Populating new places can enable a new start and experimentation with new forms of social organisation. Escape from the momentum of tradition.
But that's just speculation, right? It's actually not, because we've already seen demonstrations of this, like the founding of the United States and the democratic system they put in place there.
(I heard this viewpoint from reading Robert Zubrin's "The Case For Mars" https://www.amazon.com/Case-Mars-Plan-Settle-Planet/dp/14516...)
Here's some rational reasons for why it's a good idea:
* It would be a challenge, and (as there is lots of historical evidence for) innovation comes from people working on hard problems. So it would lead to innovations
* It would inspire a generation to be more interested in areas like science and technology
* The fresh start of a new planet would provide the opportunity for people to try out new forms of social structure. The founding of the USA is a historical example of this. Broken systems and structures is a big problem on earth right now.
* Ultimately if humanity only exist on a single planet, then it's at great risk of being wiped out by some catastrophe. Getting off earth is important for our future existence.
(A long time ago, I read Robert Zubrin's "The Case for Mars" and I think a lot of these ideas came from that. https://www.amazon.com/Case-Mars-Plan-Settle-Planet/dp/14516...)
I believe Zubrin expands on it a bit in his book ...
The author, Robert Zubrin, also developed the Mars-mission plan Elon Musk seems to be following. (Zubrin's book also paints a fascinating picture of what's wrong with NASA: http://www.amazon.com/The-Case-Mars-Settle-Planet/dp/0684835...)
Quotes from the Terraforming paper:
"drastic modification of Martian conditions ... using 21st century technology."
"Humans... would require breathing gear, but pressure suits would be unnecessary"
"Average temperatures could be above the freezing point of water for significant regions during portions of the year, enabling the growth of plant life in the open."
Strongly recommended for all areophiles.
However, these days if I ever did end up on Mars (unlikely, I know) I'd probably me a Red rather than a Green.