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President Bush's Space Plan Using an Ethical Approach

Regarding President Bush's space plan, and the concern some have with spending billions on space when we have so many earthly problems. How can one defend President Bush's space plan using an ethical approach, or argue one side from the perspective of Immanuel Kant or another ethical theorist.

As a matter of opinion, which ethical theory seems to be of most influence on a person's behavior? Is it Teleology, Deontology, Utilitarianism, or Altruism? Explain.

Is it possible to prove that one ethical theory is superior to another? Why or why not?

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Regarding President Bush's space plan, and the concern some have with spending billions on space when we have so many earthly problems. How can one defend President Bush's space plan using an ethical approach, or argue one side from the perspective of Immanuel Kant or another ethical theorist.
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<br>1) The question invites a comparative analysis and assumes a zero sum game; ie, that money spent towards space travel will take away from the resources available to solve problems on earth. There's two potential problems, at least, with the zero sum analysis: in many cases advances in research and development, in space programs and elsewhere, provide ancillary benefits to the society. It's difficult to predict the extent to which a research/development program will produce such benefits, though it's certainly a fact you want to know to perform a cost-benefit analysis. Here we're left with probabilities and, I think, guesses, what is the likelihood that space exploration will produce social benefits, and what is the potential or likely magnitude of such benefits. And, also against the zero sum analysis, what is the likelihood the venture will create economic gains that offset the immediate costs. (If I'm starting a government program to gauge auto emissions, eg, you might look at the costs of establishing the program, and think you'd be better off using the money to pay for textbooks for children. However, in the long run the economic benefits of the emissions program--more like an emissions tax, actually--will bring in more money, give you even more money for textbooks. While I don't have the slightest idea what the economic benefits have been, compared to what we paid, for the technologies developed by NASA over the years, we can make such a calculation, though you need to consider all sorts of variables, including but not limited to inflation adjustments, attention to who profited from the technology, a defense contractor (and, to some extent, Americans employed by such defense contractors, if you suppose they obtained better employment than they might have gotten under other circumstances) or the government, and other harder to measure costs and benefits, new materials or aerodynamic discoveries of use to those in aviation, perhaps, new measuring instruments for those interested in astronomy and space exploration, perhaps the development of new highly destructive weaponry.
<br>And, if you're going to be really thorough, compare the results against economic gains that could have resulted had we put the money elsewhere, an analysis that requires some sense of the American economy over the past 10-20 years. .
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<br>A couple of points militating against the likelihood of secondary economic benefits here, we already have the technology to go to Mars, won't be making great strides in that regard, just spending money to build and test spacecrafts, and we already know how to get to the moon. Moreover, as Bill Nye science guy stated, "from the vantage point of orbital mechanics, the moon isn't on the way to Mars." It's a bit like building a way station on your back door step, to prepare for a trip to the market, 5 miles away. And it appears to be an election year ploy, by a president who has started to define his presidency by his unwillingness to tend to the well-being of the vast portion of the population, a statement that he's willing to put our money anywhere except to work for us, we're last on the list, beyond war and space exploration, regardless of the measurable increases in crime and poverty, a high rate of academic incompetence, etc. The last remarks certainly count as political analysis as well as moral analysis--speculation and opinion, you might ...

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President Bush's space plan using an ethical approach is featured.

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