Anti-flat earthers love to throw insulting questions at Bible believers in an attempt to win the argument with a quick character attack, jumping on the “conspiracy” band wagon narrative that anyone who does not believe in a heliocentric view of the earth is somehow mentally deficient.
This conspiracy tactic has been very effective as a debate tool devised by Satan himself beginning in the Garden of Eden and used especially today in politics and religion in an attempt to defeat an opponent without actually getting into the substance of the matter at hand.
Rather than focus on the real issue–whether the Bible teaches a sphere or a plain, they attack character and intelligence. There are a number of ways they do this to cast aspersions or demean anyone who believes the Bible’s creation story literally, and here is one of the most popular attacks.
Warning! Differentiate Writing From Speaking
Before we get into the answer or rebuttal to such a question, please note that the answer you would give someone in writing is quite different than the answer you would give in a one-on-one verbal response. In a written response, there is plenty of space and time to provide a thorough response, one that is often substantiated by footnotes or linked references. We can make a point and a sub-point without losing someone’s focus. However, when you are talking with someone, the answer you give them will need to be focused and to the point so they can follow you. It’s not front page news anymore that the attention span of Americans is very short, and if you venture into a topic with a main point punctuated by sub-points and direct the conversation back to more main points, you will lose the vast majority of Americans who are no longer capable of following complex analytical conversations. Americans have a terrible habit of not listening carefully and constantly interrupting. Why? They are thinking about what they are going to say next, which means they don’t really care what you think or say. They only care about their worldview. You can blame the public school system, our decadent entertainment culture (including 10 second social media posts), and irresponsible parenting for the inability to hold a good conversation with manners and common sense. In a verbal response, you might choose one or two of the following categorized responses, but you would be best advised to rely primarily on the approach taken in the last section of this article under the caption, “How to Deal With a Fallacious Argument.”
First, the accusation on its face is untrue. I have never called all astronauts liars, nor have I ever heard a flat earther call all astronauts liars. I can’t even imagine that the vast majority of NASA employees are anything but good and hard working Americans. To suggest that I have called them liars is like accusing me of calling all dogs cats. I’ve never done that, and don’t intend to. Why would I?
This issue of “christian astronauts” lying is very difficult to deal with, but if the earth is flat, the obvious two options are that they are part of a massive fraud, or they are deranged. Here’s a video that does a deep dive into one astronaut who claims to be a christian and has become an ambassador for NASA.
Second, the accusation assumes that if the earth is not a sphere, all 17,000 NASA employees are liars. The illogic of that argument is quite obvious with little analysis. If the President of the United States lies about something and he surrounds himself with a staff that goes along with his lie, does that mean that all 4,400,000 Federal employees are liars? Of course not! What a preposterous argument.
Third, their argument ignores the reality and the history of how a small percentage of people can take control of a culture or even an entire country. Dictators do not take control of the citizens by open and fair elections. Their dictatorships are never known for their transparency or self-sacrificing generosity. They use force, violence, murders, condemnation, imprisonment, propaganda, and they do so not through the majority approval of their citizens, but through a very small percentage of military and civilian personnel. Voter fraud is a mainstay of corrupt governments. It does not take a majority of citizens to destroy a country, nor does it take a majority of Federal employees to destroy a government. Those in leadership who control the rudder are the ones who decide the ship’s direction. Want a few examples?
Nicaragua: 1979-1990, 2006-Present
Propaganda, hidden agendas, pseudo-science, and bold-faced lies can govern large corporations through the top officials while the mass of employees have no idea what evil is accomplished in dark boardrooms. Elon Musk just paid $44 billion for Twitter because this was exactly the problem. The rhetorical question, “Are you saying all astronauts are liars,” or “Are you saying all NASA employees are liars” is a fallacious argument that avoids the truth of the real issue at hand: is the earth a sphere or not?
Fourth, the accusation assumes that those at NASA who are behind promoting a heliocentric view are “liars.” Could it not be that they are deceived? Of course, there would have to be some at the top who are in on the scam and the master plan, but deception is a powerful force, and many will be deceived according to Jesus in Matthew 24. Even those in the upper echelon of management can be deceived and will not know everything.
The CIA has covert operations that involve many CIA employees and independent contractors. Each “asset” will have a specific assignment, but they are not privy to who are what other assets may do to facilitate that CIA covert operation. Only a few at the top know the big picture, it’s purpose, and it’s political impact.
Fifth, the accusation is offensive and attacks character. It does so by demeaning character and attacking intelligence, and even more, it attempts to paint a flat earther as crazy or mentally deficient. That’s an inappropriate way for a mature and intelligent human being to communicate with someone else on a subject that is near and dear to their heart. It is an immature way to debate any topic. But we must not forget how important this topic is. It is one of the most important debates of our lifetimes, and the true creation story is of utmost importance to the Creator Himself! So we had better be sure we get it right.
Sixth, the accusation is much more a reflection of the attacker’s own inadequate view of creation, and often, although not always, it is an obstinate view coming from deep inside a person who suffers from narcissism, or what the Bible calls pride. Pride inhibits a person’s ability to see through the fog of their emotions and their worldview, and it can literally block them from seeing the truth of a matter.
Seventh, notice their accusation never addresses the verses in the Bible that point to a plain rather than a sphere. They will refuse to examine those verses with you, and they will keep reverting to fallacious arguments. Once you deal with their first fallacious argument, they will move on to their second and third fallacious argument rather than deal with the real evidence and proof. This is part of the mass deception that has infected the entire creation story.
How To Deal With a Fallacious Argument
The appropriate way to deal with a fallacious argument is not to address their objection with the detailed responses I just provided, although those are all reasonable responses. I shared those responses primarily to help you realize why their sarcastic question was a fallacious argument. Instead, you can simply start by asking them to provide proof that the earth is a sphere.
It is at this point in response to this highlighted statement when the anti-flat earthers would go berserk. They would immediately feign shock, roll their eyes, and would undoubtedly say something like, “What are you talking about? There is massive proof. Everyone knows the earth is a ball. NASA has thousands of photos. We have telescopes in outer space . . .,” and on they would go. Their response only tells us how thoroughly they have been brainwashed. None of what they just said is proof. In fact, we have overwhelming true scientific proof that their images are CGI, not real photos, and so on.
This is why you place the burden on them to prove the earth is a sphere, that it rotates around an axis at 1,037 miles per hour at the equator, that it revolves around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, that the sun is 93,000,000 miles from the earth, that the oceans curve around the earth in spite of what our eyes see, that the Universe started with a big bang 14.5 billion years ago, and so on. None of these have ever been proven with true scientific evidence, and they cannot prove them. If you don’t know this, you are in for a big learning curve if you truly seek to know the truth.
Waking up and seeing reality is no small matter. Deception is everywhere today. There are many resources available for the person who sincerely wants to get educated, but most anti-flat earthers have no genuine interest in getting educated. They have a worldview that demands a sphere and a complete heliocentric model, and that’s the end of the argument as far as they are concerned. They have no sincere interest in learning. Being both unteachable and arrogant is called pride, and in the secular world, this is profiled as narcissism in DSM-5.
If you want to read about how this works in the human mind and how someone could be so thoroughly caught up in a world of pseudo-science and scientism, I strongly recommend an audio book entitled, “Destroying Strongholds of The Mind.” Another book that may be helpful is a free download in our BiblicalCosmology.Faith bookstore entitled “Scientism in Church Pulpits.”
From a christian perspective, your first and primary duty is to look to the Bible to learn how God describes his creation. His testimony is the only first hand testimony we have, and it is reliable, credible, and true. God never lies. It behooves the believer to know the true creation story in the Bible, and when you do, you see how clearly it describes the creation of the earth in non-spherical and non-heliocentric terms.
In other words, the Bible describes the earth in a geocentric system in which the sun moves around the earth and not the earth around the sun. If you need to work through this Biblical analysis and learn how the Bible clearly teaches a geocentric creation, I recommend a book entitled, “Flat Earth: What the Bible Actually Says, Every Verse in The Bible on Creation.”
We’ve covered one fallacious argument in this article, but there are many more, and we’ll cover them on this site one at a time.