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Metalaw and SETI

The Day I Met Dr. Ernst Fasan

2 Nov 2010, 16:35 UTC
The Day I Met Dr. Ernst Fasan
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The author with Dr. Ernst Fasan, Prague, Sept. 29, 2010For over 15 years I have studied the scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and for some time have been aware of a very obscure legal concept closely related to SETI, that of Metalaw. First conceived in 1956 by pioneering space lawyer Andrew G. Haley -- four years before astronomer Frank Drake conducted the first true SETI experiment, Project Ozma -- Metalaw was the term Haley coined to refer to fundamental legal precepts of theoretically universal application to all intelligences, human and extraterrestrial.In 1956, Haley published an article entitled “Space Law and Metalaw – A Synoptic View,” in which Haley first proposed his “Interstellar Golden Rule”: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. Haley rejected the traditional formulation of the Golden Rule as articulated by philosophers throughout the ages because, Haley said, in Metalaw “we deal with all frames of existence – with sapient beings different in kind. We must do unto others in different frames of reference . . . To treat others as we would desire to be treated might well mean their destruction. We must treat them as they desire to be treated.” According to ...

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