Saturday, April 29, 2006

Do we need to create a police force in relation to space exploration?

A fascinating if brief report of an ethical discussion on this subject is available at:

Australian cosmologist and space exploration advocate Professor Paul Davies of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney, agrees space exploration is a "free for all" but does not think regulation is needed.

He says he supports the views of US physicist and futurologist Emeritus Professor Freeman Dyson of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton, who sees space as "an escape from the straight jacket of an over-regulated Earth".

Freemarket fundamentalists regularly complain of too much regulation.

And we probably do have too much regulation in many areas.

However, the existence of too much regulation, or the wrong kind of regulation, means only that those particular kinds of regulation should be attacked and campaigned against so that those are removed from the books.

But that still leaves vast areas where we still need regulation. Not only intergalactic regulation for the future, but right now, specifically in terms of minimum global health, safety, education, income, transparency, accountability, democracy and environment.

"We could find whole new ways of organising society (in space)," says Professor Davies.

Touchè. But we need these new ways of organising society on earth right now, as the quality of life is deteriorating so fast, even in those parts of the world where humanity had achieved great victories till say the middle of the last century.

And one final problem with Professor Davies's approach is: who is the "we" that Professor Davies thinks should find these new ways of organizing society?
How do we know that the rest of us can trust the people that Professor Davies includes in his "we" category?

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