Social Ethics - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Social Ethics.
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A Different Form of Life

In his book Cosmos (1980), scientist and visionary Carl Sagan stated: "If there is life on Mars, I believe we should do nothing with Mars. Mars then belongs to the Martians, even if they are only microbes." Astrobiologist Christopher McKay has appealed to an intrinsic value of life principle, or biocentric view, and has suggested that Martian life-forms "have a right to continue their existence even if their extinction would benefit the biota of Earth." For some, only a noninterference policy would be acceptable, as suggested by philosopher Alan Marshall. Alternatively, McKay believes that the rights of Martian life "confer upon us the obligation to assist it in obtaining global diversity and stability."

Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society, acknowledges the unique value of extraterrestrial life, but also stresses that people do not hesitate to kill terrestrial microbes in many circumstances. This is...

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This section contains 1,408 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Social Ethics Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Social Ethics from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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