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Do People Actually Believe the Earth Is Flat?

What is Flat Earth and why is this idea gaining popularity?

When people think of the term “Flat Earth,” the first thing they picture is medieval Europe and uneducated scholars and rulers. These people once believed that their sailors and merchants would sail off the face of the Earth if they traveled too far into the ocean. The belief that Earth is flat has long been disproven concept. But, in the past decade, this belief is back, and it has amassed an enthusiastic and dedicated following. The view even has a name: The Flat Earth Movement. But in this age of mass education and modern technology, why do people actually believe the Earth is flat? Let’s dive deeper into this topic and try to make sense of it all.

Who believes in flat Earth?

A flat Earther holds up a drawing of his flat Earth
A flat Earther holds up a drawing of his flat Earth

It’s hard to pin down the type of person who believes in the Flat Earth theory. However, there are a few essential characteristics that most believers share.

They are suspicious of the government. They don’t trust the president, politicians in the Senate or Congress, and, surprisingly, the military. Most people who are flat earthers don’t trust any part of the government. This includes NASA, the FDA, those who work in state parks, and those that work with satellites. One of their most significant beliefs is that NASA not only fake the moon landing, but the agency has doctored every single picture they’ve ever made to make the Earth look round. Nasa is a hated enemy to the flat earthers to the point a flat earther approached a Nasa worker and chased him.

The second characteristic of a flat earther is that they believe in other conspiracies that are just as far-fetched as Flat Earth. Devices invented by the government to control the weather or cause earthquakes, government airplanes secretly spraying chemicals in the atmosphere to lower the IQ of the public, vaccines that cause autism; the list could go on and on. However, the Flat Earth movement was not many people’s first conspiracy. Most of them already believed in conspiracies when they came upon the Flat Earth theory.

Another common factor about flat earthers is that they are opposed to conventional ways of thinking. They enjoy the alternative even if the choice is dangerous or has been proven wrong by most scientists. It’s almost as if they enjoy being the counterculture.

Diverse Christian group having a prayer
Diverse Christian group having a prayer

Surprisingly, many people who do believe in the flat earth theory are also religious or at least believe in a higher power. Christian flat earthers use numerous passages in the Bible to justify their position and argue that God made the Earth flat. But now, for thousands of years and through millions of scientists and scientific papers, the Devil is trying to force everyone on the planet to forget the Earth’s original nature as God intended it to be.

What would motivate the Devil to trick everyone into believing the Earth is round? He wants to bring down God’s Kingdom and turn people away from the Lord.

And thanks to the internet and social media, people can now readily exchange their ideas, whether good or bad and find those who support their position. This is the main reason why the flat Earth has exploded so much in the recent decade. Facebook, in particular, has helped pave the way for a flourishing new Flat Earth movement.

When did people think the Earth was flat?

Detail of Plato and Aristotle in center School of Athens 1509 1511 fresco
Detail of Plato and Aristotle in center School of Athens 1509 1511 fresco

The majority of people today believe that the Medieval World thought the Earth was flat. This is taught in many children’s textbooks and is commonly used as an argument against scientific regress. However, this is false. Although the Medieval World era was a time of non-progress in science, this does not mean that they regressed and unlearned scientific concepts that had already been taught for millenniums.

Since the 4th century BC, Greek philosophers and mathematicians had already worked out that the Earth is round. They looked at the shape of the Earth’s shadow on the moon during eclipses, they conducted visual experiments as sailors went out into the open ocean, and they worked out the mathematics by watching the stars. They did all this without electricity or mass education.

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, figured out that the Earth was round, and a mathematician named Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the Earth without the help of a satellite.

So it seems as though flat earthers are incorrect in their history as well as their science. There are multiple mathematicians, philosophers, and astronomers who proved that the Earth is round long before Jesus himself even appeared in Bethlehem.

So, why do we think that the medieval and ancient world thought the world was round?

Some believe that it was the Protestants in England trying to debase the Catholics in their country in the 18th century. They wanted them to seem foolish and uneducated.

Another possible theory is that a rational scholar from England wanted to make the religious look foolish, so he spread the lie that said religious people secretly believed in backward ancient beliefs, even though Christian scholars in the Medieval era never once thought to question the knowledge that the Earth is round.

What is the motive behind the flat Earth theory?

Samuel Rowbotham and his book Zetetic Astronomy
Samuel Rowbotham and his book Zetetic Astronomy

Those who believe in Flat Earth will tell you that the people who run NASA and the governments of every major country are attempting to hide the fact that the Earth is flat. By keeping us in the dark, they are perverting science and keeping the unwashed masses underneath their thumb.

But, in truth, the modern flat-earth conspiracy was created by a man named Samuel Rowbotham. He lived in London in the 1850s. He stopped attending school at nine years old. While he was not educated in science or math, he did have the gift of gab. He was a persuasive man, and he used his powers of persuasion to create the Flat Earth theory. He wrote a few books on the subject and did his best to convince others that there was some truth to his theory. He would debate scientists in public spaces and draw an audience. He went as far as creating an entire group dedicated to uncovering the truth about the Earth. He named the group the Zetetic Society, and it is still with us today.

Even though he is long dead, other charlatans and immoral individuals are now targeting flat earthers and doing their best to make money. These people write books, make documentaries and videos, and pull in a lot of cash from people who are already quite poor. Even though Flat Earthers believe in a false concept, that does not mean they should be scammed and abused.

Is the Earth flat according to the Bible?

No, contrary to whatever evidence the Flat Earth theorists try to dig up, the Bible does not support the Flat Earth theory. These verses are cherry-picked and taken out of context. Since the Bible is a religious book, no passage over should be taken at face value or literally. Theological interpretation is difficult, and nothing takes years to master.

Does the Bible support flat Earth?

Serious white male military reading the Bible
Serious white male military reading the Bible

It looks like a Bible does support some kind of theory that the Earth may not be flat. There are a few significant verses in the Bible that provide dimensions of the Earth and suggest that it is flat or a plane. Here are two of those verses:

The first verse is Isaiah 11:12.

He will raise a signal for the nations, and he’ll assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the Earth.

This verse refers to the “four corners of the earth” where these “corners” are the most distant part of the Earth from the observer’s point of view. This verse doesn’t explicitly say that the Earth is flat.

Another verse talks about the corners of the Earth as well.

This verse is Revelation 7:1.

After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the Earth, holding back the four winds of the Earth, that no wind might blow on the Earth or sea or against the tree.

While corners are mentioned in these two verses and a few others, many biblical scholars have said that these examples are metaphors and don’t represent the literal image of the Earth has four corners. What God means to say in these in the first verse is the people of Judah will travel all over the globe. The second verse implies that the angels will meet at four areas around the Earth and bring destruction. Not every verse should be taken literally, as God often speaks in parables or stories. Even stricter denominations that interpret the Bible more literally than others have denounced that these verses predict a flat Earth.

These verses are used by self-serving conspiracy writers who are attempting to recruit Christians and Catholics into their beliefs.

Conclusion

In the past 15 years, re-emergence of the belief that we live on a flat Earth has appeared. Many people who believe in the flat earth theory also believe in other conspiracies. Although the theory of Flat Earth died a long time ago, a man named Samuel Robotham brought it back by writing books and giving speeches. He created a club that furthers the Flat Earth agenda to this day, and the current members recruit others into their fold. According to biblical scholars, the Bible does not provide evidence that the Earth is flat, and those who claim the Bible does are just cherry-picking and intentionally misinterpreting passages.

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