The Earth is flat
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 2 votes and with 6 points ahead, the winner is...
- Publication date
- Last updated date
- Number of rounds
- Time for argument
- Three days
- Max argument characters
- Voting period
- Two weeks
- Point system
- Multiple criterions
- Voting system
The speculative pseudoscientific hypothesis - and it’s variations - that the earth is flat is false. Instead, the earth is approximately spherical.
Con arguing for a spherical earth. Pro arguing for flat earth.
BoP on Con.
1.) Images from space.
Multiple organizations that have sent rockets into space have all shown that the earth is curved. These pictures are from the ESA, Russian Space Agency, NASA the ISS live stream, amateur rocketry organizations, non-governmental space corporations such as Space X and James May, a former presenter of Top Gear .
Given the scope of these images, the quantity of the evidence, and the number of individuals (and associated technology) that must be dedicated to creating these images - the idea that this is all a massive conspiracy is not plausible. This is before considering that many images were created before modern photo editing software made high quality adjustments to images possible.
2.) Terrestrial images.
Multiple examples of terrestrial images reveal demonstrate that there is detectable curvature.
Power lines curving over lake Pontchartrain are a good example.
These clearly show the power lines following the curvature of the earth over longer distances.
3.) Terrestrial observation
The best and easiest to observe facet of the earth not being flat, is the ubiquity of the horizon.
In all cases, boats, cities, objects frequently appear partially obscured by water when viewed from far enough away.
On a broadly flat earth, with the waters surface being flat - there is no geometric configuration in which the water that is lower than the level of the building can appear higher.
Instead, what is being observed is the objects appearing behind the curvature of the earth.
4.) Days and Nights
At some point on the earth, it is day time, while night time for another. As there is no point in time where the entire earth is dark, if the were a flat plane, this would mean that the sun is above the plane - and thus the entire earth should be in daylight at all times.
The pattern of 24 hour days, with time zones where different parts of the earth are in daylight whilst the opposite sides are in darkness is consistent with the earth being a sphere - and rotating at constant speed.
5.) The moon and sun travel at constant angular speed.
Both the moon and sun travel across the sky at constant angular speed. The sun specifically travels at around 15 degrees per hour. The moon travels a little faster.
This is true at all times for all observes at all locations on the earth.
When an object moves over a flat plane, keeping constant height and constant speed. The angular speed compared to an individual on the ground is variable:
The apparent angle of the object is determined by its distance and height of the object from the observer - the angle governed by tan (height/distance). Given the tan identity, the change in angle produced by a change in distance is not linear.
IE, an object a 1 mile high, and 1 mile away, will appear at 45 degrees, once it moves 1 mile, it will appear at 26.5 degrees above horizontal, another 1 mile it will be 18.4 degrees above horizontal, with each movement, comes a different angular change.
This means that the apparent angle of the sun and moon could not change constantly to an observer on the ground without it changing height and speed.
If the sun and moon changed height and speed compares to one observer, another observer at another location would perceive a completely different change in angle.
As a result, this means the earth cannot possibly be flat and produce observations of the sun and moon as they are.
 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundial (apparent motion)
“Clearly the earth cannot be [a shape] if it does not even exist.”
“the obligation to prove what is asserted and in dispute”
“the obligation to prove an assertion or claim”
“Sometimes a debater may say that the burden of proof rests on one side in particular, meaning that the other side can simply refute their opponent’s arguments without providing any of their own”
“Unilateral burden of proof,' or 'sole burden of proof,' is a situation in which one debater has a special obligation to provide evidence for a position, whereas the other debater technically needs only provide evidence negating that position (although providing additional evidence is advisable)”
“When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo” 
“A participant thereby incurs a burden or obligation of proof - meaning that he is obliged to offer proof, or at least evidence or backing, for this thesis”
- negates the contention - thus con wins.
- Negates the possibility of him being considered the winner.
- Negates the validity of votes for him. Thus no one should vote for him
- He provides no warrant or evidence to support it.
- He wildly misunderstands what BoP means in this context.
- It doesn’t even refute the position he claims it does.
0.) Pro negates the resolution. Concedes he negates the resolution.
The resolution is “The earth is flat”.
If pro - who is arguing affirmative - argues or proves that the earth is not flat, pro has negated the resolution - and pro loses the debate.
Pro isn’t claiming he didn’t negate the resolution, he is simply claiming that it doesn’t matter that he negated the resolution.
As a reminder, pros only argument stated:
“Clearly the earth cannot have [a shape] if it does not even exist.”
Burden of Proof only matters if there is a dispute, if we both agree on a point no Burden of Proof is required any more as both side agree the claim is false.
The charging party has burden of proof in a trial - but if the defendant proves or admits his own guilt - he is still guilty.
At this point voters have a pretty simply choice: Pros argument is that the earth is not flat. Cons argument is that the earth is not flat. This is an open and shut vote for the side that claims the earth is not flat.
1.) Burden of Proof
In a debate on some point, when one side has provided detailed evidence in support of their position - the other side cannot simply throw around absurd and unsupported speculation as pro does - and argue it is a genuine argument that refutes provided evidence.
I pointed this out in the previous round. l detailed what the burden of proof actually means, and pointed out that pro completely misunderstands the meaning and intent. Pro dropped this entire argument in his previous round, and conceded that we should use this working definition:
“Unilateral BoP is a situation in which one debater has a special obligation to provide evidence for a position, whereas the other debater technically needs only provide evidence negating that position.”
As I have provided evidence for my position in round 1 - I have met my burden of proof for this debate as per the definition. Pro accepts that he must provide evidence to negate my claims now that I have satisfied the burden of proof.
Let’s return to pros only argument he has made: Pro argues that if the earth doesn’t exist, then the earth isn’t a sphere (and also can’t be flat either - as noted).
The important word in this summary is the following:
Let’s say that we accept this argument on its face: if the earth doesn’t exist, my position is negated, conversely if the earth does exist my position is not negated.
If there is some non zero possibility the earth doesn’t exist - it doesn’t negate my position: it merely implies that there is a non zero possibility my position is negated.
Pro has to show that my arguments are wrong, which means pro has to establish - at the very least - that it is at least marginally probable that the earth doesn’t exist: pro must therefore convince voters that the earth doesn’t exist. Obviously, it is wildly irrational to assume the default position is that the earth does not exist, and so pro must provide evidence to move voters from the default position.
Pros argument here is asserted without warrant, he has not supported his position with any probability - and as the premise is absurd: pros argument is less valid than someone simply asserting a photograph was a fake, or that NASA was involved in a conspiracy: an even more patently absurd claim as pro makes requires even more justification.
Pro may continue to opine that I am required to disprove his claims here - but as he conceded - I only have to provide evidence for my position that the earth is not flat for my burden. The rest is on him.
2.) Whoops! Pros implicit concession #2
Pros entire prior argument completely misunderstood what BoP meant - and pro previously argued that I had an infinite standard of proof beyond any doubt:
“This means he does not just need to demonstrate that my theory is not possible, but to further demonstrate that any theory alternative to his is fundamentally impossible.”
“I merely need to present an alternative theory which is possible. I will do this, and further demonstrate that it cannot even be shown that this alternative is unlikely. (In fact, we will be unable to assign probabilities.)”
How can he convince voters that it is even marginally probable that earth doesn’t exist - if he himself admits no probabilities can be assigned?
He even went so far as to say:
“The Demon’s very nature renders us unable to observe it or test for its existence, meaning no empirical evidence allows us to discount it as a possibility. Further, we have only ever experienced this one life we are living, so we cannot make an inductive argument of the type, “Well, none of our past lives ended up being controlled by the Demon, so it is unlikely that this one is any different.” Thus, all standard ways of assigning probabilities are not applicable.”
Indeed, pro went to great lengths in his first round to tell us all how impossible it is for there to be any evidence for or against his position, and then claims:
“My Evil Demon argument constitutes an evidenced negation.”
Are voters expected to believe that the very thing you just said has no evidence for or against, nor can be proven or disprove is now something you have provided evidence for?
No. Pro has dug himself a hole where he implicitly concedes he has to show the evidence supporting the probability of his claim, after spending an entire round telling us all how no one is able to do that.
3.) Pros argument renders debate meaningless.
Pro seems not to understand the issue.
If pros whole argument is that objective and agreed meaning is impossible. His entire response to (4) was how there is no framework to agree on anything - and now appears to argue it’s quite possible to have a debate without that framework.
Pros whole position is that objective agreement is not possible - which he continues to affirm in this round with his argument about context. If that is the case then pro has essentially negated the possibility of this being a debate in the first place - or that debate is even possible - if a debate is not possible as agreement is not possible, then he cannot be deemed the winner.
4.) Context of earth.
You, me, flat earthers, all voters, and all human beings appear to collectively observe the same earth with the same properties.
Even the flat earthers - which pro asserts without any evidence at all seem to agree on the observations that are being made what they claim to see is what we also see, but disagree with the explanation.
It is this collective observation of the earth, that is obviously the obvious context of the resolution.
The Earth can’t be both spherical, and flat - it violates the laws of non contradiction and the very nature of what being flat and spherical entail preclude it. . This means if one earth is a sphere and one is flat - there is not a single objective earth, but multiple subjective earths.
The earth is either an objectively measurable and observable thing that all humans view and perceive or it’s not.
If it is - then it’s spherical based on the evidence mentioned in round 1.
If it is not, then there is no “the earth”, and merely a collection of conceptualized imaginations. As a result - as “the earth” doesn’t exist - it can’t be flat.
In both cases the resolution is negated.
Quite frankly, pro is engaging in a ridiculous semantic argument, repeatedly attempting to shift the burden of proof.
He has completely mischaracterized what our burdens are.
At this point, it’s fairly clear that pro isn’t engaging in good faith, and likely appears to be simply trolling - as I don’t believe anyone who appears as cogent as pro would misunderstand burden of proof so profoundly by accident.
Here are the take aways.
1.) Pros argument negates the resolution. He didn’t contest this, so voters should conclude the resolution is negated and award the debate to con.
2.) Pro conceded definition shows that I have met my burden of proof.
3.) To win, pro must provide an argument that convinces voters that the earth doesn’t exist. He offers no such argument.
4.) Pros argument is asserted speculation, pro concedes he must provide evidence for it, after spending his entire last round saying that there can be no evidence for it.
5.) Pro inherently misunderstands the issues with assumptions.
6.) The earth is either not flat because it doesn’t exist - or there is some common observed earth, which the evidence shows is not flat. Either way it is not flat.
 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zEqDbsPUgH8 (general observations)
 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=17PFDyrweXg (general observations)
- Voters should decide whether pro not providing evidence or justification to justify his critical claim is sufficient for his burden of proof. It clearly is not.
- Voters should decide whether a claim that is unfalsifiable and cannot be assessed for probability should be considered as valid. Obviously not.
- Voters should decide whether the default position should be that the earth exists. If it is, the debate goes to con.
- Voters should decide whether pros arguments have moved the default position - considering he admits he cannot. This should be easy.
- Voters should note: Pros main argument claims the earth is NOT flat. He has not contested this in any of the previous rounds - voters MUST accept that pro is claiming the earth is not flat.
- Voters must decide whether they should accept as true a fact that is not in dispute from either side - this is obviously true.
- Voters must decide whether con has burden of proof to PROVE claims pro makes, and whether con has burden of proof to PROVE a claim accepted as true by both sides - this is obviously false.
- It has been established that pro concedes the earth is not flat.
- By definition this means he has not affirmed his case in either option.
- As pro cannot affirm his position in either scenario, pro cannot be declared the winner of this debate
- Voters must decide whether it is fair for the resolution to be unchallenged by con until round 3, and then raised in his last round with no possibility for me to defend it subsequently. If not - the R2 Pt0 definition should be used - and pro has conceded the whole debate to con.
- If not - Voters must decide whether the description constitutes a formal resolution, or an expectation of roles and outlining of cons position. If the latter - Con must be determined the winner.
- If not - voters must assess pros behaviour - pro clearly violates the description - if this description is accepted as binding then pro clearly met his own implicit requirements or burden so con must be determined the winner
Based upon this, it is easy for the voter to conclude that the opponent has not met this burden of proof. Him and I have made mutually exclusive assertions of equal strength. We have no reason to prefer his assertion over my own.