Friday, July 6, 2007

The Future of Manned Space Travel

I came across a nice clip of Burt Rutan delivering a talk about the future of manned space flight, which he claims will be in the hands of private companies, not NASA.

I have been defending the same point.

One of the things that Rutan defends is the ethics of fun. The first steps in commercial manned spaceflight is nothing more than rich people spending a lot of money for their own pleasure.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. Desire utilitarianism defends the idea of promoting 'desires that tend to fulfill other desires'. A good person gets to do whatever he wants, because what he wants to do is that which will tend to fulfill other desires.

The desire for a joy ride in space will feed an industry which, ultimately, has the power to protect the Earth from environmental degradation and protect the human race from extinction.

How would you like to save the world and have fun doing it?

It's easy when you find fun in doing things that have such side effects.

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