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The Genetic Fallacy

By Craig Wright | 18 Jun 2019 | Bitcoin & Blockchain Tech

The genetic fallacy avoids an argument by shifting the focus onto something’s or someone’s origins. It’s similar to an ad hominem fallacy in the sense that it leverages existing negative perceptions to make someone’s argument look bad, without actually presenting a case for why the argument itself lacks merit.

(also known as: fallacy of origins; fallacy of virtue)

Description: Basing the truth claim of an argument on the origin of its claims or premises.

Logical form:

  • The origin of the claim is presented.
  • Therefore, the claim is true/false.

In one specific case, it comes down to arguments about the people. Bitcoin is technology. You know the other side of the argument is failing when it has moved to attacking a person rather than the argument itself. It is a common tactic in the world of social media. Proof of social media is not about truth but rather about a deception that can change and mutate over time. It is one of the aspects of Bitcoin that have been developed that allows for a system of truth. If you view my videos and presentations from 2014, you will see that I have the same outlook and concept of Bitcoin.

When evaluating an argument, it is better to go to the source and not to take modified versions of information. Biased media sources colour articles in a manner designed to prepare a response from the reader or listener. In part, it is why the post-modern “thinker” (which is generally a stretch) is one who follows them without thinking, askew science and the modern legal process.

The attack comes down to the individual. You end with diatribes of YouTube videos, gut feelings, and the general ranting of social justice warriors. In many ways, it is designed to take you away from the issue at hand. The fallacy can be used in creating a red herring. The genetic fallacy is commonly presented in a continued argument as a matter of creating misdirection. It allows the arguer to slip in a red herring (ignoratio elenchi) in a relevant conclusion or relevant thesis, for example. They avoid refuting the point being argued, and cloud the issue.

In effect, they attempt to redirect the argument. It is similar to the fallacy of avoiding the issue, too. In all cases, the person with a weak argument attempts to avoid his argument and use social media and personal innuendo to create a means to abandon the original argument and move on to something he can handle better.

The attack is closely related to ad hominem. People will call out fallacies after fallacy claiming that you’re wrong because you’re fat, or you can’t be Satoshi because you’re too old; the nature doesn’t really matter other than that it avoids a logical discussion of the issues at hand. And in doing so, they who are involved in such an attack seek to take the position away from the real question and into something utterly unrelated.

In my case, we see a move away from addressing the scaling of Bitcoin and the use of a series of personal attacks to have people focused on a completely irrelevant scenario. The question of whether I am Satoshi becomes the issue. I may be, which does not solve to answer to the point. There are two aspects here, and one may be relevant in the sense that as Satoshi, I can answer for the reasoning behind why I created Bitcoin. But the reasoning has not changed from the beginning: what I can do in either form, myself now or myself under my pseudonym, is point out that there are no true statements or arguments made justifying that Bitcoin was anti-bank or anti-government.

What matters is scaling. Also, Bitcoin is a system that decentralises power. The question here that is being avoided is where the power is being deployed. As Satoshi, I gain power only if I seek to change the protocol. So interestingly, those who seek power, the illegal exchanges and bucket shops such as Binance and the developers seeking to experiment and play with a protocol as they’re funded by those seeking a system friendly to crime, are the ones grasping for power and hence seeking to avoid the question.

In our instance, pointing out the funding for developers is not a genetic fallacy. There is an exception to the genetic-logical fallacy: where there are biases that can act to be relevant to the claim, that set boundaries on truth, they become an exception.

Pointing out that certain groups seek to promote money laundering and other criminal activities is a valid logical argument, and does not act in the form of a genetic fallacy. The reasoning here lies in looking at what is to be achieved in their arguments. Can we link the claims and consequences?

In a system designed to create truth, who benefits most through subversion? If the protocol cannot be changed and yet it can be scaled, the argument about myself that is promoted in the attacks against me becomes one that is easily seen to be a house of cards. The question of what matters is very simple. Can Bitcoin scale. Can Bitcoin scale and remain a system that decentralises power and promotes truth and trust?

The false claim is that, for instance, Craig is a bad man. If I am a bad man, then I can’t be trusted, and hence my claims about Bitcoin cannot be trusted.

Here, of course, lies the fallacy that some are trying to promote. Bitcoin doesn’t need my promotion. In having my team improve the code while maintaining the original protocol, we have scaled to handle blocks the size of 1.4 GB. And before you argue that the block size doesn’t matter, that it should be small, the argument on the nature of creating Bitcoin was set. In my persona as Satoshi, I am quoted from a decade or so ago how Bitcoin scales to exceed Visa and that it can grow to be a system that will run in data centres and that handles a load far greater.

The often misquoted directive that Bitcoin must be small is not a claim of Satoshi but of James Donald and others who argued with me. So the question here is not whether I am Satoshi, because my views align completely to those in the past. Rather the argument is one of whether Satoshi would have suddenly changed his mind and now flip-flopped to support a system that is being changed to resemble e-gold and the one of Liberty Reserve, all of which existed when he was there. Would he abandon his principles and sell out for money? Such are questions that need to be asked. And selling out doesn’t imply the support of the original stable protocol but rather the support of a system that facilitates crime.

Of further interest presents a point for you that matters. The only reason we stopped scaling past 1.4-GB blocks is that other software needed to catch up. Bitcoin handled it without an incident. It was block explorers and other software that had been built on a foundation of small blocks that needed time to catch up. There is no scaling limit to Bitcoin. The scaling limit is imposed.

So, as you have been distracted and focused on me, I have built. People believe that they should know how many bitcoin I have so that they can use the knowledge as market information. You won’t. If I decide to move certain coins in the future, it won’t be by announcing to anyone. It will be a black swan and an event that I choose. So, please understand that if you think it matters that I prove to you, you’re going to be severely disappointed and likely suffer adverse consequences.

I am the creator of Bitcoin. You will never discredit it, and you will never stop my system. If you choose to bet against me, I already know the outcome.