Editors ChoiceNote (opinion)

A look at the ethical philosophy of bitcoin; Why is Bitcoin more moral than Fiat money?

Jimmy Song, one of the most famous developers and writers in the field of Bitcoin, in Article New examines bitcoin itself ethically and concludes that bitcoin is a “more moral” currency than fiat money. You can read the full text of this article below.

One of the most important parts of Bitcoin travel is how to talk about this digital currency that connects people. There are many approaches to this.

For Bitcoin, there are investment arguments, self-government arguments and even social arguments. What has not existed so far is the moral argument for Bitcoin. Moral reasoning is different from anything else, because in moral reasoning, personal interests are not important to us, and we long for something that has a deeper place in the human conscience.

For this reason, one moral argument has a deeper impact and is superior to other arguments. By presenting such an argument for Bitcoin, we are considering a higher level of ethics, as well as stronger and more enduring arguments.

So how do we make this moral argument? Every ethical debate must begin with a framework for deciding what is right and what is wrong. There are two theories about individual rights that we will discuss. These two theories “Natural lawAnd positivism (which in Persian to it Positivism They also say) are. From there we can also examine the role of governments.

There are two possibilities here:

1. Protecting individual freedom

۲. The search for an utopia or vision imposed by the ruling elite

In the next step we can examine how money fits into both the moral and governmental systems. In particular, we will compare the national currency with bitcoin. Finally, we can explore the secondary factors or what we can expect in both systems in terms of motivation, virtue and community characteristics.

Let’s start with a little philosophy. There are two theories in the field of individual rights. Natural law and positivism. The first theory is natural law. This theory states that law is something that already existed; It is inherent, and it is wrong if these rights are ignored and violated by anyone, including the government. This is a view that has existed for a long time, but perhaps most clearly stated in the American Declaration of Independence:

We take for granted the fact that all human beings are created equal, and that their Creator has given them certain inalienable rights, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are three rights mentioned by the authors of the American Declaration of Independence, but this does not mean that there are no other rights. The right to property, the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of religion are among the other inherent human rights.

A look at the ethical philosophy of bitcoin;  Why is Bitcoin more moral than Fiat money?
American Founding Fathers Prepare Universal Declarations of Human Rights

The reason why the immigrants justified themselves in the Declaration of Independence was that they believed that their natural rights had been violated by the British and therefore revolted for independence. The Kingdom of England was violating their rights and so the government was doing something wrong and therefore had no legitimacy. This was their argument; In other words, a government that does not respect the natural rights of individuals does not deserve to rule. This is the basis of natural law. Individuals already have certain rights, and any government that violates these rights is considered illegitimate under natural law.

Another theory in the field of individual rights is called positivism. The basic idea of ​​this theory is that the government grants special rights to individuals, and it is the government that recognizes what an individual can and cannot do; In other words, you have no rights unless the government explicitly gives you rights. An example of this is obtaining permission to cut people’s hair. People cannot cut their hair unless they have permission from the government. According to this theory, it is basically the government that says what is right and what is wrong.

Why do people tend to natural law?

First, common sense dictates; As Thomas Paine wrote a treatise on common sense in 1776. To say that common sense rules is another way of describing something inherent or intuitive. Natural law, for example, says that killing people is wrong because people have the right to life. I hope this issue is intrinsic and intuitive for you as well.

Second, natural law is fair. Natural law treats people equally, not on the basis of wealth, race, or political views. According to this theory, we do not grant legal rights to a particular group of individuals and we do not deny it to another group.

Third; The natural law is person-centered. People have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Individuals are free under the law of nature.

A look at the ethical philosophy of bitcoin;  Why is Bitcoin more moral than Fiat money?

Why do some people tend to be positivist? It is no wonder that those who are interested in positivism have a hand in power.

First, positivism is much easier to implement. Positivism defines the rights that every person has, if a person is not explicitly given a right, then that person is committing a violation. If you do not have permission to cut people’s hair, you have violated it if you commit this act. It is much easier to judge right and wrong based on a positivist approach.

Second, positivism is great for those in power; Because they can treat different people differently. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. This is a clear violation of natural rights, but according to positivism, any right, even the right to rape, is something that the government can grant to some.

Third, positivism allows those in power to make rules. They do not see any restrictions in legislating, because according to the positivist approach this is a moral issue. There is no higher authority to turn to and say this is unfair.

At this stage it can be recognized that the natural law of morality and positivism is very immoral. Looking at history, we find that the worst governments with the worst atrocities and violence were all followers of positivism. They all work with the idea that the government gives you the right to do something. The government gives you the right to cut someone’s hair, or the government gives you the right to property or the right to life; And they can take away things like the right to life, liberty and property. If you look at Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, or the Age of Terror in France with disgust and hatred, it is because in all these cases there have been governments based on positivism, and you believe in a degree of natural rights.

So if you believe in positivism, you can stop reading this article because I have nothing else to say to you; But if you believe in natural law, please continue reading.

Given the difference between the two approaches, let’s talk about the role of government. Government can play two potential roles: protecting individual liberty or pursuing an idealistic vision. If you believe in natural law and that we already have rights, then it is the duty of the government to protect these rights. The opposite point is the pursuit of an ideal vision. Marx’s workers’ paradise and Hitler’s racially pure world are two visions that eventually led to mass murder; But these two examples are not the only ones of their kind. The ideal vision can simply be that we should never witness any terrorist attack on a plane. This is how we pursue ridiculous policies such as the creation of the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Another view that is presented according to the approach of creating an utopia is the policy of maintaining the status quo. It is on this approach that we can make huge financial contributions to banks that are too large to fail. Not surprisingly, conservatives are very much in favor of such an approach, as maintaining the status quo is literally conservative. The sad reality of today’s political discourse is that we are not talking about protecting individual freedom, we are talking about different ideal perspectives.

When the role of government is to protect individual liberties, we achieve many good things. There will be more entrepreneurship because there is no need to get a license. This approach ultimately leads to a civilization created by autonomous and independent individuals.

When the role of government is to achieve the ideal vision, we will experience bad things. Fewer goods and products are produced because a license is required. There is a need for a bureaucratic stamp of approval for whatever people intend to do. Violating these rules can lead to loss of property, freedom, and perhaps even your life. Eventually the slaves will be ruled. When the government protects individual freedom, the government plays a worthy role in serving the people, but when the government seeks an utopia, people become slaves to the government.

What we have seen in the last 200 years has been the movement of governments around the world from an approach to protecting individual freedoms to achieving the ideal vision.

A look at the ethical philosophy of bitcoin;  Why is Bitcoin more moral than Fiat money?

The pursuit of positivism with an ideal perspective has its own money: fiat (unsupported money). A natural law for the protection of individual liberty also has its own currency: bitcoin. We can clearly see the differences between the two approaches in the different characteristics of the two currencies. Fiat money is clearly centralized and controlled by a powerful central body such as the Federal Reserve. Bitcoin is decentralized and anyone can run for power by running a node. You need a license to have Fiat money. Bitcoin is even better than gold in that it is non-seizable. The value of Fiat money can be deliberately reduced so that positivist governments have the budget to achieve their ideal vision. Fiat money allows governments to tax citizens without their consent. Bitcoin restores power to individuals, eliminates the possibility of secret taxation, and respects individuals’ property. Fiat money uses violence to achieve its goals. Fiat money is a zero-sum game in which the profits and interests of the government require the losses of the citizens. Bitcoin is voluntary and the sum is positive, and people only trade when it adds value to both parties. Fiat is considered a monetary policy based on positivism and a tool for the government to achieve an ideal vision. Bitcoin is a natural law-based currency and a tool to protect individual freedom; So bitcoin is a more moral currency.

The secondary factors of bitcoin are in the realm of individual personality. We can look at it from the perspective of four basic classical virtues: prudence, moderation, justice, and courage.

  • Caution This is what we at Bitcoin call low time preference and it is a kind of planning for the future. Fiat money is the opposite, and you can see it in the huge amounts of debt that people owe. People prefer more time and become slaves to their debts.
  • Moderation Doing things the right way. Fiat money encourages more consumption, so people are not encouraged to control themselves and avoid excessive consumption. This has many disadvantages, from materialism to obesity and addiction. Bitcoin, on the other hand, allows people to store and control their consumption. This means that Bitcoin promotes more self-control and more moderation.
  • Justice Doing things fairly. It is unfair to look at Fiat money from any angle. People with political connections become rich through rent-seeking. Bitcoin is much fairer because there is no excuse for rent-seeking. Instead, we have a free and decent market.
  • Courage It is courage or boldness. Unfortunately, Fiat money and positivism, in the sense of the environment, are highly politicized and controlled by the government. Fiat money motivates rent-seekers who do not have the risks and dangers of entrepreneurship. From the perspective of positivism, change is achieved through force and violence. Bitcoin stimulates the production of new services and goods; In other words, Bitcoin interprets change according to the natural law that accompanies production and innovation, not government order.

Prudence, moderation, justice and courage.

Bitcoin not only makes civilization better but also more moral.

Bitcoin’s ethical argument is that Bitcoin complies with natural law. Bitcoin protects our individual rights. This is an important issue that most governments are gradually abandoning. The sad fact is that more and more oppression has taken over the world. Those in power, left and right, are seeking their own ideals instead of protecting individual freedom. If you care about protecting individual rights, then bitcoin is what you should be looking for and Fiat should be destroyed.

Fiat must be destroyed.


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