Two problems need help debunking and debating tips? please.

Qulaey

New Member
Hello…

During my spare time over the last few months I have been debating with quiet a few flat earthers, it's been a both frustrating and very rewarding process.

through these arguments I have encountered two problems, suggestions and solutions are more than welcome.

1. The vacuum next to atmosphere

Flat earthers while I am debating with them will almost guarantee to bring up this topic, and demand "imperical evidence" as they call it, by putting gas in a vacuum chamber and they will throw at you some bullshit about the second law of thermodynamics. Is there an explanation to this that will make sense to a flat earther?

2. Mathematics

Flat earth era seem to believe that mathematics is made up by the stone masons to prove globe earth. They refuse to believe that mathematics has any application to the real life and therefore all equations false. They will often use the example, "if you have five apples and you take away six how many are left" if you answer negative one they say there cannot be negative one apples and therefore math is false or if you say it's zero, they say "shouldn't it be minus one?". Please I need an explanation in words flat earther can understand.

I have found a pattern in most of the flat earth debates that I have been in, it's always me against multiple people and it's incredibly degrading as you explain your argument once and you have to explain it again to the other person, sometimes they just chat to themselves. Debating veterans, is there a trick to debating multiple people?

Thanks boys and girls
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
1. The vacuum next to atmosphere

Flat earthers while I am debating with them will almost guarantee to bring up this topic, and demand "imperical evidence" as they call it, by putting gas in a vacuum chamber and they will throw at you some bullshit about the second law of thermodynamics. Is there an explanation to this that will make sense to a flat earther?
There's an explanation, the challenge is communicating that explanation, because it' probably doesn't make sense to most regular people either. The short answer is that the full pressure of the atmosphere is not "next to" a vaccum. It's many mailes away, and the pressure gradually decreases as you get further from the ground. The pressure gradient force is balanced at all points by gravity.

A simpler way of thinking about it is to observe that the pressure at the top of a mountain is lower than the pressure at the bottom, by a lot. Air flows from high to low pressure (in the absence of other forces) but there isn't a constant hurricane blowing upwards. because the pressure gradient force up the mountain is matched by gravity.

2. Mathematics

Flat earth era seem to believe that mathematics is made up by the stone masons to prove globe earth. They refuse to believe that mathematics has any application to the real life and therefore all equations false. They will often use the example, "if you have five apples and you take away six how many are left" if you answer negative one they say there cannot be negative one apples and therefore math is false or if you say it's zero, they say "shouldn't it be minus one?". Please I need an explanation in words flat earther can understand.
An explanation of what? Can you give an actual example of a flat earther using this argument?

I have found a pattern in most of the flat earth debates that I have been in, it's always me against multiple people and it's incredibly degrading as you explain your argument once and you have to explain it again to the other person, sometimes they just chat to themselves. Debating veterans, is there a trick to debating multiple people?
Make a video of the explanation, then just show them that. It takes a lot longer to do, but ultimately saves a lot of time.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
Flat earth era seem to believe that mathematics is made up by the stone masons to prove globe earth. They refuse to believe that mathematics has any application to the real life and therefore all equations false. They will often use the example, "if you have five apples and you take away six how many are left" if you answer negative one they say there cannot be negative one apples and therefore math is false or if you say it's zero, they say "shouldn't it be minus one?". Please I need an explanation in words flat earther can understand.
ignore them. if all math is false, then their math is false too. so what's to argue about?

the answer isn't -1 or zero. the answer is "you can't take away 6 apples if you only have 5".

is there a trick to debating multiple people?
State that you are ignoring everyone else and only talking to Person X. and only talk to person X. Don't get distracted by gish gallops. State that you are ignoring gishgallops because the topic now is Topic X.

1. The vacuum next to atmosphere
https://www.metabunk.org/why-does-the-atmosphere-not-fly-off-into-the-vacuum-of-space.t10098/


although there are plenty of science sites too. use Google search.
 

Rory

Senior Member
Totally agree with all of the above. If you're in a debate with people who are raising these ideas, they're almost guaranteed to not be people who are interested in learning anything; or the truth; or in 'fair play' (as far as your interaction goes). So the question then is: why bother?

They say "please provide a practical demonstration of gas pressure without a container" because they're parroting other people. And the apples/ice creams question is just silly (Deirdre provides the correct answer).

Still, if you're enjoying it and learning something yourself, go right ahead. :)
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member
Hello…

During my spare time over the last few months I have been debating with quiet a few flat earthers, it's been a both frustrating and very rewarding process.

through these arguments I have encountered two problems, suggestions and solutions are more than welcome.

1. The vacuum next to atmosphere

Flat earthers while I am debating with them will almost guarantee to bring up this topic, and demand "imperical evidence" as they call it, by putting gas in a vacuum chamber and they will throw at you some bullshit about the second law of thermodynamics. Is there an explanation to this that will make sense to a flat earther?

As others have said, you're unlikely to change their minds and they're unlikely to be interested in your answers. However, for the audience of possible fence sitters who aren't joining in, you could try drawing the flat earthers out on their argument by getting them to put some numbers on it and describe the model they are trying to debunk.

For example; how much pressure are they talking about and at what point is this pressure next to the vacuum of space?

It may make them stop and think a little about their argument and demonstrate to the audience that the argument hasn't really been thought through
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Flat earth era seem to believe that mathematics is made up by the stone masons to prove globe earth. They refuse to believe that mathematics has any application to the real life and therefore all equations false. They will often use the example, "if you have five apples and you take away six how many are left" if you answer negative one they say there cannot be negative one apples and therefore math is false or if you say it's zero, they say "shouldn't it be minus one?". Please I need an explanation in words flat earther can understand.
Don't use apples, use dollars (or your currency of choice). Having a negative number of apples isn't intuitive, but being overdrawn is (for some of us, anyway :( ).

If you only have $5 but you have to give someone $6, you are left owing them $1, so you have minus one dollar.
 
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