Danny Faulkner relies heavily upon use of what has long been known as the Straw Man Fallacy. We only need to define it here or explain it and how it is misused in debates, and you’ll see Faulkner’s use of the Straw Man Fallacy throughout his book many times–too many to count.
Here’s my definition, and I’m including some sources below so you can see the accuracy of this definition.
“A straw man fallacy is an informal fallacy in which someone grossly distorts or exaggerates another person’s argument or point in an effort to discredit them and even make them appear to be a fool or insane. By attempting to make one’s opponent look like a fool or insane, all his arguments and evidence no longer matter. The strategy is to create the image of a monster who cannot possibly be believed, and then the fundamental facts and logic are no longer even necessary. If done successfully, the straw man fallacy destroys opponents without ever having to argue the facts, the substance, or the process. This fallacy is committed when someone misrepresents the opponent’s argument to make it easier to attack or refute. By placing the distorted argument in the opponent’s mouth and then attacking that version of the argument, one is essentially refuting an argument that is different from the one under discussion. Straw man arguments often arise in public debates, political debates, and everyday discussions. The straw man fallacy is an informal fallacy, which means that the flaw lies with the arguer’s method of arguing rather than the flaws of the argument itself.” .
Let’s walk through 11 Straw Man Fallacies in Faulkner’s first chapter alone. I haven’t added commentary to each of his quotes, because I think his quotes are self-evident examples of the Straw Man Fallacy, and I think you can also get a feel for his arrogance and demeaning attitude toward those of us who are genuine believers, love the Lord, and believe the scriptures as they actually describe creation.
- There is a wide diversity of theological beliefs within the flat-earth movement — conservative Christians, New Agers, deists, and pantheists, to name just a few. Flat-earthers often remark that there are no atheists in their ranks. I suppose that’s because the flat-earth model is so contrived, no one would seriously suggest it evolved. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 7). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Before proceeding, I want to make it clear why I use the term “flat-earthers” to refer to those who believe that the earth is flat. For a long time, that term has been thrown around as a pejorative for people who aren’t terribly bright or at the very least cling to cherished old notions that no longer have relevance. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 8). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Until the time of Christopher Columbus five centuries ago, nearly everyone thought the earth was flat. Supposedly, with our sophistication and intelligence today, we know better than the ignorant people of the past. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 12). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Why is there supposedly a conspiracy to conceal the earth’s true shape? The most common answer is that it is an attempt to control people, though it isn’t clear how promoting and maintaining a false belief about the earth’s shape accomplishes that. To the Christian flat-earthers, belief in the spherical earth is the strong delusion spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11. Belief in a spherical earth is very diabolical, supposedly linked to paganism or even Satan worship, and often it is tied in with beliefs about end times. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 17). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Many flat-earthers confuse this matter by referencing a quote attributed to Luther. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 34). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Since from ancient times and through the Middle Ages people in the West thought the earth was spherical, how did the widespread belief that everyone thought the earth was flat until five centuries ago come about? It is a result of a concentrated effort to discredit Christianity and the Bible. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 36). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- In 1838, Samuel Birley Rowbotham became convinced that the earth was flat. What prompted him to reach this conclusion? Was it because he read Irving, Letronne, or Whewell? It likely wasn’t Letronne, for Letronne’s book was in French. Because his book went through so many editions and was popular in the UK, it could have been Irving’s book. However, Irving didn’t make such a strong case that the Church taught the earth was flat. It is more probable that Rowbotham was influenced by fellow Englishman Whewell, who published his book the year before. If so, then instead of recognizing that Whewell was peddling a false history of cosmology and the Church, Rowbotham unfortunately accepted the lie. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (pp. 38-39). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- This brings me back to where I began this chapter — the revival of the flat-earth movement in the 21st century. Apparently, Dubay or others stumbled across some flat-earth writings from more than a century earlier, perhaps Carpenter’s book. These 21st-century converts began to repeat and repackage flat-earth arguments. It’s not entirely clear that some of the people involved in this revival believe the earth was flat. It could be that some of them merely promoted flat earth as a prank. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 43). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- I have interacted with a few flat-earthers in person, via email, and on a few websites. It’s been impossible to convince true believers in the flat earth that the earth is a globe. They are very quick to dismiss all evidence to the contrary. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (pp. 43-44). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- I’ve asked several flat-earthers who question what I say on these matters if I’m lying about my evidence or if I’m just so professionally incompetent I can’t properly make and interpret such observations. That question usually is left unanswered. I wish that flat-earthers would apply even an ounce of such skepticism to the flat-earth arguments that they encounter on the Internet. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 44). Master Books. Kindle Edition.
- Many flat-earthers seem to think that ridicule of their opponents’ position is a logical argument for their own position. If they truly think this, then that may explain why they were so easily duped into believing that the earth is flat in the first place. Faulkner, Dr. Danny. Falling Flat: A Refutation of Flat Earth Claims (p. 44). Master Books. Kindle Edition.