Humanity's only goal, in and of itself, seems to be to survive and reproduce. Both on a micro and macro scale, this is the behavior we see all of humankind exhibiting. Given this, it can be safely assumed that anything that allows more humans to survive, and survive more comfortably, is a step in the right direction. Ergo, we should expand wherever possible.

I don't think many people would argue, judging from mankind's past, that human beings are expansionists. Starting from one small area on the planet, we've been slowly and steadily expanding until we cover all hospitable regions and semi-hospitable regions on the globe. Assuming we, humanity, can clean up our act and solve our more local problems (like war, famine, and so on), I see no reason why we shouldn't continue to expand; in this case, to other worlds.

Being spread through multiple planets and hopefully, systems, will greatly decrease our chances of being entirely wiped out by some large-scale natural disaster, such as a rogue asteroid or future unforeseen sun behavior. It can't hurt to spread out a bit.

The disappointing conclusion is that we're currently very limited by our technology level, and space-based research is progressing very slowly. Well, here's hoping.
Colonisation of space does indeed seem to be a natural consequence of our societies tendency to have a positive growth rate, i.e. for most of the world, births exceed deaths.

The planets in our the solar system are not really suitable for habitation, and would either require vast buildings, or perhaps terraforming to house a growing population. Of course our technology will need to drasticaly improve to meet the challenges that this will bring; however certain areas of our technology develop exponentially. It may well be that space based and assiociated technology could undergo the same revolution that computing has, if so within a 20 or 30 year time period, the solar system could open up to delevopment.

On a cautionary note, the very reason for colonisation, our growth rate could still be our undoing. If we don't find a way to limit our population and live within the restrictions imposed by the resources available, we will always run out of space. Even the 1-2% population growth rate of a lot of the world gives an exponential curve, eventually this would lead to a need to colonise the stars, and at an ever quickening rate. This 'wave' of expansion would eventually have to move at the speed of light to keep up; and behind the wave would be star systems, full to bursting and running out of resources....

I think we should expand, not to make our society larger, but to be more flexible and resilent; to ensure the survival of the species over geological timescales. Right now the cosmological environment we live in, could wipe out the human species. Our technology now is brittle with respect to the forces that could act upon it, such as asteroid impacts, supernova explosions, the passage of the sun though a dust cloud to name a few.
Getting into space will take a lot of thinking, staying there will really take thinking and planning.

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