Colonization of Mars: Should we Do It?
According to Elon Musk, the colonization of Mars is an important venture that will ensure the survival and continuity of the human beings. While his intentions appear good and beneficial to the human race in general, there are a number of ethical issues that may arise from the use of this technology.
Some of the ethical issues associated with the colonization of Mars include:
Contamination of Mars
Who gets to go?
Risks of contaminating earth with "probable" life forms on Mars (bacteria etc)
Musk's plan is to turn human beings in to multi-planetary species by having human beings start inhabiting Mars as soon as 2026. However, he agrees that the initial missions will present high risks, which may result in the deaths of the passengers. With the notion that Earth will cease to exist at some point in future according to Musk and a number of popular scientists, this may influence some individuals to accept the mission despite the fact that it presents significant risks to their lives. In this case therefore, his technology will indeed be a life threatening one that may actually take the lives of over 100 individuals who decide to participate. While most experiments start by involving animals like mice, Musk seems to have jumped straight in to using human beings for a venture that has many odds against it, and therefore puts human life at risk without sufficient data or proof that the venture will succeed.
According to a good number of experts, this venture faces a number of challenges, which include among others exposure to radiations. Moreover, the fact that Musk lacks good answers as to how people will survive the 80 day trip and survive in the alien planet also shows that he is simply experimenting with people's lives, which is in itself an ethical issue.
Life on Mars
Contamination of Mars
According to the planetary protection protocols, a number of rules have to be taken in to considerations before undertaking any activities outside our own planet. This is so as to protect whatever biological forms that can be found in other planets. By planning to take human beings in to mar without having carried out extensive research to determine how microbes from either planet will affect life in either planets, Musk risks exposing both Mars and Earth to contamination of significant proportions. While this may mean interfering with possible "life" or organisms in Mars, it may mean extensive loss of lives on earth.
From both the deontological and utilitarian perspective, there is a great need to approach this plan with caution. According to a good number of experts, such events as nuclear warfare, diseases and even asteroid impacts may mean the annihilation of all humanity. This makes the need to explore, and even inhabit other planets an important one to ensure the survival and continuity of human beings. However, it is even more important that baby steps be taken with this regards to avoid negatively affecting all human beings in the process. For instance, assuming that a number of people are taken to the new plants and die there while the remaining population on earth is affected by a foreign microbe and annihilated, then the mission would have failed miserably. However, b taking time to understand Mars better and carry out extensive research that will ensure that it is safe and hospitable; then individuals like Musk will have sufficient data to continue with the plan to populate the planet with human beings.
Colonizing other planets
Is it right to start colonizing other planets?
© 2018 Patrick