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  Combatting modern space hoaxes (flat Earth) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Combatting modern space hoaxes (flat Earth)
kyra
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posted 06-25-2017 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We had it relatively good back when all we had to deal with on rare occasion was the odd-ball that believed we didn't go to the moon. Threads have covered that, so there is no point in going there specifically.

What has disturbed me far more is the latest trend of people taking up beliefs that the Earth is flat, hollow, or concave! By these very concepts not only did we not go to the moon, but there was no space travel at all. I shudder to think I share the same roadways and infrastructure and vote with this new block and feel genuinely afraid for the future of civilization.

Where does this descent into ignorance come from? Is there anything we can or should do to try and reverse this trend or will trying to convince these minds of anything different just make things worse?

I have had near hostile reactions to mentioning NASA or showing photos of space: "Its all Photoshopped. Everything NASA has said or published is a lie." This is usually followed by an insult such as "Get over it, snowflake."

In a 2014 National Science Foundation survey 26% of Americans think the Sun goes around the Earth! Could the educational system fail to this extent? Or is this the result of other phenomenon (i.e. social media, peer pressure, drug usage)?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-25-2017 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently had a food delivery driver ask me about the Earth being flat. He said that every photograph taken of Earth from space was photoshopped.

I pointed him the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth that archives millions of images.

As with the moon landing hoaxers, who for the most part are such out of laziness (i.e. easier to believe what they heard than to do any research of their own), the modern hoaxers are much the same — only now they also benefit from being able to share their ignorance through social media and appear trendy while doing it.

My suggestion is as it has always been: ignore them. They are seeking attention. If you don't give it to them, they generally lose interest.

kyra
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posted 06-25-2017 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Robert. It's a bit of a consolation that at least a portion of those propagating these ideas are doing it for shock value. This used to be done with a t-shirt with an idiotic slogan, but times change and I am getting older and grumpier. I lost track of trendy when neon colors were still fashionable.

moorouge
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posted 06-25-2017 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course the world is flat. Have you never heard of the Great A'Tuin on whose back stand the four elephants that support it?

Being a Chelys Galactica it offers much greater protection against meteorites than having to rely on Bruce Willis.

randy
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posted 06-25-2017 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Kyra. Out of curiosity I googled flat earth and checked out one of the websites. Everything there was anti-NASA. I thought how can these people really believe that the earth is flat, even in the face of photographs from earth orbit and the moon. Oops, I forgot. We never went into space, NASA is lying to everyone and those photos are photoshopped. How stupid of me.

Like Robert said, just ignore them. Good advice.

Solarplexus
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posted 06-25-2017 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Solarplexus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Take me to the edge of Earth and I will believe it is flat.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-25-2017 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of course, there is a simple experiment that anyone can perform to prove to themselves that the Earth is round. All they need are "sticks, eyes, feet and brains" — as Carl Sagan eloquently described in 1980:

SpaceyInMN
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posted 06-25-2017 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN   Click Here to Email SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a co-worker that professes to believe in all of this nonsense. For a long time, I thought he did it just to annoy me (we're friends and like to needle each other). It's been going on so long, though (literally years), that I honestly don't know now. I think he may actually be serious.

He has a bachelor's degree in computer science and is immersed in technology in all aspects of his job, but doesn't think that anything NASA claims it has done is actually real or possible. It's all very surreal to me. I've learned to just nod my head and ignore him when he gets going on these bizarre theories.

He's also very into alien cover-up stuff, Area 51, etc. I just don't get it.

YankeeClipper
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posted 06-25-2017 06:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kyra:
Where does this descent into ignorance come from?
It's probably multi-factorial, but at its heart may be a fundamental disenchantment with, distrust and disbelief of authorities and institutions. It may be a product of a post-truth world in which the veracity of knowledge is constantly in doubt.

In a world saturated with exponentially expanding information, people are having to sort through terabytes of spin, "alternative facts," distorted narratives, biased agendas, photoshopped imagery, questionable data, partial truths and outright lies. Somewhere in the midst of all that is solid peer-reviewed science, proven demonstrable historical facts, credible theories, and fundamental truths.

But who or what should you believe when so much hitherto accepted orthodoxy, supposedly trustworthy institutions and totemic leaders have proven to be so fallible and lacking credibility? Absolutism in the form of assertions is being increasingly questioned and rejected, and relativism is becoming ever more popular. Objective facts are being replaced with subjective beliefs.

The empowerment provided by the world wide web and social media is a double-edged one. Accessibility to good science has never been easier but, alternatively, lunatic theories have been given more oxygen and propagation and a wider audience than they deserve or would previously have received. Why review a research article when a 140 character tweet or blog rant will suffice instead? The low signal-to-noise ratio on the web can often promote really superficial and fleeting engagement with ideas. The echo chamber of the internet is a dangerous place for confirmation bias regarding one's beliefs.

The current nadir in US space exploration, and deficit in political leadership only exacerbates the situation. Legitimate debate among scientists on issues further fuels the nebulous sense of insecurity.

The Apollo missions to the moon are a distant, receding memory to many and a mere footnote of history to many more. Why choose hard and go to the moon and do the other things, when cheap lazy beliefs are so much easier for some people to hold? Why choose STEM subjects when they are too hard? Maybe there's so much distraction on the web that science is just an abstract and weird irrelevance. Who even cares?

Many people just need Plutarch's fire of the mind ignited and to see the light of knowledge. Some people, though, will always be idiots, and one should never argue with an idiot as they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

moorouge
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posted 06-26-2017 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Post-truth maybe, but it's not as dangerous as groupthink - "the psychological drive for consensus at any cost that suppresses disagreement and prevents the appraisal of alternatives in cohesive decision-making groups" - as proposed by Irving Janis.

Doubt, whether legitimate or not, cannot be properly addressed when it is suppressed by those keen and eager to have their own views prevail.

On edit - another aspect of the problem is that despite information being available on the internet, it is much easier to believe what is fed by the media who often have a vested interest in propogating a particular view. As a non-related recent example, it was reported in the UK that June 21st this year was the hottest on record at 35 degrees. What was later reported was that this was a transigent spike on one thermometer sited on the runway at Heathrow Airport. Elsewhere the country was hot but overall not nearly as hot as was recorded in 1878.

p51
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posted 06-26-2017 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The hallmark of people like this is saying, "You need to check out the podcast or website for [insert nut job here]."

The problem with that is that these people only check stuff out which follows their preconceived odd theories. My father-in-law, a retired man who doesn't have many (if any) friends, has fed into this stuff and he believes the most insane things now. He only checks out the stuff that backs the idea that there's a conspiracy run by aliens and everything we do is controlled by aliens or five to six people. It gets nuttier each time I talk with him but they moved to another state so I won't have to endure this stuff anymore like I used to. My wife, of course, gets mad if I even bring it up when we're alone (never get between a woman and her dad, no matter how wrong he is). He hasn't said anything about a flat each, but I wouldn't be shocked if he believed in it someday.

I've countered such comical ideals with the concept that one of two things must be right;

  1. every single person in science and education for the last 500 years has been involved in an airtight conspiracy, or:
  2. These conspiracy people are following people who have no clue what they're talking about and ignoring a crushing level of evidence to the contrary.
The thing is, you can't get through to these people. I know a guy who served in the Navy who believes the flat earth thing after buying into the internet stuff (and ignoring anything else). I asked him if he has photos of when he sailed to the edge. He changed the subject really fast, and I replied, "Ah, so you know the earth doesn't have an edge as you'd have served with someone who'd seen it!" Man, he got ticked. People these days don't want to be questioned about anything due to the new concept of "safe zones" which really just means people want to only be exposed to the opinions they already hold.

I can't imagine what a nightmare it must be teaching in college these days!

mmmoo
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posted 06-26-2017 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mmmoo   Click Here to Email mmmoo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Facebook post for the "Apollo: The Panoramas book" is completely inundated with these idiots! Complete with diagrams that "prove" the Earth is flat, that the moon landings never happened, and more worryingly I recently saw posts claiming that the Challenger 7 are actually alive.

Robert is right, there is absolutely no point in arguing with these people, it's what they want, and no matter how much proof you give them, they will just claim it all as fake.

So I now have a new hobby on Facebook, called "Delete and Ban," it's very satisfying and really annoys them.

p51
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posted 06-26-2017 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah, there's a lot of bandwidth devoted to the STS-51L crew faking their deaths to take up "key positions in government" for some nebulous reasons.

I saw someone arguing on a YouTube video that gravity doesn't exist! Yes, you read that right, the person declared that gravity doesn't exist at all. How the heck can you get through to someone that out of touch with one of the basic concepts of reality?

Blackarrow
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posted 06-26-2017 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You could tell them that you haven't heard their argument because the Internet is an international lie that obviously couldn't exist; and YouTube therefore doesn't exist either.

SpaceyInMN
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posted 06-26-2017 02:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceyInMN   Click Here to Email SpaceyInMN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had a post for the "Apollo: The Panoramas" book come up on my feed a few months ago and ended up reading the back and forth between the "flat-earthers" and, well, sane people in the comments for over an hour. It was, all at the same time, entertaining, infuriating, and enlightening. I learned some new ways to disprove this bizarre belief, and learned more than I cared to about what is going on in the heads of those that believe it.

YankeeClipper
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posted 06-26-2017 03:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the twin subjects of groupthink and the motion of bodies in gravitational fields, one only has to recall the long vilification of Galileo (After 350 Years, Vatican Says Galileo Was Right: It Moves) and how entrenched that position was until 1992.

The French writer Michel de Montaigne wrote in Essais II:

Quelle vérité que ces montagnes bornent, qui est mensonge au monde qui se tient au-delà?

What truth is bounded by these mountains, which is falsehood to the world beyond?

The construct we perceive as reality is born and developed in moments of learning. I feel privileged to have lived in the time of Joe Allen and Dave Scott, who conceived and performed the hammer and feather drop experiment on Apollo 15. I am truly fortunate to have met Dave Scott, Charlie Duke, and Gene Cernan who walked among the mountains of the moon and who could tell me first-hand of those experiences and the senelogical "ground-truth" that they brought back. And I have listened enthralled to Al Worden describe the incredible glow of starlight visible in the shadow of the moon, and the amazing vista of the earth and moon from deep space.

Project Apollo, named for the Greco-Roman God of Light and Truth, truly is an inspiration for the ages for those willing to learn.

moorouge
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posted 06-27-2017 01:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps, in this case, one should remember the young boy who asked the wise man, "But what is the truth?"

After a lot of thought the sage replied, "My son, the truth is whatever you want it to be."

By this I take it to mean that we, as individuals, look at the evidence and make our own judgement as to what is "the truth." Whether it be a belief in man induced global warming or moon landings, whether that belief is correct or not and one shared by a great number of others doesn't alter the notion of truth for the individual concerned. It is an entirely personal matter — the truth is whatever that person wants it to be.

kyra
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posted 06-27-2017 04:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know if there is a philosophical label to this type of thinking, but I believe there is independent truth to various things and whatever our beliefs or opinions are that are secondary. Some are simple: 12 humans have walked on the Moon as of December 11, 1972. However if one believed that, they have a true belief.

Certain truths as expressed as facts are not really completely true if one wants absolute truth. For example, the spacecraft Beta-3 was in a 190 by 197 mile orbit on June 8th. Get this orbit a little closer to truth with a state vector that specifies a time to the second. Refine the state vector to the microsecond and measure it to the molecular center of gravity of both the spacecraft and the earth. It is still off because the surface of the Earth is uneven. This can be maddening. So we arbitrarily accept the state vector or whatever Wikipedia claims. It gets even more arbitrary when dealing with human factors. What did Neil Armstrong say on the moon, what he intended to say, what he thought he said and what various people heard/ recorded him as saying can have variations. However what words came out of his mouth and reflected in the helmet in that time are an isolated singular truth. Sometimes these truths are lost to time or forgotten by all alive, but they still remain as an event.

But reeling this back in, it would be healthy goal to seek to have our beliefs and collected facts as close as we can arbitrarily make them (within reason) to the truth that stands alone. If the truth were scoring a basket, the flat Earther's ball is not even on the court. Spherical would be a rim shot that makes it. To those that believe the shape is an oblate spheroid, slam dunk!

moorouge
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posted 06-27-2017 06:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the outset let me say that having evaluated all the evidence I accept that twelve men have walked on the Moon. This, as far as I am concerned, is what I believe the truth to be.

However, there are others, few in number they may be, who have examined that same evidence and reached the conclusion that twelve men walked on a studio set somewhere here on Earth. To them, this is their truth.

This is the point I was trying to make in my previous post. It is the perception of the facts that matter to the individual, not the veracity of what those facts might be. There may well be an absolute truth as Kyra claims, this is what his personal version of the truth is, but it is irrelevant when an individual makes his/her own assessment of a set of facts. Whether those who arrive at a different conclusion from us should be denied a platform as defined by groupthink is another question.

The truth, as I stated originally, is whatever we want it to be at a personal level.

bklyn55
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posted 06-27-2017 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bklyn55   Click Here to Email bklyn55     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's an easy answer to "what is the truth?" Ask the ancient aliens who live among us!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2017 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
The truth, as I stated originally, is whatever we want it to be at a personal level.
What you have just defined is ignorance. Someone who adopts a worldview without the intelligence to understand the framework they have accepted, nor the desire or ability to recognize their error is ignorant.

YankeeClipper
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posted 06-27-2017 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Absolute objective truths certainly exist independent of subjective personal beliefs. How congruent the two are at an individual level depends, inter alia, on intelligence, learned knowledge, observation, perception, logical analysis, and accurate formation of theoretical constructs that become one's personal reality.

Ancient mariners refused to pass the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar, heeding the warning Ne Plus Ultra (lit. no more beyond, i.e. go no further). They feared the immense abyss and monsters of the deep dark water that was the Mare Tenebrosum or Mare Tenebrarum (lit. Sea of Darkness, i.e. the Atlantic Ocean).

But evolutions in astronomy, navigation, ship building knowledge, and personal courage allowed man to gradually redefine and refine his theoretical construct of the known world. Aeronautical and astronautical exploration and mapping have taken that knowledge to a completely different level again.

I was going to suggest that time would render flat earth believers to be utterly irrelevant and inconsequential. Perhaps, just as we have those today who decry theories of evolution, humanity will always have a certain base level of people who trust nothing but erroneous instincts and the limited horizons of their vision/world. So long as they don't impede overall human progress, we should leave them to their beliefs. The universe certainly doesn't care what they believe - nor should we.

moorouge
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posted 06-27-2017 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
What you have just defined is ignorance.

No Robert. I profoundly disagree. Someone who holds a view that is alien to me and you is not ignorant. Misguided possibly, wrong in his interpretation of things maybe. But ignorant .... no.

Ignorance arises when censorship is applied to surpress the views of those with whom we have a strongly held disagreement. There is a case to be made where racism in all its definitions is involved but otherwise those whose views are different to ours have a right to be heard. To misquote Winston Churchill, "I disagree totally with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it."

To describe people who believe in the Apollo hoax as ignorant is demeaning to those who believe it, wrong though they are. For them it is an honestly held truth.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-27-2017 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
People are free to say and believe what they will (within the framework of the society in which they exist), but that does not excuse them from being ignorant while doing so.

To borrow something from U.S. law, where ignorance of the law is generally not a defense from the law, ignorance of the facts is generally not an escape from the facts. You can believe that the Earth is flat, but it does excuse you from subscribing to an ignorant belief.

Blackarrow
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posted 06-27-2017 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
...there are others, few in number they may be, who have examined that same evidence and reached the conclusion that twelve men walked on a studio set somewhere here on Earth. To them, this is their truth.
You appear to be excluding the possibility that many of these people are simply insane (or, more specifically, located somewhere on a scale of insanity).

If a man looks at the clear evidence that Apollo astronauts walked on the Moon yet concludes that they did not walk on the Moon, how is that different from a man looking in the mirror and seeing that he is the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte? (Each conclusion is the insane person's "truth.")

I am not including those people who have not really looked at the evidence and have not actually drawn their own conclusions but have merely accepted the deluded views of others (some of whom may be equally ill-informed, and some of whom are clearly deluded, in the medical rather than the pejorative sense).

Until recently, I was unaware of any support for the idea of a "flat Earth." It is a notion which has been disproved by every astronaut or cosmonaut who has orbited the Earth. It can easily be disproved by simple objective tests (the length of a shadow at noon in California compared to a shadow at the same moment on a New York morning, for instance).

Anyone who seriously argues that the Earth is flat must necessarily accuse every astronaut (how many now? 600?) of being bare-faced liars. I don't believe that any rational, reasonable person would accept an argument that requires 600 people from many nations to be bare-faced liars.

It occurs to me that it would be worth challenging "Apollo hoaxers" to indicate whether they are also "flat Earthers." That would immediately lose them the argument in the eyes of anyone whose opinion is worthy of consideration. (I am reminded of Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny" who eventually revealed his obvious insanity.)

Buel
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posted 06-27-2017 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Buel   Click Here to Email Buel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
My father-in-law, a retired man who doesn't have many (if any) friends, has fed into this stuff and he believes the most insane things now.
I must say that I've giggled a lot at your father in law story!!

Jurg Bolli
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posted 06-27-2017 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am with Robert 100% on this: ignorance and/or unwillingness to investigate and ask questions. There are truths that cannot be refuted, truth is not just what I believe. And the flat earth idea can easily be shown to be wrong, and so it is not okay to hang on to that idea and claim it as truth.

moorouge
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posted 06-28-2017 02:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jurg Bolli:
I am with Robert 100% on this: ignorance and/or unwillingness to investigate and ask questions.

Precisely. The point is that Apollo hoaxers have investigated and asked questions where they are given access to engage with those whose truth is totally different to theirs. Therefore, by your definition they are neither ignorant nor suffering from ignorance.

Isn’t it better to engage with them and seek to persuade by rational argument that there is a more acceptable version of the truth than the one currently held by them.

Blackarrow (Geoffrey), as a lawyer, should be aware more than most that his is a profession where it is quite clearly a case of the truth being whatever one wants it to be until an independent judge decides which version is the most acceptable. Not necessarily wrong or right, but just the most acceptable.

To return to the original answer by the wise man. The truth is not about absolutes but about what one holds to be true at a personal level. Is the glass half full or half empty? Whatever one perceives to be the truth is entirely up to the beholder. Your truth is that Apollo hoax believers are ignorant, mine is that they are not ignorant but misguided.

As individuals we are both right as we both hold our personal belief to be the truth having made a judgement on our own individual assessment of the facts.

At the end of the day, whatever one accepts to be the truth is entirely up to the individual and his/her very personal assessment of the evidence. This is what the wise man meant when he said that the truth is whatever we want it to be. It is not about absolutes or ignorance.

Gonzo
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posted 06-28-2017 06:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But there is a fundamental difference here. Where the wise said truths are we want them to be, that is correct. Truths are what we believe to be true. However, as has been pointed out, facts are indisputable, regardless of beliefs. And quite often, proves beliefs to be inaccurate.

oly
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posted 06-28-2017 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You could have the same argument with the subjects of religion, politics or sport, all subjects that are best to avoid in the public forum.

Jurg Bolli
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posted 06-28-2017 10:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The earth being a sphere is not a "more acceptable" truth than the flat earth: nobody who has any intellectual curiosity and willingness to look at the evidence will dispute that the earth is not flat.

Science, unlike politics, religion etc, deals with reproducible facts, not beliefs, there is a fundamental difference.

Blackarrow
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posted 06-28-2017 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
Perhaps, in this case, one should remember the young boy who asked the wise man, "But what is the truth?"
Who was this so-called "wise man"? I would like the context and the precise quotation, because the sentiments expressed above seem demented rather than wise (unless the "sage" has been misquoted).

Truth is NOT subjective, it is objective. Picking up the dictionary nearest to me (Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, 1972 edition) I note that "truth" is defined variously as "agreement with reality; the fact of being true; actuality; the true state of things or facts; an established fact..."

It can never be "an established fact" that no astronaut has walked on the Moon. No person who says that nobody has been to the Moon is speaking the truth. No person who says the Earth is flat is speaking the truth. They may, through ignorance or adherence to worthless evidence* "believe" what they say; or they may (as I have previously pointed out) be mad. The overwhelming body of evidence proving beyond any reasonable doubt that 12 Apollo astronauts have walked on the Moon; and some 600 people have orbited the near-spherical Earth allows us to conclude that those who deny these factual truths have no right — and I repeat this for emphasis - NO RIGHT to treat their ignorance or their delusions as any form of truth, because to allow them to treat their demonstrable nonsense as a form of truth is to debase the very currency of truth.

* "Why are there no stars in the Apollo EVA photos?" or "Why didn't the astronauts suffer fatal radiation exposure going through the Van Allen belts?" Etc, etc...

Jurg Bolli
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 06-28-2017 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You nailed it!

Gonzo
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From: Lansing, MI, USA
Registered: Mar 2012

posted 06-28-2017 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gonzo   Click Here to Email Gonzo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry, but I have to disagree. Truth is what you want it to be, what you believe to be true. For those that claim the earth is flat, that is truth to them. Now, I'll agree, that anybody that looks at that idea would agree that there's simply too much proof to prove it wrong. But that doesn't change the belief for those that think it's true.

For example, suppose I could claim that there's no such thing as gravity. I've done my research and am convinced it's a falsehood. To me, that is my truth. It's what I believe to be true. Anybody who examines my idea would claim that I'm wrong as scientific evidence doesn't support it. But again, Ii remain unconvinced and my truth continues, despite your claims.

So just because you don't agree with the idea, and can show overwhelming evidence to the contrary, those that believe the earth is flat will continue to believe in their truth, because to them, that is the truth.

And again, that's the difference between truth, what you believe to be true, and fact.

moorouge
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Posts: 2376
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 06-28-2017 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
...that those who deny these factual truths have no right — and I repeat this for emphasis - NO RIGHT to treat their ignorance or their delusions as any form of truth, because to allow them to treat their demonstrable nonsense as a form of truth is to debase the very currency of truth.
With great respect Geoffrey, you have made the same misinterpretation of what I've been saying as have others in this thread as I'll get to later. They have every right to express their views or opinions as was proclaimed by Churchill. They may well be delusional and totally wrong, but this does not deny them the right to say what they perceive to be the truth in their interpretation of the evidence on a particular subject.

May I comment now on what appears to be a central misunderstanding in the many posts that try to point out the error of my argument. Surely it is not too difficult a concept to understand that my "wise man" was talking about our beliefs as individuals. As an individual we observe the world and digest the evidence provided by our eyes and ears. Using that information we make a very personal judgement on what the truth might be. This becomes our own unique perspective of the world. This truth, or opinion for want of a better word, may well be the same as held a huge majority of the rest of human kind. However, it may be also a truth that others find difficult to comprehend and so brand as irrational when set against their own personal truths or opinions. To these few, as the wise man said, the truth is what they want it to be even though it pays scant attention to the facts as recognised by the rest of us.

At the end of the day, an individual's truth might well fly in the face of established, incontrovertible facts but that is their choice. It is what they want their truth to be. They may well be misguided, ill-informed, delusional, ignorant or even mad, but that doesn't alter the fact that it is what they believe and so becomes their truth. As the wise man said, it is what they want it to be.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39276
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-28-2017 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This isn't about what people believe; people are free to believe whatever they so choose. Just as others are free to ignore them.

The flat earthers and moon hoaxers being referenced in this discussion aren't professing a belief; they are stating what they claim is a fact — and that is where they are, and will always be, wrong.

To quote Neil deGrasse Tyson, "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

quote:
Originally posted by Gonzo:
For example, suppose I could claim that there's no such thing as gravity.
If you can present scientific evidence to support that gravity does not exist, then what you are describing is not a belief, but a hypothesis. Albert Einstein did this very thing by rejecting the classical Newtonian force and putting forth the evidence (through both mathematics and observation) that it is an effect of acceleration.

If you are simply stating "gravity does not exist" because you so choose to deny its existence, then what you are describing is a religion.

Kite
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Posts: 709
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 06-28-2017 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to go with Robert and Geoffrey here. Sorry Eddie and Gonzo but truth is truth. Fact. If people cannot accept that then that is their problem but even if it's not true to them it still does not alter the fact of what is truth.

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 872
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 06-28-2017 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe I am misunderstanding: just as Robert states there are facts, and then there is "truth" as a person sees it.

People walking on the moon, a spherical earth, and gravity are facts, undeniable if one pays any attention, and of course I can claim another "truth," but the above quote about facts that are true whether you subscribe to them or not is very appropriate.

YankeeClipper
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Posts: 538
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 06-28-2017 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A 2012 Psychology Today article The Truth Will Not Set You Free provides some interesting views on the nature of truth.

Perhaps the issue of questionable beliefs involves degrees of truth and frames of reference. For example, with respect to a relatively small frame of reference e.g. a long stretch of road or runway, the belief that the earth is flat may be true to some. A deeper analysis would, of course, point to error measurements in the construction, limitations of survey tools, and non-uniformities in the surface material as proof that even this assertion isn't quite correct. Nevertheless, even if some people took off in an aircraft and ascended 1 vertical mile they may still retain their belief in a flat earth. The problem is that they would have to be aboard an aircraft capable of ascending at least an order of magnitude higher e.g. 12-15 vertical miles before they might concede that the earth is not flat. It is almost certain they will never see that perspective from that altitude with their own eyes.

Similarly, the lunar landings involve frames of reference that are beyond them, will never be experienced by them, and are so remote in terms of distance and history as to be unbelievable. They have likely never met an astronaut, let alone a moonwalker, have never seen a Saturn V in real life, have never watched a live EVA from the moon, know for a fact that billions of humans have never launched on rockets, and know that no human has been to earth's moon for a very long time (they would argue never).

Those of us with more expansive frames of reference believe, of course, quite differently and know a different degree of truth. Until manned spaceflight becomes truly commonplace, it will remain an arduous task to convince some people of a different reality. Only their own personal testimony and personal observations will ever convince them and, unfortunately, that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

p51
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Posts: 1535
From: Olympia, WA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 06-28-2017 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
It is an entirely personal matter — the truth is whatever that person wants it to be.
The historical fact that 12 men walked on the moon isn't an issue of truth or not — it actually happened. To say it didn't would be like saying there was never a United States and we're actually still a colony of England. Saying so doesn't make it so.


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