Is it me, or is humanity going into space a horrible idea?

Submitted by zod in AskRaddle (edited )

We've shown we can't find new lands without conquering them, enslaving the residents, and exploiting the resources. Nothing shows that space faring would be any different.

Can we just end the cycle of tyranny and work to better what we actually have before it's all destroyed by our greed?



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Ant wrote

I'm generalising, but

frontiers like space are mostly just a place for people to project fantasies that are born out of their impotence felt in the face of this terrible world

there's no reason to think it's desirable to go out there beyond a desire to escape this shit
But there's no escape since we'll bring it with us wherever we go
There are cops and states in our heads

(Escapism is fine under many circumstances, don't get me wrong - often it's all we have)

pushing frontiers before we get rid of capitalism is the same as pushing capitalism

and since capitalism created us, shapes our subjectivities and our desires, there's little reason to assume we will or won't want to go to space if we ever manage to destroy capitalism
because we know close to nothing outside of this


[deleted] wrote


NEOalquimista wrote (edited )

No one will be able to ban space travel. The people against the idea might not let you enter their communities afterwards, but all it takes is someone starting a "backyard initiative" and receiving help from people of a variety of skills to make it happen.

EDIT: making the project free to anyone study and participate will be beneficial to gather more support.


DissidentRage wrote

If we go into space while still retaining an imperialist agenda, I would agree. I don't think there's an inherent problem with humanity going into space. As long as we're cognizant of our motives and sensitive to the environments to which we go, I think it's possible to do space exploration without being problematic. But right now with people like Musk trying to lead the charge into going to Mars, I guess the universe is fortunate we haven't developed FTL technology.


Enkara wrote

Yeah I don't see that there's any inherent benefit for humanity going into space more than we already have (ISS), then again... I don't see that there's any inherent benefit for humanity to continue as a species, either.


ExLibris wrote

First off, while I'm all for humanity finding a sustainable future here on earth, in regards to space.. Enslaving the residents?

We've found no evidence of other residents out there yet. Let's not trip over ourselves protecting people before we've even met them or know they exist.

Secondly, I don't think you understand the vastness of space and just how far it goes. What harm is there in mining barren asteroids, moons or planets? If they're already lifeless, unlivable environments, we're not causing any suffering to exploit resources there. In fact, once we master space travel we could dump dangerous wastes into stars or black holes to eliminate them without harm.

Thirdly, I don't think you understand the scale of the cost of space travel. We create about 228,000 new people on the planet each day, on average. To send 228,000 people into space it would cost so much that the remaining billions of people would ALL have to take about a 20% reduction in the quality of life just for the planet to be able to pay for it.

Simply put, humans moving out into space with the kind of numbers, reach, and force to exploit it in any noticeable way isn't going to happen in any of our lifetimes.


rosalique wrote

Absolutely agree on all points. Especially the third. It is incredibly difficult and resource-intensive to launch something as heavy as a shuttle into space. Like the amount of fuel you need to have just to be able to lift the fuel plus massive fuel tanks that must carry the fuel plus the shuttle is unreal.


ExLibris wrote

Exactly right. Until we come up with some new, much more economical method of thrust or lift that we can actually utilize and build, the idea of truly populating space is little more than a pipe dream.


sudo wrote

It's just you.


DataPacRat wrote

There's a slight difference between being imperialistic on Earth and going to space: There actually aren't any residents on any of the other planets in our Solar system to enslave, and no animals or biospheres to harm.

That's not to say that we wouldn't bring our own set of problems with us, or come up with brand-new ones, but could we at least be clear about /which/ problems are problematic?


MrPotatoeHead wrote

Technologies were advanced when developing space travel. Now, we're lowering the cost of a launch. Planning colonies on the moon, or elsewhere, only makes sense if it's to be used as a way station for asteroid mining, or other space work. Earth is our home. We evolved to live here, not out there.


zorblax wrote

We've shown we can't find new lands without conquering them, enslaving the residents, and exploiting the resources.

You assume that we have the capability to do that.

But, I don't think society will be recognizeable by the time we make contact with extraterrestrial life. In the meantime, there's a bunch of hostile environments to explore.


elyersio wrote

For the few that believe the continued existance of humanity is important, inhabiting other worlds is important because it means if one planet is destroyed, not everybody dies. Hopefully we can find worlds that aren't inhabited.

Of course, capitalists might have no reasons not to enslave and kill residents. So yes, we should end the cycle of tyranny and work to better what we have. But after that, I don't see why we shouldn't go out there and spread the beauty of life.

In fact, I think we should bring plants and animals and all other kinds of life with us. Suppose we're all alone in the universe? Or suppose that the type of life that we have here is unique?

Also, NASA is run by the government, but I've heard they once dumped a probe into Jupiter's atmosphere instead of landing it on Europa, just to make sure they don't drop a deadly disease on whatever life might be on Europa.


NEOalquimista wrote

I don't think someone raised in a free society would look at another world with envious eyes. Greed for accumulating objects is not our type.

But in any case, I can see some of us getting in touch with another civilization which doesn't work like ours and becoming intoxicated, hypnotized by something about that place, and it could be problematic.