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Re^3: The most important near-term goal of a space program:

by itub (Priest)
on May 10, 2007 at 12:08 UTC ( #614607=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
in thread The most important near-term goal of a space program:

The problem with that argument is that there are many other "secondary and tertiary" causes besides the space program. Why thank the space program, and not war, for example? Should I thank Hitler for the microwave oven, given that World War II encouraged the development of radar technology, which in turn gave rise to the microwave oven? (Oops, Godwin's Law violation! ;-)
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Re^4: The most important near-term goal of a space program:
by jcoxen (Deacon) on May 10, 2007 at 14:48 UTC
    This strikes me as flamebait but I'll try to answer it anyway - apologies if I'm wrong about your intent.

    Intent is a consideration. Undoubtedly war has driven a huge number of advances for mankind that have eventually helped to make life better - medicine, explosives (I'm thinking construction here, not destruction). Even the Space Program got a boost from war - from Congreve's rockets to the German V2 program.

    But whether the good derived from those secondary and tertiary benefits outweighs the evil of war is a question for God, not me. I do believe that the benefits derived from space exploration more than outweigh the costs involved. And the intent of exploration is usually benign at worst where the intent of war is usually malign.


      Sorry, my intent was not flamebait but more of a reductio ad absurdum. I think there are many causes that drive technical progress (some good and some bad), so the space program shouldn't be singled out. I just used the most extreme counter-example.

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