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We should colonize other planets for their resources.

Agree. We already pull resources from our own planet. If we can do it cost effectively from uninhabited planets we should. 

Disagree. We started a dangerous trend of sapping our planet of resources instead of finding more sustainable solutions. Before we expand that practice, we have a lot of work to do on our own planet.

Yeah but when we use resources on Earth we're potentially hurting ourselves. When we take something from a planet that has no life on it it's a completely victimless act. It's a win win.

Yeah but that's assuming that no other life exists around us. What if we start taking resources from a planet that happens to be part of a civilization we don't know about yet? We could trigger a very bad situation.

Fine but in this scenario, if we knew about a resource-rich planet, we would likely also know about other life forms that also know about said planet. And if we aren't aware of other life forms, resource-rich planets should be fair game.

Fine but let's say someday another civilization shows up in the future and sees what we've done. They might not be very happy about us stealing resources from a planet that isn't ours.

OK but that's planning for a very unrealistic variable. It's very unlikely we'll even find a planet with useful resources to take let alone another intelligent form of life.

OK but if we ultimately develop the technology to travel to other planets, find resources, and then send those resources back to Earth, we'll likely also have the technology to find other intelligent life forms.

Sure so when Earth is in a bind and we need to desperate find more resources to keep our planet alive, we're going to need to look for resources elsewhere. That's a simple reality. 

Sure it could be. OR we could simply leave the planet altogether and settle another planet. Bringing ourselves to a resource-rich planet seems far easier than shipping the resources the other way.

But if we've already invested in building cities and infrastructure here, that isn't necessarily true.

But if Earth is in such desperate shape that we need to plunder resources from other planets, it's probably best we ditch this planet anyways, along with everything on it.


The Devil's Advocate blog is an experimental format that poses a question, then has two opposing voices share their thought process as they defend why they agree or disagree. Learn more about the Devil's Advocate card game here. Or sign-up to pre-order below.