The Flat earth vs Round earth:
If I had to say in one sentence, the most valuable thing I learned in this lockdown is “Truth is a well-accepted belief”.
The reason I accepted the above quote was my encounter with a person who believes the earth is flat. Sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?. In today’s era, some people still believe in the flat earth theory. Heck, there are entire communities of them. How stupid?
If there were a debate between a flat earther and a normal person, the normal person would bombard that dimwit with all the facts of this world. Right? Wrong. I made such an assumption and argued with him, only to find myself humiliated.
When I first found out that he believed such a thing, I thought he had gone astray from the path of truth. I considered myself responsible for enlightening him. With a hope to be his savior and win his appraisal, I started poking his belief.
I asked him why he believes such bullshit; there is plenty of evidence that earth is an ellipsoid.
He said,” As I look around, all I see is a flat plane.”
I took out my phone and searched “earth” on google. Then I showed him the picture. He also took out his phone and searched “flat earth”, and showed me the image. I told him to read the blogs and articles that say flat earth is a hoax. He took out his phone. There was a saved article in his drive which had described the details of the flat earth. I told him his article is wrong.
He asked,” what makes your articles more valid than mine? Aren’t they all written by other people whom you don’t know about?”
To further prove my point, I said, “Come with me. I can go to hundreds of people and they will all say the earth is round. They will call you stupid for saying the earth is flat.”
He replied, “I also have tens of people who believe the earth is flat and mock you for preaching otherwise.”
I was losing the battle. He was calm, confident, and acted as if he had done this debate with hundreds of people. His face revealed he knew my every move. While I was oblivious to his intentions.
I told him to look at the curvature of the horizon. He told me to go to the horizon and look at the flat earth.
I said,” The same physics which proves the earth is round, run our TV, mobile phone, watch and everything else”.
He again replied,” Can you prove it to me?”
I sought to prove it, only to realize I did not know how to. In further debate, no matter what attack I threw at him, he always had his magical mirror, which reflected my attacks right back at me.
Then, I threw my last arrow. “So many people here believe that the earth is round. Why would you think otherwise?.”
And his conclusive answer was, “Christianity has 2 billion believers and “rastafari” has 0.6 million believers. Does that mean Christianity is right? If more people believe it, it’s genuine; otherwise, it is false?”
This was his best attack, and I had no means to counter it. It made me helpless. To please my ego, I wanted to bring my friends to mock him and his beliefs. But the futility of my action was clear. I had always known the earth to be round but never cared to experiment with it. I thought of myself as a teacher, even though I lacked proper knowledge.
In my later contemplation, I realized that the debate was less about the truth than about proving one’s superiority. We both were trying to show our dominance. Accepting each other’s words meant a hurt to our ego. I then came to my conclusion, “would my life have been miserable if someone else preferred to believe the earth is flat? If I made him believe the earth is round, would that improve my life? Never. Then why argue? Let him believe what he wants and let me secure my peace of mind.”
By pondering that much, I didn’t have to accept my defeat. I saved my ego by telling myself,” Truth is a well-accepted belief.”