth prevented me from seizing more than about 3 miles from my eyeline unless an object was tall enough to appear. Recently, I put a camera at the top of my mast which enable me to see about 6-7 miles to the horizon and I can remotely control it. That of course is quite clearly why the old sailing vessels had a crows nest up the mast for observation from the highest point. The advent of GPS a few years ago also meant that I could verify my position using GPS as a secondary backup and I have found it to be extremely accurate in all cases at sea, often a lot more accurate that my own plotting. All my flying and sailing plots are fully logged and verifiable.

As a final empirical observation, I used to glide from Challock in Kent which is on a ridge about 400ft high. From the ridge on a clear day, the view was magnificent across the surrounding countryside as far as the horizon, about 24-25 miles. As soon as I took an aerotow to 3000ft, the view steadily expanded until I could easily see the white cliffs on part of the French coat 60 miles away and the English south coast curving away into the distance. The higher I went, the further I could see.

These are just minimal examples of my personal observations of the world around me and I would be very pleased to see similar accounts from pilots, seagoing sailors, surveyors or anyone who regularly uses those type of observations and are also subscribers to the Flat Earth theory (or other shapes)

Thank you,

Roger

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Offline TomInAustin

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2017, 07:19:49 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.

When I look out my back window it looks bumpy, hilly, and sloped upwards.  Should I assume the earth is a lumpy hill with a hard stop at the fence?
Nothing Guest has ever said should be taken as representative of anything other than Guest's own delusions opinions.

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 07:54:51 PM »
It looks flat. It doesn't look round. Duh.

When I look out my back window it looks bumpy, hilly, and sloped upwards.  Should I assume the earth is a lumpy hill with a hard stop at the fence?

Thus every time Roundy goes on a plane he panics because all he see's is sky and clouds and he assumes the land has disappeared! Then he takes a trip to the desert-ahhhhh the whole world is made of hot sand, better invest in solar tech! Pops to the arctic, OH NO I live on an ice world I'll never be warm again!!! Moves to Wales - Ahh the whole world is raining, we're gonna flood etc etc etc

At some time common sense dictates that we accept that what we SEE does in no way offer us a complete answer and therefore the empirical view of "it looks flat Duh" is made in jest or......."sillyness".... I guess jest in this case.

I hope jest  :D

Offline 3DGeek

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 10:01:20 PM »
A few years ago, whilst learning to fly a glider on instruments, I entered cloud, flying in a straight line. After about two minutes, I felt a movement to the left and an increase in speed, which I interpreted as a entering a gentle descending turn to the left. As I had no visual frame of reference, I applied a normal amount of backward pressure on the stick to ease the descent and made a corrective rudder and aileron movement to the right. The sensation of flying straight and level returned, however the instruments suggested that I was actually still turning to the left and still descending. I increased the back pressure on the stick and added more right turn with the ailerons. Everything felt normal but the sound of air rushing past had increased considerably and the instruments continued to show a left turn and descent. At that moment I came out of the cloud and became aware that the ground was above my head to one side and that I was in a slow steep spin to the left. The control inputs I had made and made the situation worse, with no indication from my own senses that my orientation was wrong. THe lesson I learnt from that is to never just trust your senses if you don't have access to all the facts.

Your instructor should have warned you.  The reason most light aircraft (and, I presume, gliders) are restricted to VFR rules is exactly that.  Your "butt feel" for orientation sucks because you can't tell the difference between gravity and acceleration - and you have to look very carefully at ALL of your instruments to truly understand what they are saying to you.   Once you lose sight of the horizon - your instruments are all you have.

I've worked a big chunk of my career in R&D for flight simulators - and the big commercial airliner ones with the hydraulic motion platforms are quite impressive.  They employ a wide range of tricks to trick your "butt feel" in order to make you feel like you're really accelerating hard down the runway - when in fact you're sitting still.   The fact that these tricks work so amazingly well is testament to how bad it is to rely on that sense in determining what's going on in a real airplane.  On one occasion, I took a friend on a simulator ride and rolled the plane inverted.   Afterwards, she was 100% convinced that the simulator cab had some special mechanism that made cabin turn upside down...it does not.    Only when I pointed out that she hadn't been wearing a seat belt did she finally agree that this was something like an optical illusion...a "butt illusion".

So - yeah - being inside cloud is a dangerous situation if you're inexperienced at it.
Hey Tom:  What path do the photons take from the physical location of the sun to my eye at sunset?

Offline Roger G

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2017, 12:31:47 AM »
A few years ago, whilst learning to fly a glider on instruments, I entered cloud, flying in a straight line. After about two minutes, I felt a movement to the left and an increase in speed, which I interpreted as a entering a gentle descending turn to the left. As I had no visual frame of reference, I applied a normal amount of backward pressure on the stick to ease the descent and made a corrective rudder and aileron movement to the right. The sensation of flying straight and level returned, however the instruments suggested that I was actually still turning to the left and still descending. I increased the back pressure on the stick and added more right turn with the ailerons. Everything felt normal but the sound of air rushing past had increased considerably and the instruments continued to show a left turn and descent. At that moment I came out of the cloud and became aware that the ground was above my head to one side and that I was in a slow steep spin to the left. The control inputs I had made and made the situation worse, with no indication from my own senses that my orientation was wrong. THe lesson I learnt from that is to never just trust your senses if you don't have access to all the facts.


Your instructor should have warned you.  The reason most light aircraft (and, I presume, gliders) are restricted to VFR rules is exactly that.  Your "butt feel" for orientation sucks because you can't tell the difference between gravity and acceleration - and you have to look very carefully at ALL of your instruments to truly understand what they are saying to you.   Once you lose sight of the horizon - your instruments are all you have.

I've worked a big chunk of my career in R&D for flight simulators - and the big commercial airliner ones with the hydraulic motion platforms are quite impressive.  They employ a wide range of tricks to trick your "butt feel" in order to make you feel like you're really accelerating hard down the runway - when in fact you're sitting still.   The fact that these tricks work so amazingly well is testament to how bad it is to rely on that sense in determining what's going on in a real airplane.  On one occasion, I took a friend on a simulator ride and rolled the plane inverted.   Afterwards, she was 100% convinced that the simulator cab had some special mechanism that made cabin turn upside down...it does not.    Only when I pointed out that she hadn't been wearing a seat belt did she finally agree that this was something like an optical illusion...a "butt illusion".

So - yeah - being inside cloud is a dangerous situation if you're inexperienced at it.

Yes I was fully briefed on what to expect and was still mentally unprepared which was of course the point of the exercise. The instructor had an IFR rating but had to gain clearance from ATC to carry out the exercise. The glider was also a Slingsby T49 which had speed limiting airbrakes, very useful when pointing vertically at the ground. I have twice had experience in a single seater of being almost drawn  into a storm cloud whilst attempting to dive  away at 60 degrees downward angle at VNE of 130knts. I had to pull full airbrakes and dive vertically to get away. Yeah I know I should avoid storm clouds but the lift was great until I got to about 1000ft below it, then it all went mental. After that, my senses told me that my pants felt damp around the groin area, so some things you can trust  ;D By the time I became an instructor, I had learned many things that can catch you out!

Roger

Offline 3DGeek

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2017, 10:14:15 PM »
After that, my senses told me that my pants felt damp around the groin area, so some things you can trust  ;D By the time I became an instructor, I had learned many things that can catch you out!

I dunno - if you switch the weird air-conditioned seats in my wife's Kia to "Max Cold" - it can make it feel like something got damp down there!  :-)

My Dad was an avid light aircraft pilot - he flew for the Flying Doctor service in Kenya  (which is why I KNOW how the moon looks on the equator!)...and when we returned to the UK decided to get his instructor rating.

They trained for IFR using a hood that went over your face and blocked the view of the outside world - except for the instruments.   He used to play around teaching me how to fly - and his favorite game was to have me close my eyes - then he'd put the plane into some "unusual" flight condition - then have me sort it out while wearing the IFR hood.    He'd get pretty sneaky about it - it's a lot harder than you'd think...especially when he'd set the throttle to something unexpected!

(Dragging this back on-topic)

The thing about flying in a small plane on a really clear day is that - even though you aren't high enough to experience horizon curvature - the ability to see much further ahead and to the sides gives you a strong feeling of round-earthedness.

The FET claim that you can't see further than some distance due to the opaqueness of the atmosphere is so clearly untrue from those altitudes.  While side-to-side curvature isn't too noticeable, far-to-near curvature really is.

I'll never forget one flight somewhere near Mt.Kilimanjaro - it was a super-clear day - and we were flying below the altitude of the peak - but not by much - and the way the plains curved down in front of us was amazing.  You got such a strong feeling of flying across a giant ball.

Hey Tom:  What path do the photons take from the physical location of the sun to my eye at sunset?

Offline Roger G

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 12:02:46 AM »
I think that anyone who has flown in a small aircraft at fairly high altitudes would totally agree with the feeling of roundness of the world as new vistas appear over the horizon and roll towards you. It's certainly not so clear if you are looking sideways out of an airliner window.

It's really not surprising that those that fly aircraft or navigate ships at sea are not FETs and many FETs seem to have little real world experience at all. I suppose that if you have the time to sit all day to watch every Nasa video ever made, then make you own youtube video showing that a piece of dust floating across the lens is a UFO or that there appears to be harness holding up an astronaut in a 2 second shot, then you are going to have no time to experience the real world at all.

The purpose of this thread was not to find out why people think the Earth is flat ('because it looks like it'), but why they have a need to believe it's flat! I don't include Tom in that because he is a RET who is having fun. My own thoughts are that for most FETs, their knowledge of the world about them and a lack of understanding of basic physics and science, gives them a fear of anything or any organisation related to science. It brings out their own insecurities, and history has shown that when people don't understand or become afraid of something, they will frequently attack it and group together with others of a similar mindset.

Roger


Offline Mark_1984

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 04:46:36 AM »
I too am interested in why people believe the earth is flat.  Not so much as in "because it looks flat" but more of why you think the world is flat despite the fact that most people accept it's round, and why you think there is a massive conspiracy to hide the fact that it's flat.

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Offline Dither

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Re: The Need To Believe In A Flat Earth
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2017, 09:46:29 AM »
IMHO - I believe the FE society, though refreshingly they do not throw it in our faces, 'need' to have a flat earth because of the misconception that the Bible supposedly implies it.

Except that nearly all of the regular FEers on this site do not describe themselves as bible beliving Christians.
However, you have done a good job of describing my personal FE position but I'm in the minority on here.
A lie will make it around the world before the truth has time to put on its shoes.