Should people colonize Mars?
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Debate Rounds (3)
As my first point, I do think that we should colonize Mars once the technology is available. If we think about the survival of the species, it becomes pretty scary to think that it would only take one catastrophic event, like an asteroid, to completely wipe us out. There have been 5 mass extinctions in Earth's history, so something large like the complete extinction of the human race is not off the table. If we were to colonize Mars, this would significantly increase the probability of survival since our complete existence would not be dependent on one planet.
Secondly, I'd like to challenge some of the points you presented in your argument.
You said that "People are dying, people are starving, we are running out of clean water and war is a big issue." All of this has been the case pretty much since the beginning of the human race. It wasn't until the last hundred years or so that we have been able to make MASSIVE strides in addressing these issues. Today, less people are dying from disease and famine, more people have clean water, and war, while a MASSIVE issue IMO, has been going on for centuries. So it seems like we've made some pretty significant strides in this arena already.
You go on to claim that we shouldn't colonize other planets because we would "hurt" them. You essentially asked why we should "move our problems" to other planets when we currently have problems on Earth. You will ALWAYS have some problem to address on earth. However, that is not a sufficient excuse to avoid the preservation of the human race if the opportunity was available. Besides, couldn't colonizing Mars allow for competing/warring cultures to separate themselves and possibly limit the possibilities of war? Couldn't the colonization of other planets lead to discoveries of much needed resources which could address many of the problems you're concerned about?
What is your concern with "hurting" other planets? If we're talking about the survival of the species (which is the primary interest in the colonization of Mars), it seems a bit counterproductive to put the supposed feelings or "health" of a floating rock in space ahead of the human race. Should humans aim to preserve the planets? Absolutely, no questions. But to say that we might cause Mars some damage by colonizing it, therefor we shouldn't, seems like you think the planet is more important than the entire human race. If that's the case, then why worry about war, clean water, or people killing each other? After all, if we just let these things keep on progressing (as you suggest they are), the human race will be wiped out and the planet will benefit.
What would we actually be accomplishing by colonizing mars? We would be losing great amounts of money, possibly lives, and for what? We have out own problems right here, we need to fix them before we go wandering off in space.
Even then, this doesn't address my point about the reasons for wanting to colonize Mars. Where there exists political stability and sound markets, clean water isn't really an issue. So, saying that we shouldn't increase the probability of the species surviving a catastrophic global event because we still have problems in the world doesn't seem like a rational argument. There will always be problems. But should the opportunity present itself for us colonize Mars without compromising life on earth, then we should jump at the opportunity.
You said "Mars could have very sensitive specimens on it and going there could put them at risk. Humans tend to go somewhere, drain everything valuable from it, and move on. We would only be doing that to other planets."
Where have humans drained everything valuable and then moved on? As I pointed out in round one, some points in your argument seem to conflict. Should humans be concerned with gathering the necessary resources for survival, or should the be worried about possibly disrupting the environment of Mars? You have to pick one. If humans are going to exist, we are going to need to use resources. This necessarily involves affecting the environment in some way. If you want to have anywhere close to the quality of life that we have now, this requires changing our environment to best fit us. This goal of not disrupting Mars and having enough resources for the human species to survive are in direct conflict. You can't make both arguments simultaneously. If it's true that we're running out of clean water, then this would necessarily involve some type of human intervention on Earth, which would likely affect our environment. If we take caution to your second point, then we shouldn't do this because it will disrupt earth. Yet, this is in direct conflict with your first point. You have to pick one.
"What would we actually be accomplishing by colonizing mars? We would be losing great amounts of money, possibly lives, and for what? We have out own problems right here, we need to fix them before we go wandering off in space."
I answered this question in round one. The probability of the human species surviving a catastrophic global event are slim. Colonizing another planet would increase our probability of survival. I don't think we should just up and spend all our resources pursuing this, especially if it compromises life on earth. However, I believe the cost is irrelevant to this debate topic. "Should people colonize Mars" assumes that we have the technology to do so, and that people would be able to live there. If we don't assume these things, then this debate is pointless. So I believe your concerns about costs are irrelevant to this particular debate.
Either way, I'm not arguing in favor of spending our resources and compromising the species to colonize Mars. My whole argument is that colonizing Mars, if we had the capacity to make it habitable, would increase the survival chances of the species. Of course this would involve significant investment, and it would depend on whether or not we could terraform the planet in the future. If we could, then colonizing Mars would be a plus.
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