Principles of Life-Centered Astroethics


IX. Human Survival and a Self-Designed Future

Our powers can perpetuate or destroy life. The choice of survival or demise rests with our ethics. They must guide us to survive and to fulfil the human purpose.

The logic of life dictates that those who strive most to survive will persist best. This logic formed the instincts of survival that drive all species.

Adapting to space will involve major changes in biology through self-directed evolution. Self-directed evolution and expansion in space are interdependent.

However, our instincts of survival may be enhanced or lost by self-engineered evolution.  Our descendants will persist only if the will to survive is itself always propagated. In a self-designed future, this will to continue life must be always  propagated from generation to generation.

Directed evolution will allow progress without pain. The pains of harmful natural mutations will be no longer needed.

In harsh space organic life will integrate with robots. They must serve life but not replace it. Living beings who would replace themselves by robots would betray the purpose of life, self-propagation.

When humans integrate with robots, control must remain in organic brains with vested interest to continue organic gene/protein life.

As humans and science advance, all that is allowed by Nature will be achieved. That human purpose which will be sought, will be accomplished. Our perceived human destiny will be self-fulfilling.

Therefore this principle must be the foundation of ethics passed on from generation to generation: that the human purpose is to forever propagate Life.

X. Truth

Living matter is structured, but it could be arranged in many more ways that would be lifeless. Nature allows life just narrowly.

The ways of survival are therefore a select few, and many false paths can lead to oblivion.

The paths of survival require information for constructing and maintaining biological structure, find sustenance, chose mates and select the fit.

The interplay of chance and selection is intrinsic to the living process.

Survival and progress require action guided by true information. Truth based on reality is vital.

Nature does not forgive ignorance. Real information and truth serve Life.

XI. Peace and Survival

Where there is Life, there is hope. Good can always emerge after evil.
Survival must be won moment by moment, year by year, eon by eon; but extinction, if only once, is final.

No cause can justify the risk of our extinction; as where there is no life, there is no hope, and justice has no meaning.

Total war is ultimate evil. No passing cause, even justice, can excuse this ultimate danger.

Only we humans can secure the future of Life through eons. Human extinction would lead to total extinction.

Life is fragile. A technological society who can expand in space can also self-destruct. Aggression served evolution, but now it threatens the future.

Space can accommodate many cultures and species. Territorial aggression will be obsolete and the ethics of life commends peace.

Life will need cooperation in space, and peace cemented by equitable justice. Justice, dignity, freedom and peace promote Life.

XII. The Value of an Individual

The value of a human life is its contribution to the human purpose.

The chain of life is built by day-to-day survival. Every constructive human life contributes to the human purpose.

Each individual life can affect the future, as small events lead to evolving complex systems.

The imprint of every human being can live on in the course of our human future. The imprint of a human being on the patterns of future is our share in the worlds to come.

The senses of pleasure evolved under the logic of natural selection. The enjoyment of health, sustenance, safety and procreation support these ends that sustain life. Therefore healthy pleasure and happiness are morally good.

Life-centered ethics commends the pursuit of happiness.

XIII. Natural Justice and Human Justice

Natural law recognizes cause and effect, but human justice seeks fairness and compassion, rewards good, and punishes evil.

Natural law judges an act by its effects and it is blind to intent, but human justice weights both effects and intents. Human justice forgives, and accepts repentance.

Natural justice is collective: an efficient society will flourish, and individuals will prosper regardless of merit. However, human justice renders individual justice, and  rewards or punishes by individual merit.

The laws of Nature can be used but not defied, and human justice can exist only in the framework of Nature. Human justice will increase with human power, and moral justice will rule in the future.

XIV. Free Human Will

Many futures can derive from the present. If multiple paths can unfold, human action may affect the future.

Human impulses combine neural processes with external information.
Our impulses are our free will, whose outcomes are judged by survival.
Thereby freedom supports progress to benefit life.

The human values of freedom, truth, happiness and justice will combine in life-centred ethics, to construct empires of Life throughout the Universe. In that future, our human existence will fulfil a cosmic purpose. 


The science and ethics of expanding life are discussed in

"Seeding the Universe with Life:

Securing Our Cosmological Future"


The science and ethics of expanding life in space are discussed in the e-book
(free download):

"Seeding the Universe with Life:

Securing Our Cosmological Future"


                                       Click on the book title
                                                      to go directly to the book


 The principles of life-centered and panbiotic ethics summarized also in the essay "Life Centered Ethics and the Human Future in Space:" Bioethics 2009, 23, 433-440. [free download)


Life-Centered Ethics in Art

Useful links:

How could we expand life in the Universe?  


How much life can the galaxy support?


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