Friday, February 03, 2012

Space: An Appropriate Frontier?

Regardless of what you think about Newt Gingrich politics or political aspirations, he did raise some interesting ideas about NASA and the US involvement in space.

Here is a video clip with Mr. Gingrich's proposal and Neil deGrasse Tyson's response.

Some would say we simply can't afford to spend money on the space program - taxes are too high or we ought to spend the money elsewhere.  Here's an article about NASA's budget. Here is an interesting graphic on the national budget.

Some have concerns about privatizing a significant portion of the space program.

Others are concerned that the space program isn't practical, that there are no "real world" benefits for us.   Here is NASA's response to that concern.

So why are we talking about this here?  Because while space exploration is not, strictly speaking, a faith issue there are ethical concerns that people of faith ought to take seriously and be in conversation about.

Can we afford a space program?
Can we afford not to have a space program?
Must we be focused on practical results?
Or is the pursuit of knowledge valuable for its own sake?
Considering how we have treated earth, is it ethical for us to explore space? Or is our divine mandate restricted to earth?
Is there a theological case to be made for or against space exploration?  Or is this a topic about which faith ought to be silent?
OK friends, what do you think?

cross posted at Conversation in Faith

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