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Messages - The Philosopher

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31
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 12, 2007, 12:57:08 PM »
I can also conclude that I am at rest.  I don't understand why this is so hard for you to understand.  Read a little into General and Special Relativity if you don't believe me.

Please explain how you're able to come to that conclusion, and don't just say it's because of the equivalence principle.  Tell me exactly what about the equivalence principle and special relativity can lead you to this conclusion.

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Another way of stating the equivalence principle is that gravitational acceleration is indistinguishable from other forms of acceleration. According to this view a student in a closed room could not tell the difference between experiencing the gravitational pull of the earth at the earth's surface and being in a rocketship in space accelerating with a = 9.8 m/s2.
EXPERIENCING the two accelerations is indistinguishable.  This does not at all imply that if you see someone accelerating, you wouldn't be able to tell if it was that person or yourself who was actually accelerating.

Drawing equivalence between two frames of reference is only possible if:
1) One frame is experienced/perceived and you're equating that frame with another one that you could be experiencing/perceiving.
2) You're observing an external frame of reference, and you're equating that frame with another external frame of reference.

32
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Where is the smoking gun
« on: March 12, 2007, 12:36:01 PM »
This is a leaked picture of the flat earth taken by Space Shuttle Endeavor from it's maiden flight on May 7th 1992, at an altitude of 195 nautical miles. It is an untouched photograph taken from a 35mm camera with a diagonal of 43 mm. It uses a normal lens of 50mm focal length. No zoom is applied.

http://i17.tinypic.com/2rwn4i1.jpg

Save that and go to Properties > Summary
Creation Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
Nice try, though.

Actually, the Round Earth images are obviously fake. Go directly to Nasa.gov and find an image of the Round Earth. You will find Photoshop headers on each of them.

I don't know what exactly you mean by photoshop headers.. Perhaps you mean that they show up with the photoshop icon?  All that would mean is that photoshop is your default program for opening images.  In the image properties I saw nothing that has to do with photoshop.  On yours, however, I did.

33
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 12, 2007, 12:22:41 PM »
You're contradicting yourself....

Lets make things a little clearer; take this situation:
You are accelerating in your car.  You say you can claim that the earth is moving around you.  However, you observe that you're being pressed back against your seat.  Since this could only happen with a force being applied to you (reactant force due to your acceleration), you can conclude that you're the one accelerating, not the earth around you.

Do you agree? If not, why (use legitimate examples and reasoning, and please don't answer with a single sentence that ignores my entire point)?

34
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 12, 2007, 12:06:43 PM »
The warpage of space.

So when you observe that someone else is accelerating with reference to you, they're warping space in a way that makes you feel a force?

35
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 12, 2007, 03:49:00 AM »
At constant velocity you wouldn't be feeling any force, thus you are right, you would be unable to distinguish whether you or another object was moving.  If you are in an accelerated reference frame and can feel a force on you, however, you can conclude that you yourself are accelerating.  If you can't feel a force, then you're not the one accelerating.  It's not complicated; it's called using your sense of touch.
But what if I want to claim that I am not accelerating?

Then what's causing the force you're experiencing?

36
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: If satellites dont exist...
« on: March 11, 2007, 05:40:56 PM »
Step 6. Read the book "Flatland" by Edwin A. Abbott

You do realize this is purely a work of fiction...  I shudder to think what the book referred to in step 20 contains..

37
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 11, 2007, 04:52:29 PM »
If I am accelerating, space must therefore warp around me in order for me to do so. 

If I was in the dead of space and there was another spaceship approaching me and we are at constant velocity, how am I to tell if I am moving or standing still?  Relativity guarantees that any frame that I choose to use will be correct and equivalent to every other frame.  Thus, the apparent paradoxes in the theory.

You continue to ignore my main question.. what a surprise.

At constant velocity you wouldn't be feeling any force, thus you are right, you would be unable to distinguish whether you or another object was moving.  If you are in an accelerated reference frame and can feel a force on you, however, you can conclude that you yourself are accelerating.  If you can't feel a force, then you're not the one accelerating.  It's not complicated; it's called using your sense of touch.

38
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 11, 2007, 11:12:17 AM »
Why is that silly?  Relative to me, that's exactly what happened.  There is no preferred frame of reference in relativity. 
Yes, if you're purely using vision to observe the situation, you could say that the entire earth is moving underneath you.  You have your sense of touch, however, and with it you're able to feel the force on yourself, and confirm that you are the one accelerating.  It's as simple as that.

39
Flat Earth Debate / Re: Occam's Razor
« on: March 11, 2007, 10:57:26 AM »
How does FE stand up to the principles of Occam's (also known as Ockham's) Razor, ie (if I may use my *amazing* simplification skills) The theory with the least number of crackpot assumptions is the best one?

Tried this already.. Occam's Razor does apply here, but you're never going to get them to admit it applies.

40
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will
« on: March 10, 2007, 08:19:40 PM »
Evolution occurs when a random genetic mutation yields an improvement in the survival mechanisms of an animal (basic theory of evolution). The more of the animal with that trait survive the more that trait gets passed on. So in theory, the trait of having higher reasoning capabilities (emotion, complex decision making process, etc.) would need to confer some sort of survival advantage in order for it to be passed on. Why would humanity develop the ability to put so much thought into a decision making process if the decision would be made automatically by chemical states of the brain? It seems that if you hold to darwinian evolution that this theory wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.
Emotion, complex decision making et cetera would all be beneficial.  They allow a person to analyze situations to a greater depth, from different points of view, etc.  These changes would also mean that the brain chemistry of that individual was different, in that your brain would have to be wired for those processes.  Therefore they would prove advantageous to survival, but would still be comprised of biological structures, and the chemical interactions within, which could only act in a single way as time proceeds and information is continuously taken in, analyzed, and recalled.

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Also, I don't mean to say that humans operate outside of natural law (which I'm fairly certain is what you meant to say) but that they operate outside of the nature. Humans support the sick and weak, change the environment to suit their needs, war upon each other, etc. If humans operated in line with nature they would be far less likely to take these lines of thought (as they would be predisposed to do by the chemical states of their brain as would be determined by genetic make up, wiring of the brain, nutritional variables etc)
Im not positive, but I think you're talking about what separates humans from all other animals, which is an extremely complex idea in and of itself.  I personally think this has to do with our seemingly "conscious" state, and whatever brought us to such a state.  In my opinion, a few of the most important aspects of consciousness are the ability to take ourselves out of the present moment with the help of language (being able to think and talk with others about the past and future), the recognition that we can keep our thoughts to ourselves (which led to lying, deception, and egocentrism), and the ability to empathize.  If we're going to continue on this tangent we should probably start a new thread for it.

Also, the chemical state of our brain includes all our past experiences, genetic outline for how the brain will evolve over time, current stimuli, cognitive processes, and all other functions the brain controls.  This is all based on the assumption that our minds arise solely within our brains.

41
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will
« on: March 10, 2007, 06:57:23 PM »
This would make evolution make absolutely no sense. Why would humans develop higher reasoning capabilities if chemical states were all that determined the decision making process.

And if you think that humans don't operate outside of nature, then i suggest that you have a misunderstanding of nature.

I don't see how this would interfere with evolution... Also I'm not sure what you mean by humans developing higher reasoning capabilities or humans operating outside of nature.  Care to elaborate?

42
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: seasons?
« on: March 10, 2007, 05:19:05 PM »



The force causing this to happen is, of course, magic.

43
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 10, 2007, 02:51:47 PM »
I think you are confusing the point of frames of reference.  There is no point to saying which frame is correct, as they are both correct.  Relativity states that the reference frames are equal.  I can say that relative to me, the school is moving at 50mph and the school kids can claim they are stationary and I am the one moving.  Even someone on a passing airplane can claim to be at rest and the school and I are moving relative to them.  Each frame is equal and equivalent.  Frames of reference don't care which is more likely, as they are exactly the same.  So as I accelerate though the school zone, the kids can claim that my foot on the gas caused me to accelerate, while at the same time, I can claim that putting my foot on the gas caused space to warp in such a way that the school was doing the accelerating, and both would be equal.

The two experiences are the same, but that doesn't mean it's possible that either is occurring.  Since you're the one feeling the gravitation when your car is accelerating, and you can communicate with the school kids who say they don't feel the acceleration, you can conclude that you are accelerating, and not the school.  All types of accelerations are the same, but by making observations you can differentiate the different types.  This is about the fifth time I've said this in the past few days... this shouldn't be such a hard concept to follow..

44
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: A question.
« on: March 10, 2007, 01:58:19 PM »
Then both Myself and my apple are too?
Once you let go of the apple, it continues moving at the speed it was prior to being let go, but the earth is continue to increase in velocity, so it produces the same effects as gravity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle

45
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Freefall
« on: March 10, 2007, 10:48:18 AM »
My point was that the feeling is psychological. It has nothing to do with inertia or acceleration.

I'd advise reading my second post on this thread first.  It can easily be explained with physics, and it probably wouldn't be hard to test whether or not your stomach literally rises in your chest.

I'm really interested in hearing how it's a psychological effect... Why our stomachs? Why rising?  What's causing these sensations?

46
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Freefall
« on: March 10, 2007, 10:37:45 AM »
An astronaut aboard the space station (assuming there is such a thing) is in a constant state of free-fall. If you ever get a chance, ask one if they constantly feel their stomach rising in their chest. I've got five bucks that says the answer is "no".

I'm referring to freefall that causes movement towards the center, not centripetal movement.  They're also in a state of weightlessness.  You're not going to prove my point invalid since you can experience it easily in an elevator, car (going over a big bump and dropping again), etc. so you FE'ers might as well start formulating one of your crazy answers.

47
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: horizons
« on: March 10, 2007, 08:49:31 AM »
is terry pratchett your god?

Terry Pratchett wasn't the person who created the idea of 4 elephants and a turtle.  It's apparently an ancient Hindi belief. 

48
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will
« on: March 10, 2007, 08:47:28 AM »
You can choose to toss a coin and go by the choice that the coin shows you. Do you think many creatures could leave their decision up to the toss of a coin? Further more you can choose to make the wrong decision even if you know it is the wrong decision.

I never said we're not the most intelligent form of life on this planet (most likely), but something within your brain chemistry caused you to decide to flip a coin instead of making the decision for yourself, whether that was seeing a coin or being fed up with trying to decide.  The coin then leaves your finger with a certain velocity, caused by however much force you put into it (which I also attribute to brain chemistry), and it lands based on the properties of physics.  In the same way, you choose to make the wrong decision for some reason, which arises in past experience, memories, etc, so you can say that given the same circumstances over again (with no memory of your prior experince), you would STILL make that wrong decision.

49
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Freefall
« on: March 10, 2007, 08:29:08 AM »
Sorry, but I don't recognize that force.  Be more specific.

Stop avoiding the question just because there's no answer based on the FE model... I explained it with those quotes above, and they're VERY specific.  When you accelerate down there's a reaction force within you, due to your body's inertia, that causes your stomach to rise within your chest.

When above the surface in the FE model, there should be no force acting on you.  Rather, the earth would accelerate up to meet you.  In FE, you would not feel any forces acting on you when you're in the middle of the air, supposedly with no forces acting upon you.

In the RE model, this is caused by gravity.  On the surface, the experiences of gravity and acceleration are the same, but when you leave the surface you should not feel the effects of UA, but you would feel the effects of gravity.

Einstein never said gravity was just an illusion; he said that the experiences of being accelerated due to gravity and just being accelerated are identical, just from different frames of reference.

50
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Freefall
« on: March 09, 2007, 11:34:44 PM »
What causes this sensation with gravity?


BTW, the Equivalence Principle holds for all points in space.
From http://www1.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/cell_growth_in_zero_g.pdf
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The tendency to move in a straight line is inertia. Stresses are felt inside your body as its parts push on one another to allow them to accelerate at the same rate. Your interpretation of those stresses is a weight-like feeling in the direction opposite your acceleration.

Also from here http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,824452,00.html?promoid=googlep
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Weightlessness is easy to achieve on earth, but only for short intervals. The simplest way is to jump off something, even a chair. While the jumper is in free fall, his body as a whole is pulled by the earth's gravitation, but the parts of his body feel weightless. In the same way a person in a rapidly descending elevator feels his stomach rise. Actually it does rise: the elevator's fall has made the stomach lose weight, and the elastic tissues that support it have pulled it upward. When the elevator stops descending, gravity resumes control. The stomach regains its weight and settles back into place.

Also from the above article, how is this explained?
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A better system is to fly an airplane over a curved course in a part of a gentle outside loop. If the speed and sharpness of the curve are correct, centrifugal force exactly balances the earth's gravitation. Everything in the airplane, including the pilot, suddenly becomes weightless.
You're a pilot, you should try this yourself. 

In the air above the accelerating flat earth you should not feel any force within yourself, because there's no force acting on you once you leave the surface.  This is what I meant by the equivalence principle not holding true (not that it didn't work in some circumstances, just that it didn't apply when above the surface).  Though the gravitation experienced on the surface is equivalent to that of gravity on the surface, once you leave the surface, the acceleration from the FE model would no longer affect you, and yet it's easily experienced that it does.  By 'looking out our window', so to speak, we are able to differentiate between the different types of acceleration (whether caused by a gravitational field, or uniform directional acceleration of a 'plane' of sorts).

51
Flat Earth Q&A / Freefall
« on: March 09, 2007, 10:50:20 PM »
What is the explanation of your stomach rising within your chest (an easily experienced feeling) when you are in freefall?  This wouldn't happen if the earth were accelerating up to meet you.  Rather, it would only occur if you yourself were accelerating down towards the earth.

The equivalence principle works for when you're on the surface, but when you leave that surface and are still feeling the acceleration, you can conclude that it's not due to that surface literally accelerating "up" toward you.

52
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Terminal Velocity
« on: March 09, 2007, 10:48:20 PM »
From what I understand, terminal velocity is the maximum speed that an object reaches when falling towards the earth.  It accelerates constantly until it reaches X speed, then accelerates no more.

If indeed the earth is flat, and accerlerating upwards at a constant speed, why is terminal velocity experienced?  If the earth is accelerating at a constant and increasing speed, wouldn't the "falling" object continue accelerating until it's collision with earth?

Same as in RE: air resistance.
Gravitation=Acceleration yada yada yada
Equivalence Principle et cetera
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalence_principle

53
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 09, 2007, 09:54:06 PM »
Einstein's Relativity and his Principle of Equivalence walk together hand-in-hand. Break one and you break the other.

If the poster of this thread really thinks he's smarter than Einstein then perhaps he should write an opposing paper on the subject.
You seem to think you're smarter than Einstein... You claim that the equivalence principle implies that any accelerating object creates a gravitational field, when this is not the case.  The equivalence principle merely refers to the fact that gravitation and acceleration evoke the same experience, thus making them indifferentiable.  Even your quote says nothing about an accelerating object creating its own gravitational field, it merely says from a different reference frame, the experiences are identical.

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A uniform gravitational field is equivalent to a uniformly accelerating frame of reference.
This also implies that if the earth was uniformly accelerating, the gravitation throughout the earth would be identical, when it can easily be tested that this is not the case.
http://physics.mercer.edu/petepag/p_pend.html
Have fun with it.


54
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Will
« on: March 09, 2007, 09:43:32 PM »
I say it doesn't matter. I don't care if my cognition is entirely chemically explainable. It doesn't matter to me, and shouldn't. I live now; it doesn't matter if everything is predetermined by exact structure of atomic particles. I think it is possible we do and possible we don't have free will. I think it is impossible to prove that consciousness is entirely physically based; I also don't think we should care to find out, it simply doesn't matter and. So, basically: don't know, don't care. It is impossible to know if there is material predetermination, though, without being infinite yourself; and if one was infinite then there would not be material predetermination for that one -- so again, doesn't matter.
I agree, it shouldn't matter in how you live your life or anything, but that doesn't mean you can't have an opinion about it.  I just think it makes for an interesting discussion.

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Any hypothesis on the matter will be purely speculation and belief, no evidence or reasoning, as there is nothing to work with.
Philosophy is largely based on speculation and belief, but these are rooted in reasoning and, in an abstract sense, evidence as well.  This isn't concrete evidence as is obtained in science, as it is often in the form of a general hypothetical situation, which is used as an example to support a rationalized conjecture, thus justifying it to some degree.

55
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: making sense
« on: March 09, 2007, 09:18:58 PM »
The Coriolis Force has already been conclusively debunked years ago. Toilets don't flush a certain direction between hemispheres, and air currents don't travel in a certain direction. It's completely random. All observations  that suggest otherwise are completely coincidental.

If it's random, then why are its effects predictable?  You can't say that easily predictable phenomena all arise out of pure coincidence.  If you met a fortune teller who could consistently tell the future correctly, would you just say it's a coincidence?

56
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 09, 2007, 09:11:09 PM »
Not if your environment is accelerating with you.

Why don't you respond to the real question at hand....
I think you're taking that segment of the paper a bit too literally.  I read through (well, admittedly skimmed over the equations, but payed attention to the wordy parts) it and I don't think they meant that an accelerating object actually creates a gravitational field; they only meant that if you were accelerating and you knew no information about the source of the acceleration, you would be unable to tell if the reason for that acceleration was gravitation or another source, and therefore it may as well be either.

Edit: And before you either quote me and say "exactly" or tell me how dumb I am, I'm talking about gravitation in directions other then down.  Again, in the Cavendish experiment, two objects are accelerating towards each other.  This could be gravitation or acceleration if we knew nothing about the source of that acceleration, but we know that it's NOT being caused by any form of acceleration besides gravitation (assuming you didn't use magnetic weights, perform the experiment outside on a windy day, or any other conditions that would botch the results).
His points are all valid, why dont you at least try answering them...

57
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Free Will
« on: March 09, 2007, 09:05:13 PM »
What are your opinions on whether or not humans have free will?

In a sense, I think it's an illusion.  I think about it this way: at any time that we are making a decision, our brains have an exact chemical makeup.  Based on the stimuli received by our five senses as well as our other cognitive processes operating based on prior experience, memory, etc., I think we are bound to decide whatever we end up deciding in that situation.  Even if we think over the decision for a long time, whatever causes us to finalize our decision was taken in by our senses or suddenly realized, which I believe was bound to happen when it did, due to chemical interactions in your brain.

Simply put, given the same exact situation twice (hypothetically sent back in time to the exact situation with no memory and the same exact brain chemistry at the time), I believe you would respond identically both times.

In that sense, everything can only happen a single way.

58
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: The Equivalence Principle and all its fun
« on: March 09, 2007, 08:55:52 PM »
How would looking out a window tell you anything?

He was pointing out that the experience of gravity is the same as that of acceleration, but you can differentiate the type of acceleration by using your 5 senses and/or experimentation.

59
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: Wait, what?
« on: March 08, 2007, 09:13:55 PM »
I'm really not getting these "Flat Earth" theories.

First: Where are you getting your facts?  I get mine from a wondorous educational field called "science"(Perhaps you'ne heard of it?), I have no clue where you get your facts.

Second: Ice Guards.  What?  Where have you seen them?  What are they guarding, and why are they made of ice?  Are the Ice Guards those little cartoon polar bears on the side of the Icee machines in the 7/11?

Third:  I see three types of people here.  Christians who can't explain everything and replace "I don't know what causes gravity" with "God pushes the Earth upwards" or some other nonsense.  The other type are people who have a thing for odd, psuedo-science theories.  The last type of people are people like me, who actually want to know where you get your facts about the Earth being flat, where the Ice Guard thing came from, and why this website is still alive.

PS, I saw an Ice Guard once.  My D&D playing brother showed one to me.  I believe he called it an 'Ice Elemental'.  It wasn't that great because he was a pretty low level druid.  Maybe my brother's Ice Elemental is what you guys saw.

Why do all these people have to come along to reinforce the FEers' beliefs about REers...

Read FAQ, Earth not a Globe, etc.

By the way, nobody ever said the ice guards were made out of ice...

It's no wonder you don't understand their theories; you didn't read anything about them.

60
Flat Earth Q&A / Re: What are these phenomena that RE can't explain?
« on: March 08, 2007, 07:17:32 PM »
Please look at the FE Literature instead of asking me to rewrite novels of information you could easily read up on for yourselves. It's really a waste of time for me to personally educate every two bit REer who comes along.

Aether Theory

Flat Earth Theory accurately explains the existence of aether as a generally covariant generalization of Einstein's General Relativity which describes FE spacetime endowed with both a metric and a unit timelike vector field named the aether. In particular, Flat Earth Aether has a preferred reference frame and so is not Lorentz invariant.

Fluid Mechanics

Flat Earth Theory improves on the Continuum Hypothesis by defining the molecules of fluid as discrete particles rather than points in space. By doing this, it gives greater accuracy in statistical models, doing away with approximations. The only downside is that as calculations become more laborious and complex, human error becomes an issue.

Archimedes’ Principle

Flat Earth Theory expands Archimedes' Principle to include an accurate calculation of Buoyancy due to a uniform upward force. By making a rather minor addition, two issues are resolved: The floating sun, and the mechanism which keeps the atmosphere in. This addition is also useful for describing the effect that allows a beachball to hover over the spout of a leaf blower.

Beer-Lambert Law

Flat Earth Theory improves on this law by defining an exponential dependence between the transmission of light through a substance and the concentration of the substance, and also between the transmission and the breadth of material that the light travels through

Newton’s three laws of motion

Newton's laws of motion are given greater depth by the inclusion of relativistic effects.

Newton’s law of universal gravitation

Flat Earth Theory eclipses Newton's universal gravitation with the Equivalence Principle.

Newton’s law of cooling

Flat Earth Theory limits the spontaneous transfer of thermal energy through matter. By the inclusion of Thermosiphon (a method of passive heat exchange) it can be shown that the evening out of temperature differences from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature is not entirely spontaneous.

Boyle's Law

Flat Earth Theory makes the clarification that in a fixed mass of gas at fixed temperature, the product of pressure and volume will not always be constant. There are also gas constant, heavy elements, pollution, and gravitation to consider.

Ideal Gas Law

Flat Earth Theory eclipses the Ideal Gas law with an equation of state (relation of state variables) for a fluid composed of particles that have a non-zero size and a pairwise attractive inter-particle force. The equation approximates the behavior of real fluids, taking into account the nonzero size of molecules and the attractions between them.

The First Law of Thermodynamics

James Prescott Joule's First Law of Thermodynamics is completely tarnished, since it is apparent that in his equations he did not take the perpetually expanding universe into account.

Buys-Ballot's Law

Buys-Ballot's law is reworked to do away with completely the hypothetical Coriolis effect. Wind travels counterclockwise around low pressure zones upon the entire earth, not just in selected areas. The Coriolis effect is not mounted in solid observations or evidence.

You sir, are a GOD!!!

You finally destroyed my will to perpetually argue.  You win, I can't even begin to wrap my mind around all that nonsense being portrayed in such a way.

Most of your explanations frankly claim that those concepts support the FE theory, and yet no explicit connection between the theory and the FE model is made... I wonder why...

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The Acquiescence Effect

This is a psychological effect which accurately describes the passivity of a Round Earther. Like a dog to the whistle the Round Earther will automatically agree with any authoritative figure who comes his way. When asked a question by another person, the Round Earther's answer is based not just on a rational consideration of what is being asked. In particular, his sensitive identity compels him to consider how he appears to others.
I guess this must be your idea of humor..

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All Round Earthers are highly hypocritical, sheeple who cannot think for themselves.

For example, when the Round Earther is asked 'Do you think the government makes mistakes?', he will say yes. The next day if he is asked 'Do you think the government generally gets it right?', he will also agree. Two very different answers to the same question. He automatically agrees, afraid of thinking for himself.
1) You need to take a class on basic logic, because those two questions are very different.  The fact that the government make mistakes does not at all mean that they don't generally get things right.  You also left the question in very abstract terms.  Which government? Which administration? What qualifies as a mistake and what qualifies as 'getting it right'?
2) It seems to me that you decide to believe some authorities on blind faith, but absolutely refuse to believe others that provide empirical proof behind their claims

Why, for example, do you believe this:
The figure of 12 km is the farthest depth ever reached by Russian geologists. Over forty years ago, researchers in the Soviet Union began an ambitious drilling project whose goal was to tunnel through the Flat Earth and sample the warm, mysterious area where the crust and mantle intermingle– the Mohorovičić discontinuity, or "Moho." So deep is this area that the Russian scientists had to invent new ways of drilling, and some of the contrived methods proved quite inventive. But despite the valiant effort which spanned several decades, the Russians never reached their goal, and many of the Flat Earth's secrets were left undiscovered. The work done by the Soviets did, however, provide a plethora of information about what lies just beneath the surface, and it continues to be scientifically useful to the Flat Earth Society today. The project was known as the Kola Superdeep Borehole.

Here is a picture of the Kola Superdeep Borehole: http://i15.tinypic.com/2hpufwz.jpg

Since the suction in the vacinity is so powerful, the area above the Borehole is off limits to air traffic.
They could have easily lied about all of this (and the pictures would have been even easier to photoshop).

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