Aiden Prous
January 2017.

Should we really spend our time and resources on conquering other planets when we haven't even been able to live well in our own?

1 answer

I could have written the Carl-Sagan-styled shit, like "the space is a final frontier, and the constant curiosity and research is the purpose of our existence". But I won't. Instead, let's just be pragmatic and rational.

1. We'll never be able to "live well" and peacefully get along with each other, regardless of whether we "conquer" other planets, invest billions in building a particle supercollider or a soccer-field-sized telescope. 

2. In fact, we've been spending more resources on "not getting along with each other" (wars, arming other countries, training soldiers, etc), than we'll ever spend on science in an upcoming century. So these two things are not even closely correlating, since the investments are incomparable.

3. If we pay money to satisfy the blood-lust hobbies of a bunch of uneducated army-guys, that cannot realize themselves by any other means, then I don't see any reason why we shouldn't invest at least some money in the peaceful hobby (called science) of a little bit more educated geeky guys.

4. On the other hand, technologies that are boosted by the scientific progress, especially space technologies, are good investments into the new toys for army-guys. In other words, why shouldn't we conquer other planets and continue not living well there? So maybe even we should conquer other planets not despite, but because we are not able to be friendly with each other.

There is a common argument, that the collaboration in space might be helpful for diplomatic relationships between countries. I really doubt it. The future of space missions is probably going to be taken over by the international private (or mostly private) companies that have nothing to do with any political or religious agenda.


But what if we invested the time that is spent on science AND war for example on arts, humanities, and cultivation of such culture? After all, aesthetics is the mother of ethics. 
I mean, if I'm able to not kill anyone and live comfortably, why should others not be able to do so too? So, instead of redistributing our resources, shouldn't we think of how to live without conflict and what the root of that problem is? After all, if we don't know how to do that, we're bound to reach technological singularity.


1. What do you mean by "investing money to develop ethics"? Ethics is created by people, by artists, by global trends together with psychological conditions and cultural context. I don't think that this is something that people actually control, that you can invest money to somehow take control of it.

2. Art and culture are not necessarily something that will keep humanity from fighting and killing. In fact, most of the time culture IS the reason, why people fight. Who said, that ethical and cultural development will make people understanding that killing is somehow wrong? The deification of human life and rights is a property of only the western culture, don't forget that. 

3. As I said (btw, I wasn't joking) sometimes war is just the only way out for the ordinary people that cannot realize themselves in any other way. This explains the large popularity of Islamic State among young and educated muslims. So I assume, that a lot of people need this, a lot of people want some ideas to fight for, they want something to realize themselves as heroes: by either protecting or attacking, in the end of the day, it doesn't matter, you're just killing.

So, answering to your questions.

> why should others not be able to do so too?

Because you worship your life, your rights, they're more important to you than any ideological dogmatics. But there are people who do not value their own lives, for whom the ideas (of valhalla, allah, communism, islamic caliphate or whatever) are more important than their own lives. 

Do you want to invest money to persuade they're wrong? You see, this is the problem of us, western people, who think that any problem can be solved with enough money. It turns out, that's not the case.

> we think of how to live without conflict and what the root of that problem is?

We know how to live without conflicts, but we don't want to.

> if we don't know how to do that, we're bound to reach technological singularity.

I didn't get this point. What do you mean by tech singularity?

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