This article examines some selected ethical issues in human space missions including human missions to Mars, particularly the idea of a space refuge, the scientific value of space exploration, and the possibility of human gene editing for deep-space travel. Each of these issues may be used either to support or to criticize human space missions. We conclude that while these issues are complex and context-dependent, there appear to be no overwhelming obstacles such as cost effectiveness, threats to human life or (...) protection of pristine space objects, to sending humans to space and to colonize space. The article argues for the rationality of the idea of a space refuge and the defensibility of the idea of human enhancement applied to future deep-space astronauts. (shrink)
In this article we examine the changing relationship to risk as revealed by the covid-19 pandemic and the ways this has, and may in future, alter sacramental practice, considering the radical effects this could have on traditional Christian practice. We consider the cultural trends that may lie behind this developing approach to risk, examining this in the context of an emergent transhuman identity that is technologically moderated and seeks to overcome risks of human mortality.
The goal of this pilot study is to investigate expressions of the collective disquiet of people in the first months of Covid-19 pandemic, and to try to understand how they manage covert risk, especially with religion and magic. Four co-authors living in early hot spots of the pandemic speculate on the roles of science, religion, and magic, in the latest global catastrophe. They delve into the consolidation that should be occurring worldwide because of a common, viral enemy, but find little (...) evidence for it. They draw parallels to biblical works, finding evidence of a connection between plague and “social strife.” They explore changes in the purviews of science, religion, and magic, and how and why they have changed, as three systems of covert risk management. They speculate on the coming wave of grief when the world populations finally decide that too many people have died, and they envision cultural changes on the other side of the pandemic, to lifestyles, travel, reverse urbanization, and living and working in smaller communities. Using an unusual approach named “crowd-sourced ethnography”, they conduct un-traditional ethnography and speculate on management of covert risk in their native countries. (shrink)