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Question: Should individuals, some of which want to kill millions of people for not believing in their religion, have the right to build weapons of mass destruction and global deployment and targeting systems?
Complete anarchy of weapons of mass destruction - 13 (30.2%)
Only governments should have weapons of mass destruction - 2 (4.7%)
Only decentralized democracy (like Bitcoin is decentralized) and majority agreement should control weapons of mass destruction - 5 (11.6%)
There should be no weapons of mass destruction ever allowed - 17 (39.5%)
Only the political party or group I advocate should have control of weapons of mass destruction - 6 (14%)
Total Voters: 42

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Author Topic: Should individuals have the right to build weapons of mass destruction?  (Read 4521 times)
BenRayfield
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July 09, 2011, 09:00:17 PM
 #1

A conversation started at http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=23054.40 about "Forcing people when you don't have to is bad" vs "Forcing people is bad".

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myrkul, should anyone who wants to be allowed to build nuclear weapons and automated global deployment and targeting systems?

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Yup. I see no reason why that power should reside solely in the hands of of people who steal to support their violent activities.

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I agree that governments aren't the right organization to have nuclear power (if anyone should have it at all).

Are you saying that individuals, some of which want to kill millions of people for not believing in their religion, should have the right to have immediately globally deployable weapons of mass destruction? What if one of those people says they only want to build the nuclear weapons so they can bomb the place you live and everything within 1000 miles?

I prefer the world be organized in a decentralized way where majority agreement would be needed, maybe through some unhackable decentralized software or other unhackable technology, for such dangerous things.

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The absurdity of unhackable anything aside, The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not limited to flintlock muskets.

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Ok, very hard to hack, or harder to hack than governments are to corrupt, which isn't setting the bar really high, but it would be an improvement. The right to unlimited arms was a good idea when that was written hundreds of years ago, but they weren't talking about things that can kill a whole planet or country or whatever size. Regardless of what those old documents say about rights, we should think about the world today and decide what is best based on that. The USA Constitution is great for legal battles, but I won't take my opinions from it unconditionally for the same reason I don't believe ancient religious books. I may read some things from a religious book and decide to believe it or not based on how it fits with other knowledge about the world, and I read documents about rights the same way. I have to think for myself, and based on the world today I don't think everyone should have the individual ability to create weapons of mass destruction, and neither should governments.

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myrkul
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July 09, 2011, 09:14:47 PM
 #2

The right and the ability are two different things.

Every man woman and child has the right to the knowledge of, and how to apply, any of humanity's technological advances.

That's not to say that those who sell plutonium shouldn't apply sound judgment in whom they sell to. Wink

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BenRayfield
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July 09, 2011, 09:18:08 PM
 #3

I agree that knowledge shouldn't be censored, even about how to build weapons of mass destruction. If lots of people know how to do it, then when somebody tries to do it, many people will understand what they're doing and try to stop them. Its needed for power to be balanced. Its also important to advance science and solve the world's problems. Knowledge is ok. Actions sometimes are not.

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July 09, 2011, 09:20:43 PM
 #4

I agree that knowledge shouldn't be censored, even about how to build weapons of mass destruction. If lots of people know how to do it, then when somebody tries to do it, many people will understand what they're doing and try to stop them. Its needed for power to be balanced. Its also important to advance science and solve the world's problems. Knowledge is ok. Actions sometimes are not.
+1

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myrkul
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July 09, 2011, 09:23:57 PM
 #5

I agree that knowledge shouldn't be censored, even about how to build weapons of mass destruction. If lots of people know how to do it, then when somebody tries to do it, many people will understand what they're doing and try to stop them. Its needed for power to be balanced. Its also important to advance science and solve the world's problems. Knowledge is ok. Actions sometimes are not.

Don't forget that there are perfectly legitimate reasons to own, say, a 10 kT nuke. Asteroid mining, anyone?

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kokjo
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July 09, 2011, 09:29:17 PM
 #6

I agree that knowledge shouldn't be censored, even about how to build weapons of mass destruction. If lots of people know how to do it, then when somebody tries to do it, many people will understand what they're doing and try to stop them. Its needed for power to be balanced. Its also important to advance science and solve the world's problems. Knowledge is ok. Actions sometimes are not.

Don't forget that there are perfectly legitimate reasons to own, say, a 10 kT nuke. Asteroid mining, anyone?
what does that mean? what is a legitimate reason? it depends on where you stand.


is it better to mine on a asteroid? is there some kind of cooling in the space so that my GPUs don't burn?
and WTF does nukes have to do with mining?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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July 09, 2011, 09:32:36 PM
 #7

what does that mean? what is a legitimate reason? it depends on where you stand.


is it better to mine on a asteroid? is there some kind of cooling in the space so that my GPUs don't burn?
and WTF does nukes have to do with mining?

Oh dear god, I hope you're joking, because I am laughing my ass right off. You do realize that before 2009, 'mining' meant digging stuff up out of the ground, right?

(But yes, a GPU farm in space would have AWESOME cooling, provided it was kept in the shade)

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BenRayfield
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July 09, 2011, 09:33:59 PM
 #8

There are legitimate uses for almost everything, but as I see it the important question is: Does x benefit society overall compared to the lack of x (including the means of enforcing the lack of x)? (and the same question for all ways to organize and influence or control x) If not, then we shouldn't have x until that changes.

The ends do not justify the means; The ends plus the side-effects justify the means.

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July 09, 2011, 09:42:41 PM
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(But yes, a GPU farm in space would have AWESOME cooling, provided it was kept in the shade)
How? It could only radiate away heat, which isn't nearly as good as the cooling options we have on Earth.
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July 09, 2011, 09:44:34 PM
 #10

what does that mean? what is a legitimate reason? it depends on where you stand.


is it better to mine on a asteroid? is there some kind of cooling in the space so that my GPUs don't burn?
and WTF does nukes have to do with mining?

Oh dear god, I hope you're joking, because I am laughing my ass right off. You do realize that before 2009, 'mining' meant digging stuff up out of the ground, right?

(But yes, a GPU farm in space would have AWESOME cooling, provided it was kept in the shade)
im jokeing! but the first thing i was thinking about was, actually bitcoin mining. just felt a need to share my thoughts.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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July 09, 2011, 09:46:51 PM
 #11

There are legitimate uses for almost everything, but as I see it the important question is: Does x benefit society overall compared to the lack of x (including the means of enforcing the lack of x)? (and the same question for all ways to organize and influence or control x) If not, then we shouldn't have x until that changes.

The ends do not justify the means; The ends plus the side-effects justify the means.

I tend to take the opposite view, that the means should justify the ends. I'd also like to point out that often, the means determines the ends.

(But yes, a GPU farm in space would have AWESOME cooling, provided it was kept in the shade)
How? It could only radiate away heat, which isn't nearly as good as the cooling options we have on Earth.

Radiation sucks when the difference is a few degrees C. It's fricking amazing when the difference is a few hundred. (Space is really really cold)

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BenRayfield
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July 09, 2011, 10:17:21 PM
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I tend to take the opposite view, that the means should justify the ends. I'd also like to point out that often, the means determines the ends.

I only said it that way to compare it to the common idea that "The ends do not justify the means." It makes more sense to say it this way... The ends, means, and side-effects taken as a whole should have to be positive.

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July 09, 2011, 10:34:07 PM
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I tend to take the opposite view, that the means should justify the ends. I'd also like to point out that often, the means determines the ends.

I only said it that way to compare it to the common idea that "The ends do not justify the means." It makes more sense to say it this way... The ends, means, and side-effects taken as a whole should have to be positive.

Sadly, morals do not easily fit along a number line from positive to negative. Where, exactly, does keeping a terrorist from getting a nuke stand, compared to terrorizing hundreds or thousands or millions of people yourself?

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July 09, 2011, 11:32:19 PM
 #14

I didn't say people agreed on what is moral and what isn't. Whatever the most people agree is moral, what I said applies to that.

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July 11, 2011, 07:19:11 PM
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Definitely not. Its frigging amazing how we havent blown ourselves to pieces yet. Letting more people have nukes has a a high chance of spelling disaster. Too many people who couldnt give a shit about M.A.D. around
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July 12, 2011, 03:58:32 AM
 #16

Why don't nuclear armed countries war with each other? Because the rulers would actually have to put themselves at risk rather than just the men they use as pawns.  Private nukes would encourage secession, fewer invasions and fewer large nation-states. That would be a very good thing. 

Non-proliferation is a pipe dream. It's impossible to disinvent technology. The only two alternatives to concentrated power are distributed power and death.

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July 12, 2011, 04:50:48 AM
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robert heinlein wrote a story once, examining the premise of this thread.

it took place on another world with an unbreathable atmosphere, which had homo saps living inside environmentally controlled, protective domes.  maybe it was the moon - i'm not sure.  somebody who has heinlein fresher in their mind will come along, i imagine.  they usually do...

anyway, the upshot was that any weapon an individual could make, buy, own or carry was perfectly fine - as long as it couldn't breach the dome that sustained life for the humans who lived there.

seems pretty clear - and i've never run across a better solution.
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July 12, 2011, 04:54:41 AM
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robert heinlein wrote a story once, examining the premise of this thread.

it took place on another world with an unbreathable atmosphere, which had homo saps living inside environmentally controlled, protective domes.  maybe it was the moon - i'm not sure.  somebody who has heinlein fresher in their mind will come along, i imagine.  they usually do...

anyway, the upshot was that any weapon an individual could make, buy, own or carry was perfectly fine - as long as it couldn't breach the dome that sustained life for the humans who lived there.

seems pretty clear - and i've never run across a better solution.

Then uninvent the Nuke for me, 'k?

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July 12, 2011, 05:01:02 AM
 #19

Now that nukes exist, I think everyone should get some.

Literally.


For example, I live in Brazil, that has no nukes. Brazil commonly bend over to nuke-bearing nations in ways that are crap to me.

If I had my own nuke, I could enforce Brazil to not do that, or secede.


In fact, I was looking the only small state of the world that is really interesting: Singapore, achieved that by having absurd military power.

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July 12, 2011, 05:07:05 AM
 #20

You could use the nukes to power a badass cooling facility for your asteroid based rigs...

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