Do you love wearing oxygen masks? No? Well let’s stop trying to leave earth!

Group 46

In the vast mass of untouched ‘space’ lies undiscovered mysteries that may be resourceful to our planet, and very beneficial to humanity and its continued existence. The colonization of space is humanity’s only backup plan to survive extinction if the earth dies of pollution. Nonetheless, space research may be a waste of monetary resources because this funding can be used to stop pollution! The adverse effects of climate-change are becoming reality and “carbon capture” has great potential to stop further carbon dioxide pollution. Sadly, “carbon capture” suffers funding constraints. Should space research funding be diverted to fund carbon capture?

WE KANT STOP SPACE RESEARCH!!!

A government owes its people a duty to fund causes that will lead to the technological advancements of their country. According to Kant, ‘the rightness or wrongness of actions does not depend on their consequence but on whether we fulfil our duty’ (Poel and Royakkers 2011). Applying this logic could justify the morality of space exploration since all governments are causing technological advancement through various space agencies. For example, NASA’s intricate research, advances in solar activity and the declining state of the ozone layer, have raised awareness of climate change and provided the planet with strategies to decelerate it. Through funding NASA the government has fulfilled its duty.

However, fulfilling a duty is not always the right thing to do. Although governments has shown the duty of care by funding space research, which has improved quality of life, this decision might not be appropriate. Certain demographics may not benefit from or want technological advancements, for example, the elderly. Hence, we need another ethical standpoint to justify funding space research. Therefore, we will take a utilitarian stand.

It may not be a utilitarian decision to stop funding space research. All humans today will benefit from emerging space related technologies as it has already introduced us to a plethora of indispensable technologies; e.g. GPS, the INTERNET, and even non-stick pans! In addition, the medical industry has also revolutionized itself with space technology. This development was immensely instrumental in enhancing health care delivery systems. For example, the development of CT scans has played a vital role in diagnosis of medical conditions such as stokes and brain injuries (Cramer, et al. 2018). The past may be an indicator of the future, thus a reduction in funding would only marginalise the future benefits of space research. Stopping space research funding will cause pain to the majority of the planet.

In addition, the earth has limited resources so our distant future rests on the colonization of the moon and mars. Hence, it will benefit everyone to fund space research; a means of getting these resources. The moon is a lucrative source of helium-3, europium and tantalum, which could be used in power plants (Landis 2007). These sources of power will benefit the remainder of the human race for as long as we survive. Space research is truly utilitarian.

Lastly, carbon capture should get its funding from other ventures as space research pays for itself. According to the UK space agency, satellite service helps the UK make £250bn of its GDP (UK-Space-Agency 2016). Funding of space projects consist of not only the space exploration but also the maintenance of the satellites. If we cut the entire budget for space research, we’d be in danger.

CURIOSITY AS A VIRTUE WILL KILL THE CAT…

Exploration is crucial to the continuance of the human race. Our desire to transverse has translated from polar expeditions to space exploration (Setlow 2003). This heightened curiosity now poses a threat. According to Aristotle, “each moral virtue holds a position of equilibrium” (Poel and Royakkers 2011). For the virtue of curiosity, there should exist a balance between Apathy and Intrusiveness. We have to apply practical wisdom to decide how curious we should be. 

The Falcon 9, consists of three ‘Falcon Heavy’ rockets that burn 444 metric tonnes of kerosene. Shockingly, it disperses 149 metric tons of carbon dioxide into our environment per launch ( Robert A. Braeunig 2008) (Howell 2018). Regardless of this pollution, SpaceX and a growing number of space start-ups will exponentially increase the number of launches to support their commercial space tourism (Start-Up 2018) (Wallask 2019). Just as automobiles started in small numbers that caused no serious environmental impact, the number of rocket launches will skyrocket. Thereby contributing significantly to environmental damage (Vehicles, Air Pollution, and Human Health n.d.).

Since 2000, the private sector has invested $18.4bn in commercial space ventures (Wallask 2019), with an additional projected government spending of $20 Billion by 2027. Are moving to the intrusive end of our curiosity?

While virtue ethics focuses on the person rather than the action, it does not distinctively define how we should act. This is depicted in this perplexing situation of diverting space research funds to combat the immediate problem of climate change.

Figure 2: Photo Credits – ES-kwon

“Winter is coming!” but when!?

February 25th 2019, marked the warmest February in the U.K at 25⁰C (BBC 2019). While temperatures like this aren’t uncommon, experiencing it in the middle of ‘winter’ screams, ‘GLOBAL WARMING!’

The Utilitarian theory supports the argument against space research. Every person on the planet will benefit from cleaner air and the mitigation of environmental damage. Contrary to space exploration, which benefits only developed countries. Citizens of underdeveloped regions of the world have obtained no benefit from space research, but we have all suffered the effect of climate change. Carbon capture has been constantly overlooked due to its high financial cost, slow returns on investment and relatively young stature. At the same time, space research continues to receive generous funding. Interestingly, space research shares a similar business model to carbon capture (Alphen, et al. 2007). This calls to question our moral decadence. We should be more accountable for choices we make because when the earth is destroyed, and the elite move to mars, what will be the guarantee that mars wouldn’t be destroyed and the cycle of planet destruction and migration be sustained.

References

Robert A. Braeunig. 2008. Basics of Space Flight: Rocket Propellants. Accessed March 20, 2019. view-source:http://www.braeunig.us/space/propel.htm.

Alphen, Klaasvan van, Quirine Voorst, Marko P. Hekkert, and Ruud Smits. 2007. “Societal acceptance of carbon capture and storage technologies.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421507000985.

BBC. 2019. UK basks in warmest February day on record. February 25. Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47360952.

Cramer, Avilash, Jake Hecla, Dufan Wu, Xiaochun Lai, Tim Boers, Kai Yang, Tim Moulton, et al. 2018. “Stationary Computed Tomography for Space and other Resource-constrained Environments.” doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32505-z.

Howell, Elizabeth. 2018. What Impact Might SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Program Have on the Atmosphere? February 2. Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.seeker.com/exploration/what-impact-might-spacexs-falcon-heavy-program-have-on-the-atmosphere.

Landis, Geoffrey A. 2007. “Materials refining on the Moon.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576506004085.

NASA. 2013. “Benefits Stemming from Space Exploration.” NASA.com. September . Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Benefits-Stemming-from-Space-Exploration-2013-TAGGED.pdf.

Poel, Ibo Van D, and Lamber Royakkers. 2011. “Ethics, Technology and Engineering – An Introduction.” https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/Ethics%2C+Technology%2C+and+Engineering%3A+An+Introduction-p-9781444330953.

Setlow, Richard B. 2003. “The hazards of space travel.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1326386/.

2018. “Start-Up.” Brycetech. Formerly Tauri Group Space and Technology. Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.brycetech.com/downloads/Bryce_Start_Up_Space_2018.pdf.

UK-Space-Agency. 2016. “Annual Report and Accounts.” https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/625529/6.3324_UKSA_Annual_Report_and_Accounts_web.pdf

n.d. Vehicles, Air Pollution, and Human Health. Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/vehicles-air-pollution-and-human-health.

Wallask, Scott. 2019. What Will It Take To Turn A Profit In Space? February 27. Accessed March 20, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2019/02/27/what-will-it-take-to-turn-a-profit-in-space/#356586232e7f.

Initial Decision

We are for space research funding.


36 thoughts on “Do you love wearing oxygen masks? No? Well let’s stop trying to leave earth!

  1. We need to reach higher. Anything worth doing has a price. If weren’t trying to build planes while cars were still developing we’d not be flying.

    We don’t develop progressively. Humans are tasked with reaching far beyond our perceived capacity, for the sake of our future.

    Cancer and other ailments are treated by some patients volunteering for trial drugs. Mice and mammals are used when testing drugs. The unfortunate truth is that there will always be collateral damage, we have to accept it otherwise we can just sit on our hands and wait for the end. Think of the number of deaths before penicillin came about. We need to find an alternative to earth if it’s out there. That’s more exciting and rewarding than having tech billionaires who create addictive products with non descript effects in humanity. My thoughts

    1. This was a well thought-out article.

      Space exploration benefits the populace as a whole – both in technological advancements which was addressed in this article, and in the medical field. By pushing our capabilities to the limits –example trying to imagine what we would need to survive in 100 years in space (https://100yss.org/mission/team), humans can attempt to solve problems we never even dreamt off.

      On the other hand, climate change and global warming are issues that need to be addressed, independently of space exploration. Aside from carbon capture, use cleaner fuel sources, and making chemical processes more efficient is another way to tackle the issue of climate change. Developed nations are capable of solving/reducing climate change, in addition to still funding space exploration and it is our responsibility as global citizens to do so.

      Additional comments on writing style
      Since the conclusion of the article is for space exploration, I would suggest rearranging the article by putting the negatives first (last two sections) and then ending on the positives.

    2. dont you think the severity of this collateral damage is worthy to be considered. If we are willing to accept some form of damage for a level of development, then nuclear warheads testing comes to mind. Why arent developing countries allowed to test/develop nuclear weapons?

    3. Thank you Chibusor9988 for your reply. I totally understand your approach, i understand everything has a price. However, what if the price of what your loosing is greater than what you’re trying to achieve? Would you pick up a £20 pound note from the floor if it risked you loosing the £50 note in your pocket?

      I say that to say this: it is better to protect and preserve what we have in our possession that trying to obtain something that could be possibly out of our reach?

  2. Nice read, I have to disagree with the final decision, less developed countries are not benefitting half as much from space exploration as well as this they tend to be the countries suffering the consequenses the most from climate change. If the funds are available they should be used to sustain the human race and the quality of life (for the whole world) on Earth before anything else.

  3. I think this article touches on important parts that I both agree and disagree with. As much as it is utilitarianism to sacrifice our current planet in the hopes of wider human and scientific discovery it also has to be acknowledged that scientific exploration benefits certain countries/ groups more so than others and they may not reap its benefits as much as their counterparts.

    It is worth it to point out that space exploration can help either rectify or provide guidance for us in the future for example in cases of us living on other planets however it still has to be acknowledged whether we as a wider society are eager to put our lives as we know it at risk.

    This article does good at acknowledging the potential risks of continuous space exploration but as a previous commentator noted, we need to take risks in order to advance ourselves.

  4. Very Insightful Article!

    While I see the benefits of diverting funds from carbon capture towards further research into the exploration and development of space, I must agree with the writer that the funds available would be better applied in the promotion of carbon capture and reduction of pollution on earth.

    As highlighted by the writer, space exploration will benefit only a handful of people & countries I.e. the elite & citizens of more developed countries, while cleaner air and mitigation of environmental damage there in earth will benefit the entire planet earth, rather than a handful of countries.

    Furthermore, development & exploration of space with the intention of making it habitable does not solve the problem; it’s merely a bandaid. The bigger problem here is pollution! Until we deal with the issue of pollution, there is no guarantee that upon successful relocation to space, it won’t be desecrated by the same pollution that forced us out of earth. Relocating to space without fixing the problem of pollution would be the beginning of a never ending cycle! For how long will humans reside in space before it’s irreversibly pollutes? And after space, what next?

    As I mentioned above, I agree with the writers position to divert funds towards mitigating pollution.

    1. Thank you for your reply Lolo.O. I fully understand your approach but i do not fully agree with it. i personally feel that even if pollution can be reduced, it cannot be fully prevented or reverted. As long as there is still:
      1.) Running of power plants
      2.) transportation ( planes, ships, cars)
      3.) Deforestation to combat overpopulation

      There would also be an exponential increase to pollution in the earth, and it would also trump whatever pollution prevention schemes which are being slowly introduced.

      Personally I think it would be wiser to invest in schemes that could help us relocate from this pollution ridden earth instead of slowly trying to reduce it while other industries are simultaneously increasing it.

      Would you rather spend money fixing an old almost damaged car of yours or spending that same money in buying a brand new car?

  5. A very thorough read, and well-written piece highlighting the pros and cons of the two options.

    However, I feel space exploration should take a backseat while climate change is being tackled. The fact that people are more willing to invest in space exploration than carbon capture shows the obsession of human the mind with the unknown. Maybe carbon capture can be better sold to the masses? But if half the world’s population is currently battling poverty and is already hindered by climate change and pollution, why invest money into space exploration instead of helping the planet you have now ? And making sure that if the time comes, everyone should be able to have the option of moving to Mars.

    My stance is: More attention should be given to the immediate problems at hand, which are climate change and pollution. And steps should be taken to fix them. We also owe it to ourselves to explore and make advancements in all aspects, however space exploration should not overtake carbon capture in terms of importance.

    We should strive to fix what we have now, instead of investing funds and dreams in an uncertainty that may never come to be.

    1. Dear bisiadedun, thank you for your response. How about we spin this narrative? is climate change really a problem ? what if the earth was originally designed to self destruct and climate change is only one of its natural process to self destruct? what if the government is selling this climate change story as propaganda to increase the taxes on the masses (for example, London most recent “higher emission zone tax”) . would your stance still remain the same ?

      1. lol, the entire solar system is design to self destruct, stars are born and they die. But in our frame, I don’t really think its a plot of the government because we all breathe the same air. I’m assuming our leaders think logically.

  6. While I do not think space exploration funding should be stopped or diverted; I also strongly believe in the reality of the current situation of events. Climate change and global warming is an important issue that has been spanning; which needs to be given immediate attention and much more effort. However, considering the state of events of humanity as well, and seeing how space exploration has benefited, especially, in terms of technological advancement, I believe space exploration funds should not be diverted to carbon capture, but more importantly, governments and the populace should pull more weight to enhance carbon capture expeditions so we sustain what we have now and are able to also develop ourselves better for the future through space exploration.

    Summarily, my take is, space exploration should be continued as it benefits not just developed countries but developing countries as well in the long run. However, more effort and funding should be given to carbon capture in order to create balance and maintain a sustainable world. It’s important to be realistic, but the future needs more innovations for ever erriing problems we face so optimism is also a path we need to thread in our bid to play safe.

    Very insightful read!

    1. Dear Kosi, You reckon both quest should be equally funded as they are both beneficial, that fine. but what this article fails to address is if they are is a dire lack of financial support. why stop one to support the other ? why not support both?

      1. This is a good observation, nothing says there is a dire lack of financial support. Perhaps we can support both thus this leads to the question, why dont we?
        I think its generally a lack of interest carbon capture that stops it from being funded so a little marketing would fix that problem. @CheezyCheezy.

  7. This is great and easy to read even for a non-scientist. I will say that it was difficult to see where you stood because the concluding sections were presenting arguments against space exploration. On the one hand, I can’t justify stopping space research but I also advocate for doing everything we can to help our current planet (carbon capture included). Barring another source of funding, I think the latter is worth investing a little in at some detriment to space research.

  8. Interesting point of view and a very invigorating topic however a major ethical question that lies in space exploration and possible migration to other planets is whether we will leave the planet as a whole civilisation or as a group of individuals from extremely affluent backgrounds.

    From my point of view, space exploration has been treated in the past as a way to show technological advancement and prowess especially during the cold war however there is no point of such progress if it comes at the behest of poor people’s lives. Solving the global crisis of pollution and reducing the rate of major environmental issues like global warming holds a much greater importance.

    1. Dear Abhi, thanks for commenting, well I think space exploration at the cost of poor people live is sadly ethical. Because from a global standpoint, the continued existence of the species can holds more weight than a minority of poor people. Their children will benefit from exploration and so on. What do you think?

  9. Space exploration has been instrumental in innovation that have changed the scope of the earth. However the allocation of money for one or the other completely undermines the urgency of climate change but on the other hand space research has contributed to the enrichment of lives and solved problems here on earth.

    The point made about space exploration not being able to benefit the majority of the planet is a great point. There is already a rise in children being born with breathing problems due to air pollution and lack of clean water. Also there is already rationing of water in places like South African.

    Both have to be taken into consideration, but mainly climate change because it is a gamble. we are not use of when and if the planet will be equip to handle such demands when it is finally time for ‘evacuation’

    1. Thank you diamond for your reply, I actually understand where you’re coming from.
      I see this topic from a different perspective when i think about the new innocent generation who did nothing to contribute to the earths pollution but instead suffer from it. I strongly feel that some fund should definitely be tailored towards reducing and eventually eradicating pollution.

  10. To be very honest, I find this topic to be very interesting. The mixture of Jurisprudence, Engineering and Climate change. However these are the things I noticed:

    I personally feel you didn’t properly contextualize the true essence of utilitarianism. I feel utilitarianism as propounded by Bentham is hinged on the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Some points you raised run contrary to the idea you propose to be the meaning of utilitarianism, for instance I feel you said somethings about space travel and research which actually benefits the human race and aids our ultimate development (e.g. the satellites in space gave birth to the internet which has actually been the fulcrum for development in the 20th and 21st centuries. You could reconsider your stance on that.

    I also feel there was some inconsistency in passing your point across in the sense that you highlighted some key factors which make space exploration and research dangerous but you also mentioned ways in which it can be cured and ultimately made the point against it. I think the last heading should come before the second and third.

    1. Brilliant feedback Olasholabomi, Your observations are valid, what you noticed with the article, is that the article argued used Utilitarianism to argue for and against, this is due to the variation of stake holders, happiness is not a quantitative measure, hence it is difficult to define. That is, what makes the boy in the village happy is different from what makes the boy in the city happy.

  11. This is a really interesting and thought provoking article.

    However, I also disagree with some of the Utilitarian section.
    Firstly, with regards to the promise of improved healthcare. Is it truly a consequence of space travel in itself, or as a result of expert research and funding?
    If the same scientific resources were re-directed in equal force to, for example, the oceans; then we would probably be just as likely to find new medical advances here on Earth as we would in space.

    Also, with regards to using the moon as a source of europium, there is no doubt that this would provide us with energy. But this energy would be used to continue to power our unsustainable way of living. Surely it would be better to re-direct the funding to find more sustainable equivalents rather than obtain resources that will ultimately contribute further to climate change?

    Finally the suggestion that we could colonise Mars is very morally problematic. It would be totally impossible to relocate the whole of the human population to Mars. So, when the convoy is sent, who is likely to be on the space ship? It’ll probably be the rich and the scientific elite.
    This means that what remains is an Earth depleted of natural resources and a population with very little ability to do anything about it, with most of the scientific experts now living on a different planet. This does not bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number and therefore is not utilitarian.

    The article is really well written, and I’m more convinced after reading it that space travel is beneficial to us in the present day. Technologies like satellites and CT scans are indispensable and a part of modern life, and space travel should receive steady funding in order to maintain these.

    However, for me the short term benefits are outweighed by the longer term risks. It would be more utilitarian to re-direct a large proportion of the budget into maximising the resources that we have on Earth which can benefit the majority of people; rather than looking to space to help a minority of people in the future.

  12. A good read – I liked the use of philosophy as a backdrop to your argument.

    I believe that funding for space exploration should not be restricted as space exploration has provided societal benefits. However, I do believe that it is important that we should try and find ways to fund carbon capture.

    I believe that we should find ways to address space exploration and carbon capture without seeing them as mutually exclusive. Whether this is possible, I’m not sure but I hope it is.

    The utilitarian position was confusing to me so next time give better clarification, otherwise it was a very insightful read!

  13. A very interesting topic to read through. For myself, I did interest in topics about space, this article really has some good point. And I agree that our planet has limited sources but unfortunately, upon now we don’t have any solutions that we can move to another planet. I heard about space travelling in one of the US company. At first, I don’t think space travel is a meaningful thing since it cost a lot, but after reading through this article I do think space travel is beneficial in the present time. A well-written article!

  14. Actually, I haven’t been thinking about this topic, but quite interesting to read through even I am not a scientist. It seemed to have much pro for our lives(humans)by developing the space exploration, like useful technological resources(GPS,Internet) as you mentioned, or creating some new industries in the society. However, after reading this article, we can rethink the importance of solving the climate change or even investing such a big project. It is hard for the government to keep supporting in terms of the fund. Moreover, from the perspective of cons, the space debris is more likely to cause the environment destruction in exploring the space according to the research investigated by Kyoto University(Japan) last year. So, if you also try to justify your thoughts from the environmental field or health care, that would be much great. Otherwise, worth reading 🙂

  15. Brilliant article! I believe space reaserach funding should continue. We are here for a good time not a long time. Who can manage life without weather forcast (especially in this moody Britain). On a serious note, We may not always realise it, but we depend on space technology orbiting the Earth. So what would happen if it all stopped working? it is more likey that space hazards would occur. These included a massive solar storm disrupting satellite communications, a cyber attack partially disabling the GPS system, and debris knocking out Earth-monitoring satellites.
    Threats to this space infrastructure are real, and governments around the world think seriously about improving the resilience of the systems we rely on.

  16. I think that space research is very important and should not purely just be done as a safeguard against if we destroy this plant. Space research has a lot more to offer, including a better understanding of our universe and where we come from. The technological developments will help make changes in many fields, but we most likely will not see direct effects for everyone. True the elderly may not benefit but their are many other demographics that can.

    I argue ignorance is not a solution to any problem. Not knowing about space won’t help us, instead we need to learn more about other technologies. Lets not forget that the idea of space travel and becoming an astronaut pushed many children into learning more about it,and following careers in engineering.

    Ultimately, governments should encourage research into all fields, and if needed their are many business opportunities that can come from this research that can fund space research. Most importantly researching into one area should not come at the cost of not researching into another.

  17. A very interesting and thought-provoking article!

    Prior to reading this, I completely believed space exploration was, by and large, a waste of time and resources. After reading this, I still somewhat believe this, but I have a better understanding and appreciation of the other side. That’s not to say it shouldn’t be continued, but with limited resources, we need to reconsider how these are divided.

    I think we need to be honest about space research – it’s just for fun. The driving force is simply curiosity and somewhere along the way they happen to create technologies with further applications in everyday life. The benefits that have come from space exploration were by-products of trying to answer trivial questions that would have otherwise had no real-life implications and this makes it a difficult thing for me to fully support.

    Space-related technologies have made an impact on various aspects of life and this is why it should still receive some funding. However, this cannot outweigh the urgency of addressing climate change. In the grand scheme of life, climate change is a much more pressing issue that needs to tackled and I find it difficult to understand how we can instead prioritise investment into going into space where we may or may not develop/find something useful.

    On the point of utilitarianism, I can’t see how space research is in any way utilitarian. I disagree with the point that ‘all humans today will benefit from emerging space related technologies’, as I think it will very much only benefit developed countries and continued investment into something that does not benefit the majority will only perpetuate the divide between developing and developed countries. This is particularly poignant in this conversation where we’re looking at whether the money would be better spent on carbon capture, when we consider the fact that developing nations will be worst affected by climate change.

    I find the point that space research more or less pays for itself very interesting and if this is the case internationally, it’s difficult to argue that it not be continued, although perhaps public funding could be less. Furthermore, I think any possible synergies between the two areas should be explored further, as well as any other areas where more investment for carbon capture could come from.

  18. “This is an interesting read and got me thinking. Thanks to your final line. I was unsure on what side of the argument this article is on and that’s because I believe the argument against space research lacked enough supporting facts. An example is a reference to the financial cost of space research but I the reader was not provided with information on what the amount is. I also think you make a better argument In favour of the need to fund space research by your reference to GPS and CT scan which benefit people in developing countries, it may not be the same extent as developed countries but that is another argument- the value of one life saved by CT scan. I have thoroughly enjoyed this read.

  19. “Interestingly I wasn’t necessarily swayed by either argument. I could go either way so would go with the writer’s idea of continuing space research. I don’t think the arguments have a lot of conviction behind them which makes it easy to swing between viewpoints for the reader.” …..Anon reader

  20. Even if you stop using space research people won’t be motivated to use the money for carbon capture. This is because carbon capture isn’t a popular choice compared to renewables. We can get money for carbon capture only if we see the effects of global warming. Thus I think it it’s quite useless to stop space research.

    1. It wont be useless even if we just stop it for no particular reason because we can use that resource on more pressing matters. However ignorance is never a solution to any problem. An interesting fact is that earth has a civilization that is less than type 1, this means we have not yet been able to use all the energy available to us. I think we should continue to fund space research until we can harness all of the energy of the sun and our planet making us a type 1 civilization. Then, with the knowledge of using all our resources we should be in a better position to know the right decision.

  21. Virtue ethics can also be used in support of space funding, you discussed the virtue curiosity, but did so in the argument against. I think there is virtue ethics support for the case against but the right virtue needs to be identified, such as prudence.

    This is an interesting article, which I enjoyed reading. I disagree with the initial decision. I think we should continue our exploration of space, certainly the inner solar system. The more we explore Venus the more we will be reminded of the horrors of run-away global warming. The more we are able to survey Earth the more information we will gain on how we are affecting our home planet and, hopefully, how we are improving it.

    The arguments for space exploration are utilitarianism: it provides benefits for many; virtue ethics; curiosity is satisfied; Kant’s theory – such as you illustrate.

    Personally, I think military spending should be diverted to halting climate change – after all we are defending our home. For illustration, in 2018, NASA received $20.7 bn, whereas the US defence budget in 2017 was $590 bn.

    1. Our initial decision is for space exploration so I think you may have agreed with it. I think the $590bn point is a very good one. Defence should not be more important than global warming however the US suffers self entitlement to global decision making. With the money they spend on defence it helps them control many things they would otherwise not have the power to control. Lets hope they make the correct decisions for humanity.

  22. Very well thought out article and an interesting ethical dilemma.

    I agree that space research can only have an immediate benefit to developed countries and investing more money now should allow benefits to spread to developing countries in the future. Therefore, its potential is great.

    However, I do think that climate change and global warming are significant issues, affecting all countries, that should receive more funding now. But space research is not the only area in which a lot of money is invested even though there is no benefit to developing countries.  Why should it be space research funding that is diverted to addressing climate change?

    1. Because the long term benefits of space may be negligible thats why we should stop space research funding in particular. The article gives good points for this. Maybe you can reread the article and get back to me lol.

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