humanity / Meandering

Meandering Monday about Opinionated Colonists

After I finished listening to Fool Moon, I decided to give a listen to what I believe was an Audible. The Space Race, narrated by Kate Mulgrew, was a combination of the history of the space race between the United States and the old U.S.S.R., the combined activities since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and plans for the future of manned space exploration and colonization.

immortalcoverThe reason this comes up in a Meandering Monday is that the last chapter of The Space Race discusses the future of manned space exploration and – most importantly – colonization. There was a hypothetical argument in an organization (I think the organization already exists) trying to plan for future human off-world colonization. One view was that we should take our history and religion with us into space, while the other viewpoint said no to both, that religion caused nothing but problems on Earth, and as far as history went, there’s been a lot of ugliness in terrestrial history, and we shouldn’t take those memories with us. Let the colonists start with a clean slate.

My own view is that it is foolishness – don’t throw away the history – which has already happened and is a readily available source of research material to show what has worked and what has failed, so that the colonists can make an informed decision about how they should go.CloseEnoughCover

This was a discussion that needed to be had, but further into the chapter, as an illustration of how we will still be human, there is a rebellious teenager on a colony ship questioning WHY they aren’t allowed access to religion, so the assumption was that religion would be removed from the public (and even private) square.

This reminds me of the false premise of the pretty John Lennon Imagine, where it seems to make the allegation that we could have peace on earth if only we didn’t have religion or politics. People talk about this song with reverence, and dream of how someday we might have this peaceful, conflict free UTOPIA.

The song and its adherents get it wrong. Religion and borders don’t cause wars. Wars are caused when people have competing agendas and intolerance for other viewpoints. As long as people are allowed to have differences of opinion, we will have conflict – the solution isn’t to prevent MyBrotherCoverdifferences of opinion by edict – that is tyranny. Who will decide which opinions are acceptable and which cannot even be spoken of? Censorship of speech is also censorship of thought (try to think of an idea when you are forbidden to speak the words), and anything that prevents all ideas from being considered will limit your possibilities.

The solution is to encourage debate and tolerate differences of opinion – something that it looks like our colleges need to restart training our students in – too many of them seem unable to allow for the existence of opinions that differ from their own – they need to learn to hear other viewpoints and have rational, reasonable discussions.

Because when we FINALLY are ready to send colonists out to other planets and systems, these are the people we will be sending, and no matter how hard our elites try to prevent non-PC opinions from existing, those opinions will resurface – we are THINKING animals, after all. A different thought will eventually arise, and if our current crop of children isn’t taught how to tolerate and discuss differences of opinion, they’ll wind up burning down the colony ship before ever it reaches its destination.

Just saying…

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Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science CollectionNext3CoverFiction. His other 80-some-odd short stories (plus his collections & Swordsmaster) can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
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