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The Ethical Issues On Mars Getting And Colonisation

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Throughout the history of mankind, an undiscovered world above us has fascinated us into studying and observing what could potentially lie behind nature’s secrets. A constant push to make discoveries has led us to several findings, recently and mostly related to the exploration of Mars, which could one day be a home for humans. NASA has already stated that humans would “absolutely” be on Mars in the future, but we should be considering the action-oriented aspect of these ideas rather than to just say it. Even to assume we successfully transport humans and supplies to Mars, would the next step of full colonization be ethical? Ethical issues often don’t present themselves in discussions regarding the transportation of astronauts to Mars, considering it’s a space law and policy concern. However, when it comes to actually settling down on the planet and attempting to raise a family, the ethical issues of colonization become apparent.

In a case study conducted by Julia Sullivan in the Blue Marble State Institute of Science on the ethics of colonization, she examines the multiple pressing issues regarding ethics of colonization. Main keys deduced from this study includes the selection of candidates, health consequences and ethical obligations. When colonizing Mars, questions raise as to who gets to go, whether it’s open to the public, if we have to pay, and if health factors are components based on the selections. All of these questions contribute to ethical concerns that would come along with the potential colonizing on Mars. Though the exact consequences of living on Mars hasn’t been fully examined, the environment, radiation, and other factors could impact the heath of a child as well as growth and development. We also don’t know the elderly would be affected. Since a majority of studies have been conducted on essentially “perfect” individuals, we cannot determine the potential health impacts that could occur for “imperfect” individuals, leading to the question as to whether these “imperfect” people would be denied the opportunity to go to Mars. Lastly, we must examine the general ethical obligations regarding life forms. Say if life is found on Mars, do we take over and colonize? Ethical and moral obligations that come with being a human must always be considered.

Focusing more on ethical implications regarding childbirth, a study expresses that many concerns could relate to this. First of all, pregnancy in space could be considered as life threatening and severely dangerous. Pregnancy could cause a mother to consume more resources which could be determined to the survival of an entire crew or colony. Even if measures could be taken for pregnancy on Mars, pregnancies that occur throughout the 180 day travel to the planet could negatively impact the crew’s well being. As well as that, the health of the child could be extremely negatively impacted due to the development factors in space. This raises questions as to whether pregnancies would be required to only occur on Earth, or if there should be more forms of contraception.

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While attempting a recolonization on Mars would be revolutionary, we must consider whether this feat is ethical for us humans on Earth. Though the reasoning behind this project is solely thought for the fact that Earth will one day be unsustainable for humankind, we must critically consider every aspect of what would happen if this truly worked. It should be an obvious given that not everyone on Earth would be able to partake in this journey to a potential new home, but as stated before in a previous paragraph, how would we, as humans, be able to choose between those who go and those who don’t? As humans we aren’t responsible for ranking each other in comparison to see who is more worthy of what, and with this specific situation being life or death, we aren’t morally obligated to decide the fate of others lives. The moral solution would either be providing access for everyone on this trip or to not go at all. Sadly and most likely, there will no significant barricade in eventually performing this task, and some will be left behind on Earth as highly educated professionals in this field would not consider the lives of their own people over the potential breakthroughs their work has contributed to. The immoral attitude of greed and selfish behavior overpowers the consideration of others when it comes to self success and worth. People in today’s society are ranked based off of their education, employment status and salaries made, but little do we recognize that we are all people made up of the same things, expect our success sometimes deeply depends on what we already have and how we could make it grow into more, specifically money. People who are born into money could afford better education, be provided with greater goods, and invest their stored earnings on a better future, but not everyone is as fortunate enough to be given those things right when they enter this life. We don’t even realize that our currency is man made, yet it is the holder of how society runs. If a trip to Mars is based off of who can afford their way in, then the recolonization would be missing some important pieces.

Those who are fortunate enough to have the money might not be as lucky when it comes to their health status, as those who are ill or disease ridden would not qualify to make the trip either. Basically saying, those who are in the most need when it comes to needing support would be left to die. It makes sense to disqualify those who are ill, as the potential for the illness to spread would raise rapidly, however, how is it moral of us to leave behind those who are in need? As moral people, we should highly consider the needs of those who aren’t capable of achieving everyday life tasks on their own. If we’re knowingly leaving people to await their death, how does that make us moral people? What would we think if the positions were changed and we were the ones in need and didn’t receive help? The solution, if anything would be to find cures and remedies for every disease before we even consider repopulating on an entire new planet. Though there is some but little research made, we have no way of knowing exactly what potential diseases could be lying around space, let alone the whole planet of Mars as well. For all we know, someone could even catch a disease on the way to Mars which would threaten everyone in the same area as them. We have no clue of knowing how powerful or deadly these potential diseases could end up being, and we wouldn’t have any type of vaccination because no one has ever captured a disease from space before. So technically speaking, those who already have diseases on Earth wouldn’t qualify for this trip, but those who aren’t sick and go on this trip are at potential risk of catching something much worse with no cure. The health of humans is put at risk regardless, as conditions on Earth would likely be disease ridden by the time a repopulating phase on another planet takes place. We somewhat cannot make a moral decision when it comes to this, as death could be the potential outcome for both parties, those who stay on Earth and those who leave. Regardless of an answer, lives will still be lost, but we must look out for the greater good and quantity of those affected with a decision. Though many lives would be lost of the ones who are left behind, the potential to repopulate and keep mankind in history’s being would positively affect all future generations, as humans could be put to an end if no action is made at all.

As all humans lives are included in this discussion, we must also highly consider the ones who are also unborn. There would be a high chance of pregnant women being unable to access this trip, due to the fact that a trip from Earth to Mars would take in total of one hundred and eighty days. A pregnant woman would need to be provided with more resources than a normal living person, as well as higher maintenance. Say a woman’s due date correlated with the time of the trip on the way to Mars, giving birth in space would cause havoc, and treating a newborn in space has never been done before, so no one pretty much knows the consequences that could be taking place shortly after. Obviously considering the well being for the birthmother, these unborn children are instantly receiving their death sentence if pregnant women are disqualified from this trip. These unborn children have no word or choice as to whatever happens, as those in charge would be immoral, being inconsiderate of those who are in need. These unborn children would face disease instantly if kept on Earth and wouldn’t be given a chance to live out a life as we and others are currently doing. We are morally incorrect if we do not consider a unborn’s life, as they did nothing to put themselves in the situations they are in; not yet to be born. Even if pregnant women were allowed on this trip to Mars, the unidentified potential consequences could be deathly for those involved, including the unborn. There is no ruling out that they wouldn’t die as well on this trip, or if they even make it to Mars. Again, the situation could be deadly on both sides, but as humans there are some things we cannot control. Yes, we would be morally wrong if we knowingly left unborn children and their mothers on Earth to die, but regarding the potential consequences that could occur in space, we are free from guilt as an attempt for their survival is actually being made instead of watching them suffer. As stated earlier, we as humans are not in the position to determine the life and death of others, but in this specific scenario, if an attempt is at least being made, then our conscience would know we did the right thing even if bad consequences were to happen. We could not prevent the unpreventable, as some things are too big for our control, but this specific scenario allows us to consider what decisions should and could be made if we are one day given the opportunity to.

In conclusion, a trip to Mars in attempt to recolonize our species must carefully observe the moral decisions which would eventually affect everyone, either in a positive or negative manner. We must put others into consideration when regarding life and death, as no human has a role to play God. Those with an abundant amount of currency should not be viewed as more valuable or important than those who are less fortunate when it comes to someones qualifying resume for an opportunity to begin a new life on a new planet. The value of their character is far more important when judging between right and wrong, those who could be devout moral beings could be left out for privileged immoral people. The positive characteristics of those should be valued more than physical belongings or status in currency. Those, including the sick and needful should not be abandoned due to their unintended and undesired illnesses. If a moral decision were to be made, then curing these diseases prior to leaving Earth would significantly overpower the desire to abandon people because of their troubles. If anything a cure should be developed prior to even considering repopulating an entirely new planet. And lastly considering the unborn, they are given no choice to the consequences suffering in the world outside of them. Innocent mothers would also be left to die because of a moral obligation of repopulating under the code of marriage. These mothers have intended no wrongdoings yet would still face consequences for innocent actions resulting in death. Overall, the people who would seem to not be included on this trip to Mars would be people who haven’t asked for their troubles to occur in the first place, giving the benefit of the doubt to those who are fortunately able to qualify for the required standards given. Though this type of cause would eventually benefit the majority of the people in the future, we should also consider everyone else as of the current times being now.

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The Ethical Issues On Mars Getting And Colonisation. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-ethical-issues-on-mars-getting-and-colonisation/
“The Ethical Issues On Mars Getting And Colonisation.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-ethical-issues-on-mars-getting-and-colonisation/
The Ethical Issues On Mars Getting And Colonisation. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-ethical-issues-on-mars-getting-and-colonisation/> [Accessed 7 Dec. 2022].
The Ethical Issues On Mars Getting And Colonisation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Dec 7]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-ethical-issues-on-mars-getting-and-colonisation/
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