Thank you, RationalMadman, for having this debate.
I wish you good luck, may the better debater win.
Reaction to the forfeit
PRO forfeited 2 hours after last having logged in. I wish PRO would have at least explained to me what model of Flat Earth he supports. As he has made crystal clear, he is of the opinion that Flat Eart Society is somehow infected by false flat earthers, imposters working to ridicule the real flat earth theory. Not only does he believe in the conspiracy theory of a flat earth, he believes that the proponents of the conspiracy theory are themselves conspiring against it. Basically, PRO goes one step further in the conspiracy scheme.
Not only did he uncover the lies of the government, but also the lies of those lying about the lies of the government.
This leaves me clueless as to what he actually supports, as Flat Earth Society is literally the only group willing to claim the Earth as flat. Speaking for myself, I have a severe lack of faith in PRO's ability to find sources that don't contradict his belief. Regardless of this obstacle, I demand PRO send me the model of Earth he is willing to debate. A picture, a description, some clue as to how PRO perceives the flat earth, the sun and other important objects.
PRO, through the nature of his belief, asserts that all space agencies are lying and that all governments are lying. I just cannot see how that would be possible. How long can the government hide a bad decision before Wikileaks eventually gets the documents out, how long can space agencies farm money from the government and rich people before the lie becomes an economic impossibility? Scientists discover the nature of reality, quantum mechanics, and alike. How long until they prove that the earth is flat? Knowing that the answer to these questions isn't "forever", how would anyone intelligent enough to make this complot be stupid enough to continue lying? The answers to these questions seem to be more important for human society than this particular debate. They reveal either the stupidity of humanity as a whole or the severe lack of reasoning behind the flat earth theory. PRO's belief in a double conspiracy seems even more illogical. As far as I am concerned, nobody who isn't a madman should believe in flat earth theory. I understand that PRO has his reasons, and won't continue dismantling the conspiratorial part of PRO's position.
INTERPRETING THE RESOLUTION:
Flat Earth is physically viable/plausible, if space agencies are lying (especially NASA and Roscosmos)
We can divide the resolution into a resolution and a rule:
- Resolution: Flat Earth is physically viable/plausible
- Rule: CON can't use any evidence collected in space
This is the most forgiving interpretation for PRO. Not only does he avoid CON proving the validity of space agencies (destroying PRO with a Kritik), but it also removes the entire field of science that is traditionally used to disprove flat earth theory. However, the interpretation needs to take into account more than this division.
Plausible and viable mean that nothing about it is impossible or self-contradictory.
This is simple to decode. Physically contradictory means that you describe reality using physical forces that contradict each other. If the physical forces needed for flat earth to be true are self-contradictory, it means that they would not be able to maintain their stable state. If the same force doing x prevents y, and both x and y are needed for flat earth to exist, then the flat earth is physically self-contradictory.
This is harder to decode. "Incapable of being or occurring" cannot be easily defined. At least we know one thing, we are talking about something that is "physically" impossible. Appealing to aliens, god, the matrix simulation, magic, fifth dimensions, doctor who or any other form of non-physical force is not a valid way for PRO to prove the resolution. He must show why physical laws (that aren't contradictory) can explain how Earth works and exists as flat. Failing to do so will leave flat earth theory as merely a conspiracy theory with no actual theory about the shape of the earth. Remember, an hypothesis has to fit experimental data to be called a theory.
It doesn't mean that it has to match things like gravity or the standard world map's southern hemisphere's proportions (especially of Antarctica).
The problem with this appeal by PRO is that he asserts that the flat earth doesn't need to be our earth. I strongly disagree. The flat earth must account for what we observe. Accounting for observations is literally the defining difference between what is and isn't physically plausible, the defining difference between science and mysticism. PRO, or his sources, must show that the flat earth can account for our reality. If it can't then flat earthers are the ones denying the truth, not the government or Nasa.
I will summarize and conclude
CONCLUSION -- HERE ARE THE INTERPRETED GUIDELINES FOR OUR DEBATE:
- PRO is the maker of claims and the bearer of BoP.
- Resolution: The flat earth can account for our observations, without being physically impossible or based on self-contradictory physics.
- Rule: CON can not use the evidence collected in space
- Rule: PRO cannot appeal to forces outside our realm, like a god or alien simulators.
- Definition of PHYSICS: a science that deals with matter and energy and their interactions
I hope all voters can agree that this is the fairest and most accurate interpretation of the debate topic.
I wish PRO good luck.