#Space #Mars – Can Religion Motivate Explorers To Colonize Mars? Does God Belong In Space? : Humans haven’t visited the moon since the 1970s and the recent surge in public support for a manned Mars mission may not be enough to motivate explorers to leave the comfort of Earth and colonize the red planet.
Patriotism, profit, and science may not be enough to encourage thousands of people to leave Earth forever and settle on the cold desolate plains of Mars, but religion might. Experts on space travel discussed religious motivation for space travel at the annual Mars Society Convention in Washington D.C. last week, Paul Levinson, a science fiction writer and Fordham University professor, told Space.com.
“Since we got to the moon and we’d already beaten the Soviets that motive was gone. Science continues to be a motivating factor, but it’s a weak motivation. NASA has tried, and it hasn’t ignited any real passion.”
Elon Musk recently unveiled his plans for a fleet of spaceships to carry thousands of settlers to the red planet to establish a Martian colony and make mankind a multiplanet species. The Earth to Mars crossing will be difficult and dangerous, however, and Musk admits early settlers have a very real possibility of dying, so they will need to be highly motivated individuals.
Religion and the desire to spread the Word of God might be enough to encourage thousands of people to leave the comfort of Earth behind and go live in the harsh and dangerous climate of Mars, Levinson told Space.com.
“There’s a motivation every sentient being has. Every person … has wonder … We ask what is the meaning of our place in the universe. Science doesn’t even scratch the deepest parts of that question.”
Religion has an extensive history of motivating the exploration of distant lands and the colonization of far away places and monks are often found in seclusion. A personal belief in the Christian God and the truth of the Bible isn’t necessarily challenged by space travel, the idea of multiple habitable worlds, or even the existence of alien life.