The Instigator
somerandomvideocreator
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
sometimes_smart
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Earth is flat.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
somerandomvideocreator
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 380 times Debate No: 105690
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

somerandomvideocreator

Con

I'll just let my opponent begin.
sometimes_smart

Pro

It is common reaction to label people who believe in a flat Earth as crazy or irrational; howevee, here I will argue that they are justified because it is a properly basic belief. In other words, a person's direct experience with something is sufficient to justify belief in that thing. In addition, it is obvious that every person can observe and experience a degree of flatness with the world every single day; and, as a result, every person can have a properly basic belief about the flatness of Earth. It is then simply arrogant to present scientific arguments to counter a belief which is justified in this way.

Thankyou
Debate Round No. 1
somerandomvideocreator

Con

I think that the argument that you are making is that from our perspective, the Earth appears flat; however, if you zoom in on a sphere close enough, it looks flat.

As an example, graph x^2+y^2=1 and have the x-axis go from 0.69 to 0.695 and the y-axis go from 0.72 to 0.725. It appears like a line, however, if you zoom out, it is clear that it is a circle.
sometimes_smart

Pro

Sure, but people do not live life in a zoomed out state; they naturally view it at a state where it appears flat. As a result, a person is justified to believe that is flat, because they experience it as flat. If they naturally experienced Earth in a zoomed out state, then it would not be justified; but, this is not what happens in reality.
Debate Round No. 2
somerandomvideocreator

Con

I'm talking about the shape of the entire Earth, not a section. There are people who believe that the entire Earth is flat, despite pictures of the Earth showing it as round as a globe.

You have yet to explain why Earth is a pancake not a globe.
sometimes_smart

Pro

Let me outline for you exactly what has been said.

Response 1:

I began the debate by claiming that belief in a flat Earth is rational, as it is a properly basic belief. In other words, since people directly encounter a degree of flatness every day, the experience alone justifies belief. I began this way for two reasons. First, it establishes that belief in a flat Earth is rational, however, it also demonstrates that a belief can be held even when it is scrutinized for potentially lacking evidence.

Counter 1:

Now, your first response was to claim that people do not observe a flat earth; since, if you were to zoom out, the Earth look like a sphere. However (whether true or not), this fails to discredit my claim since people do not observe the Earth in a zoomed out state; rather, when they do observe the Earth, it is up close and apparently flat. As a result, you fail to disprove the properly basic belief, and it remains rational.

Response 2:

My second response did not introduce any new arguments, it simply pointed out the flawed thinking behind your first response.

Counter 2:

Your second response is a misrepresentation of my claim quite frankly. You imply that I have gotten off topic, and then go further to say that I have not explained why the Earth is a pancake. Please let me remind you, that the only thing I have claimed so far is that belief in a flat Earth is rational, and is justified since it is a properly basic belief. That is what I claimed in my opening statement, and that is all I have argued for at this point. And quite frankly, both your contentions have done a poor job of disproving this claim.



The bottom line is that you have done a sloppy job of debunking my argument for a properly basic belief to justify rational belief; and, have failed to present an argument of your own why such a belief might be irrational. The only thing you have done is use random hypotheticals which do not apply to the discussion. At least to me, this looks like a weak approach, and it demonstrates how vacuous your arguments really are.
Debate Round No. 3
somerandomvideocreator

Con

https://www.theguardian.com...
For instance, what"s the tallest supposed mountain on Earth? Everest. Except it isn"t. The name is a giveaway; it"s clearly a morphing of "never rest", because if you wanted to go to the biggest mountain you"d literally never rest, because it isn"t actually there. What about all those people who have climbed it, you say? Well, consider all the people who have died supposedly doing so. How do you die climbing something that isn"t there? You can"t. They were obviously killed to protect the conspiracy, whereas those who "survived" were willing to play ball.

And if that isn"t clear enough, pretty much everyone who attempts to climb Everest takes oxygen with them. Why would you do that when there"s oxygen all around us, in the air? Wherever they"re going, it isn"t on Earth. You know where you do need oxygen, though? THE MOON! That"s where they"re going. So-called mountaineers are being sent to the moon in order to fake climbing Everest. This is why Nasa had to fake the moon landing with astronauts, because it was already full of mountaineers and they couldn"t risk exposing that conspiracy. See how it all adds up?



I will assume that we can both agree that this quote is ridiculous. Not only does it say that Mount Everest is fake, it says that NASA faked the moon landings as well, by saying that there is no need for oxygen on Mount Everest because there is oxygen all around us.

I think you are saying that believing that the Earth is flat is a rational belief because it appears flat from our perspective. However, then, many conspiracy theories are rational. For instance, many people might go through life without looking at an atom because they are really really small. However, if somebody said that atoms do not exist... they would never be able to enter a scientific community. Same for viruses, even though viruses are considerably bigger.

The point is that just because we can never see something does not mean it is rational to not believe in it. We can never see air, but if I said that air is a lie, that would be an irrational belief because even though we can't see air, there is evidence that it is there.

Using the same logic, yes, many people might not ever in their lifetime zoom out enough to see with their own eyes that Earth is round. However, there is scientific evidence to support it, just as there is scientific evidence for viruses and atoms.
sometimes_smart

Pro

Suppose that you encounter a society of people who have never encountered the modern world. Lets say that they are extremely undeveloped, and as a result, they do not believe in atoms. Now lets say that a journalist visits said tribe, and tells them that atoms make up everything. Maybe he gives them evidence, and shows them a couple pictures. Obviously, they would not immediatley accept everything he says, but that does not mean that their belief in the non-existence of atoms is not justified or irrational. After all, they have no direct experience with this phenonmenon, so why would they believe what this man says, even with all the evidence he brings. You clearly would not label them as irrational people; after all, they only are discrediting the journalists statements because they have not experienced the things he is talking about. He might show them a picture of an atom, but they were not the ones that took it, so why should they believe it. In the same way, why should you jam a picture of the Earth down the throat of someone who thinks it is flat? They clearly did not take it. Why should they believe it? From their point of view, the looks extremely flat, and just because they have no experience with a round Earth is no reason to call them irrational.

My claim is not that since the Earth looks flat it is flat. It is that since you can experience a flat Earth, it is reasonable to think it is flat. Now, you made the assertion that this line of thinking can be used to justify absurdities, such as conspiracy theories. I disagree. A belief is properly basic if the person has direct experience with something; this, is what justifies the belief. Let me illustrate this. A popular conspiracy theory is that tupac is really alive. Now, in order for this belief to be properly basic, is for a person to experience tupac after he alledgedly died. Since they experience his presence, they are justified in believing that he is actually alive. It is not a matter of perspective or opinion, it is a matter of experience. I experience external reality, so I can reasonably believe it exists. I experience the warmth of the sun, so I can reasonably believe it exists. I experience the flatness of Earth, so I can reasonably believe it exists.

If you are going to claim that this line of reasoning can justify absurd thinking, then you are going to have to give me some sound examples. But until you do, my belief is still rational and reasonable.
Debate Round No. 4
somerandomvideocreator

Con

My claim is that saying that if you don't experience it, believing it is rational, opens the door to any conspiracy theory you want.

https://www.truthcontrol.com...

The thing is, most conspiracy theories can be justified using that line of reasoning.

For example, suppose I said the Earth is hollow, not made of molten rock because I never dug to the center of the Earth.

I could also say the moon landing was faked because I never personally went to the Moon and saw Neil Armstrong.
sometimes_smart

Pro


Yes, but that is not my claim. All you have done here is created a straw man to knock down. In my opening statement, I said that I would defend the conclusion that belief in a flat Earth is rational since it is a properly basic belief; but, a properly basic belief, by definition, requires experience. On the other hand, you said "My claim is that saying that if you don't experience it, believing it is rational, opens the door to any conspiracy theory you want".

Here is why this is not going to fly:


1. "
My claim"

You could not be more right. This is your claim, and quite frankly, I agree 100% with this. However, this is not the claim which I made in my opening statement, and is not the claim which you are tasked with countering. It is a mere straw man.


2. "
IF you don't experience t, then believing it is rational justifies conspiracy theories"

I agree 100% with this claim; unfortunately, it is not the same claim I am defending here. I am merely arguing that if you experience something, you can rationally believe it exists. It then does not follow however, that if there is an absence of experience, then you are still justified in your belief. What you have done here, is replace the premise of my argument, but keep the conclusion, but unfortunately the conclusion does not follow from such a premise. This is fallacious.


3. "For example, suppose I said the Earth is hollow, not made of molten rock because I never dug to the center of the Earth."
"I could also say the moon landing was faked because I never personally went to the Moon and saw Neil Armstrong."

Now you have taken the
misrepresentation of my argument, and sneakily used it to justify conspiracy theories. Remember your claim is not what we are debating here. The only thing you accomplish here is debunking your own claim. But now let me demonstrate why my claim cannot be used in the same way:

a.
"Earth is hollow"

In order for this belief to be rational by a properly basic belief, an individual would have to have direct experience with the subject of belief. In other words, they would have to encounter the hollowness of the Earth. Such encounters might resemble digging past the outer layer, or coming across a crevasse which allows you to see into the Earth's depths. On the other hand, if you do not have direct experience, then the belief is not properly basic, and you have to justify in some other way. So when you say "Without experience, the proclamation that it is rational justifies absurdities", you are not refuting a properly basic belief; and, you will find that a properly basic belief is not an excuse for a person to believe whatever he/she like.

b.
"Moon landing"

I will keep this one brief, since I explained most of the faulty reasoning you employed above. If a person believes the moon landing was fake, in order for that belief to be properly basic, they would have to have direct experience with the subject. For instance, they may may have scene Niel at a bar shortly after the video aired; or, might have chanced on a fallaciousmoon landing takes. But if no such experience exist, then the belief is not properly basic.

Conclusion:

In my opening statement, I offered that if a person believes that the Earth is flat, their thinking is rational, as it is a properly basic belief. In a properly basic belief, the belief is reasonable if the person has direct
experience with the subject of belief. I argued that this is true for flat Earth supporters, since they directly experience flatness every day. Of course my opponent was eager to claim that they are not experiencing a flat Earth but rather a round Earth that looks flat; Unfortunately, all this does is offer a different perspective into the mix. I would agree, that if a person lived life in a zoomed out state which revealed to him that the Earth was actually round, then he would be justified in believing it was so. However, that is not a state in which people view the world, and as a result it does not debunk my theory, but merely offers it another scenario for which my theory would work.

It is
important to note however, that regardless of whether or not either is true, the flat Earth believer still cannot be deemed irrational. The believer in a flat Earth bases his belief on observation and experience, which is a rational way to warrant a belief. In the end, my opponents first contention does not disprove my claim, but rather offers up a second example of how it operates.

In the same way, my opponents second contention also fails to invalidate my claim. He declares that since someone somewhere somehow got a picture of the Earth, that any person who believes anything contrary to the picture is irrational. All this does is insert someone
else's experience into another persons belief; however, this does not in any way deflate the properly basic belief claim. The properly basic claim is valid here only if the individual has personal experience; it will not be properly basic if he/she justifies their belief on another's experience. My opponent reverses this. He/she says that since Person B experiences a round Earth, then Person A is irrational if he does not accept the testimony of Person B. This is merely another way of stating that one persons personal experience with something makes another persons belief irrational. This is not going to fly. If personal experience with a subject justifies a conclusion about said subject, then it is arrogant for one person with different experience about the matter to credit the other with foolish thinking. Yet this is all my opponent does with his second contention, and as a result, he fails once again to debunk my claim.

My opponents third and fourth contentions are intertwined, and I believe I have done a
sufficient job of exposing the faulty reasoning behind them in the opening section of this response. So I will direct anyone who wants to revisit them to the above part of this section.

For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that I have done an excellent job of defending the claim I made in my
opening statement. I have dismantled each contention my opponent brought against me, and have clarified my claim to him each time. However, in the end, my opponent summed up his entire case with a straw-man! I think it is clear that my argument for a properly basic belief is sound, and that my opponent was literally grasping at straws. I hope anyone who votes, does so with an open mind and puts their presuppositions aside. The point I wanted to make was that belief in a flat Earth is in fact rational, and I believe I have done that adequately.

Thankyou



References:


https://plato.stanford.edu... This has a lot of good information about experience.

https://plato.stanford.edu... This is an excellent source for what justifies something.

http://www.iep.utm.edu... This source has some good explanations for properly basic beliefs. I would recomend reading it as a whole, but you may want to speed ahead to the section "Classical Foundationalism" which talks a little about it. (It is focused on a the debate of God's existence, but does have some good information).
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by KostasT.1526 7 months ago
KostasT.1526
For Schr"dinger's sake, Pro, the contender cannot make a claim different than the opposite one of the instigator's. You cannot argue for "the belief the Earth is flat is rational" when the debate topic is "the Earth is flat".
Posted by Smiggles 7 months ago
Smiggles
If the Earth was flat then explain satellites, flat Earthers claim satellites don't exist, but explain satellite phones if satellites aren't real.
Posted by SirNoodles518 7 months ago
SirNoodles518
@nobleislandnbag actually it's a triangle
Posted by nobleislandbag 7 months ago
nobleislandbag
The Earth is a cube.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by KostasT.1526 7 months ago
KostasT.1526
somerandomvideocreatorsometimes_smartTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro got totally off-topic. The debate title was "the Earth is flat", and yet they argued for the claim "the belief the Earth is flat is rational". Despite them doing a good job defending that thesis, the contender is not allowed to change the debate's subject with a different claim, as that is solely up to the instigator. Con debunked their opponent's point (which was posted with the intent to argue concerning the aforementioned claim of Pro) by mentioning that is simply a matter of perspective and not objective evidence, as no reference frame can be deemed absolute. Con also argued that there are pictures of the Earth being spherical, which Pro did not address properly. Hence, Con wins the arguments points with their one argument, due to Pro's lack if arguments in the topic.
Vote Placed by Throwback 7 months ago
Throwback
somerandomvideocreatorsometimes_smartTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Although Pro made good arguments for the subjective, inaccurate belief the earth is flat, he failed to argue against Con's position on the subject of the debate, i.e. failed to argue the earth is flat. Con did argue on point, arguing the earth is not flat, and was not answered on topic, other than Pro's stipulation to the accuracy of Con's position. Had the debate been regarding whether it is reasonable to think the earth is flat, Pro's argument would have carried the decision.