The Clash of Ideas: Is Man Inherently Good or Bad? – Trustnodes

The Clash of Ideas: Is Man Inherently Good or Bad?


Ron Paul is no orator, but his message at a bitcoin conference – a very first for any present or former congressman – resonates with many as it does express a very interesting intellectual position. Even a very fundamental position about human nature itself.

The entirety of complexity can be boiled down to towers built on just two assumptions. Currently, the world operates on the assumption that man is bad. A 2,000 years old idea upon which most structures are built.

If one truly believes that man is inherently bad by nature, then man must be chained. Thus you build all these structures that lean more towards limiting freedom.

The other world view, which is rarely expressed, is that man is inherently good or has evolved to become inherently good because cooperation is superior to conflict as many studies have shown.

If one assumes that man is good due to being ordained by god or nature with conscience, then one can trust them with liberty, as long as they abide by some core universal principles, such as do no harm.

Society could then operate on a limited government which provides only some core functionalities. The rest would be left to individuals to operate as they see fit.

To translate, current SEC rules operate on a discriminatory bases whereby if you are rich (an accredited investor) an ICO does not need a license for you to invest. But if you are not in the top 1%, then you are assumed to be incapable of good judgment, therefore the SEC must first require a license by the ICO.

That’s a premise of guilty until proven innocent because the ICO is assumed to be fraudulent unless they go through SEC licensing and even then they still may be fraudulent.

The alternative is to assume ICOs are innocent, unless proven otherwise. And where it is proven they are fraudulent, then those we pay through taxes should do their job and put them in prison.

Instead of a preventive approach, you take a permissive approach, while still having deterrence through punishment for those that breach their own conscience and choose to employ their intellect for harm rather than good.

That population is a tiny minority. A minority which may find some level of underlying acceptance in our society because of this prevailing thought that man is inherently bad and thus must be chained.

If our children were taught that man is good, and that we all have an inherent compass to guide us and if they were shown why it would take the same or less level of work and intellect to earn good keep as bad keep, then that tiny minority may become even smaller still.

Probably not fully extinct unless man has evolved in intellect and wealth to such high point, but they are no way extinct now. To the contrary, their numbers are probably inflated because of this misguided idea that man is inherently bad and therefore cheating is just reverting to raw nature.

If that assumption is turned on its head, then a sway of policies come into picture which would greatly increase liberty, innovation and prosperity.

For man, so trusted to be good, is empowered to think for himself, to provide for himself and even work hard. He is entrusted to judge what investment is good or otherwise, rather than having a central body decide it for them. He is entrusted with freedom, including the freedom of what money to use.

So allowing those closest to events that affect them to freely choose in a free market, with the multitude of choices giving rise to a necessarily better result than if a far away and detached central body made such choices for them.

That’s for one very simple reason. Such central body can not possibly have all the information nor be placed to judge the ever moving events with their decisions necessarily being wrong, to the point the entire system collapses.

Since we do have a free market to some extent, such collapse may be avoided by ingenuity and the freedom to innovate. Leading to potentially a far smoother and more incremental transition to a more productive and a more free world that benefits all.


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September 24, 2017 6:02 pm

I think the question “is man inherently good or bad” is a false dichotomy and a wrong starting point; humans are organic machines of (very) limited rationality and computing power, generated blindly by evolution in an ancestral environment very different from the one we live in. I thought about commenting in that direction but then something captured my attention: isn’t at the foundation of bitcoin and every other cryptocurrency the assumption that every single agent in the system is completely SELFISH? If man were “good” we wouldn’t need a cleverly devised distributed system to prevent double spending, no one would… Read more »

September 24, 2017 11:39 pm
Reply to  Trustnodes

In my comment I wasn’t thinking only about economics or about ICOs but much more in general (but I don’t know if the assumption of the system right now is that very rich people are in no need of protection because they are good, I think that the idea is that they don’t need protection because they can afford to pay experts to help them in their choice and protect themselves, so to speak, and even if they lose a lot they don’t end up broke. By the way, I’m not American, I live in Europe and my perception could… Read more »