In an earlier post about the Flat Earth idea, I mentioned that it’s entirely right to ask questions. Asking questions is how we learn. It’s how we discover. Asking questions is what has propelled the human race forward. As we answer questions, we discover new questions. It’s a fascinating, never-ending cycle.
Of course, questions are nothing without answers. If we don’t answer the questions we ask, we won’t move forward. If we cast doubt upon the answers, we run the risk of going backwards. It’s not automatically a bad thing to challenge answers and to revisit old questions (in fact it can be a very good thing), but sometimes doing so can hamper progress. Sometimes we need to accept that as individuals we cannot answer certain questions; we must rely on the experiments and experiences of others. That’s not ideal, but it is reality.
Take for example atoms. The individual cannot see them. No one can directly see atoms. For that matter no one can directly see blood cells or the cells and matter making up our own bodies. Yet scientists have discovered these things and their studies and experiments have led to the development of tools and technology that would not work if atoms and cells weren’t real. It’s more than an article of faith in the existence of atoms – if they didn’t exist, nuclear power would not exist. If cells in our bodies did not exist, then medical chemistry would be a waste of time. The average layperson doesn’t have the means or the time to understand these concepts, but that doesn’t mean these concepts are worthless. They impact our every-day lives.
It might be argued that we are expected to take some scientific concepts on faith. Case in point, the same individual who casts doubt on the spherical nature of earth mentions they have only been told about the effectiveness of vaccines in the past, they have not directly experienced it. If we are to go down that road, everything has to be taken on faith. I’ve never been to Russia – does Russia really exist? The author of the Flat Earth argument wants us to believe in God, which is the ultimate act of faith. Human history, it seems, does not get the same benefit of the doubt.