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A really interesting topic for discussion and one that would need months/years of debating to really get through but I'm willing to add my two cents worth as we have skirted around this in other threads.

I do not believe we should be allowed to leave this planet until we have cleaned up our own mess. To do that would take an enormous mind-shift from every single human being and somewhere in that process we may gain the attributes and technology that would allow us to terraform another world by terraforming our own. Once our rivers, lakes and oceans are sparkling, our air is pure and everyone is living in harmony with each other, nature and the planet...then and only then should we set foot off it.

We cannot be allowed to continue with the concept that its OK to mess up everything around us because we can just leave. If there is any intelligent life out there and they are watching us I would suggest that the first thing they do is set-up an airtight quarantine around this planet to insure that not one of us escapes to establish this race elsewhere until we can prove that we can do that without destroying this planet and any other planet we may inhabit. If there is no-one else to monitor the human race then lets hope that our technology does not reach the stage where we can create a colonising force akin to the old 'wild, wild west' (and I do not just mean the American colonisation program, I mean EVERY part of our history and every bit of the planet) where we run rampant destroying every culture weaker than us and plundering it's resources for our own excessive and wasteful material requirements. This is after all the legacy we have created to date in the last 5000 odd years of recorded history. Although we may not have concrete proof of it, I suspect this has been our cyclical legacy for many, many past civilisations.

We are a war-like race, greedy and sadly lacking in ethics if there is any material personal gain involved. Sadly. although there are shining lights trying to guide us , and although most people are really just nice and normal, the apathy and the mismanagement of the planet's resources leads us down a dead-end road that the majority of people on the planet feel powerless to stop. I include myself in that. Viewed from outside, we would most likely all be painted with the same tar brush and judgement would be passed on the whole rather than the few exceptions.

The ethical path, IMHO, would be to quarantine ourselves until we had learnt absolute respect for the planet and it's limited resources and absolute tolerance for all the cultures and peoples that inhabit it. At that enlightened stage we could then venture off it and we would obviously have ruled that no planet with ANY life-forms on it could be approached as the concept of colonisation would have been outlawed as an abhorrent practice. 

At that enligtened stage, we would most likely have no need to terraform another planet as we would be living in harmony on our own pristine planet and would more likely create outposts in the asteroid belts, on the moons (uninhabited) and possibly on other planets in our solar system (uninhabited) to mine for materials that we do not have on Earth.

If we did find an uninhabited planet that could be terraformed, we would with the technology available from the cleansing of our own planet easily create a sustainable environment for pioneering humans that wished to leave Earth.

At that enlightened stage, we wuld most likely send out emmissaries searching for other inhabited planets. We would silently observe cultures less adavanced than ours and gladly interact and trade with planets similar or more advanced than us.

Now you can all see what a romantice ideallist I am and that I teethed on Science Fiction rather than Ladybird readers. LOL. You can also see that I believe that we should be accountable for what we have done to the very beautiful planet we currently live on and that once we have sorted that out we can look beyond the atmosphere at new worlds.

So, Casuality, in answer to your question it would be my suggestion that instead of looking to the stars to save us from ourselves we should create technology right now that can scrub our air and clean our oceans and water, once we have done that it will be easy to adjust that technology to create a systainable environment on another hostile planet...

 



-- Edited by Chandre on Sunday 9th of December 2012 05:33:25 AM

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More than likely we allready know what the rules are, at least the people in power do, for exploration or even if terraforming is allowed. These little robotic excursions are to find specific answers for problems related to some unknown task, not the one stated. At least we are allowed to do that.  IMHO any race of creatures more advanced than us is probably bound to not interfere be that help or hinder, allthough there are probably entities that do not follow the rules.

I am sure there is a level of advancement we must reach and demonstrate before being allowed to join any intergalactic alliance that might exist. Probably to stop killing each other.  Of course it could be the complete opposite and our bows and arrows could come up against the winchesters of the universe.

Hopefully there is more sanity there than here.



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Hello Causality! This is likely a topic of very broad proportions, and almost endless discussions could be possible. I can envision several different replies myself, to just address a few of my initial thoughts, without consideration for replying to the comments of others. So, for my comments on your proposition, rather than writing a large expose', I am simply going to address one area of thought at a time.

If I understand it correctly, your desire is for comments relative to the specific areas of the "ethical questions" that could/should arise, assuming the possibility of encountering "worlds that have life already"?  

It will be interesting to see how this OP goes for us, and the many different directions it may take!

Well, my first thought on this is, man has been through that scenario a number of times already, but not "off Earth"!! As man has gone exploring on Earth, other peoples have been "discovered" in many different places. I am no historian in such areas, but...........I do know it often did not go well for the "discovered". For instance, the Indian civilizations were found in what is now America. They were technically indigent, and, in essence, over the long term were conquered. And to this day, the results of that mess still continues with us. And there are numerous other such examples of on-Earth discoveries!

Is there any indication, anywhere, that those experiences have taught us anything in that regard, or is it still just "go, explore, and conquer"? NOPE!!

IMO, we are a long way from being ready to do what you suggest, relative to "Terra-forming and Colonization", for this reason, and a lot of other reasons.

For such possibilities, there must needs-to-be a plan developed for learning to know how to do it right, in dealing with every possibility we can think of, involving relationship discoveries of other peoples. The plan should lead to open venues for education of all who need to learn, on this planet, of how to deal with and live with people on other planets.

If we can believe even a little of what we have been able to "discover", in analyzing the Mars photos from the MOC and Rovers, we know there is/has been other civilized intelligent life there. NASA et al, for sure knows that better than do we "Monday morning anomaly researchers".  So, the quicker we can get a plan in place, and start educating in our school systems relative to some of the significant realities of off-Earth known possibilities, the quicker we can become prepared for for the "inevitable", when we do meet it "face to face"!



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At some point we have to leave this planet it’s inevitable. In search for new worlds, we are going to look for those worlds with an environment that’s favorable for us. The dilemma is that such worlds probably have life already.

Even if Terraforming and Colonization of Planets /Moons technically lay in the future the ethical questions around this topic are very interesting. So if you up to it please feel free to speculate and bring up any problems or solutions around this. I would very much like to hear your point of view.

//Causality



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