“Wise Guidelines” For Space Policy

At first glance, these suggestions from my long-time friend Linda Billings seem sort of anodyne, but she gives away the game at the end:

Deep in my brain and in my heart I think and feel that colonizing other planets and exploiting extraterrestrial resources would be immoral at this stage of human development. I’m not at all sure that Eilene Galloway would agree with me. I wish I could talk with her about it.

I’m pretty sure that Eilene would disagree. I know for certain that I do.

24 thoughts on ““Wise Guidelines” For Space Policy”

  1. Naive is too generous a term. Humans compete. Peace has to have a subtext of competition. “benefit all people of Earth” is the huge red flag.

    Lowering the barriers to entry is how you get peaceful competition along with ownership and free trade.

    1. Quite. If the good citizens of Grasshutistan want to benefit from the bounty of space – assuming they even know about space – they are always free to suit up and grab a shovel.

  2. When people say things like this, I want to ask if maybe exploration and development is what makes us better people?

  3. If only they could have talked, surely there would have been fish hovering along the shoreline, asking “but do we have the right to colonize the land”. Or the first photosynthetic algae, with little signs, protesting “our oxygen by products are damaging the environment — chlorophyll is a cancer of the planet”.

  4. Immoral? For the love of . . . What could possibly be immoral about it? Unprofitable I’ll buy but there is simply no way in this or any other world that digging into an asteroid, or the moon or Mars, could possibly harm anybody. It is a completely morally neutral act, unless of course it creates vast new wealth which measurably improves the lives of millions, if not billions, of people, in which case it is morally right.

    1. I get the impression that people who believe it is immoral for humans to expand beyond the Earth suffer from species self-hatred.

      1. I am reminded strongly of Heinlein’s address to the Naval Academy, where he explains why “moral behavior” is “behavior which tends toward survival” of the individual, then the family, then the group, then the nation, then the species as a whole, with the larger group’s survival taking precedence. Therefore, those who question whether it is ‘moral’ to do things which improve humanity’s odds of survival have it precisely backwards. Individuals who do not wish for their own species to survive are IMmoral — and the ‘moral’ thing to do is to remove themselves from the group and the gene pool so that such contrasurvival tendencies are not passed on.

  5. Remember this is the same woman who wrote in Scientific America that the rhetoric of space as as frontier was “jingoistic.” A great reason to move to Mars would be to get away from people like that.

  6. The old “mankind will simply have to be closer to perfection” before being allowed out into the universe.
    I’m reminded of Mal’s speech in “Serenity”.

    1. I’m thinking America was great because of all the people that didn’t get here. It could be the same for space.

  7. “There should be a complete statement of this total problem for which solutions are proposed. ”

    What is this “total problem” ?

    Space policy in general?

    Peaceful use of space?

  8. Linda was at least nice enough to put my reply in the comments section. I did not quite say out loud that the person writing these guidelines started with central planning, put it as #6, and then worked backwards to get that “anodyne” feel for the #1 mish mash. But it was rather obvious, to me, at any rate, that she had. It made it seem, to many like her, that central planning would be “the logical way to do things”.

    As I noted in my reply, her real moral question is not about how you see the Solar System, but about how you see Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

  9. If only people that were wrong were all stupid ugly boors. Instead we get highly intelligent, charismatic, beautiful people that would lead us all over the cliff.

    Ironic that a grade school vocabulary, cheetos faced, blustering boor may be this country’s salvation?

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