One of the major arguments used by advocates of space colonization is the survivalist argument. This argument states that Space colonization is necessary to prevent the extinction of the human species. However, we of Republic of Langrangia do not endorse this particular argument.
Before we can continue, we should emphasis the distinction between the survivalist argument and the environmental or demographic argument. The latter argument states that Space colonization is necessary to solve our ecological problems due to human population. By moving (large) parts of mankind into Outer Space we will reduce the pressure on Earth’s fragile ecosystem.
The existence of the human species on Earth is subject to several threats, such as supervolcanoes and asteroid impacts. However the question is whether the extinction of our species in itself is a bad thing. According to the South-African philosopher David Benatar have people no duty to procreation because people who have never existed cannot be harmed by their non-existence (Benatar p. 30-40, 2006), subsequently the eventual extinction of homo sapiens as such cannot be not a bad thing.
Measures taken to protect human life shouldn’t be made for the sake of the prevention of human extinction, but only to save the lives of currently existing people. Since only a relatively small portion of humanity can be moved into Outer Space, Space colonization fails as a method to save people’s lives in case of an extinction event, in which billions will still die.
The survivalist argument is a particular weak argument for Space colonization. Although it might have a high emotional “value”, it is philosophically suspect. Therefore we believe that Space advocates should rely on arguments which emphasize the benefits of Space colonization for currently existing people.
Benatar, David 2006. Better Never to Have Been. Oxford University Press, Oxford.