They way these leftists are talking about celestial bodies being “lifeless” and “barren” and full of resources ripe for the taking reminds me exactly of how our white supremacist society talks about the Americas pre colonialism lmao.
Now I’m thinking about how the concept of life is a social construct. All these people act like there’s a definitive definition of “life” and that it exists completely free from white supremacy somehow. But since we live in a white supremacist society, that’s going to affect how we define and quantify life. That’s going to affect how we determine what is and isn’t alive and what value and/or importance it has.
I think that’s part of where the disagreements going on have been stemming. People in support of colonizing space by calling celestial bodies “lifeless” are using a definition of life that was created by our white supremacist society, even if it is considered scientific. People against colonizing space are simply trying point that out and reject it, but we are getting shut down because what we are saying doesn’t fit into the scientific white supremacist idea of what life is. And like, people need to realize that science is not free from or immune to white supremacy. White supremacy has played a direct role in scientific advancements throughout history. It is not perfect and it often does not show the whole picture. It is only one way to look at the world.
Idk. I think people who defend the colonization of space by calling celestial bodies “lifeless” need to consider this.
These people always talk about “life as we know it” like yeah sure but what about life not as we know it? Who’s to say these “lifeless” celestial bodies are not teeming with life, just a different type of life than we currently understand? Who’s to say these celestial bodies are not they themselves a form of life?
destroying human life isn’t bad because it’s white supremacist.
white supremacist oppression is bad because it destroys valuable human life.
if antiracism is the most important value that you use to judge whether everything is good or bad, you won’t be able to deal with things that aren’t actually linked to human racial politics at all, like stars.
Actually stars are alive and it is a moral imperative to develop star lifting technology as soon as possible to extend their lifespans and the lifespans of their orbiting symbiotes (aka asteroids). In the nearer term, we need a strong space program to protect asteroids from harm by nudging them into stable orbits around Earth. Meanwhile, we need to mount a rescue mission to get OP and friends out of the horrifying alternate reality they inhabit where proponents of space exploration aren’t interested in ways extraterrestrial life could be radically different from terrestrial life, and the phrase “life, but not as we know it” is somehow carte blanche to exterminate it rather than the most exciting discovery in biology since, like, evolution by natural selection.
You really have no idea who I’ve been talking to if you think that the people against this give a shit about expanding the notion of life. I didn’t pull this out if my ass, I made it in response to seeing tons of people literally call space barren and lifeless.
Life in full generality does not necessitate moral importance. I’m pretty comfortable with vaccines that eliminate diseases (and immune systems in general), with harvesting crops to feed people, with abortion, with lots of things. And if you want a definition of life that is extremely expansive then that’s fine. Regardless, I’m not losing any sleep over prions dying, or fires being put out, or distant novae.
Extraterrestrial life would be important to our understanding of the universe, and it would have the potential to develop into something new. It should absolutely not be damaged or contaminated (”All these worlds are yours, except Europa.”) I think the vast majority of the people who are saying space is barren and lifeless agree there, but disagree with the idea that lumps of rock and ice are sentient.
This doesn’t mean that life has to be made from terrestrial protein chains. Could be nucleating crystals, could be oceans filled with sheets of aperiodically patterned polysaccharide molecules, could be pools of charged particles. None of those would be life as we know it, but would be life, and would be extremely important, interesting, and valuable. Nobody disagrees with you there, either.
All humans everywhere for as long as there have been humans have destroyed things to make other things out of the parts. Asteroid mining and orbital habitats wouldn’t have to harm any life except for the terrestrial microbes irradiated off mining equipment before we send it up, if we do our due diligence checking the places we go.
And I like humans, in general. Humans having good lives is important, there being more and more varied humans is better, and humans can afford to be nicer to each other when there’s less scarcity. Expanding into space is definitely a way to decrease scarcity, with less cost to ecology that we know exists on Earth.