I am not claiming that decentralised systems are unethical. There are many benefits to them. The unethical aspect is that a potentially devastating experiment is being conducted and if it does go tits up there’s no way to pull on the reigns.
Of course we’re going to have differing opinions on what’s ethical and what isn’t. This is precisely the problem I was getting at by saying small groups of people can develop extremely dangerous experiments that can’t be controlled. Everyone within this small group will think “we’re doing the right thing” and therefore will consider themselves ethical. This is why formal experiments always have to pass through an ethics committee, which contains many different people considering the experiment from different angles.
Let me ask the question this way:
When an indestructible widget was being developed it was known that it would help some people and hurt others. At that time the level of harm was unknown however the makers were surrounded by a small group of like minded people who also agreed it was good and they convinced each other of this fact. Originally it served a small group of people well but then malfunctioned and started to kill people - most of whom had never even heard of this widget.
Original intentions aside. Was it ethical to construct this devastating, indestructible widget given only a very small community wanted it at the beginning?
I’m sure we could exchange stories until the cows come home, where yours will be saying things like “a person oppressed by government X…”. Trust me I see where there are benefits, you don’t have to convince me of this.
The way I see it is that SAFE is potentially very big deal. If a government was to develop something without putting it to a vote that destroyed the world would you say to that government; “chin up chaps, we know you thought you were doing the right thing”? I suspect not, you’d be saying “why the **** didn’t you put this to a vote, we’re supposed to live in a democracy”.
I don’t expect a worldwide vote on the SAFE network. What would be appropriate though is for systems with such wide-ranging potential to have to pass through at least some ethical approval process.
Who knows, I may be wrong and the system is seen by most of humanity as an ethical undertaking. My point is that the tiny population that know about SAFE are not the people to make this decision.