Dmitry Samoilov Why does a person need the starry sky? 04/12/2024, 08:01

As you know, Immanuel Kant’s soul was filled with increasing astonishment and admiration, according to his own words, at precisely two things: the moral law within him and the starry sky above him. Philosophers have studied the moral law for several thousand years, leaving it to the personal responsibility of each individual. The moral relativism of objective reality implies nothing else. You can’t please everyone who loves watermelon and loves pork cartilage, so everyone has their own moral code.

But I had to fix the starry sky. Only in the second half of the last century did it become more or less accessible for significant research: Yuri Gagarin was the first person to fly into the starry sky on April 12, 1961. We gathered here on this occasion.

Of course, people with a head and eyes on them have always looked at the starry sky since the beginning of their existence. And the starry sky valued them no less than the moral law. The sources that have survived to this day date us to 6-4 BC. takes us back centuries. The change in the appearance of the Moon in the sky prompted the Babylonians to think about some regularity and cyclicity of this process. The change of seasons also meant the same thing. This is how the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe celestial disk arose, in which the Sun and the Moon walk in a circle with the stars.

People who lacked the scientific and technical devices to interpret these processes began to interpret the processes.

This is how astrology, historically primary in astronomy, emerged. Human thought has flown faster than progress capable of creating tools to study celestial bodies and explain the structure of the universe. This thought forced people to comment. Every phase of the Moon, every change in the position of the stars had a meaning, was a harbinger of something or an answer to a question. It is quite surprising that millions of people still prefer interpretation over the scientific approach.

People learned very quickly that the Earth was round, so there is no need to think that Giordano Bruno was executed for this statement. Bruno was burned at the stake due to disagreements with the Catholic Church over the punishment for sins. And the ancient Romans knew that the Earth was round. Of course, there is some debate about the structure of the solar system – whether it is geocentric or heliocentric. But soon everyone came to the conclusion that it was the Earth that revolved around the Sun, and not vice versa.

Throughout history, people wanted to not only observe the starry sky but also feel it by touching it. I always wanted to fly there, or at least get close to it. Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Andrei Rublev” begins with an unsuccessful and even tragic flight of a conditionally controlled balloon over medieval northeastern Russia. And in Leonid Gaidai’s film “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession” the protagonist tells about an inventor who was thrown into the air by a powder keg. Everyone knows and remembers the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci’s airplane. Everyone knows the expression per aspera ad astra – from thorns to stars, everyone remembers the meaning of the comet in Leo Tolstoy’s novel “War and Peace”. Perhaps reaching for the stars is an integral part of human nature.

The stars, space, the Universe are undeniably important, attractive, promising new and exciting things.

Almost all of science fiction literature, this entire huge cultural heritage, is based on the scenario of flight to the stars. It seems like everything is fine, everything is here on Earth. But no, you definitely need to go to the stars.

The closest and oldest person to the stars was Russian Yuri Gagarin in 1961. I have repeatedly heard from people who lived at that time and remember that flight that the feeling of approaching the stars, the feeling of an unprecedented breakthrough, the feeling of closeness to space was not just general at that time, but all-encompassing. It was as if this country had taken off and become the rocket ship of humanity and human history. It was as if the spring of civilization had begun again – this escape was not only in the spring, but also in the early sixties – a relatively peaceful and prosperous period.

What happened then? Then it quickly became clear that there was nothing special to do in space. Manned cosmonauts do not mean that they are not needed, but they do not bring the expected closeness to the stars. This does not mean that victory is followed by disappointment. It was just a dream come true, and unlike dreams, reality is not always perfect. It’s a long flight to the nearest planets and there’s no need for it. It turns out that the Earth is big, there is enough space here, colonies on Mars are not very necessary and extremely expensive. There’s nothing interesting on the Moon either, and you won’t reach anything that has the potential to be habitable. Nevertheless, space exploration, which began in our country, largely determined the life of modern man – the general development of communications, defense industry, surveillance, solar energy and technology. All of this is necessary, all of it is necessary, even though it no longer has that enthusiastic romantic atmosphere.

But if you still remember Kant, strictly adhere to the rules of morality and look at the sky on a warm night, remembering the first flight of man to the stars, you can feel with both surprise and admiration what the philosopher wrote about. This is probably why a person needs a starry sky.

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors.

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Source: Gazeta

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