Well, I did not link that article because it directly reflected my views. I just saw it as a thoughtful little piece that did a good job of summarizing the debate. I’ve had the debate myself with others who have taken the vehement anti-space-exploration side (including one with my wife who took a strong ‘anti’ position during a memorable long car ride).
On the other hand, my own view is not 100% pro-exploration either. Where I draw the line is at large, expensive projects of manned exploration outside of orbit at present levels of technology. Without a profound technological transformation – of the sort that is still in the realm of science fiction – I just don’t think that these are deliver bang for the buck, nor are they justifiable in terms of risk to life. That may change some day, but not likely in my lifetime.
Space probes? Yes. Earth and orbit based observation equipment? Heck yes. More than that? Not yet.
When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.