Why go to the stars?

We are living in a world where we will soon be able to gain every material thing we want, right here on earth.

We will have our 3D printers and near-free power (via LENRCold Fusion or methane hydrate – or even hot fusion!) and biotechnological (i.e. ageless and prefect health) revolutions and accelerating information technology (from cloud computing to brain transistors (or did I mean DNA transistors?) to advances in 3D transistors.

With all of these things at our fingertips by 2100, why risk your life by going to the stars?

I’m working on the idea of a religious compulsion to spread life: an idea I’m trying to explore in Across the Stars, but I’m currently bogged down in working out the social/cultural preconditions for such a society. You need the invisible tools – from Property Rights to the Rule of Law to the idea of Progress – before you can get to the physical tools of spaceships and good radiation shielding.

If you replace the culturally neutered (i.e. mystified) word “spirit” with something sharper, like “logic” or “purpose”, the reason for the Bible’s emphasis on what is invisible (logic, goals, information, organization, even righteousness and justice and self-sacrifical love) over the physical world becomes readily apparent.

In a post-scarsity environment, atoms, stuff, and things are cheap. Even energy will be very cheap. Ideals, motivation, commitment, and self-discipline are expensive.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”

This is especially true when you realize that in a post-scarsity, ageless environment of universal perfect health,  only likely threat to your ageless life for thousands of years are other human beings.

“Other humans are far more likely to kill you than aliens from space. Humans close to you are more likely to kill you than humans far away. And finally, your family and friends are a greater threat than strangers on the street.”

The Bible emphasis love and justice far more than power and control. The law is not a tool of state or a road to salvation in the Christian view, but just a tool to suppress evil. There are good reasons for this.

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