It would be a mistake to think that flat-Earthers, as a group, are just people who have happened upon some interesting facts that seem to counter the standard model of the Earth (and, by extension, the Universe), and are challenging it with evidence, working models, and cogent theories.
Because, in fact, most flat-Earthers view the shape of the Earth as some kind of deep secret that's been hidden from them, and they are convinced, the vast majority of the ones I have encountered, that when the world "wakes up" to the "truth" of the flat Earth, that something wonderful is going to happen.
What that something wonderful is depends on the flat-Earther. Some believe that the idea of the globe is being used to hide God from the people, because, the theory goes, the Bible (and the Qur'an) state that the Earth is flat, fixed, and unmovable, and by extension the center of the Universe.
Others think the cover-up of the flat Earth is a conspiracy by the world's governments to keep the populace under control and unaware of the truth. Just what truth that is varies. Some think that there are vast natural resources beyond the ice wall, the outer ring of the flat Earth disc, which the governments and big corporations are keeping to themselves to keep the rest of us poor and downtrodden.
There is also the notion that, if the government can convincingly lie to us about something so fundamental as the true shape of the world, then they can and do lie to us about virtually everything.
And there is a substantial amount of crossover in these views, with every secret society you can think of thrown in for good measure. The details and contradictions are too numerous to keep track of, much less compile into a readable blog entry. But that's not really the point.
The point is, when you have been convinced that you are on a spiritual quest to awaken the world, facts only get in the way. It becomes easy, in fact necessary, to dismiss any contrary evidence as being the product of brainwashing, the lack of research, or involvement in the vast conspiracy.
That's my point of departure in the flat-Earth discussion. If someone wants facts, I can find them. If they want to give me facts, I will listen. And challenge if the facts prove to be less than factual.
But I will withdraw when flat-Earthers go off on one of the many tangents of conspiracy or Biblical discussion, because that means they've made up their minds and are not inclined to listen to any opposing viewpoint. At that point, they are proselytizing, and I'm not interested in the sales job.
If I respond (and I do less and less), it's not to convince the flat-Earther, so much as to warn off anyone who might be on the verge of buying into the nonsense that they are leaving the world of facts and observations and venturing into the world of blind faith, which is what I'm usually accused of.
Look, believe in the flat-Earth if you insist, and the conspiracies lurking around the corner, and the spiritual awakening that will come when the "truth" is revealed.
But if that's where you're coming from, don't pretend that facts inform your belief. Because that's not just a misconception or your part; you're lying, if only to yourself.
Because when the facts are all lined up together and considered in the light of reason, the conclusion is inevitable: we live on a globe.