Positivism, Cosmism and Codes of Ethics in Space

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Cosmism isn’t necessarily tied towards logical positivism. However, quite a few authors do connect the two. There are some very serious differences between the two philosophies, however. Logical positivists are usually focused on moral relativity and a simple view of ethics.

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Cosmism is somewhat silent on these issues, but one could definitely look at cosmism from an idealist point of view. Unlike logical positivism, Russian cosmism espouses a certain code of ethics. These ethics repeatedly reference the exploration of space. Since humanity has become more civil over time, a cosmist might argue that taking a leap into the stars would simply be the next logical development for mankind. Humans would be expected to become more peaceful in space.

The question of how to handle force and violence is always a complicated one. Modern societies have put a state monopoly on the use of force, but many people argue that peace-loving citizens should be able to defend themselves when the time comes. No amount of philosophical discussion can truly decide how futuristic societies will handle their criminals. Cosmism has an optimistic view on this, however. It seems to suggest that criminal behavior will be on the way out when people live in space colonies.

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s Message of Cosmism

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky once wrote, “The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot eternally live in a cradle.” While people often think about futurism as a recent concept, Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) was laying the foundation of it in the late 19th century. The principle of Russian cosmism combined aspects of natural philosophy, ethics, religion and science. As one might expect from an Eastern European development, Orthodoxy was also an extremely important influence. Read More →