Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

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Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:07 am

Here is something I just found.

Sorry the quote is in full, because otherwise the point may be lost;
In the 21st Century, the term "flat-earther" is used to describe someone who is spectacularly - and seemingly wilfully - ignorant. But there is a group of people who claim they believe the planet really is flat. Are they really out there or is it all an elaborate prank?
Nasa is celebrating its 50th birthday with much fanfare and pictures of past glories. But in half a century of extraordinary images of space, one stands out.
On 24 December 1968, the crew of the Apollo 8 mission took a photo now known as Earthrise. To many, this beautiful blue sphere viewed from the moon's orbit is a perfect visual summary of why it is right to strive to go into space.
Not to everybody though. There are people who say they think this image is fake - part of a worldwide conspiracy by space agencies, governments and scientists.
Welcome to the world of the flat-earther.
Our attitude towards those who once upon a time believed in the flatness of the earth is apparent in a new Microsoft advert.
Depicting an olden-days ship sailing on rough seas, presumably heading towards the "edge of the world", the advert is part of a $300m campaign aimed at rescuing the reputation of Windows Vista by comparing its critics to flat-earthers.
Satellite era
But are there any genuine flat-earthers left? Surely in our era of space exploration - where satellites take photos of our blue and clearly globular planet from space, and robots send back info about soil and water from Mars - no one can seriously still believe that the Earth is flat?
Wrong.
Flat earth theory is still around. On the internet and in small meeting rooms in Britain and the US, flat earth believers get together to challenge the "conspiracy" that the Earth is round.
"People are definitely prejudiced against flat-earthers," says John Davis, a flat earth theorist based in Tennessee, reacting to the new Microsoft commercial.
"Many use the term 'flat-earther' as a term of abuse, and with connotations that imply blind faith, ignorance or even anti-intellectualism."
Mr Davis, a 25-year-old computer scientist originally from Canada, first became interested in flat earth theory after "coming across some literature from the Flat Earth Society a few years ago".
"I came to realise how much we take at face value," he says. "We humans seem to be pleased with just accepting what we are told, no matter how much it goes against our senses."
Mr Davis now believes "the Earth is flat and horizontally infinite - it stretches horizontally forever".
"And it is at least 9,000 kilometres deep", he adds.
James McIntyre, a British-based moderator of a Flat Earth Society discussion website, has a slightly different take. "The Earth is, more or less, a disc," he states. "Obviously it isn't perfectly flat thanks to geological phenomena like hills and valleys. It is around 24,900 miles in diameter."
Mr McIntyre, who describes himself as having been "raised a globularist in the British state school system", says the reactions of his friends and family to his new beliefs vary from "sheer incredulity to the conviction that it's all just an elaborate joke".
So how many flat-earthers are around today? Neither Mr Davis nor Mr McIntyre can say.
Disappearing ships
Mr McIntyre estimates "there are thousands", but "without a platform for communication, a head-count is almost impossible", he says. Mr Davis says he is currently creating an "online information repository" to help to bring together local Flat Earth communities into a "global community".
"If you will forgive my use of the term 'global'", he says.
And for the casual observer, it is hard to accept that all of this is not some bizarre 21st Century jape. After all, most schoolchildren know that ships can disappear over the horizon, that satellites orbit the earth and that if you head along the equator you will eventually come back on yourself.
What about all the photos from space that show, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Earth is round? "The space agencies of the world are involved in an international conspiracy to dupe the public for vast profit," says Mr McIntyre.
John Davis also says "these photos are fake".
And what about the fact that no one has ever fallen off the edge of our supposedly disc-shaped world?
Mr McIntyre laughs. "This is perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions," he says. "A cursory examination of a flat earth map fairly well explains the reason - the North Pole is central, and Antarctica comprises the entire circumference of the Earth. Circumnavigation is a case of travelling in a very broad circle across the surface of the Earth."
Ultimate conspiracy
Mr Davis says that being a flat-earther doesn't have an impact on how one lives every day. "As a rule of thumb, we don't have any fears of aircraft or other modes of transportation," he says.
Christine Garwood, author of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, is not surprised that flat-earthers simply write off the evidence that our planet is globular.
"Flat earth theory is one of the ultimate conspiracy theories," she says.
"Naturally, flat earth believers think that the moon landings were faked, as were the photographs of earth from space."
Perhaps one of the most surprising things in Garwood's book is her revelation that flat earth theory is a relatively modern phenomenon.
Ms Garwood says it is an "historic fallacy" that everyone from ancient times to the Dark Ages believed the earth to be flat, and were only disabused of this "mad idea" once Christopher Columbus successfully sailed to America without "falling off the edge of the world".
In fact, people have known since at least the 4th century BC that the earth is round, and the pseudo-scientific conviction that we actually live on a disc didn't emerge until Victorian times.
Theories about the earth being flat really came to the fore in 19th Century England. With the rise and rise of scientific rationalism, which seemed to undermine Biblical authority, some Christian thinkers decided to launch an attack on established science.
Samuel Birley Rowbotham (1816-1884) assumed the pseudonym of "Parallax" and founded a new school of "Zetetic astronomy". He toured England arguing that the Earth was a stationary disc and the Sun was only 400 miles away.
In the 1870s, Christian polemicist John Hampden wrote numerous works about the Earth being flat, and described Isaac Newton as "in liquor or insane".
And the spirit of these attacks lives on to the present day. The flat-earth myth remains the outlandish king in the realm of the conspiracy theorist.
And while we all respect a degree of scepticism towards the authorities, says Ms Garwood, the flat-earthers show things can go too far.
"It is always good to question 'how we know what we know', but it is also good to have the ability to accept compelling evidence - such as the photographs of Earth from space."

Send us your comments using the form below.
The closest geometric shape to describe the earth has got to be an oblate spheroid. Which roughly means a slightly flattened round thing. So the earth is both flat and round.
Nick L, Cirencester, UK
It's interesting actually, this isn't the first time I've heard of a conspiracy like this. It is of course scientifically impossible. How does a flat object manage to be dark and light at the same time? Its impossible surely. If you take a CD, try and make the same side both hot and cold, dark and light and all points in between. It can't be done, try and do the same to a ball and suddenly it is possible. Next they will be telling us that the sun circles earth.
Mike Nash, Birmingham, England
How do "flat-earthers" explain lunar eclipses?
Erin Walsh, Newtownards, Northern Ireland
There are two points to be made here. First, the modern flat earth society has not always insisted that the photographs from space were fakes. In the 1950s, after membership had dropped by two-thirds when the first pictures from the satellites were published, the die-hards came back with a hypothesis that the aerial view of the earth had been distorted by 'invisible and undetectable bodies' which refracted the light in such a way that it appeared spherical. It was only with the moon landings that they added the conspiracy theory that this had all taken place in the Nevada desert.
The second and more important point is that this article misrepresents the history of the theory, rejecting one extreme - the idea that everyone until Columbus believed the earth to be flat, which is patent nonsense; to replace it with an equally implausible extreme, the idea that virtually the whole of western Christendom was perfectly well aware that the earth was a sphere, with exceptions such as the atypical 'cranks' like Lactantius and Cosmas of Alexandria. It simply is not true that there were no flat earth beliefs among the educated classes, and certainly not true that it was all but dead by the Middle Ages.
Mark Tebbit, Reading
If the earth was flat as suggested by these "theorists", a plane flying from Santiago (Chile) to Sydney (Australia) would have to cross Mexico and California before reaching its destination. Having spent many hours on that route, I can assure the world that it doesn't. The world is not a flat disc. Period.
Alex Williams, London
The flat-earth theory of the planet being a disc can be proven false quite easily. Simply get a satellite photo of the South Pole showing Antarctica as one landmass surrounded by water.
Oh wait, they don't trust satellite photos. But they do trust aircraft. The reason planes fly routes in arcs is because this is the shortest and most efficient route on a curved sphere. Simply show that the distance/fuel consumption between two points in the Northern Hemisphere is roughly the same as between two points in the Southern Hemisphere.
For example, the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town is 3775 miles, and the distance from New York to London is 3470 miles. If the disc theory was correct, it would be something like 4x as far between the Southern Hemisphere cities, since you'd have to traverse the two points further from the center of the disc (ie the North Pole). Mr Davis can even fly the plane if he wants!
But, I forgot, logic has already failed these people. Why should this be any different?
Matt, NYC, US
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7540427.stm

Now what I find interesting, and disturbing, here is the people posting on the subject.

There is an almost palpable desperation to prove the flat earthers wrong. Even the BBC themselves, are doing it here..

As if their very existence threatens the posters, AND the journalists, "roundedness".

Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Is it just me, or does any one else find it disturbing that so many people out there are so "middle ages" that they have to prove, NOT to the flat earthers" that the theory is false, but themselves? As is OBVIOUSLY the case here.

AND, what does it mean for US, if so many people out there are so insecure in BASIC science, such as a round earth, let alone "Occult practices"?

The article is not, to me, one of "lets laugh at the nutter", it is one of desperatley clutching at the last straws of a faith that has been damaged, or lost. :-?

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Paganlight » Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:26 am

I agree in some way, Ragnar. But some people have totally lost the plot. You may be interested in my last post in this section, which I just posted before spotting this thread, which is in a similar vein. I discovered a website which claims the earth does note rotate around the sun, but the sun rotates around the earth. This sort of thinking is backward, taking us back to the middle-ages, if not further. It's a difficult situation, because although while part of me wants to accept their beliefs and let them get on with it and agrees with you entirely, another part of me wants to whack them against a wall, point at the evidence and knock some sense into them. I suppose it's just because there's so much evidence that disproves their theories. And to me, it's only through forward thinking that we'll come to understand and accept each other's point of views. And to me, this is very much backward thinking.
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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Bandersnatch » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:56 pm

While I see the point you’re trying to make, I think it is not quite the same thing. We need to differentiate between faith vs conspiracy theory. What has people so riled is that these people are sticking to their beliefs despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.

Faith in a deity or religious path doesn’t usually have any scientific backing one way or the other – at least by society’s definition of evidence.

On the other hand there does seem to be a real lack of respect for these people. And to that point I agree with you whole heartedly.

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:01 am

The trouble is, that people with such idiotic STONE AGE, let alone MIDDLE age, beliefs are getting into political power.

And I do not mean, particularly the "flat earthers", although Bush is a "creationist" I believe, which amounts to the same. But the people that have so little faith in the belief in science, that they feel the need to go hysterical when some one challenges that belief.

It is EXACTLY the reaction we get from fundies. Their faith is so weak, they must destroy anything which threatens it. When THEY get political power, then we are ALL in the mire.

It is NOT the flat earthers that worry me, it is the deniers that TERRIFY me. And the fact that virtually by monthly incriments, the amount of people willing to question other peoples ideas in a way that WAS reserved for the worst of fire and brimstone preachers before now.

The Proles are getting MUCH too easy to "fire up". It reminds me more and more of a Transylvanian village, where a stranger comes to town, and all of a sudden is leading a howling mob of previously placid locals up to the castle.

And think. If it is this easy to shake the proles belief in something SO...ahem fundemental (Sorry #-o ) as "The Earth is round", how easy it would be for some idiot preacher to bring in another inquisition.

And the article is a perfect example of that, which is what I have been trying to say here for ages, but never had specific examples to show before.

And as to the burning desire to kick idiots heads in for being so stupid, I know what you mean. But SOME things are SO stupid you just let them slip by. OTHERWISE there would be no child left in the world, as they would have all been beaten to a pulp for being so utterly THICK. NOW the Proles are loosing that control.

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:52 am

You make a very valid point. Although I don't believe in the "Flat-Earther" theories, you have made me step back and take a good look at our reaction to something as this. How easy it is to get riled up with everyone! If the theories were presented in the right way to myself, I can see how I could get carried away with condemnation. What is it that makes us so quick to use a scapegoat? You're exactly right about the insecurities. It threatens our very survival (well, the image we have of our identities, and its survival). Are any of us excluded from this? Even bring the word Fundie to a group, and immediately most of us are up in arms. At this stage of the game, it feels natural to have an enemy, because when we have our enemy, we can fiercely defend our very existence, which verifies to us that we do exist.

But then when we let those theories into our politics, will that not lead to limitations we should be fighting, such as in the Pill = Abortion thread? Is this just an ego-based reaction? On some level, yes. Should we be fighting? Should we be meeting this in an entirely new manner?

I'm going to be closely observing how I react to ideas such as this over the next little while. Thank you for the food for thought, Ragnar.
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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:04 am

Crazy Healer Lady wrote: Are any of us excluded from this? Even bring the word Fundie to a group, and immediately most of us are up in arms.
Those riling against the "flat earthers" are wetting themselves for a VERY different reason, becaue the "flat earthers" are no THREAT. So why the desperate rush to dissprove them? ESPECIALLY as none of them are writting in incredulity. They are SERIOUSLY trying to prove the science, as if that very science is under threat.

(Which in the case of "creationism" it IS). There is a difference.

We are not up in arms, and trying desperately to disprove the fundies....well...only among ourselves :lol: , but more at the fundies for trying to push their views onto us, and trying to make the whole of humanity conform.

Some of that DOES involve disproving their "beliefs". Those beliefs that directly affect US. If we are fighting the teaching of "creationism" as science, then we must be ready to disprove creationism, because THAT effects the whole of SOCIETY, and the basic principals of science.

WE are, in effect, justified.

Hmm. Thinking on my feet here.

Treat my ideas as a newly sprouted Pak that needs to be looked after and natured. :roll: :-D

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Kitsune » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:26 am

People like feeling as though they have control... since they feel they have none in their own lives, they must enforce that control on people who don't think the same as them.

And through the glories of modern technology they are now able to enforce that control, which is simply an ego boost for themselves, on those others, without even the fear of true retribution now.

Perhaps it's simply because of the turning of the wheel. We all know that a change in consciousness is coming. Even in ourselves who believe that we know what's coming, don't truly understand it.

I think that even we will be led to question and therefore begin to violently defend our beliefs in a similar way, unless we specifically keep in mind what we are doing. Even for us it's easier to take the smooth road rather than one that is difficult, especially if we don't understand that we have just made a choice.

Thoughts on the idea, everyone?
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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Bandersnatch » Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:03 am

I hate to say this but 1500 years ago the Christians were likely having this conversation about pagans. For as long as we have been ‘civilized’ the ‘powerful’ have bullied the people who fail to conform. Same song - different lyrics…

I believe we are on the cusp of a major world change and with change invariable comes violence. We will very likely have to fight, not just the fundies but many political and religious groups to defend our beliefs and fundamental freedoms. When things get tough people can easily be motivated to the ‘mob mentality’ and get carried by a wave of insanity that may not be reflective of their personal morality. It’s a rare person who can stand against the mob and probably not really a good idea anyway.

I agree Ragnar, there are some pretty scary groups out there bent on making us all conform and if we don’t, the next step is a very frightening one. We do need to educate people because if we don’t someone else will and not with the truth but with their poisonous version of the truth. People in Africa are being killed and tortured right now because someone accused them of ‘witchcraft’. These people are not pagans but scapegoats who are being victimized because the political/social system is breaking down.

It not just pagans who need to worry but anyone who values their personal freedom. The fight is coming and we must all be ready to stand as a group to fight for everyone’s basic rights.

Oops, somehow that soapbox ended up at my door. :!: Well I guess thats my words of wisdom for the week. Look what you started Ragnar, you've got me all riled up.

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:35 pm

See, I'm not so sure a fight IS coming. Perhaps it just does not directly involve me, and that is why I can't see it. I do see a train of other not so pleasant things about to happen, but logically, what I am seeing will bring people together rather than apart. Then again, who knows. All I see are images, and not the whole picture.
Ragnar wrote:Those riling against the "flat earthers" are wetting themselves for a VERY different reason, becaue the "flat earthers" are no THREAT. So why the desperate rush to dissprove them? ESPECIALLY as none of them are writting in incredulity. They are SERIOUSLY trying to prove the science, as if that very science is under threat.
Good point, and there is a difference. However, I can see how Flat-Earth logic could be seen as a threat, much the same way as Creationism in the USA is threatening young minds by those who do not want Evolution taught in schools. At this stage Flat-Earth Theory is harmless, but I can see how others would see this as a threat. Perhaps if we put effort into the equality and fairness and love for one's fellow human beings, that would be a good start, rather than looking for the imagined wolf at our door.
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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:41 am

Crazy Healer Lady wrote:At this stage Flat-Earth Theory is harmless, but I can see how others would see this as a threat.
The point is, WHY do they see this as a threat, but not those people that get all dressed up as clingons, and even learn the language?

It is just as laughable, yet the flat earthers here, provoke a response similar to Falun Gong produces among the Chinese "ruling classes".

"I am safe in my fantasies, but my faith is weak"?

The same goes for the response to "conspiracy theorists". Ten. twenty years ago, they would be LAUGHED into silence. NOW there is whole Government departments dedicated to combating them.

People in ALL walks of life have lost their security. It is as if a safety blanket has been pulled off them, and now EVERYTHING is a severe and imminant threat to their once deeply held beliefs.

What IS it that has weakened society to this point?
Bandersnatch wrote: Oops, somehow that soapbox ended up at my door. :!: Well I guess thats my words of wisdom for the week. Look what you started Ragnar, you've got me all riled up.
At LAST I have found SOMETHING to liven the place up. :badgrin: :badgrin: :lol:

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:52 am

I see your view now

What do you feel has made them react this way? Why are conspirists hunted now as opposed to ten years ago? Perhaps the fear pandemic that Bush has perpetuated? I'd lay my vote on that one, but I would love to hear other reasons that I am not aware of.
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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:12 am

Crazy Healer Lady wrote:I see your view now

What do you feel has made them react this way? Why are conspirists hunted now as opposed to ten years ago?
I was not around the net then, but may be that has somez´thing to do with it?

Maybe they were always there, but now have a perfect platform.

WHICH leads to the all READY insecure feeling more threatened in the same way that our more rabid newspapers play on the "we have never had so many immigrants before" headlines?

Which has woken up the fundies, whom WE allready KNOW were insecure in the first place.

Think of the many churches, and religious "leaders" that warn us that a move to secularism is causing all the worlds problems.

Noww, the trouble is, MOST of those that have not "gone elsewhere" as many of you here have, are left in a void. After 60 years of this (Taken from the end +- of WWII), they are now "desperately seeking meaniong (And NO it is NOT called "Susan".)

SO, they are already weakened. What little "belief they have left they defend like cornered rats.

Thoughts?

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Re: Is this not a PERFECT example of how fundies treat us?

Post by Ragnar » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:13 am

Ragnar wrote: has somez´thing to do with it?
Oh dear.

I apologize to EVERY body. I appear to have had one of my....."French" moments.

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