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Nomore_lockout's avatar

Can someone tell me, briefly, what is the driving factor behind the resurgence of the Flat Earth movement?

Asked by Nomore_lockout (6765points) 3 months ago
36 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

I say resurgence, because believers in this have always been around. But it seems to have really taken off within the last few years?

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Nomore_lockout's avatar

I mean are people really that stupid, or is it a passing fad?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Always room for biodiversity and natural selection. Stupid people are needed, for the evolution of the human race. Not everyone can have 98–102 I.Q.s some can be lower and some higher. It is natural not to have all of our eggs in one’s basket.

Also I believe that the Flat Earth group are trying to look cool, and all the good subjects are saturated with smart people. Stupid people need love too.

kneesox's avatar

Maybe if you let a little scientific fact in the door, you’re going to be swamped by it. Easier to deny everything, right?

I frankly don’t get how cars and planes and telephones and televisions and computers and pain relievers (not to mention the miracle of modern dentistry and surgery) get to fit in this picture, but luckily I don’t have to figure out how to reconcile that kind of contradiction.

SavoirFaire's avatar


One of the biggest problems facing people in the modern world is loneliness, and it’s a problem that can become all the more frustrating—as well as more difficult to identify—when awash in a sea of unsatisfying social connections. Frustrated people are more prone to superstitious and conspiratorial thinking, which in turn drives them into the arms of communities that foster the bad ideas while soothing the underlying pain. Membership in those communities often causes further ostracism, which just increases their likelihood to believe in conspiracies. And once inside, it can be very difficult to get out (since one has to not only admit they were wrong, but also leave behind all or most of their social network).

I highly recommend the documentary Behind the Curve. While many focus on its humorous elements, it also shines a sympathetic light on the humanity of the people it is investigating.

filmfann's avatar

Denying reality is hillbilly-hip.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think it’s a rumor. I don’t think anyone is really that stupid.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Oh, they’re really that stupid. Go to You Tube and check out all the FE videos Dutchy. And it goes beyond FE, into how space does not exist, gravity does not exist, all NASA feeds and videos are faked at some studio, and Antarctica is nothing but am Ice Wall under close scrutiny by the world’s militaries. Mind boggling. And they believe this shit. And get really pissed of you contradict them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I still don’t think anyone is that stupid.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Because you’re an educated and intelligent woman. It is hard to accept, I have been playing with these A Holes off and on for a while, when I get bored, and they believe it with all of their being. All I can say is that if these people are acting, they deserve an Academy Award. They have me convinced that they are on the level and dead serious.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

And don’t bother trying to make them see how silly it all is..They are “woke”, they’ve seen the truth, the rest of us are just “controlled sheeple.” NASA Fan Boys or Girls, and or brainwashed Globers.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Nomore_lockout According to this video, it isn’t really a matter of intelligence. It’s a messy combination of primal instinct, need for order, and adrenaline. Anyone without enough knowledge and self-awareness is susceptible to it.

I used to believe all those “stupid” people who believe and spread stupid things that people talk about were just caricature people made up for comedy. Then I met someone who is a living, breathing caricature. They believe in every conspiracy coming their way, even after being proven wrong time and time again. They are also easy to fall prey for scams. The last time I met them, they were speaking passionately to me about some kind of business looking suspiciously like a pyramid scheme where “inspirational people” taught about the most obvious things using the most flowery words possible. And this isn’t a brain-dead idiot either. This person has a college degree, topped their math class, and loves to talk about money investment.

Ironically, the only way to avoid conspiracy theory is to have enough self-awareness to know that every single one of us is susceptible to believe in conspiracy at one point in our life. I used to believe a ton of conspiracy theories. When I was new here, I even asked a question about whether aliens existed using photoshopped images on the Internet. I have since wisened up now.

But to answer your question, since you already know flat earth movement has been around for a long time, I think it’s a fad. People get hooked up in crazy movements all the time. Remember the anti-vaxxers? The reason why we don’t hear about them these days isn’t because the vaccine thing has been debunked, but because people simply moved on to the next crazy stuff to be outraged about. People need their quick fix of excitement.

gondwanalon's avatar

Religion is why there’s resurgence in flat Earth believers.

Religion is the driving force and as such blinds then from the truth. They refuse to accept the truth because it is a threat to their beliefs. They think that scientific evidence is all fabricated in a vast conspiracy to end religion.

The idea of a spherical Earth seems to be a direct threat to some people’s religion. Somehow they feel that living on a spinning sphere flying through space is demeaning. Living on a flat disc with always having head up is a boost to the ego (it makes them feel extra special) and the high place that their God has made for them.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The interesting thing is that there is a huge overlap in membership between the Flat Earth people and the crazies who thought that Obama was a citizen of another country.

They unified into a single organization – the Flat Birthers.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s what happens when you leave right wing religious conservatives in charge of your science education.

bob_'s avatar

Never a shortage of gullible idiots out there, and in this hyper-connected (but, as @SavoirFaire pointed out, increasingly lonely) world of ours, it’s easier for conmen to take advantage of them. See for instance this story:

stanleybmanly's avatar

To me it seems that people believe this nonsense simply because they can more or less get away with it. That is to say that they are either unaware of or immune to any consequences for declaring such beliefs aloud. And you’ll never convince me that loneliness should be a reasonable excuse for obstinate stupidity.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@stanleybmanly Driving force ≠ reasonable excuse. We were asked about the former, not the latter.

stanleybmanly's avatar

They are inextricably intertwined. You are free to believe and SAY whatever you choose. And if you believe the world is flat, you DESERVE to be lonely.

Demosthenes's avatar

I think it comes from a general distrust and dissatisfaction with societal structures and systems, leading to distrust of experts and scientists and questioning/rebelling against mainstream narratives and truths. The community factor is certainly a major one. People don’t necessarily want to be lone wolves, but they don’t mind being in a community that’s set apart and opposes society at large. The community of course just reinforces the beliefs through echo chamber and confirmation bias effects, the “rabbit hole” as it were. You see nothing but a constant stream of YouTube videos proclaiming “the truth” and you start to think it doesn’t sound so unreasonable.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I think that its just an attention getter. After all they got in the news, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

If there are people out there who really believe that then it’s, once again, an inability to comprehend science. If the world is round how is it all the people on the other side aren’t falling off, duh.

AK's avatar

There is no resurgenge or anything of that sort. Such people have always existed. You and I didn’t see them or know about them because they were too ashamed to show themselves in public. Those who dared to voice it out were either ridiculed or completely ignored by the those with better sense. We get to see more of them nowadays because of social media. These people have suddenly realized that there are other people who believe in that nonsense and that, they can band together on social media platforms and form an echo chamber for themselves. They have also realized that a ‘joint voice’ is more effective in garnering attention (with lesser threat of ridicule because they’re a mob now). Also, they’re anonymous, so, they don’t have to worry direct ridicule. Give them time and they’ll fade away because nature has its own way to rectify its mistakes….in the meanwhile, don’t feed them or get sucked into their asininity… be safe….

flutherother's avatar

The Flat Earthers are a cult, just not a religious cult. Holding on to illogical beliefs is what holds them together as a community and every time they deny the evidence that the earth is round, they are validating themselves and their community. Any appeal to reason will fail as it will be seen as an attack on them, their friends and the people they admire.

LostInParadise's avatar

I would guess it is related to the recent surge in political conservatism. Those frickiin elitist scientists don’t know what they are talking about. I know better than they do, and so does Donald Trump.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

@Dutchess_III said: “If there are people out there who really believe that then it’s, once again, an inability to comprehend science. If the world is round how is it all the people on the other side aren’t falling off, duh”. Well, they have the bases covered on that one as well Dutchy. You can’t fall off, because we are surrounded by an Ice Wall. No one knows how far it extends and it is protected by military forces to keep us out. : )

Dutchess_III's avatar


Nomore_lockout's avatar

Also, no one is allowed to visit Antarctica without a special permit. And you have to sign a statement of non disclosure. Under threat of penalty of jail time and fines. So they say.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

There morons do keep me entertained, I’ll give them that. LMAO

Nomore_lockout's avatar

And one more interesting little tidbit, and I’ll give some one else the floor. According to the most recent conspiracy theory from these jack weeds, Buzz Aldrin visited the area a few years back, and had to be sedated a while after arriving in New Zealand. Supposedly because he was so shocked by what he had been told. Which is interesting, because according to them, NASA is a fraud, Buzz never went to the moon, and he’s a liar and drunk. I asked why they would give a “Fraud AstroNot” any credence. Crickets chirping. Never got an answer but they threatened to ban me from their site. I’m crushed, devastated.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

By the way, I am also a “Paid NASA troll” LOL! And I have been doing that free gratis. Never knew I could earn a livelihood from that crap.

ucancallme_Al's avatar

Knuckle headed stupidity dressed up as woke, faux intellect.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Faux intellect.” I like that!

stanleybmanly's avatar

Prosperous Western nations afford their citizens the luxury of absurd silliness. That’s the real down side to a free and open society.

basstrom188's avatar

Two words come to mind You Tube

SavoirFaire's avatar

@stanleybmanly “They are inextricably intertwined.”

What is “they” supposed to refer to in this sentence? Contextually, it could only refer to “driving forces and reasonable excuses,” but that makes no sense since there are all sorts of things for which there are driving forces but no reasonable excuses (which you must surely agree with given your position here).

“You are free to believe and SAY whatever you choose. And if you believe the world is flat, you DESERVE to be lonely.”

Sure, but that’s not what’s happening. First they are lonely people who don’t believe that the earth is flat, then they fall into the flat earth cult and become people who are no longer lonely but who do believe (or at least claim to believe) that the earth is flat. So if you really believe this, you are only contributing to a world where more people who become flat earthers stay flat earthers (since one of the only proven ways of getting people out of the cult is to convince them that they can be accepted back into normal society if they give up the belief). I get that being grumpy at everything is kind of your thing, but sometimes compassion gets better results.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Compassion is a tall order. Tolerance, however is required and necessary. God knows such people are in for a rough enough time without my piling on. It’s an interesting question as to how every civilization at its height is for some reason deluged with torrents of zany cults including bizarre oddball religions. And I suppose my participation here must label me an assured cultist whose “loneliness” has driven me to this place in search of community. Now THERE’s an idea I find equivalent to flat earth science. Yet here I am. How depressing. Isn’t there a recent question here regarding introspection? Are we all driven here as slaves to desperation? Shall we huddle en masse? What are we afraid of?

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