Author Topic: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix  (Read 1917 times)

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Online daniel1948

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2019, 11:26:13 AM »
Others may be reluctant to say it, but I will: People who seriously believe the Earth is flat (as opposed to people who join the movement for social validation or camaraderie or as a lark because they enjoy being silly) are completely bat-shit crazy. They are mentally ill. They are delusional. They imagine that their own "common sense" is more valid than well-established theories tested with scientific rigor. In addition they are stupid (even if they have competence in basic life skills and the technical use of equipment) because they imagine that any anomaly that fits their fantasy is a proof, while the mountain of contradictory evidence is all lies and fabrications. Even when their own tests disprove flat-earth and confirm round-earth, they reject those results with idiotic hypotheses about unknown "energies," effectively the universe itself conspiring to conceal the "truth." They are bat-shit crazy idiots. Or in polite terms, mentally-ill persons of below-average intelligence.

I joined the Flat Earth Society discussion board a while back, browsed randomly through it, and posted for a while (as a flat-earth believer, since that was more fun than arguing seriously with people who reject all evidence) and the number of completely incomprehensible posts was impressive. For about five years I worked in a homeless shelter, and a percentage of homeless people are homeless because they are mentally ill. And I've spent time listening to people who are clearly mentally ill. I'm not a therapist, but often these people just need someone to listen to them, and I believe that I did them some good just by listening. And, no, I did not tell them they were ill. I just listened. And I can tell you that I saw many of the same sorts of patterns on the FES chat board as I did at the homeless shelter. On the chat board I never told anyone they were crazy, but I'll say it here. Wackaloons of the first order.
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Online Bill K

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2019, 03:53:33 PM »
Stop stigmatizing mental illness! /s
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Online Alex Simmons

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2019, 05:27:46 PM »
Would this then also apply?

Others may be reluctant to say it, but I will: People who seriously believe the Earth is flat there is a God (as opposed to people who join the movement for social validation or camaraderie or as a lark because they enjoy being silly) are completely bat-shit crazy. They are mentally ill. They are delusional.

Online Bill K

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2019, 06:42:06 PM »
Would this then also apply?

Others may be reluctant to say it, but I will: People who seriously believe the Earth is flat there is a God (as opposed to people who join the movement for social validation or camaraderie or as a lark because they enjoy being silly) are completely bat-shit crazy. They are mentally ill. They are delusional.

I don't think the belief in a god is equivalent to the belief in a flat Earth, is it?
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2019, 06:45:51 PM »
Depends on the nature of their god.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2019, 06:59:27 PM »
I would be extremely careful about remotely diagnosing mental illness on the basis of a single documentary.

Me too. Unfortunately, I'm not a doctor, so can say these things.

Non-doctors should be even more reluctant to perform diagnoses that should be performed by doctors.

If you want to call them "crazy", do so. Don't start trying to say that they have specific mental disorders unless you know what you're talking about. And don't use "mental illness" as a blanket term for "crazy". That does a disservice by stigmatising those with genuine diagnosed mental illness.

Okay, I've said my bit. How about those flat earthers, eh? Are they crazy or what?

When did I mention a specific diagnosis? And I'm sorry but I'm not going to substitute "mentally ill" for "crazy" because that's your preference. Furthermore, I didn't stigmatize anything nor is that ever my intention. I'm sorry you feel I did.

That's a great non-apology, denial, and commitment to not changing. You might as well have not responded at all.
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Online Bill K

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2019, 07:00:43 PM »
I'm not sorry, you're right. Denial of what? And I don't find your responses very meaningful, either. I think you mean well, but while trying to make others less offensive (by your standards) you come off pretty insulting yourself, in my opinion.

You also didn't tell me what supposed diagnosis I made, nor how I managed to stigmatize mental illness.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 07:07:31 PM by Bill K »
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2019, 08:31:46 PM »
I'm not sorry, you're right. Denial of what? And I don't find your responses very meaningful, either. I think you mean well, but while trying to make others less offensive (by your standards) you come off pretty insulting yourself, in my opinion.

You also didn't tell me what supposed diagnosis I made, nor how I managed to stigmatize mental illness.

Okay, let me break it down since you're clearly having trouble with it. You denied stigmatising mental illness, which you did (I believe unintentionally) by equating it with generic "crazy". If you say someone has a mental illness, you are implying that they have an actual diagnosed disorder that you could find in the DSM-5 or the ICD-10. By equating them, you're saying either that all people who have diagnosed mental illness are "crazy" or that all "crazy" people have diagnosed mental illness, neither of which are true.

Synonyms for "crazy" include demented, unbalanced, unhinged and unstable, and it carries potential connotations of violence or mania. Most mental illness sufferers are none of those things."Crazy" is a perjorative. "Mentally ill" is not. By using the term "mentally ill" instead of the perjorative "crazy", you are making the term "mentally ill" into a perjorative, which stigmatises all people who actually do have diagnosed mental illness, most of whom are not "crazy" by any reasonable definition of the term.

I actually don't think that you should use the word at all, but if you really want to insult someone, you should use the terms "crazy" or "loony" or something similarly generic. Don't use the term "mentally ill" unless you know that someone actually has a mental health diagnosis. Otherwise, you perpetuate the myth that mentally ill people are all crazy.

I hope this has highlighted for you why it is important not to misuse mental illness terminology.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2019, 08:42:14 PM »
I'm not sure a thread regarding the spectacle of Flat Earth lunacy is the best place for an ableism derail
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2019, 08:47:11 PM »
I'm not sure a thread regarding the spectacle of Flat Earth lunacy is the best place for an ableism derail

Which is why I originally said:

Okay, I've said my bit. How about those flat earthers, eh? Are they crazy or what?

Bit Bill K doubled down.
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Online Bill K

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2019, 01:44:30 AM »
In using the word crazy, I was thinking more along the lines of "not mentally sound or marked by thought or action that lacks reason." Although, I nevertheless shouldn't equate the two (mentally ill and crazy), you're right.

I do still suspect the individual flat Eathers in this film probably do suffer from undiagnosed mental disorders. I don't think they're crazy.



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« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 02:01:14 AM by Bill K »
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2019, 01:59:50 AM »
In using the word crazy, I was thinking more along the lines of "not mentally sound or marked by thought or action that lacks reason." Although, I see why you were offended. I think it's clear these people (at least those featured in the documentary) are not crazy by the definition you are using. And I'm unsure that's the definition most people intend to convey when using the word crazy colloquially, despite it being the definition one might first find Googling the term. Nevertheless, I shouldn't have equated craziness with mental illness. I misread you initially and thought you were (not that even had you would it excuse me doing so).

I appreciate you saying that. Thanks.

I do, still, think the flat-Earthers in this documentary suffer from mental illness, for the most part. I don't think that they are deranged, nor demented, nor violent. I think they very clearly have some serious issues in cognition. How else can one arrive at such a conclusion?

Incomplete or insufficient understanding of science, mostly. Distrust of authority. Overactive agency detection. These are all reasons people believe in conspiracy theories. Combine that with a YouTube algorithm that has the effect of driving people towards conspiracy videos. Mike Hall has discussed this at length on a recent episode of the Skeptics With A K podcast, which I highly recommend.

Anyway, you're still dipping into mental illness territory. What you are suggesting is that flat earthers suffer from a mental disconnection from reality, fabrication and reification of fantasy. There's a technical term for that - psychosis. Psychosis can be a symptom of a number of mental disorders - schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD and others - but it certainly is not a symptom of all mental illness, so I would caution against hasty generalisation.

This has been your "Arth talks about mental illness" hour. Thanks for coming.
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Online fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2019, 03:25:10 AM »
They imagine that their own "common sense" is more valid than well-established theories tested with scientific rigor.
Almost like an untrained person remotely diagnosing people on the internet with mental illness.

Online fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2019, 03:32:15 AM »
Thanks, Arth, for providing fact-based and sensitive context for discussions of mental illness. I think we all need to exercise more care in how we describe these conditions and more restraint in making untrained diagnoses. Props to Bill K for being open to learning on this topic. Hats off to you both.

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Re: Behind the Curve - flat earth documentary on Netflix
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2019, 07:06:24 AM »
I'm watching it right now.  I actually came across a flat earther in the wild a few weeks ago. I know this because he reacted to a comment I made about Space X sending people back to the moon.  He flat out also believed nobody ever went to the moon.  But that is another topic.
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