I Believe The Earth Is Flat
I believe the Earth is flat.
Oh, sure, you’re going to laugh at me and tell me the Earth is round. Or, if you’re a bit more careful, that the Earth is an oblate sphere.
But that’s just something you believe because you were taught it in school.
You can’t actually give me any reasons why you believe it. Forget about NASA photographs: everyone knows with modern technologies you can create anything you want. Do you believe Tatooine is real just because you’ve seen Star Wars?
So apart from the fact you were told in school that the Earth is round and you watch SciFi and see people in whizzy space ships zooming off from our planet, what makes you think the Earth is really truly round? What part of your education, whatever it was, provided you with the intellectual tools necessary to prove to me that the Earth isn’t flat?
You see, you merely have beliefs, just like I do. For every one of your arguments like, “what would happen at the edges of the oceans?” I have an answer (“the great ice barrier keeps the oceans from spilling over the edges”).
Remember: almost everything everyone has believed throughout human history has been totally wrong. So what makes you think your beliefs are any different?
You believe you should take the medicines your doctor prescribes, even though personally you don’t know anything about biochemistry, pharmacology, or even negative drug-drug interactions.
You believe what the news organizations tell you because it’s the easiest thing to do. And you believe whatever your preferred political Party tells you because it’s the easiest thing to do. But you never go and look at the raw data and think about what it may really be telling you. In fact you probably don’t know enough about basic statistics to be capable of analyzing even a very simple data set.
Thanks to Disney you believe in “love” because it’s the easiest thing to do. But you’ve never considered the implications of evolutionary psychology — if you’ve even heard of it, which I doubt.
And if you’re like most other people you believe in one or more invisible magic pixies that you think made everything and runs the universe according to some ineffable plan. Which, frankly, is hilarious.
In the end, you can’t actually provide solid reasons with supporting evidence for any of your core beliefs. At best you can wave a book or a magazine article. And I can wave different books and different magazine articles right back at you.
So why are you laughing at me when I assert the Earth is flat?
Blind belief in one set of things is no better than blind belief in any other set of things.
Do you know who Eratosthenes of Cyrene was, and why he’s relevant to this discussion? Do you know why in zero gravity water will (in the absence of other forces) form one or more spheres? Do you know enough geometry to explain what’s happening as the ocean horizon dips from view?
I thought not.
So it’s quite unwise of you to assume you’re in the right and I’m in the wrong when you’re actually unable to marshal even a single proper argument to support your position.
Remember — you probably believe in at least one invisible magic pixie. Maybe you call your pixie Jesus or Jehovah or Allah or Buddha or you think you have “chakras” or you think crystals have healing powers or some other nonsense. There is, in truth, an awful lot of nonsense people believe in.
But it’s just empty belief. Which makes it no better than my flat Earth.
Oh sure, you can pretend that just because a majority of people right now happen to believe the Earth is round then that must make it true. But as most people aren’t very bright and not particularly well informed about anything, the beliefs of the majority really isn’t a very convincing argument. After all, most people believed in witches just a few short centuries ago (and many still do). Most people still believe in spirits and ghosts, which is quite hilarious for anyone who’s taken the trouble to actually open a physics textbook and read what lies therein.
So what you and others like you happen to believe is in no way any indicator of probable verity. One could very easily argue in fact that if most people believe something then a reasonable person ought to be very cautious indeed about accepting such belief on an a priori basis.
So tell me again, please, why do you think I’m silly for believing the Earth to be flat?