Why I have Sympathy for Flat Earthers.

Matthew Christopher Bartsh
3 min readFeb 26, 2022


It really sucks that the earth is round and, perhaps even worse, is rotating on it’s axis once a day.

Pretty much all of us have a tendency to deny unpleasant truths, and this is one of the most unpleasant, though few people realize it. So I have a lot of sympathy for the flat earthers, although I do (respectfully) disagree with them about the shape of the earth.

If you think about it, it is a very nice idea indeed that everyone is oriented the same way when standing up, and our lakes, fields, and parking lots are all horizontal no matter where on the earth they are.

It is awful to think that when we travel from one place to another on the earth’s surface, we twist around, and end up upside down compared to where we were when we started, at one point during a journey around the earth.

It’s very unpleasant to think that our buildings, statues, mountains, and seas are not standing still in a dignified fashion, but are instead rotating once a day due to being attached to the earth.

I think a lot of people are largely unaware of the earth’s rotation, and even its shape.

People are vaguely aware that those on the opposite side of the earth are in some sense upside down relative to where they are standing. But few ever think of the people half way around the world, and how they are at ninety degrees relative to where one is standing. And not just the people. The trees, the towers, the rivers, the mountains, the statues, and everything else. It’s undignified. And relative to those others, we are the one’s at ninety degrees.

And the rotation of the earth means we are being whirled around in a most undignified fashion. To most people, this is an abstract fact. They are not really aware of it as it happens. We know (most of us) as a fact that the sun rises and sets not due to its own motion but due to the rotation of the earth, but we don’t really experience it as real.

Thinking quite a bit about the globe and its rotation, and trying to picture in my mind’s eye the ground I was standing on rotating in a nonrotating universe, caused me to become aware of what had really always been happening. It made me realize how depressing it is that we and all our constructions are always tumbling like this.

I was near the Equator at the time, and I was aware that all the buildings were getting whirled around once per day being rotated in a sort of head over heels fashion, and I was appalled. I might even have felt a small amount of vertigo and nausea after I became conscious of the real rotation of the landscape. Not physically, I suppose, but almost.

If there is a creator, the shape and motion of the earth are evidence, I would argue, of a desire on the part of that creator to humiliate, degrade, or at least mock mankind (and womankind).

The idea of a flat earth, especially if nonrotating, conversely, is a nice thought. In a dignified fashion, up remains up and doesn’t change its direction in any way. Likewise down remains down. No matter how far we walk, drive, or fly in an aeroplane, we remain upright and dignified. No matter how long we stand still, we don’t spin around, or get spun around.

So maybe flat earthers live in a nicer, more dignified, and more beautiful world, and maybe we should respect that, even if we think they are factually wrong.

The next time I talk to a flat earther, it will be with the respect, affection, and kindness due to a member of a benevolent, elegant, and enlightened religion.

I would suggest to you that you should do likewise.

Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash showing something like what science says the earth is doing.



Matthew Christopher Bartsh

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