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The search for microbial Martian life and American Buddhist ethics
International Journal of Astrobiology ( IF 2.026 ) Pub Date : 2019-11-14 , DOI: 10.1017/s1473550419000296
Daniel Capper

Multiple searches hunt for extraterrestrial life, yet the ethics of such searches in terms of fossil and possible extant life on Mars have not been sufficiently delineated. In response, in this essay, I propose a tripartite ethic for searches for microbial Martian life that consists of default non-harm towards potential living beings, default non-harm to the habitats of potential living beings, but also responsible, restrained scientific harvesting of some microbes in limited transgression of these default non-harm modes. Although this multifaceted ethic remains secular and hence adaptable to space research settings, it arises from both a qualitative analysis of authoritative Buddhist scriptural ethics as well as the quantified ethnographic survey voices of contemporary American Buddhists. The resulting tripartite ethic, while developed for Mars, contains ramifications for the study of microbes on Earth and further retains application to other research locations in our Solar system.
更新日期:2019-11-14

 

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