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Bitcoin Sucks

There are two reasons bitcoin is worth money. Neither is because it's so wonderfully libertarian.

1) Bitcoin facilitates crime. it's really helpful for paying for illegal goods and services, money laundering, etc

2) Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme. It's like amway where the people who get in first get money from the people who get in later.

PS both bitcoin and etherium are absolute and total shit on technical grounds. here's one example from a few days ago. i've read many, many more. issues with bitcoin include limits on transactions, transaction fees, and the ridiculous problem that when someone pays you, you both have to wait and see if the payment actually happens or not, and you can be pretty confident the payment will be permanent after like an hour (but you're still not actually 100% sure).


Elliot Temple on July 24, 2017

Comments (28)

Lauren Southern is clueless about bitcoin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1JtJLRuqgo

Anonymous at 1:28 AM on July 24, 2017 | #8871
2 days after this post:

https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-fines-btc-e-virtual-currency-exchange-110-million-facilitating-ransomware

> FinCEN Fines BTC-e Virtual Currency Exchange $110 Million for Facilitating Ransomware, Dark Net Drug Sales

> Treasury’s First Action Against a Foreign-Located Money Services Business

Anonymous at 11:40 PM on July 26, 2017 | #8874
Stefan Moleneux takes bitcoins as donation. He likes it.

I regretted not buying bitcoin when it was cheap.

The Ransomware, child porn, illegal drugs,bitcoin problems I read on the news etc has made me lose all hope for the libertarian currency. ;-(

FF at 12:17 PM on July 27, 2017 | #8884
Maybe Molyneux doesn't follow bitcoin closely. So he doesn't know about how involved it is with crime and how terrible the technical software details behind bitcoin are.

Lots of bitcoin fans really don't know much about it.

If he does know much about it, then he has bad judgement.

If he doesn't know much about it, he still has bad judgement to get involved. But not as bad as if he actually was just totally fine with money laundering or something...

Anonymous at 12:20 PM on July 27, 2017 | #8885
Another reason it has value:

- I can send money from the US to China to Cuba to Canada to Russia to Iran to Antarctica to France within a day, without oversight or permission. There isn't a fiat-currency equivalent I know of that is able to do that.

Arguing that it "sucks" based on current limitations is not an argument that ages well.

- Transaction fees are an artificial market, and everyone agreed to that (but maybe didn't realise the full consequences). However, the fact people pay these fees proves demand. *You* don't have to use it.

- Confirmation times are necessary in general: credit card payments can be reversed up to 2 months after the payment is made, cheques (not that common outside the US AFAIK) take days to clear and can bounce (at least w/ a bitcoin transaction the payee know the money actually exists and an attacker needs to do work to defraud them)

- The lighting network architecture solves both transaction fees and confirmation times by setting up a layer (payment channel) atop well crafted transactions that are able to be instantly updated and able to be settled at a later date. It's basically analogous to banking networks today, where regular folk sending bank-debt to each-other are operating on a layer, and the inter-bank settlement layer is where most of the heavy lifting gets done.

In regards to your criticisms:

1) Unless you're arguing that all laws are wonderful and upholding them is more important than allowing some forms of dissent, I don't think this is a strong argument against Bitcoin.

Do you argue against guns because some people use them to murder other people? I don't (even though I do think some form of gun controls are appropriate). [Aside: I argue that liberal gun laws coerce me into an environment that threatens my bodily integrity, and I'm not okay with coercing people due to my personal preference.]

If you don't apply the logic to other areas, why would Bitcoin enabling crime be an argument against it? (After all, other things that do this include: cash, gold, and Tide)

2) Doesn't this argument apply equally against stocks, property (land), and commodities? Certainly you can use all of those to construct ponzi schemes, but just being able to use it in that way doesn't make all of those things ponzi schemes. Ponzi schemes typically don't involve heavy comp-sci research or hundreds of thousands of hours (collectively) of coding https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Myths#It.27s_a_giant_ponzi_scheme

Max Kaye at 10:18 PM on September 2, 2017 | #8976
Follow up: Solidity is an awful language though, but it was also the first attempt at this sort of thing, and it's true the authors have an obvious lack of experience in language design and theory. This doesn't mean the whole thing sucks though, it's just one more area to improve on (and indeed, they are improving on it).

Part of the historical reason for solidity was to have a JS like language, because that's what most people know. As it turns out this isn't so good when hundreds of millions of dollars of value are at stake, but things are getting better, slowly.

Max Kaye at 10:21 PM on September 2, 2017 | #8977
disarming people primarily disarms law-abiding citizens, not criminals. it gets in the way of defense and makes life more dangerous.

Anonymous at 10:42 PM on September 2, 2017 | #8978
> - I can send money from the US to China to Cuba to Canada to Russia to Iran to Antarctica to France within a day, without oversight or permission. There isn't a fiat-currency equivalent I know of that is able to do that.

how much of the current money in the bitcoin ecosystem do you think is there because of the value of facilitating legal commerce like that?

> 2) Doesn't this argument apply equally against stocks, property (land), and commodities?

the issue isn't what *could* be involved in a ponzi scheme (or what *could* be used for international commerce), but what bitcoin is actually being used for today and where and why the money is coming in.

Anonymous at 10:46 PM on September 2, 2017 | #8979
>[Aside: I argue that liberal gun laws coerce me into an environment that threatens my bodily integrity, and I'm not okay with coercing people due to my personal preference.]

As has been pointed out, disarming people primarily affects law-abiding citizens.

Lots of people in rough neighborhoods can't protect their or their family's bodily integrity due to gun control.

The people in the rough neighborhoods affected by gun control are often minorities. So they can't defend themselves from gang and other violence, and now with the anti-cop movement in full flower, the cops won't either. Which is just a continuation of the old pattern -- gun control came about on a large scale in America when southern states disarmed freedmen (so they could be lynched without risk or consequence.

Another group whose bodily integrity is harmed by gun control is women. Women disproportionately benefit from access to firearms, since while few women can be as strong as men, any woman can be a great shot. So gun control meaningfully contributes to women getting assaulted, raped, and murdered.

Firearm freedom isn't a personal preference issue. It's a life-or-death issue. A murdered-or-not issue.

Anonymous at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2017 | #8980
>> - I can send money from the US to China to Cuba to Canada to Russia to Iran to Antarctica to France within a day, without oversight or permission. There isn't a fiat-currency equivalent I know of that is able to do that.
> how much of the current money in the bitcoin ecosystem do you think is there because of the value of facilitating legal commerce like that?

It's hard to estimate, but I'd expect a significant double digit proportion, but darknet markets probably also contribute a significant double digit proportion.

>> 2) Doesn't this argument apply equally against stocks, property (land), and commodities?
>the issue isn't what *could* be involved in a ponzi scheme (or what *could* be used for international commerce), but what bitcoin is actually being used for today and where and why the money is coming in.

Fair enough, but to argue that Bitcoin shouldn't exist on that basis would destroy methods of correcting mistakes - presuming that blockchain tech / Bitcoin has some capacity for that.

>>[Aside: I argue that liberal gun laws coerce me into an environment that threatens my bodily integrity, and I'm not okay with coercing people due to my personal preference.]
>As has been pointed out, disarming people primarily affects law-abiding citizens.
>Lots of people in rough neighborhoods can't protect their or their family's bodily integrity due to gun control.

Hmm. I can see the value in that, but I also think there's value in living in an environment with less potential violence overall. The US is not too much different from the rest of the world in terms of "rough neighbourhoods", but there's an order of magnitude more deaths due to firearms, so I don't think your argument tells the whole story.

> Another group whose bodily integrity is harmed by gun control is women. Women disproportionately benefit from access to firearms, since while few women can be as strong as men, any woman can be a great shot. So gun control meaningfully contributes to women getting assaulted, raped, and murdered.

This doesn't agree with the evidence [1]. In 2010 there were 28.6 rapes per 100,000 ppl in Australia (where there are tight gun controls; it's rare to ever see a handgun) and 27.3 rapes per 100k ppl in the US. If this argument were correct I imagine that would look different.

NZ is lower at 25.8
Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland range from 9.4 to 7.1

With a topic like this there are always reporting biases (in that rapes are often unreported) but I don't think that alone would account for the disparity (though maybe it does)

Then again, perhaps the problem is that *too few* women have guns in the US.

Why isn't mace or other deterrents an acceptable solution here?

> Firearm freedom isn't a personal preference issue. It's a life-or-death issue. A murdered-or-not issue.

Maybe in life-or-death situations, but in the developed world that isn't a daily concern, and I'm not convinced that the best answer has to be the most lethal answer.

As I mentioned, though, I do think firearm freedom is a personal issue - if I can't go outside without feeling like I have a significant chance of being shot due to someone else being mistaken (*and acting in a way that destroys methods of correcting mistakes*), how is that not personal? Do you argue that *all* such dangers should be ignored?

- MK

[1] : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

Max Kaye at 11:02 PM on September 5, 2017 | #8985
> Fair enough, but to argue that Bitcoin shouldn't exist

*shouldn't exist* is harsh and wasn't my intent. but i'd e.g. advise people against investing in bitcoin. i expect a lot of people to regret their financial involvement with bitcoin.

the code and technical stuff of bitcoin is interesting and, while severely flawed, could certainly help inspire some better approach and some pieces of it seem like potentially good ideas.

@gun control – your statistics are ignoring tons of factors like how blacks, latinos and muslims are increasing US rape rates, and we have lots of big democrat-controlled cities with pro-crime policies and inadequate policing. also btw i assume you're ignoring prison rapes which are actually a big deal and which help demonstrate the problem of disarmed victims + inadequate protection by the authorities.

curi at 11:16 PM on September 5, 2017 | #8986

Firearms

> > Firearm freedom isn't a personal preference issue. It's a life-or-death issue. A murdered-or-not issue.
> Maybe in life-or-death situations, but in the developed world that isn't a daily concern,

Life-or-death isn't a concern until it is. It probably won't be a concern today, but you cannot fully predict that today will not be the day that it becomes your concern.

> and I'm not convinced that the best answer has to be the most lethal answer.

It usually isn't. Avoidance, de-escalation, fleeing, summoning authorities, non-lethal or less-lethal force, and even compliance with the criminal all have an important place in your tool kit of available responses. Lethal force is rarely the best option. But when it is, it is. And when it is, if you don't have the capability you're often DEAD.

> As I mentioned, though, I do think firearm freedom is a personal issue - if I can't go outside without feeling like I have a significant chance of being shot due to someone else being mistaken (*and acting in a way that destroys methods of correcting mistakes*), how is that not personal? Do you argue that *all* such dangers should be ignored?

How did you go from life-or-death situations not being a daily concern to being worried about a significant chance of being shot? I think there's some contradiction in your thinking there.

The reality is that situations that call for the use of a gun are *rare*, but when they arise nothing less than a gun will do. That is the context in which guns should be considered.

I live in Arizona. If you're not familiar, the US has some states that are more permissive about guns than others. Arizona is one of the most permissive states. You can carry a gun in public here, either openly or concealed, with no training and and no registration and no permit. I don't know statistics but I do know there's lots of guns around here.

Am I afraid to walk in public for fear of getting shot? Have I ever been shot, or been shot at? Do I know anyone who has been shot, or shot at? Have I ever shot at anyone else? Have I ever fired accidentally or seen anyone fire accidentally? The answer is no in all cases. Of course there's a certain amount of both prudence and luck involved in my ability to make that statement, but it's the most common answer even here in "wild wild west" gun-loving Arizona.

This is because people generally know that even if it's eventually found to be fully justified, shooting someone brings on a world of cost, risk, and scrutiny you'd best avoid if it's avoidable. So people generally take great care not to do it accidentally or by mistake when they have another option. And if they're the type of person who actually wants to shoot someone, a gun ban won't stop them.

People watch movies with criminals going around shooting people and think that's what life with lots of guns around is like. It's not. News reports cover big flashy incidents like mass shootings that are pretty rare. Like plane crashes, people can get the impression from news coverage that something rare is common.

If you think about it a bit you can probably correct this misconception. Unless you live somewhere really strange, knives are probably common where you are. Virtually every kitchen in the world has some knives that could easily be deadly.

Yet when you go outside do you think someone is going to stab you with a kitchen knife by accident? Ever had someone try? Ever stabbed anyone yourself? Maybe one of those things happened to you, but probably not. And if someone *was* interested in trying, a knife ban wouldn't stop them.

PAS at 4:42 PM on September 7, 2017 | #8996
> This is because people generally know that even if it's eventually found to be fully justified, shooting someone brings on a world of cost, risk, and scrutiny you'd best avoid if it's avoidable.

People also care about morality!

Anonymous at 5:01 PM on September 7, 2017 | #8997

Morality

#8997 They do but I am confused by your comment. I didn't use the word morality but I thought morality was what I was talking about.

I'll try the statement you quoted again, reworded with explicit moral references:

People generally know that even if shooting someone is moral considering only the facts of the immediate situation and the self defense laws, the full context of shooting someone involves costs, risks, and scrutiny that often make shooting immoral if you have some other available option that avoids dying.

That's more cumbersome, but I don't think it's different in substance from what I originally said.

PAS at 6:53 AM on September 8, 2017 | #8998

An Example

Suppose I'm driving in heavy stop-and-go traffic and some guy gets mad at me for some perceived traffic or social violation.

Through several cycles of traffic he manages to drive aggressively and get around me. Then the next time traffic stops, he gets out of his car with a tire iron, comes back to my car, smashes the driver side window with it and, with the window gone, raises the tire iron again in preparation to hit me with it.

As soon as he got out of his car with the tire iron, I drew my gun in case it was needed. By the time he smashed the window, my gun was ready to shoot if I chose to.

The law and situational morality here is clear. A tire iron used against a person is a deadly weapon. He's shown a willingness to use it as a weapon and is imminently threatening me with it. I could shoot him, my conscience would be clear and in all likelihood the shooting would eventually be ruled justified self defense[1].

But if I think I can dive to the other side of the car then escape out the passenger side without losing my gun or him hitting me with the tire iron, it's better to do that than shoot him. Or if the sidewalk is clear of pedestrians and I can drive away over it, it's better to do that than shoot him.

Not just better for the would-be murderer, better for me. Because if I shoot him it's going to seriously fuck up my life for the next weeks, months, or even years while the case plays out. It's going to cost many thousands of dollars to mount a legal case defending myself. Maybe the media gets a hold of it for some reason and now a bunch of strangers are looking into my past for dirt that's useful promoting whatever agenda they have (anti-gun, anti-white, anti-pickup truck driving Trump voters, whatever). It's not certain the outcome of the court case would go as I think. If I try to shoot the guy with the tire iron, miss and hit an innocent bystander instead it's much much worse. Etc. These consequences are moral considerations for me just like the details of the situation itself.

But if I'm buckled in my seat and can't get unbuckled in time to avoid being hit with the tire iron, and there's pedestrians on the sidewalk, and I am otherwise out of options the moral course of action would be to shoot the guy with the tire iron.

The gun banners want what, exactly? That I *not have the ability* to shoot the guy with the tire iron. That, in such a situation, I be the one to end up dead or brain damaged rather than the aggressor. That's heinous.

[1] It's important to understand that some states have a legal duty to retreat and some don't. Arizona does not have a duty to retreat. If I lived in a state with a duty to retreat, I'd have to additionally show that retreat wasn't feasible because of stuff like the possibility of him throwing the tire iron, or my inability to get unbuckled or move fast enough to get out of the way. That'd put the eventual outcome of the case more in doubt. Which is why "duty to retreat" laws are bad IMO even though retreating is generally the best idea when it's feasible.

PAS at 7:57 AM on September 8, 2017 | #8999
> This is because people generally know that even if it's eventually found to be fully justified, shooting someone brings on a world of cost, risk, and scrutiny you'd best avoid if it's avoidable.

morality doesn't consist of trying to avoid costs, risks and punishments.

there'a also other stuff like not wanting to be a murderer, not wanting to hurt ppl, caring what is defense (objectively, rather than in court), trying not to shoot someone for emotional reasons, preferring voluntary interactions, not wanting to be a thug, and conceptions of *how people should treat each other*.

in the tire iron scenario you don't talk about these things much but the scenario itself is extreme enough to make them pretty blatant. then you focus on the threat of paperwork preventing you from shoot someone that, i think you're saying (it's not really clear or stated, but i'm guessing), in a better society, you *would* shoot.

but there exist other types of scenarios like shooting someone b/c they let their dog poop on your lawn and didn't clean it up. how should one think about that scenario? most of the answer is NOT about court, paperwork, etc. the main issue here isn't whether or not you'd win in court. if there was a new law on the matter so you would win in court and it'd be super fast and cheap (and they'd even pay you a reward), you still definitely shouldn't shoot him, b/c the moral issues about how people should treat each other still apply.

> The gun banners want what, exactly? That I *not have the ability* to shoot the guy with the tire iron. That, in such a situation, I be the one to end up dead or brain damaged rather than the aggressor. That's heinous.

many of them would agree that's bad, but think it's a worthwhile compromise to avoid some other shootings.

Anonymous at 8:48 AM on September 8, 2017 | #9000

Moral Considerations

> morality doesn't consist of trying to avoid costs, risks and punishments.

Did you intend the idea that there's no moral consideration at all in avoiding unnecessary costs, risks, and punishments? It's kinda ambiguous cuz this statement seems like a pretty straight-up denial, but then you say "also" in the next sentence.

My position: Morality doesn't *solely* or *mainly* consist of trying to avoid costs, risks, and punishments. But I do think avoiding unnecessary costs, risks, and punishments are a significant part of morality because doing that is part of having a good life.

> there'a also other stuff like not wanting to be a murderer,

If you're shooting someone in self defense (which is what "fully justified" means in this context) then you're already not a murderer.

> not wanting to hurt ppl,

Under normal circumstances, that's right.

But I think it's the wrong mindset to have with regard to situations which, by definition, have already escalated to deadly violence or imminent threat of deadly violence.

Once someone has crossed that line, the correct moral concern should be about stopping the threat without getting seriously hurt or killed yourself in the process. Whether or not the aggressor gets hurt is not your concern any more. There are good reasons not to shoot even sometimes in a deadly threat situation. But "I don't want to hurt the aggressor" is a *bad reason*. It's one that can get innocent people killed.

> caring what is defense (objectively, rather than in court),

I think there's very substantial overlap between what's objectively defense and what's considered defense in court. At least in a good state like Arizona. And I think where the two don't intersect the concern is that objective defense will be ruled not defense in court, rather than the other way around.

Thinking legalistically means, for most people, less propensity to shoot than if they're only thinking about what's objectively defense.

Taken to extreme, thinking about legalities can make good guys too timid and thereby get innocent people killed. It's dangerous to be so worried about what a court might say later on that you forget about the need to do what is objectively necessary right now to protect your life.

> trying not to shoot someone for emotional reasons,

Shooting someone for emotional reasons is not defense, either objectively or under the law. So I think this was already covered. Do you think there's some aspect that isn't addressed?

> preferring voluntary interactions, not wanting to be a thug, and conceptions of *how people should treat each other*.

I think this is basically the same issue as "not wanting to hurt ppl". Of course, in normal circumstances all that you say applies.

But when by their actions someone so thoroughly destroys the normal civilized model of interaction as to threaten your very existence, the concern should be about finding a way back to normalcy without getting hurt or killed yourself in the process. You shouldn't try to maintain a fiction about your preferred model of interaction continuing to operate in such circumstances.

PAS at 2:34 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9007

Scenarios

> then you focus on the threat of paperwork preventing you from shoot someone that, i think you're saying (it's not really clear or stated, but i'm guessing), in a better society, you *would* shoot.

"paperwork" is not my concern. What I mentioned was stuff like thousands of dollars of cost, prosecutors and media digging into my life looking for things to use against me, the process disrupting my life for a long time before reaching resolution, and uncertainties in both the outcome of the shot and the eventual outcome of the court case. Those concerns are not "paperwork".

Some of those concerns might not exist or be less in a better society - like biases against my race or weapon choice or political preferences. But I'd expect most of the concerns to still exist in any better society I have contemplated.

It's important to figure out whether someone who has been shot was actually an aggressor or a victim. Figuring that out is costly and detailed knowledge work. Currently many of those costs are paid by the taxpayers in general. In a better society I'd actually expect to bear *more* of that cost personally than I do in our own, not less. Of course I'd also expect to be much wealthier so maybe proportionally the costs would be easier to bear, but that's a bit off topic.

My past history might reasonably have a bearing on figuring out the facts of the case so I'd expect an investigation to delve into my past even in a better society.

There's always going to be some risk of the investigative and decision process getting the wrong answer. A better society would be better about getting the right answer than ours, but not infallible.

Also, the risk of missing the aggressor and hitting bystanders doesn't have much to do with society - I don't think a better society would change that concern.

So with all that in mind I don't think my decision to shoot or not would be appreciably different in a better society. What would be different, I think, is that I'd be much less likely to have reason to consider shooting someone in the first place.

> but there exist other types of scenarios like shooting someone b/c they let their dog poop on your lawn and didn't clean it up. how should one think about that scenario? most of the answer is NOT about court, paperwork, etc. the main issue here isn't whether or not you'd win in court. if there was a new law on the matter so you would win in court and it'd be super fast and cheap (and they'd even pay you a reward), you still definitely shouldn't shoot him, b/c the moral issues about how people should treat each other still apply.

Someone's dog pooping on my lawn is not an imminent threat to my life or anyone else's. It's a totally different context from what I've been discussing.

Ya it'd be immoral to shoot someone for letting their dog poop on my lawn. And if a society said it was OK to shoot someone doing that and easy to win in court, it'd be a worse society than our current one, not better.

PAS at 2:34 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9008
> Did you intend the idea that there's no moral consideration at all in avoiding unnecessary costs, risks, and punishments?

no i meant what i wrote. "does not consist of" means *there are other parts besides that*. if i meant "does not include" i would have written it.

continuing by saying there's also other stuff means: here are some of the other parts which demonstrate it doesn't consist of only the parts you talked about.

it's not ambiguous.

> My position: Morality doesn't *solely* or *mainly* consist of trying to avoid costs, risks, and punishments.

your account *solely* focused on that stuff. hence my comment.

> > there'a also other stuff like not wanting to be a murderer,

> If you're shooting someone in self defense (which is what "fully justified" means in this context) then you're already not a murderer.

you're having a lot of trouble reading. i said "morality does not consist of..." and then i said that not wanting to be a murderer is an example of a thing in morality that isn't in the risk/cost/punishment avoidance category.

and you're just in your own world assuming i must be making some kinda statement directly about the gun scenario.

> > not wanting to hurt ppl,

> Under normal circumstances, that's right.

> But I think it's the wrong mindset to have with regard to situations which, by definition, have already escalated to deadly violence or imminent threat of deadly violence.

same thing again. you're treating general statements as if they are directly and only about some particular example, even though that wasn't stated.

and when you find that *doesn't work very well*, rather than reconsider how to read them, you just figure i'm wrong.

you seem confused by the very concept that i would reply, not about gun control, but about the nature of morality. despite the fact that when i do want to talk about the tire iron scenario, i specifically mention it – indicating i wasn't already talking about it the whole time.

> Someone's dog pooping on my lawn is not an imminent threat to my life or anyone else's. It's a totally different context from what I've been discussing.

despite this, you still just aren't getting the point at all that i made statements about moral philosophy and why your view on moral philosophy (rather than a particular case) was wrong. you're trying to fit my round statements into a square whole, persistently, for the entirety of 2 long replies with many quotes.

Anonymous at 4:50 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9010
In #8997 when you wrote:
> People also care about morality!

My first thought was, well yes they do. You made a standalone statement for which I have no crits; let it go at that.

But then I thought, I'm not clear on why you'd make that particular statement in relation to the case we were discussing. So I tried to get some clarity / reword what I was talking about.

It seems to me now that I should have gone with my first thought. It seems like all we're doing here is getting stuck in a rabbit hole of word meanings. Which I could pursue for another round but I don't think it would be useful or fun.

I agree people care about morality. We seem to agree there's lots of reasons not to shoot someone even if you expect a court to say it was defense. There doesn't seem to be any disagreement about substance.

Agree?

PAS at 5:12 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9014
> But then I thought, I'm not clear on why you'd make that particular statement in relation to the case we were discussing.

it wasn't directly in relation to the scenario, it was directly in relation to the quote:

> This is because people generally know that even if it's eventually found to be fully justified, shooting someone brings on a world of cost, risk, and scrutiny you'd best avoid if it's avoidable.

that use of "because" is overly inclusive (should be "partly because" – or better yet, don't focus on those things this exclusively and mention other stuff more).

i thought this worth commenting on b/c it looks a lot like a common libertarian-skewed misconception about morality.

Anonymous at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9015
You didn't seem to comment on my reword in #8998 though. Was that any better?

PAS at 5:44 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9016
the reword is confusing and has the same selective focus.

Anonymous at 5:45 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9017
My original and reworded comments were about a specific kind of moral situation, not about the nature of morality in general.

You say I should have mentioned other stuff more. But you also objected when I criticized the other stuff you gave:

> and you're just in your own world assuming i must be making some kinda statement directly about the gun scenario.

What are the other things you think I should have mentioned more, but didn't, in my original statement?

PAS at 6:07 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9018
> What are the other things you think I should have mentioned more, but didn't, in my original statement?

e.g. wanting to do the right thing (such as not take a life when you shouldn't – caring about peace and consent and such), rather than avoid a hassle and risk.

the issue of whether to shoot includes whether you'd be a thug if you did. it involves issues of how to treat people (shooting someone is a type of treatment of a person).

you may have kinda ignored or misunderstood these issues b/c you already have answers to them? your answer being that defense is an acceptable way to treat someone, which is highly controversial, and highly dependent on having the right conception of defense.

so you may have some answers about what defense is, whether it's morally ok to shoot someone for defense to merely lower a *risk* you get harmed rather than a guarantee, how much of a risk it has to be before you can shoot or whether there's some other way to decide, etc. those issues are way more crucial to what to do than how hard it'd be to explain the shooting in court.

Anonymous at 6:14 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9019
in the background behind those issues are moral issues such as altruism: should you sacrifice your own self-interest for others? if so, maybe it's selfish and immoral to shoot someone to defend yourself, when you could instead turn the other cheek and let him live at a personal cost...

there are lots of important moral issues which deserve more attention than the – admittedly important – practical matters you brought up.

these moral issues inform the behavior of most of your fellow citizens far more than concerns that their justified self-defense shooting would come with legal risk and hassle.

*you could get rid of all punishments for gun murders and most ppl still wouldn't want to shoot anyone*. court is not the key issue, let alone a court case ppl expect to win (especially for people who don't know much about how unreasonable, unfair, incompetent, arbitrary and random juries and government processes can be).

Anonymous at 6:18 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9020
I think I have some answers to the issues you bring up.

But more importantly for the statement I was making: I think the culture has some answers. I think the culture's answers are not all explicit and contain some contradictions, but they're there. The term "fully justified" refers to cultural norms, not just the formal legal system.

I also think some of the moral issues you bring up that might be controversial in the culture as a whole are significantly less controversial among people who have made the choice to own and carry a gun. "Gun culture" is a real thing that includes some of this stuff.

PAS at 8:46 PM on September 8, 2017 | #9021
From PAS #8999:

>[1] It's important to understand that some states have a legal duty to retreat and some don't. Arizona does not have a duty to retreat. If I lived in a state with a duty to retreat, I'd have to additionally show that retreat wasn't feasible because of stuff like the possibility of him throwing the tire iron, or my inability to get unbuckled or move fast enough to get out of the way. That'd put the eventual outcome of the case more in doubt. Which is why "duty to retreat" laws are bad IMO even though retreating is generally the best idea when it's feasible

In any reasonably complex IRL situation, some factual ambiguities will come up if you subject the situation to intense scrutiny after the fact. Stuff like whether some opportunity to retreat was missed or how safe retreating would have been.

Even someone with elite special forces training in using force will not be able to analyze all the angles of a real life scenario (where decisions have to be made in a low-single-digit number of seconds) with the same level of thoroughness as some lawyers spending weeks on a case.

For stuff that's ambiguous and happened under extreme time pressure, I think it's important to have legal policies which take account of who created the conflict in the first place. Did someone being attacked with a tire iron miss an opportunity to retreat? Maybe. But tire iron guy sure as hell missed an opportunity to not be a violent thug. The law should take that into account in a systemic way rather than holding people defending themselves from serious violence to an unreasonable standard.

Anonymous at 1:12 AM on September 9, 2017 | #9022

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)