Church of the Golden Rule
The Starship Mayflower
The Starship Mayflower is purely hypothetical, but you have to start somewhere! It may be fifty or five-hundred years before privately organized groups of pioneers head for the stars, but it is something that will almost certainly occur at some point in the future. This is not so much an attempt to start such a projects, as an attempt to start a discussion.
The "Space Case"
"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in"… Robert Heinlein
Humankind will eventually colonize space to escape problems on earth, the same problems will crop up where ever humankind settles. That doesn’t mean space colonization won’t be worthwhile, in fact it will be necessary and may give us the few thousand years we need to mature into responsible human beings!
The world is changing, you can accept the change, or try to effect change of your own. This can be done peacefully or violently… but it should be done nonviolently. Colonizing space, doesn’t guarantee peace, but it does offer the possibility of less violence. In the not too distant future, star ships will carry pioneers beyond the far reaches of our galaxy… perhaps they’ll be called the Mayflower, or the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria!
Scientists estimate it might take million of years for humans to colonize the Milky Way galaxy... traveling in huge rotating star ships. That’s a long time, but in relation to the age of the universe it's miniscule… regardless, SRSR thinks we’ll have gone far beyond the Milky Way sooner than then.
We should encourage renewable energy, recycling and energy conservation… these technologies may not be essential on earth for a hundred years, but they’ll be essential in space from day one.
The government may designate space pioneers, “illegal emigrants” and deal with them accordingly. Kings and queens tried to control emigration to America and claim the land for themselves, we’ll see if presidents attempt to control space colonies and the terra firma they discover… in the long run the kings lost their grip.
Society has always operated like a beehive, historically there were countless; cities, states and countries each run by its own bosses. Now our leaders seem intent on creating only one gigantic hive. The people engineering our fate may have good intentions, but that’s beside the point. The problem is, independent-minded people will have no place to go… at least until outer space becomes an option.
Space will not be a utopia, but it offers an infinite region to attempt to replicate the good things society offers while avoiding as many pitfalls as possible.
Another important issue is militarization of space, America, Russia and China already have the ability to shoot down satellites, so the arms race in space has already started… but isn’t that just the normal sad course of affairs?
If there are advanced aliens out there who are less violent than us, they must be watching us with troubled anticipation. SRSR wonders if in their councils, they’ve already decided what to do with us?
I like the name New Chicago for a future space city, though it’s not original, having been used years ago in a movie. What are some other good names? Some will be old cities with the word “New” in front of them, like New Washington, others will be entirely new and exciting words.
A positive result of colonizing space, is that it will reduce over population on earth, which might lead to reduced conflict. A related emerging science useful to space pioneers will by cryonics, a method of suspended animation for humans. At the present time, only simple creatures such as frogs have been reanimated after being cryonically suspended, but there’s a good chance of successful reanimation of humans in the coming years. In any case, some would rather take a chance on cryonics, than the usual ending, which involves going through the worm.
In the future, the laws of nature will be stretched in regards to what is the normal lifespan of a human being. With medical advances and cryonics, people may live hundreds of years, but will they be a burden to society? Earth's resources are already stretched thin, so pioneers will take cryonically suspended heads with them into space? When the time is right they will reanimate these brains, and engineer real or mechatronic bodies. Meanwhile, the brains only need liquid nitrogen to survive. I’m not suggesting we can fool Mother nature, but she may no longer limit our lives to 70 or 100 brief years.
When the Earth finally freezes or burns to a crisp, will anybody really care? Will there be anybody left, or will we have moved far into the cosmos by then? Perhaps there'll be a few stragglers, but conditions will have become unbearable centuries, or eons prior our lovely home’s demise.
A simple Tomato plant on a spaceship might be cherished as much as the mighty Oak is on earth... it's all relative.
To be viable, star ships will have to be large and sophisticated, and it may be hundreds of years before pilgrims attempt to reach for the stars. We’re no where near ready to attempt such journeys, but you have to start somewhere… “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”, so does a journey measured in light years
Even in space, there will be conflict as humans, and perhaps aliens fight over prime real estate and resources! We’ve always congregated around fertile land, and that’s been the cause of so much earthly conflict. Space pioneers will have to contend with; disease, famine, war, piracy and every other affliction wrought by man and nature. So why even bother colonizing space? Because as earth gets more crowded, things may get a lot worse for its inhabitants.
Is life miraculous and exclusive to earth, or might any heavenly body with the right conditions spawn life…especially if the necessary seeds blow in its direction.
Whenever humans travel to new lands, they look for the resources and riches they need or desire. Historically it's been fertile soil, lumber, freshwater and mineral wealth. As we travel the cosmos we will look for the same things in one form or another, as well as atmospheres and climates we can tolerate or modify.
It's unlikely there’ll ever be a human utopia, no matter who you recruit, we’ll be at each other's throats eventually. Even if these utopias are democracies, which is most desirable, the problems we have, will once again rear their ugly heads in New Merica.
It is unlikely there will be peace on earth as long as people think their bloodline, religion or ideology is chosen above all others. Separating from such people is an important reason for going into space, but these issues should also be addressed on earth.
Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus are reportedly icy orbs, comprised largely of water, which can be converted into; hydrogen fuel, oxygen to breath and water to drink. Some day these moons will surely be outposts or interplanetary truck stops!
Mars and the moon reportedly have reserves of water that will support human life as well, they also have deep caves which might shelter future cave men and women.
When it comes to space, will America be like the Vikings who reached the new world hundreds of years before Columbus, but abandoned the adventure and became mere footnotes in the history of new world exploration?
The nuclear “Sword of Damocles” that JFK warned us about still hangs over us… the genie is out of the bottle and there will never be security on earth. Our future, though not assured is in space…
What will the star ships be called that carry pioneers to the far reaches of the solar system… per chance the Mayflower, or the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria?
The planet Earth is likely to remain a battle field, where those with the means, seize resources from weaker neighbors. Outer space may offer temporary respite for colonists as long as adversarial groups of colonists move in opposite directions. In the long run however, each colony is likely to suffer internal strife as well as conflict with other the colonies they trade with or encounter.
I would love to be part of the generation that colonizes space, since our dear old earth may have too many problems to solve! Some of us have all kinds of "creative" ideas, but neither the means nor will to administer the bitter pills necessary to fix things here. So instead of working against overwhelming odds to achieve peace and justice on earth, space is the place!
I'd rather face the overwhelming odds of establishing a space colony than loose my rights a degree at a time here... our losses are reminiscent of the anecdote on how to boil a frog! Space exploration is largely a pipe dream for me unless cryonics works, but colonies will surely sprout up all over the cosmos in the future. They will largely be attempts at utopian societies, none of which will entirely succeed, but that doesn't mean humanity shouldn't try!
A serious issue will be earthly government’s insistence on determining the makeup of the colonists… unless your Mayflower can somehow evade their missiles, your group will have to adhere to “Big Brothers” rules. Another words, TPTB will make sure that your group includes an appropriate membership rooster. It will be deemed traitorous to leave this fair planet and start a colony without an approved passenger list!
Major nations with the means to launch their own star ships, will determine the demographics of their colonies, but will privately funded groups be subject to rooster regulations? It’s likely that just as the Pilgrims left from Holland instead of England, future pilgrims will be looking for departure points where freedom of association does not result in a police action. We should adhere to the laws of the country that allows us to leave on as close to our own terms as possible. If everyone requires diversity quotas, we will abide to those that are the least onerous, or perhaps we can leave from our own vessel on international waters. We want diversity, but not a prescribed and mandated version... we would like to decide for ourselves exactly what diversity means and who we would like to associate with.
Einstein discovered that the faster you move through space, the slower you move through time. Traveling at the speed of light, you could circle the galaxy in a relatively few years, and when you arrive back on earth, a great many years would have passed for its inhabitants.
It is reasonable to wonder if we’ve been visited before? There is increasing evidence that such is at least possible. Were the ancient gods aliens? Just as some native American’s are said to have thought Europeans on horseback were god creatures, couldn’t our ancestors have thought that extraterrestrials were divine beings?
Did the universe start X billion years ago with the big bang? Maybe our universe did, but before that there was something somewhere. There has always been we’re just not privy to what that always has been. There is always and there is nothing, and always prevails… at least in the end.
If the oceans rise, or we steer our planet into an ice age, there will be tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees. Many are likely to be brought to our shores, drastically changing our country… one more reason to have a back up plan. Of course to escape, you’re Ark, will have to meet with the approval of our leaders. Those who want to select their own company will be deemed pirates and consequently persecuted.
Our future is going to be in space, as it’s inevitable the earth will be overcrowded and tragically, nuclear weapons are likely to be unleashed again and again. Will the survivors live underground…will children be born with gross mutations?
Some will indeed feel like pilgrims, persecuted in their ancestral land and looking for a new place to settle down. Those who live and work on star ships will by necessity be engineers, mechanics, doctors, nurses or farmers, and these same talented people will also be athletes, musicians and poets! These will be diverse groups, with the common thread that most will be people who feel left behind by the new world order.
There will be a college admissions like, or the job selection process… people will be selected based largely on their skills and education. A starship will need engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses, mechanics, farmers and all manner of professions and trades, if it is to have a snow balls chance. You will do your best to weed out those who are misrepresenting their credentials and/or their motives. It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that saboteurs and infiltrators will do their best to gain membership, in order to cause mischief or wreak havoc, on those they consider their ideological enemies.
There will have to be multiple "fail safe" redundant systems of life support, food production, energy creation etc. There must be energy shields etc. to protect the ships from missile, laser and as yet un-thought off manners of attack.
I can imagine entire churches, or branches of churches moving into space, planetary Presbyterians, Apostolic astronauts, Galactic Jews and many others. Will you have to be a church to claim a right to emigrate from earth without excessive regulation from earthly authorities? Will the question of taxation and regulation without representation once again rear its ugly head? Freedom to emigrate shouldn’t be limited to religious groups… other groups of likeminded individuals should have similar rights.
A problem as old as humanity, is that hard core members of many groups will only accept unconditional acceptance of their demands. In order to protect earth’s society from fanatics let them go freely into space!
If you want to leave this planet and can afford to do it with private funding, then Earth’s governments should not tamper with your plans, your flight rooster or anything else… but good luck with that happening!
America may or may not flourish in the future, and many do not like the changes occurring. We refuse to applaud or voluntarily support the emerging new incarnation of our nation… that being said, there’s little that individuals can do but opine. Our future is in space, because the only way to solve societies problems would require draconian measures. Such will not occur, so some people will happily be cryonautic space pilgrim should the opportunity present itself!
Hundreds of Star ships, each with many thousands of people aboard will someday leave our beautiful planet for the cosmos. Every thousand or so years, we should revisit our ancestral home to see what has become of it, but there had better be advance parties sent to determine what kind of reception to expect! If the inhabitants are not keen on us visiting, we might adjust our orbit accordingly, stay out of range and take another lap around the galaxy.
The inhabitants of each star ship should determine if their constitution will separate church and state, have freedom of religion, or if they prefer, their own official religion.
Can I be patriotic yet dream of being part of a space colony that will not be under the thumb of the earthly authorities? Seems like our ancestors had a similar dilemma and we know how they settled it!
* The Church of The Golden Rule is unaffiliated with any other church and the Mayflower Foundation will be developed as a "fraternal benefit society" or some other structure that best serves the intended purposes.