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Author Topic: Morality of Bitcoin  (Read 2885 times)
tedskis
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June 05, 2011, 12:51:55 PM
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This is my first post, I'm a newbie, however I have been viewing the Bitcoin community for several weeks now, I just like to research things before I commit to joining/participating in them.

I would like to hear people thoughts on the Moratlity of Bitcoin and all of its possible implications.

I personally think Bitcoin is an amazing idea that potentially can be world changing (for the good). Anything that is potentially world changing will face resistance, possible corruption, and a host of other issues. Your thoughts...
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FoolOnTheHill
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June 05, 2011, 02:10:21 PM
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I don't see any problem with the overall ethics or morality.  From the little I have read it would seem the members of the community value honest and privacy and have taken reasonable step within the system to protect those.  The decentralization and anonymity strike me as strong features to protect the interests of those participating in the system.  Also, from the posts of those who have been here for a while I think that the intelligence and awareness present within this community could counter a number of attacks, even if the nature of those attacks is not known until they are launched.
JA37
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June 05, 2011, 02:18:21 PM
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What's the morality of the dollar?
Does the medium have moral implications?

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FoolOnTheHill
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June 05, 2011, 02:37:24 PM
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What's the morality of the dollar?
Does the medium have moral implications?
I think it does.  Consider the creation of the Federal Reserve private banking cartel in 1913. The criminals had to do it in secret and arrange for their political accomplices to enact the law when no one was watching.  And they were able to keep much of their criminality secret until recently. And the moral implications are even deeper when you consider the lengths to which the key families and their minions have gone to keep hide and at the same time increase what they are doing through wars, taxation, mind control (TV propaganda mainly), and so on.  How is that for morality?
Findeton
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June 05, 2011, 02:43:18 PM
 #5

This is my first post, I'm a newbie, however I have been viewing the Bitcoin community for several weeks now, I just like to research things before I commit to joining/participating in them.

I would like to hear people thoughts on the Moratlity of Bitcoin and all of its possible implications.

I personally think Bitcoin is an amazing idea that potentially can be world changing (for the good). Anything that is potentially world changing will face resistance, possible corruption, and a host of other issues. Your thoughts...

The only morality changes are the following:

- There's no need for banks. In fact, it's just not profitable to run a bitcoin bank.

- Money is not created by loans nor by the government. Anyone can mine. It's a P2P mechanism.

- You can't close any bank account, it's a free market.

- Only anonymous if your bank accounts are not linked to you.

- If you let your money rest, it will increase it's value without having to invest it in drugs/wars/whatever.

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eturnerx
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June 05, 2011, 06:13:02 PM
 #6

A thing (like bitcoin) does not have an inherent morality. I guess one way to project a morality onto things would be to look at the human usage of bitcoin. In that case the morality is not less than that on any other cash currency.

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chickenado
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June 05, 2011, 10:39:00 PM
 #7

What is the morality of carrots?
What is the morality of automobiles?
What is the morality of email?

Bitcoin is just a technology.  There is no such thing as a morality of bitcoin.  There is only a morality of people.  

But that is not a bitcoin-specific topic.
tedskis
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June 05, 2011, 11:50:24 PM
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what is the morality of  a carrot?
A carrot is a physical object and also an idea. neither deal with morality, until some outside force uses them.

Imagine taking away someones food supply, there are some deep moral questions there.

BitCoins are bits of data and an idea, but the idea of bitcoins have the ability to change the face of the largest industry on earth, the financial industry. If every web surfer in the world started using bitcoins instead of the dollar (or any other currency) I believe that the establishment would resist this change and i am sure there are some moral issues involved in that.

Maybe I should have said: what is the morality of humans using bitcoins?
eNrG
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June 06, 2011, 12:07:48 AM
 #9

As long as this system remains transparent and honest, this system may change the world. 

When talking of currency, the value of this medium is established when someone is willing to exchange something of value for that medium.

In the case of bitcoin, the ability to print currency is controlled by the market in essence.  Therefore, the currency is as moral as its participants.
saqwe
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June 09, 2011, 12:51:20 PM
 #10

Hi Ted,
thanks for starting this Post! When i was searching for "morality" in this forum a few days ago there were no hits.
I gues from crypto-anarchistic-view Bitcoin is really nice, no taxes, no military, no gouverment.
But what about schools, hospitals and clean water...


In a silk-road discussion somebody said nothing that isn't violent should be punished.

But in the same thread the sysop of silkRoad said he's thinking about new categories like weapons "but nobody posted in them yet.."
And all these gambling investors rushing in (i am also one of them) looking to make a quick buck mining or investing without any work

okay same argument goes to wallstreet-brokers -> trading intangible-goods

and i have sympathy for the miners to, because i am also fascinated by technology and numbers and like to have a super-computer in my basement or shag....


... just some random thoughts i had the last couple of days ...

cheers
saqwe

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June 09, 2011, 02:08:38 PM
 #11

Hi Ted,
thanks for starting this Post! When i was searching for "morality" in this forum a few days ago there were no hits.
I gues from crypto-anarchistic-view Bitcoin is really nice, no taxes, no military, no gouverment.
But what about schools, hospitals and clean water...

saqwe

People in uniforms provide that not government.

I'm looking to start some school stuff.

Proposal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11541.msg162881#msg162881
Inception: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/296
Goal: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=12536.0
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Goldenmaw
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June 09, 2011, 05:44:56 PM
 #12

Bitcoin, like any other currency, has the potential to do as much evil as the buyer and the seller want it to.  It will be as good as we all can make it.

The financial industries responsible for the currencies we have all used in the past are businesses and nothing more.  They will resist any change that cuts into their pie, but like any business they must adapt to make the most of new technologies, or they will crumble.  This is neither good, nor bad.  It simply is.
MacFall
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June 10, 2011, 05:29:16 AM
 #13

Tools are always and totally amoral. Bitcoin is a tool.

However, given the utter corruption of the system we now have, and given bitcoin's disruptive potential, I would consider it to be more likely to yield moral results than immoral ones.

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saqwe
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June 28, 2011, 05:26:31 PM
 #14

well since it is backed by megaWatts maybe there's still some morality too it...

JA37
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June 28, 2011, 07:01:22 PM
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Tools are always and totally amoral. Bitcoin is a tool.
Are they? I'm not so sure. What about a tool that only has an amoral use? You would have to be amoral to use it yes, but is the tool itself amoral if it has no other purpose than to commit amoral acts?

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benjamindees
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June 28, 2011, 08:13:20 PM
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What about a tool that only has an amoral use?

I assume you mean "immoral".  But, sure, just name one.

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bitplane
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June 28, 2011, 09:01:14 PM
 #17

What about a tool that only has an amoral use?

I assume you mean "immoral".  But, sure, just name one.
A nuclear warhead.
An AK-47.
A kit consisting of lube, condoms, face mask and rohypnol.
Thumbscrews.

I think it's fair to say that technology is neutral, but it does not exist independently of people and their actions. A Pair of Anguish sat in a museum's collection is not an inherently evil object, but if you were making them in the middle ages knowing that their primary use is to tear anuses and vaginas apart, it would be dishonest and self-deceptive to say that they are a neutral object with no moral ties.

The moral issues with a currency like BitCoin are similar to any other currency. When you spend currency you essentially swap your "work units" for the work units of other people, allowing them to feed themselves and their family, the morality of such exchanges depends on hundreds of factors like the type of work done and the things it supports.

The sensible way to look at the ethics of cryptographic currency like BitCoin is by comparing it to other types of funds. Store your money in the bank and you're essentially lending it to the bank, who in turn lend it to governments, who spend an enormous proportion of it on war. BitCoin circumvents this, so may actually lead to much less suffering in the world caused by war. In this instance I'd say that right now it's a more moral choice than having money in the bank.

Hoard your BTC and you're hoarding work units, work units which you created from energy made by other people's work, you're essentially taking food out of the mouths of others (the same as with other currency, except it doesn't devalue as there are a finite supply). Spend your BTC on things that you want and need, you're feeding your fellow man.

If it turns out that BTC is used to fund assassination lotteries, arm militias and cause more suffering in the world than the money held by banks, then at some point in future it may be a more ethical choice to choose the global banking system over BitCoin.
JA37
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June 28, 2011, 10:03:55 PM
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What about a tool that only has an amoral use?

I assume you mean "immoral".  But, sure, just name one.

I did. A bit quick on the keyboard there.
How about the rape-kit that was described by another poster. I'd say it only has an immoral use.
My point was that I think that most tools are amoral, but not all.

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LokeRundt
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June 29, 2011, 10:25:19 AM
 #19

What about a tool that only has an amoral use?

I assume you mean "immoral".  But, sure, just name one.

I did. A bit quick on the keyboard there.
How about the rape-kit that was described by another poster. I'd say it only has an immoral use.


This doesn't take into account those that like kinky role-play and are into rape-fetish.  If two adults are consenting to act out a scenario (no matter how twisted the depicted action is), how is that immoral?

As to the OP, no, i don't believe that bitcoin possesses any kind of morality, same as my computer.

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JA37
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June 29, 2011, 11:27:48 AM
 #20

This doesn't take into account those that like kinky role-play and are into rape-fetish.  If two adults are consenting to act out a scenario (no matter how twisted the depicted action is), how is that immoral?

As to the OP, no, i don't believe that bitcoin possesses any kind of morality, same as my computer.
A role play is a game. Whatever consenting adults do, it's not rape.
And I don't think BitCoin is immoral either. I don't think that not all tools are amoral however.

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Thanks to the anonymous person who doubled my BTC wealth by sending 0.02 BTC to: 1BSGbFq4G8r3uckpdeQMhP55ScCJwbvNnG
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