Can the “prime directive” underlie an ethics of the spatial era?


European Politics, Humanities and E-Society-EPHES 2015 – 3rd editionă– Copyright © 2015

FORMAT | Presented paper              

LANGUAGE | English

HOW TO CITE| SANDU, Antonio.(2015). Can the “prime directive” underlie an ethics of the spatial era?. Prezentată la European Politics, Humanities and E-Society-EPHES 2015 – 3rd edition 2015 theme: Challenges And Crises In The Technological World. October 30 – November 1 2015, Voronet Romania.


The prospect of a close spatial era of humanity opened the way to utopias that are based on a cosmic humanity. The authors of the series of science-fiction movies Star Trek propose a so-called prime directive, which guides the relationships between humans and the extra-terrestrial civilizations. This directive restricts any cultural contamination of civilizations that are not at the level of technological development that would make space travel possible. The experience of the clash of civilizations and the systematic destruction of the indigenous people from South America by the European colonists seems like an encounter between a technologically developed civilization, and an under-developed one, being unfavourable for the latter one and leading to its full annihilation. However, such experience doesn’t justify a prime directive as a fundament of an ethics of spatial era. Another perspective can be that the access to technology, as long as the moral consciousness of that civilization doesn’t include the ethical evaluation of technologies, and the technoethics can create the premises of self-destruction for that civilization. Our conclusion refers to the need of an ethics of spatial era that would precede the very transition of humanity to the level of civilization imposed by the spatial era. In this article we will review a series of theoretical fundaments on the possibility of an ethics of the spatial era, and will finish with a few possible answers to the question Can the debut of the spatial era be considered a moment of singularity?, similar and parallel with that of the emergence of consciousness to non-human entities (AI, extra-terrestrial entities, non-human sentient beings, eventually developed as a result of genetic engineering).


ethics of spatial era, prime directive, singularity, sci-fi literature.