This website is more like a conversation. It is designed to help move the new field of Space Ethics into an admittedly questionable, speculative field of First Contact Ethics. While very few scholars are currently working in the field of Space Ethics, I hope to assist by advancing proposals and strategies that might be discussed when contemplating First Contact Ethics. Now, is the in the realm of science fiction? Yes, of course! However, is it also something that ethicist need to be considering in the event that we find ourselves in this situation? Yes, that, too! While I do not claim in any method or manner that humanity has made first contact or that we are going to soon, I do claim that these are thought exercises that need to be considered moving forward.
What qualifies me to lead such a discussion? During my extensive time in college I was fortunate enough to have many, many great professors. Through I left college with the less than impressive degree of a Master of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, I did throughout my time in university become cemented in discussions on ethics. I have continued those studies after I completed my master’s.
I immersed myself into Violence Studies, with the belief that violence is not inevitable and that if society is to overcome violence, it must be understood. I have also worked on a self-imposed regimented program and independent research related to sociology and radical geography. I have an extensive scholarly library that I have built up over the years. My research is based on my continued focus on history and literature. I also incorporated my research on Violence Studies and Space and Place and some elements of cultural anthropology. Some of my writing on Interdisciplinary Violence Studies can be found here: Towards Post-Violence Societies: An Outline of Interdisciplinary Violence Studies and Violence Research.
My interest in Violence Studies and my internalized realization of the importance of the understudied field came directly out of my theological research. My master’s thesis was titled, Provoking God. It was a theological analysis of social justice in the Hebrew Bible from a feminist perspective with the overall argument that we have the right to challenge God to interceded on behalf of social justice. After several more years of further study, and participating in the year-long conversion process to Judaism only to back out three days before my final mikvah ritual, I came to reject any indication of logical social justice in the Abrahamic religions. However, that conclusion was strongly influenced by what one could call sociological theology and a long term intense witnessing of the world’s denunciation of others. I had written and extension of my master’s thesis into a complete book with the hope of publication, but decided that wasn’t right for me so I made the complete text available here: PROVOKING GOD: SACRED HOPE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND THE HEBREW BIBLE.
This is not the only place you will see me discussing ethics. I have a site where I post the ethical considerations of science fiction here: Science Fiction and Ethics: scifi.global.
I hope you will join me as I attempt to build and contribute to what will become the very important topic of Space Ethics. Though I am well-studied and can say with confidence that I have continued to apply critical thinking on a graduate level long after university, I am not a scientist. That, of course, will be a major drawback for many who might consider my ideas insufficiently grounded in the sciences. I understand. However, I do think an objective scholar or reader of Space Ethics will also concede that there is room, no, necessity for the discussion of Space Ethics to be interdisciplinary and of wide range.
We all want meaning in our lives. It my hope that https://www.firstcontact.earth/ will lead to more.
You may contact me at: rtilley4-AT-alumni.jh.edu
Richard J Tilley
All content © Richard J Tilley – *except for header images*, rights are attributed to each one at the bottom of that post.