Religion: Space Ethics

The golden rule may not apply in outer space. The International Astronautical Congress, which received the Pope's blessing at its meeting in Rome last week, heard Washington Lawyer Andrew G. Haley describe the basis of what he called "metalaw" (a coinage modeled on metaphysics). Doing unto others as we would they do unto us, said Haley, may not work with other "forms of existence." The spacemen of tomorrow may encounter "sapient beings different in kind," which may require that we "do unto others as they would have done unto them. We must treat them as they desire to be treated."


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