CONSPIRACY RATING: 5 (NO TRUTH)
A good conspiracy theorist must, by necessity, delve outside the realm of mainstream thinking to find the answers they are looking for.
This can sometimes feel like falling down a rabbit hole, not quite knowing where you’ll end up. Sometimes, you stand up, dust yourself off, and look around only to realize that the Earth is no longer a sphere, but a flat disc. How did this happen?
Origin of the Flat Earth Conspiracy
The flat Earth conspiracy was first formulated by Dr. Samuel Birley Rowbotham, a 19th century lecturer and writer who tried his best to popularize this notion.
The root of his ideas were based on his literal interpretation of the Bible, though he advanced scientific arguments — what some have deemed pseudo-science — in support of his claims.
Others subsequently formed groups, societies, and, more recently, internet discussion forums, to further spread these ideas.
While there are different interpretations of this theory, all of them essentially argue that the Earth is a flat disc rather than a sphere, and that this truth has long been suppressed by governments and people-in-the-know.
The best means of visualizing it is to look at the United Nations’ world logo, which is a flat circle with the North Pole at its center. Flat-Earthers argue that the truth is being hidden in plain sight.
According to them, there is a giant wall of ice, or a mountain range, at the outer edge of this disc that keeps the oceans from spilling over the flat surface.
Why would the powers-that-be go through all the trouble of lying to us? Mainly, to profit by it, according to advocates of this conspiracy.
Some of them have attacked insiders as covering up this essential truth because it empowers the human mind. More on this later….
Flat-Earthers point to organizations like NASA and anyone “pretending” to engage in space flight as complicit in spreading disinformation about the true shape of the Earth, spending millions of dollars to doctor photos, bribe witnesses, and so forth. They argue that all space missions were faked. All of this to derive profit for a select group.
“‘I Don’t Believe In Science,’ Says Flat-Earther Set To Launch Himself In Own Rocket” — NPR report
It’s interesting to consider that hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, have been invested in the space industry over the past many decades.
How much profit could one really make from lying about the shape of the Earth? More than has been invested thus far? Or is this just a ruse as well, the investment figures having been doctored to support this lie? Is nothing real?
What are we to make of this unconventional theory? After all, humanity has proven that the Earth is a sphere since the times of the ancient Greeks, has it not? Are Elon Musk and his rockets in on it, too? Say it ain’t so, Elon!
We believe that the following video featuring a NASA scientist convincingly makes the point that no one should spend an ounce of their time on the flat Earth conspiracy:
Proponents of the flat Earth theory make exotic and barely credible arguments to counter all of these claims, though the weight of the evidence is overwhelmingly against them. The supposed cover-up and motives for propagating this falsehood are utterly unconvincing as well. The Earth being a sphere seems like an open and shut case.
“The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church.” — Ferdinand Magellan, Portuguese captain and explorer
It would be easy to dismiss flat Earth conspiracy theorists outright. It might even be fun to throw down some ad hominem attacks for good measure, but that wouldn’t be fair.
After all, believers of any conspiracy theory, truly anyone outside the realm of mainstream thinking, have had to deal with this type of attitude from people in one way or another. Let’s not sink to that level.
The flat Earth conspiracy theory seems like a giant waste of time and energy popularized to lull well-meaning people into wasted mental efforts. The countless hours dedicated to this theory by thousands of outside-of-the-box thinkers could be put to much better use. Who benefits from this (cui bono)?
There’s also the very real problem of lies being regularly propagated by the mainstream media. This can lead one to start questioning everything, including the shape of our planet. While we applaud their skepticism, we encourage flat-Earthers to be more discerning in this regard.
Some believers have explained that this conspiracy gives meaning to their lives. They argue that the conventional thinking of Earth being a sphere, a lonely speck of dust in the vastness of the cosmos — one of a trillion trillion planets — makes them feel small and insignificant. A flat disc, unique and separate from every other spherical planet in the universe, is more special, perhaps hinting at some great promise or design for the human race.
Our heart goes out to any flat Earth conspiracy theorist who feels this way. The search for meaning is commendable. Arguably, however, the meaning of your life can be found within, or what you decide to do with it, rather than which cosmological model you ascribe to.
Rather than look for theories to find your meaning, why not dive deep within and see what happens? There are tools, or methods, that one can use in support of this journey. Mystics of every culture have demonstrated as much.
We recommend that people avoid this conspiracy theory entirely, save as a cautionary tale for the need for discernment. Save your strength, time, and energy for theories with more evidence behind them.