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Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:30 AM

Regarding Flat Earthers: what's their motivation?

So, I just watched "Beyond the Curve" on Netflix, and I have little doubt that the most famous of them, Mark Sargent, is a fraud... in it for the notoriety and the possible profits.

But the rest of them....

I mean, how stupid do you have to be to ignore the fact that ships disappear over the horizon? Or that the moon sometimes eclipses the sun?



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Reply Regarding Flat Earthers: what's their motivation? (Original post)
Goodheart Apr 2020 OP
Miguelito Loveless Apr 2020 #1
cyclonefence Apr 2020 #2
Marrah_Goodman Apr 2020 #6
sanatanadharma Apr 2020 #19
cyclonefence Apr 2020 #33
RobinA Apr 2020 #29
cyclonefence Apr 2020 #34
dawg day Apr 2020 #3
Goodheart Apr 2020 #4
Goodheart Apr 2020 #5
Wounded Bear Apr 2020 #15
Goodheart Apr 2020 #17
Wounded Bear Apr 2020 #18
dawg day Apr 2020 #23
RobinA Apr 2020 #31
Thyla Apr 2020 #7
Johnny2X2X Apr 2020 #8
dawg day Apr 2020 #24
edhopper Apr 2020 #9
Steelrolled Apr 2020 #10
Buckeye_Democrat Apr 2020 #20
Steelrolled Apr 2020 #22
madville Apr 2020 #35
beachbumbob Apr 2020 #11
Aristus Apr 2020 #12
Archae Apr 2020 #13
scrabblequeen40 Apr 2020 #14
sanatanadharma Apr 2020 #16
Goodheart Apr 2020 #21
MineralMan Apr 2020 #25
scrabblequeen40 Apr 2020 #26
DFW Apr 2020 #27
customerserviceguy Apr 2020 #28
Buckeye_Democrat Apr 2020 #30
tenderfoot Apr 2020 #32

Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:57 AM

1. Two reasons

1) Making money off the gullible

2) Paranoid delusion

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:59 AM

2. My husband's cousin is a flat-earther

because she wants to believe in every conspiracy that comes down the pike. She is convinced, as I think a lot of these people are, that there is a massive plan to keep the general public from knowing the "truth" about every event or circumstance they cannot explain. His cousin is not a stupid woman, but she did not learn critical thinking in school, and she understands the concept of a flat earth--I mean, look out the window!--without having to try to learn anything about astronomy or physics.

She believes all inconvenient truths, like how the Fed works (I bet you didn't know all that money is controlled by some stupid group, probably the Illuminati, and they're located on an island), as explicable by just as much truth as she can handle without having to read anything boring. Her beliefs generally contain some grain of truth, which makes it harder to try to reason with her. Which we've given up on.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:16 AM

6. I know someone just like that

Spends half her time listening to nutbags on youtube spreading their bullshit. She gets very upset when you don't believe what she does. She is sure that everything is a conspiracy. It makes me sad really, because I think it ads to her depression.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:39 AM

19. A simple disk magnet disproves flat earth

If their model of a flat earth is correct, the earth is a disk magnet with a center pole and a circumference pole.

Disk magnets have poles on opposite sides (faces).
They say the earth is circumference-center poled; I challenge flat-earthers to produce such a refrigerator magnet for me.

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Response to sanatanadharma (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 03:36 PM

33. Oh come on

"Science? We don't need no stinkin' science!"

There are numerous websites that demonstrate sensible, scientific ways to demonstrate the shape of the earth. My cousin-in-law has an an answer to all of them, usually a youtube video by some crackpot.

It's really a waste of time to try to have any kind of fact-based conversation about these things with her.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:58 AM

29. Somebody I Knew

in high school is the same way. Every.single.conspiracy.theory you ever heard of, and many you haven't all mashed into one, with the underlying premise that anything anyone says is a lie unless they are saying it on Youtube. And a Fundie, Second Amendment nut to boot. Some bizarro stuff about giants and dog-headed people. Ugh.

Corona is placed into people through vaccinations, ya know. Anti-vaxer of course. A government plot to kill children. It never ceases to amaze me that these people don't seem to notice that the government is doing a pretty shit job with all its nefarious plans, because there is no shortage of children, nor is there any evidence that government is particularly effective at ANYTHING these people claim they are trying to do. I feel sorry for them. They spend so much time and energy on this claptrap. I suppose it makes them happy somehow, but it just seems that if I had that much paranoia I wouldn't be able to leave the house. Or my bed.

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Response to RobinA (Reply #29)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 03:38 PM

34. Exactly right

Maybe we should get these two together.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 08:59 AM

3. Well, most of them probably won't ever fly around the globe.

But if you fly from the US west to India, and then keep on going to Europe, then fly back to the US-- that's not a flat line.

The ones I've seen often just want to be "naughty"-- want to get a rise out of people. They'll still get on a plane and fly west. They'll still realize the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. They'll just feel cool that they're provoking the rest of us.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:10 AM

4. Being "naughty" is the same reason a lot of trumpers voted as they did.

Just wanted to pick the most offensive to Democrats candidate they could find.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:14 AM

5. They have this stupid flat map

Where the southern tip of South America is about 5 times further away from the southern tip of Africa than reality. Of course, they could never explain why a plane trip from Buenos Aires to Johannesburg takes only one fifth the time you'd expect from their map.

LOL

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:29 AM

15. The infamous Mercator projection...

not really useful in a world with air travel. Back in the day before they could do longitude reliably, Mercator 'worked,' because you could sail to the correct lattitude based on a sextant and then turn west or east and get to where they were going.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:32 AM

17. No, it's not the Mercator projection

the Mercator is rectangular and accepts that going west from Alaska takes you back to the right side of the map. LOL

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:35 AM

18. Oh, I get that, but their map is based on it, sort of...

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:08 AM

23. LOL, that is totally my cat.

He jumps up on the sink and pushes my pillbox into the trash everyday.

He probably wonders why I'm too stupid to put it up in the medicine cabinet where I can't reach it!

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Response to Goodheart (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 11:09 AM

31. Air Travel

is where almost anybody should see that they are full of, but they do have an explanation for everything. Even if it boils down to a picture out an airplane window accompanied by, "Where's the curve? Do you see a curve?" I like the snowbank all around the edge of the disc, I guess so the water doesn't all fall off and we are left with a total desert.

The person I know who is a flat earther went to my high school just a couple years ahead of me. I KNOW she had a good basic science education, because we had some decent science teachers. But apparently they were all stooges for the Man, who just wants to control our thoughts. Why the government doesn't want us to know the Earth is flat to the point where they faked several space programs I cannot figure out!

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:17 AM

7. There is also a religious element to it too

Something about the firmament being in the scriptures and other stuff I didn't pay much attention to.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:20 AM

8. Religion

These are half conspiracy nuts who want to believe in something exciting. But there’s a biblical element too. Those who take the Bible literally think the earth is flat because of bible passages, specifically one that talks about a tree that is visible from every corner of the earth.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:09 AM

24. So they don't believe in mountains either?

I live in a flat state, and even if I had the eyes of an eagle, I couldn't see through the Rocky Mountains to a tree in California.

It's actually a learning disability, fundamentalism, isn't it!

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:20 AM

9. Currently

40% of the American public believes someone who has been proven wrong over and over again.

To give some perspective.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:22 AM

10. I think a good portion of them do it for fun...

...to get a rise out of the establishment. It has been going on for years, but is much easier and more effective in a world captivated by social media.

I would expect that if it came down to putting real money down on the table, 99% of them, as well as the Apollo deniers, the 9/11 deniers, etc, would side with the establishment view.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:40 AM

20. I suspect the same.

Internet trolls are often “real life” trolls too.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2014/feb/25/internet-trolls-are-also-real-life-trolls

Scores on the Dark Tetrad personality test revealed that trolls are, by far, more likely to have narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic personality traits.


It’s like “revenge of the dummies” in some cases, surely including people who struggled in school.

After Trump won the electoral college, and this site was down, what struck me the most about his supporters in other online forums was that liberals got “powned” or whatever. There was virtually no excitement about Trump himself, but rather laughter over the “liberals crying” about it. Very trollish comments.

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Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:03 AM

22. Yeah, I've grown tired of "modern" political discourse

on social media, cable news, etc, and why over time I'm dropping out.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 03:41 PM

35. That's exactly it

They have fun with it because they know it irritates other people.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:22 AM

11. mostly to be contrarians as they think it makes them "special"

 

and it does for all the wrong reasons

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:23 AM

12. Stupidity doesn't have to have a motive.

Maybe they're just stupid, and too stupid to know they're stupid.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:24 AM

13. They have a tendency to be in one of three groups...

And this applies to just about any conspiracy theory.
Including the ones believed by posters here on DU.

Sometimes people are combinations of the three, and sometimes all three!

First one, those who are certifiably nuts.
Crazy.
"The voices in my head told me the Earth is flat!"

Second, somewhat larger group, those who have their "agenda."
"Only evil people and the Devil say the Earth is round!"
"The BIG CONSPIRACY behind everything is putting out lies!"

Third is the biggest group.
Those in it for money.
Oh yeah!
"I need your donations to continue to preach THE TRUTH!"

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:25 AM

14. Erode faith in science

Their motivations are evil. And whoever paying them to parrot this idiocy is evil, too.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:31 AM

16. Curiously, their motivation is like everyone's motivation

It is the human-condition over wanting to know and the desire for expertise. The 'look at me mommy' mentality of the child continues in the ego of adults.

Those who are knowledgeable of stats, the sports experts, the fly-tying fishers, art historians, theologians, scientists, artists, actors and all manifest this human need.

Everyone wants to be lord (over, of or only). Those* who are most free to be comfortable with "I don't know" are less bound by their desires than are those inflexible folk of faux-facts and 'only we are the chosen' kookiness.

Philosophers and crack pots, too, are so motivated.
The answer to the "how stupid do you have to be to question" is in the presence or absence of valid means of knowledge.

"How do you know that you know?" is the question to be asked.
Valid expertise, scientific method, peer review, personal experience, the five senses, logic and teachers of truth all trump "I heard it on the innertubes".

*They are boundless!
Ignorance can end, Knowledge is forever, The Known is negatable, The Knower is not.

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Response to sanatanadharma (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 09:45 AM

21. I don't think so.

My motivation is definitely not the same as theirs. Mine is to let facts take me to conclusions, theirs is to let conclusions determine their facts.

edited: I realize that I didn't just exactly describe a "motivation" but consequential methods.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:34 AM

25. They're not much different than Young Earth Creationists, actually.

The Earth and the entire Universe were created about 6,000 years ago, and everything was just like it is today. No evolution. No changes. No nothing. God made everything in one swell foop, and it is as it was. They believe that to be God-revealed truth.

Of course, that's nonsense, and all evidence points to a universe that is about 14 BILLION years old and that is still changing and expanding.

But, people still believe in the Genesis story of creation. They actually do.

Flat Earthers are mostly just pranking people. They know it's not true, but take pleasure in finding people who actually believe their nonsense. it's more a social prank than anything else.

Biblical Truthers, on the other hand, actually believe their nonsense, and some of them will kill you for their belief if they want to.

Which group is worse, the pranksters or the Bible fundamentalists? I think I know.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:35 AM

26. Erode faith in science

Their motivations are evil. And whoever paying them to parrot this idiocy is evil, too.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:36 AM

27. They finally found out that 2+2 does NOT equal 5, and they need a new cause?

Just speculating............

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:43 AM

28. It's about being contrary

for its own sake. Some people are insecure enough that they need the validation they get from other people's reactions to their nutbaggery.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 10:59 AM

30. If there's an actual conspiracy, I'd suspect...

... it’s coming from organizations like iHeartRadio and their equity-firm owners to keep the most gullible in a state of confusion and distrust about nearly everything... except for people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, of course.

“Coast to Coast AM”, another iHeartRadio show, had a call-in show about the flat Earth “theory” recently, after a “Christian researcher” presented his support of the idea during the first half of the show.
https://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2020/01/24

Big money had to generate more GOP voters somewhere.

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Response to Goodheart (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2020, 11:15 AM

32. I think flat earthers should get a free trip to outer space to see for themselves...

the only kicker is that if they discover that the Earth is indeed round, they have to stay in outer space, never to return to Earth.

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