Bitcoin, Personality And Development Part Four — Bitcoin, Religion And Morality

Bitcoin, Personality And Development Part Four — Bitcoin, Religion And Morality thumbnail

This is an opinion editorial by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,” founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of the “Wake Up Podcast with Svetski.”

Part 4, Chapter 4 of the JBP series. The series continues. You can read chapters 1 through 3 if you haven’t yet. Also, make sure to read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Quotes with no source underneath are attributed to Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

In the previous parts we explore value, games, action, aim, focus, attention, truth and speech. We uncovered the sources of nihilism and examined the “Unholy Trinity” of the static apparatus known as “The State.”

We’re going to close this chapter out by reviewing Bitcoin’s relationship to religion, the Bible, and its semblance to Old Testament God through the reintroduction to economic consequence.

The Bitcoin Religion

Shinobi, whom I have deep respect for, recently said that he’s not seen a space or industry with more of a disparity between understanding and confidence, than Bitcoin.

To a large extent, I agree.

Although Bitcoiners differ in that, I believe it’s actually a positive thing. This kind of disparity will naturally unnerve an engineer or a technician, but for the kind of phenomenon Bitcoin is, the existence of religious-zealot-like acolytes adds to its overall strength.

It is the power of myth and narrative in action.

Bitcoin’s core principles representing “the good,” give it an aura of religious fervor that transcends the purely empirical domain of the technician. People will be willing to attach their identities to this thing, no matter what. This is the kind of moral, economic, and memetic impetus that is required for a phenomenon that must overcome one of the greatest collective lies of all time.

I don’t believe there is anything more powerful than this — and this is from a non-religious person.

“Religion concerns itself with the domain of value, ultimate value. It is not the scientific domain. It’s not the territory of empirical description.”

A religious Bitcoin acolyte is often similar to a religious theistic acolyte in their belief of the discovery of some form of veil-piercing truth.

In the beginning they just blindly parrot what they’ve seen or heard on Twitter: “digital gold,” “only 21 million,” “censorship-resistant,” “store of value,” “stock-to-flow,” etc.

They become dogmatically obedient to these ideas, often ignorant to their meaning and in some cases to their own detriment, but over time they have the opportunity to discipline themselves. They learn through podcasts, articles, and books. and transcend the frame of “dogmatic acolyte” to become the “sovereign Bitcoiner” i.e., the kind of person measuring their wealth in bitcoin, running a full node, CoinJoining, who understands the nuances of a BIP and can effectively participate in the subversion of the corrupt statist paradigm.

This is in a general sense a net positive. All of us must start somewhere. We must also have a path worth walking.

Bitcoin embodies that. In many ways, it’s a religious canvas on which we can paint our individual journeys towards sovereignty and truth.

“It is therefore necessary and desirable for religions to have a dogmatic element. What good is a value system that does not provide a stable structure.”

Bitcoin and the story of Satoshi are poetically religious and mythic. From the disappearance and inertia of the founder to the promise of economic salvation against the backdrop an “evil” enemy, Bitcoin offers all the ingredients for a compelling narrative that will inspire a critical mass.

They have.

They don’t have to “know” everything at first. They can’t know everything. They are able to find the kernel of truth in a podcast or article that resonates with them enough to keep digging.

They already have the preconditions for this journey: the intention to be a better person and an attraction to truth and integrity. Their initial obedience becomes discipline and they become the “trad wife” or “chad” equivalent of the more “based” people.

“A genuine religious acolyte isn’t trying to formulate accurate ideas about the objective nature of the world (although he may be trying to do that too). Instead, he is trying to be a “good person” — even blindly obeying. This is why the liberal Western enlightenment object to religious belief states that obedience is not sufficient. It’s a start, and we have forgotten this: If you are not disciplined and untutored, you cannot aim for anything. Even if you aim correctly, you will not know where to aim. And then you will conclude, ‘There is nothing to aim for.’ And then you will be lost.”

Of course this does not happen to everyone. For every one of these, there are 1000 Vitalik Buterins and Sam Bankman-Frieds who are more interested in unicorns, printing their own money and frying Beyond Meat sausages.

You can’t save everyone. You shouldn’t try.
Bitcoin is for anyone, but not for everyone.

For those with the necessary makeup, even the not-so-high-IQ of us, Bitcoin represents so much more than just a ticket to get rich quick or a technology. Bitcoin is a religion that can be used to improve one’s self-understanding, deepen relationships with those who matter most, and ultimately make one a better person. It’s amazing to see.

Money printing is inflation Aleks Svetski meme

Economic Religion And The Understanding Of Self

An idea I’ve been toying with for a while is whether economics is simply a religion of action? The more accurate and true it is, the better the overall result of students, players, and society.

This is echoed in the old idea of don’t tell me what your beliefs are, but show me your bank account, and I’ll tell you.

And is further echoed by Dr. Peterson in Chapter 4 of his book “12 Rules For Life”:

“You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. Before that, you don’t know what your beliefs are. You are too complex to understand yourself.”

This is why I believe the study of human action is not just important, but foundational. Actions are a reflection of our true beliefs. Money is how we measure them. Economics is how we try to understand it all.

This is why I believe it is religious in its nature.

Now, the amazing part:

Bitcoin, unlike previous attempts to distill and pass on values, ideas, and ledgers via written or spoken words, is a new type of religion. It has a network that resembles the physical direction (forward) and can be used as an imprintable, incorruptible medium on which these ideas are recorded. This is real economic feedback that helps one to better understand society (morality).

Bitcoin shows you. It doesn’t just tell you.

This is why I’ve said that a post-Bitcoin world will look very different to a pre-Bitcoin world.

“We have been watching ourselves act, reflecting on that watching, and telling stories distilled through that reflection, for tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. This is part of our collective and individual attempts to find and articulate what it really is we believe. Part of the knowledge so generated is what is encapsulated in the fundamental teachings of our cultures, in ancient writings such as the Tao te Ching, or the aforementioned Vedic scriptures, or the Biblical stories.”

While the Bitcoin white paper is not explicitly in the same form or category as one of these ancient writings, it has formed the theoretical basis for the practical manifestation of something that orients us implicitly toward heaven.

It does this by fusing the metaphysical games of life with the physical limits of reality, as I have explained in previous chapters. In other words, it’s morally motivated to allow you to move faster.

The possibilities are fascinating and endless; the ramifications, mind-boggling.

Bitcoin And The Bible

As I see it, like the Bible, Bitcoin has emerged from the depths of the collective human psyche.

The origins of Bitcoin are somewhat obscured. Both involved multiple disconnected participants who each brought a part of the whole over time. Their emergence is irreproducible. Much like the Bible, I believe that we will look back at Bitcoin’s genesis and see it as something that influenced the course of wider human society for millenia.

The difference this time, and why it will last, perhaps forever, is that language, morality, values and ethics are also infused with money (action), as explained above.

Bitcoin is money. It is the language of value and action. This living, breathing network includes not only digital nodes such as miners and computers but also human nodes such as users, coders and writers, custodians and entities of all kinds.

It’s a complex idea and not for the faint-hearted.

“[The Bible is] the product of processes that remain fundamentally beyond our comprehension. The Bible is a collection of many books, each one written and edited by many people. It is a truly emergent text — a carefully crafted, sequenced, and finally coherent story that was written by everyone over thousands of years. The collective human imagination has created the Bible, a product of unimaginable forces over vast time periods. Its careful, respectful study can reveal things to us about what we believe and how we do and should act that can be discovered in almost no other manner.”

What does this mean?

There is so much we have already covered, so I’ll end with a discussion on the “consequential nature” of Bitcoin and God.

Bitcoin Is Like The Old Testament God.

While reading Chapter 4 of “12 Rules For Life” the similarity between Bitcoin and Old Testament God, via their relationship to consequence, dawned on me.

Old Testament God is complex and multifaceted. While he appeared brutal and unforgiving, he was also prone to harsh punishments and wrath. However, he was also devoted to caring for the world and its inhabitants and capable of great acts of kindness and mercy.

This is the Old Testament God’s former wrathful and vengeful nature, which most people recognize and contrast with the New Testament God they see as more loving, forgiving, and kind.

Most people think Bitcoin is like New Testament God; some magical panacea to all of our problems and a pathway to a future “Utopia.”

It’s my contention that Bitcoin is far more like the complex, Old Testament God. If you wander from the path, if you break the injunctions, commandments and covenants of the natural order of things, you and your children, as well as your children’s children, will be punished.

Old Testament God will bring his wrath on you through plagues or famines, but Bitcoin will bring it upon yourself through poverty and sharp economic results. The difference is that the former was a written warning about sinful behavior and the latter is directly related to your actions.

Don’t believe me? If you have lost your private keys, send it to the wrong address or call “support”. You can also contact the Bitcoin Central Bank to get more bitcoin printed to help you out if you make a bad decision. Good luck with that.

“Nonetheless, when His people strayed from the path — when they disobeyed His injunctions, violated His covenants, and broke His commandments — trouble was certain to follow. If you did not do what Old Testament God demanded — whatever that might have been and however you might have tried to hide from it — you and your children and your children’s children were in terrible, serious trouble.”

The importance of texts like the Bible will continue to increase in a Bitcoin-dominated world because these lessons and stories are true. Not in the literal sense, but the meta sense. These are modes of being that can be integrated into your life to help you, your children, and your children’s children prosper.

Bitcoin, an economic manifestation of the consequential Old Testament god, is also a “force” of nature. They say that “Bitcoin just happens to be” for a reason. It is best to approach it with a malicious or scheming heart. You may be able to prosper if you follow the implicit instruction you receive via economic feedback or the explicit instruction of wise (i.e. the ancient texts).

“They were wise. He was a Force of Nature. Is it reasonable, fair, or just to feed a hungry lion? What kind of absurd question is that? The Old Testament Israelites and their forebears knew that God was not to be trifled with, and that whatever Hell the angry Deity might allow to be engendered if he was crossed was real.”

Which brings me to …


Faith is found in commitment to the good, despite the evidence of the bad. Bitcoin is once again a manifestation faith. From a social soil so toxic, something so good has emerged.

It’s happened because the roots of goodness run deep. It thrives because it has faith. Bitcoin is a shining example of that.

“Faith is not the childish belief in magic. This is ignorance, or even willful blindness. It is instead the realization that the tragic irrationalities of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being.”

To believe that Bitcoin can win, is to have faith in the capacity for goodness to prevail. It’s not something you can rationally calculate. The history of Bitcoin is littered by the bodies of people who thought they had it figured out, whether they were on the side or not. You can see everyone, from Peter Schiff and Paul Krugman on the “against”, to Plan B’s S2F and Willy Woo on-chain analysis on the “for”.

Bitcoin belief requires more than empiricism. It is perhaps why smart people, such as Eric Weinstein, who should be excited about Bitcoin’s emergence, instead become bitterly involved in its dissemination.

“You might start by not thinking — or, more accurately, but less trenchantly, by refusing to subjugate your faith to your current rationality, and its narrowness of view. This does not mean that you should be stupid. Instead, it means that you must stop manipulating and calculating and conniving or scheming. It also means that you must stop demanding and avoiding punishment. This means that you must abandon your old strategies. It means, instead, that you must pay attention, as you may never have paid attention before.”

These people seem to be too cerebrally oriented to experience the holistic, practical perfection that is Bitcoin. They are too busy with “gauge theory” in an attempt to fit it into their rational paradigm. They could be spineless fence-sitters, like Lex Fridman, who refuse to take a moral stance.

They refuse to believe because they are afraid of their intuition and instinct. They lack the courage and will to set fire to the boats.

By doing so, they are unwittingly being remembered as one of the wealthy Romans who died as Christianity emerged.

In Closing

As you begin to take Bitcoin or Old Testament God seriously, you begin to orient yourself in such a way that goodness flourishes in your life. As your faith rewards you for your honest, moral efforts and Bitcoin begins to feel like New Testament God to you, you will find that your faith is rewarded with the ability to live up to the virtues that have been described across the centuries in all the great scriptures.

You begin to embody the goodness.

“Instead of playing the tyrant, therefore, you are paying attention. Instead of manipulating the world, you are telling the truth. Instead of being the martyr or the dictator, you negotiate. You don’t have to be jealous because you don’t know if someone else has it better. You don’t have to be discouraged. Instead, you can learn to set low and be patient. You are discovering who and what you are and what you are willing and able to do. You are discovering that the solutions to your problems must be tailored to you personally and precisely. You are less concerned with the actions of other people, because you have plenty to do yourself.”

This brings us full circle to the genesis idea of this entire chapter analysis..

Bitcoin is self-love.

When you enter Bitcoin and let it enter you, your life begins to look and sound more meaningful, hopeful and optimistic. You start small and you keep going. You aim to build what you can and you will see your trajectory go heavenward.

This is hope. Bitcoin represents hope.

“Much of happiness is hope, no matter how deep the underworld in which that hope was conceived.”

Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and it may just open.

Open your mind to the possibility of discovering something so valuable and deep that you will wonder how you fell for this charade and why you stayed there so long.

Yes Bitcoin, or a subset, is a cult.

Bitcoin is a new, emergent culture, founded on a bedrock of core principles; Bitcoin principles, such as truth, integrity, transparency, freedom and responsibility. This kind of emergent culture was long absent.

Bitcoin could be the catalyst for a new culture of greatness, morality and excellence. I’m here to help.

This is a guest post by Aleks Svetski, author of “The UnCommunist Manifesto,”, founder of The Bitcoin Times and Host of The Wake Up Podcast. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine HTML1.

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