Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

speaking of morality...

I have mentioned this before, but I feel like mentioning it again because I brought up Kant yesterday.

The entire system of morality I follow is centered around intergalactic colonization. We are, right now, one catastrophe away from annihilation. It is vital to the survival of our species that we scatter out among the stars, the galaxies, and the universe.

Until we abandon this lump of nickel and water, all of our unborn children will die, all of our works will be lost, and all of our influence upon the cosmos will end with the rainforest.

The "goodness" of something is directly proportional to the amount it helps our society colonize beyond this rock.

Things that do not help us do that - including religions that hinder science, repressive regimes that hinder imagination and human speech, and irresponsible use of scientific resources (you know... researching boner pills when you could be researching cancer pills because that's where the money's at?) - are all "bad". The more they harm the ability of our species to get off this rock, the more "bad" they are. (Thus, the boner pills aren't as bad as the oppressive regimes. The religion is bad, but depending on their sphere of influence, they're also probably not as bad as an oppressive regime.)

This new moral continuum exists between point 1)actively, successfully hinders our ability to colonize extra-solar planets and point 2)actively, successfully contributes to colonizing extra-solar plants.

Murder is still bad. But, if your murdering of someone is directly related to getting a viable colony on an extra-solar planet, that's may be morally correct. (Like any morally correct criminal act, one really ought to step forward and embrace the legal consequences of the act. May the judicial system negotiate your plea bargain according to the provable goodness of your act.)

War is bad, but not completely bad. On the one hand, war hinders our true mission on this rock by throwing all our human and technological resources into deadly peril. However, war has led to great technological breakthroughs that will get us off this rock, and some wars can successfully end oppressive, inhumane regimes that hinder the population from achieving our true needs.

Right now, one of the biggest dangers I see to the colonization of extra-solar planets is how technology and science are unevenly distributed. Imagine a country - like th ones on this list - wherein the technological advances of other nations that can improve the population's ability to contribute to our great quest into the sky are priced and legalized out of the reach of the vast majority of the population.

That's bad. That's very morally bad.

One laptop per child is very good. They are trying to fix this. OLPC is an extremely morally correct institution, and one of the most important charities in the world. Improving the ability of children all over the world, in some of the most difficult places in the world will not only contribute to education and creativity and culture and medicine exponentially, but the program will also "teach a man to fish". With improved education and improved technological understanding, children can grow up into adults that can change their own lives for the better. Instead of a cycle of poverty and charity and poverty and charity, OLPC could be the keystone in breaking that cycle.

Anyway, I could go on. I'm sure you've heard all about it before from better sources than my little megaphone.

Let's go to space. Let's expand. Let's explore. Until we do, we are only one Dalek invasion away from the end of our race.

We build our own culture - most of us - by voting and making our voices heard. Remember to vote morally, and our excellent and simple criteria.

1 comment:

Lola said...

Yes! The Daleks are taking over and we need Amy Sisson's husband to save us. I was amazed to find out that her husband works on planetary defense. More evidence that my head is too often stuck in other made up worlds rather than futuristic science fiction. I didn't think these people existed yet. Apparently its also underfunded, I think most of NASA is actually. Only reason we ever went to the moon was so we could out do Russia. Stupid Americans with their stupid priorities.