The "Spiritual Mechanics" of Truth - Part 1

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The "Spiritual Mechanics" of Truth - Part 1

Post by admin » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:18 pm

    Written by Anomaly654

    Taken from: http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=193707

    Part One

    Preliminary Framework
    What follows is based on Avicenna’s conception that truth is a quality—a condition of existence—inherent in the essence of things, and is an integral part of each thing’s nature. This could raise the question: What might a truth-endued universe or world look like? I suggest that world would logically look, operate, be experienced as and patterned in just the ways it now exists. For starters it seems to follow that if truth is intrinsic to all things, popular theories of truth—correspondence, pragmatic, social construct, consensus, coherence, etc.—would be relegated to various things truth does. None explain what truth is. The idea of truth as merely a relation in thought would turn out to be a natural component of interaction in the exchange of information between mind and object. Truth, a condition of existence of information, endues everything from minds to rocks to abstract entities. It is, in this view, confirmed in the correspondence relation, not limited to it.

    Two kinds of Truth
    Descriptive/factual and prescriptive/moral. The first is highly empirical, the second only peripherally and intuitively so. Both are dynamic: energy is the value-nature of descriptive inorganics (i.e., matter, via E=Mc2), force will be a term used for the prescriptive dynamic to distinguish it from descriptive energy. Though ontologically distinct in macro reality, both dynamics are micro level expressions of a single kind: value—energy and force—in organics. More accurately: all material entities are fundamentally bundles of energy (inorganics) or an energy-force merger (organics). I use this thought experiment to demonstrate the prescriptive dynamic: Imagine striking with a heavy hammer the following things in this order: 1. rock, 2. plant, 3. insect, 4. kitten, 5 human infant. Reasonably sane persons will feel increasing degrees of repulsion as they move through the list, hopefully unable to complete at least the last item. This suggests the presence of prescriptive force, the power of the true-false dynamic, the main focus of this thread. Some have argued the example just points up a useful evolved cultural response. Arguments like this are not only intuitively weak, but the view proposed here unfold suggests that the motives behind arguments like these are, like most human motives, the product of value interactions.

    True t and False f
    In descriptive reality, like energy-polarities repel and opposites attract. Prescriptive force is the opposite; like attracts (^) or produces union, and opposite repels (¬) and is wholly incompatible.

    All descriptive energy values are immutably true. At base the energy of physical existents only changes form, never value, so mutability is limited to reorganization of energy particles or matter that at base holds its value immutably. This is why mathematics—the language of absolute truth—is so beautiful the more one understands it: the values it speaks or interprets from descriptive existence are expressions of pure, unalterable truth.

    Value exists in one of two grades or denominations: true or false. In the thought experiment above, the increasing discomfort felt [assuming readers free of psychosis] in the notion of striking each successive entity is an example of the effect of falsification in cognition, i.e., in causing damage or even the observation of damage being caused to life-bearing entities is a falsification of the good of health—e.g., removal of some quantity of life, arguably the greatest good. The higher the rate of impairment, the stronger the moral force [revulsion] experienced in perception. Thus, moral force or pressure is cognitively enacted when the t components of an observer encounter situations in which falsification occurs. As noted in another thread, this condition has a secular lookalike in psychology called Cognitive Dissonance, mental discomfort from simultaneously held contradictory beliefs. The t ¬ f relation produces this resistance or dissonance in prescriptive matters.

    Truth and falsity force-values can no more populate the same position than positive and negative energy charges can occupy the same point in matter. But if the value-bearingness of the soul or life force (or whatever one wants to call consciousness) plays a fundamental role in human behavior as these relationships suggest, then the fact that the same person exhibits both good and bad behaviors has to be accounted for. This goal gains clarity in the conversion of macro-level persons to information and performing a reduction of that information to constituent parts. Because each material particle contains multiple informational assets (particularity, properties, relations) there are theoretically many more “parts” of information than there are particles they can be mapped to. I call each “part” of information an iota. Will provide further explanations if requested, but sparsity is prudent for the message board venue. Suffice that individual iotas as sort of the “virtual particles” of existence are, at base (like their material counterparts), force-value components. Energy value [Ve] and force value [Vf] are concurrent kinds of power in a single existence. Each iota of inorganic information contains Ve. Organics = Ve^Vf.

    While some traits, behaviors, attitudes or states of affairs we call good or bad are cognitive in nature in perception of instrumental values, others arise from the possession in persons of some combination of actual true or false values, fragmentally distributed throughout human (and only human) essence. Fragmentation exists because single iotas of the informational essence of persons are falsified; falsity exists fragmentally within a field of [arguably mostly] true information. This would explain how the opposite values of truth and falsity can coexist in particular individuals, and how and why an individual expresses both good and bad thoughts, intentions and acts.

    The model has a number of interesting possibilities. For instance, the t¬f dynamic infers that value interactions are the primary cause of human behavior. It would follow that evolutionary behavioral psychology has much less to say about human behavior than is currently proposed. The force dynamic (what theists might call a spiritual dynamic), if it holds, seems to have weak correlation to evolutionary modification—if behavior is primarily due to the force-value and not energy-value component of humans, then it’s hard to see how evolutionary materialism could have any more than a secondary role in forming moral beliefs and behaviors. If discussion gets that far, an argument can be made that most—maybe all—states of affairs are either directly prescriptively-based or have strong some measure of prescriptive connection. There seems no doubt that the energy component in intellectual “living” information” particulars—in macroscopic terms, the material component in humans—doubtless plays an interactive role with the prescriptive force-value component, though the logistics of the interface remains unsolved. Damage in the material component contributes to normative-ethic-moral causes, but in the role of modification. All things being equal from a physical health standpoint, prescriptive force, though strongly interlaced with its sister value, energy, is the primary formulator of the moral realm.

    But the main reason for this post is to consider other paths a value-suffused reality leads to: normative/moral degradation in society generally and more specifically value’s corollary in the formation of attitudes about prescriptive propositions in persons.

    The alteration of an iota of information from a true to false state, peculiar to humans (or agents) and not other intelligent animals, seems to develop from within intellectual operation, in the exercise of the will, e.g., in the formation of prejudicial (with respect to ultimate truth or perfection) choices.

    Falsification due to choice is not the only architect of moral attitudes, of course. Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex is found to lead to utilitarian moral decision-making, and morality is said to likely be affected by interactions among multiple brain regions, so damage to any of these may play a role in moral evaluation. This is to be expected in a unit in which diverse but conjoined (energy-force) features provide a single informational dynamic. Brain damage is itself a form of falsification when the true (or truth itself) is understood to be the unassailable standard by which the quality, merit, worth or good of the function of an informational system is assessed. Voltage and amperage combine to provide electricity, and energy and force combine to from biological units.

    It’s conceded that the material plays a role in moral processing, but as noted above, for all intents and purposes the primary player in prescriptive judgment is the non-material force-component of humans and will remain the focus here.

    An appeal to the will as the architect of falsity in one’s essence is not a commitment to libertarian autonomy or even necessarily to any high degree of freedom. Though self-inflicted falsification of essence seems intuitively feasible it’s hard to see how a subjective mind could accomplish by any direct means damage to the essence of another. But agents can obviously influence the moral and normative directions others take. Imposition of the will of A on B can coerce a falsity-producing decision in B, so external pressure to conform in its various forms is part of the prescriptive equation, and degrees of culpability seem to properly affix to A’s coercion for B’s prescriptive choices.

    Further, the creation of sociopathic and other anti-social behaviors—undoubtedly products of falsified minds—are known to be caused, at least in part, in childhood by abuse and mistreatment in unloving family conditions. That external factors contribute to essence-falsification certainly must reduce—and in many cases reduce greatly—the culpability of an agent for some measure of his moral choices. The exercise of the will in prescriptive choices or in the building of one’s moral architecture is probably much less free and more bound to external factors than is sometimes given credit.

    Still, the self-falsification feature of agents may more often than not be traced to choices made in reasonably or significantly free states, as in a reasonably uncoerced decision to experiment with drugs, sometimes leading to deeper falsification (addiction, which usually leads to other detrimental behaviors), despite awareness on some level of the dangers involved. The falsification of essence and its apparent effect on cognitive functions leads to further falsification in both material and mental states, invoking deeper falsification in societal and personal relationships and participation in morally questionable and/or deviant subcultures.

    Because truth as the raw “dynamic potential” of existence is itself the standard for suitable and appropriate operation for both energy and energy-force entities, the paradigm above proposes that the correspondence relation, for example, is a t^t affiliation, i.e., accord between the informational structure of a conscious mind and its external surroundings. The energies and forces at play generate this natural affiliation or bond. Some quantity of t in human information in harmony with t in the information of external things generates the t^t union in cognition. This connection doesn’t just provide a bridge between mind and world, truth's natural force of attraction is the blueprint or organizational structure of cognitive processes, religions, biological processes, planets, patterns, philosophies, etc. Truth is the provider of the proper functioning of existence itself. In On Truth (pp. 63-65) Harry Frankfurt points out that humans are rational beings, that we pride ourselves in our rationality and that we could not function rationally at all if we failed to make distinctions between true and false. ”To be rational is fundamentally a matter of being appropriately responsive to reasons…reasons are constituted of facts” Facts, he goes on to say, are verified in experience; we confirm facts that provide reasons by confirming that they are true.

    Conversely, the t ¬ f relation will commonly cause a very mild tension in the apprehension of a descriptive falsehood (New York City is the capital of Florida), but a much more robust resistance in cognition in proportion to the category of organics—as was demonstrated in the thought experiment in the progression from mere (if any) tension in striking the boulder to increase of resistance with respect to progressively higher resistance experienced in each higher form of life. Hence, where energy is king in material matters, force exerts its supremacy in prescriptive matters. Hume’s ought-is distinction stands unscathed.

    It follows that a cumulative fragmental falsification, because of falsity's natural antagonism to truth, would, in intellectual operation, create beliefs, situations and states that can reasonably be characterized as bad, corrupt, off the mark, wrong, defective or any of dozens of terms we use to define imperfection of one sort or another. Actual falsification in essence generates actual effects in cognitive functions which are then (depending on measure of falsification) often expressed in anti-social or self-destructive behaviors. The more egregious and dangerous patterns—sociopathic or psychopathic behaviors—are among the fullest expressions of falsification in human essence and contribute significantly to damage in personal and sociological relationships and affairs.

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    The "Spiritual Mechanics" of Truth - Part 2

    Post by admin » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:20 pm

      Written by Anomaly654

      Part Two

      Falsification and Motives

      The natural tension between true and false sets a simple example of the necessity of an external absolute to which non-absolutes have their reference. Truth, in both descriptive and prescriptive realities, is the straightforward and obvious standard. We always strive to get at the truth of things. Popper’s philosophy of scientific falsification is the use of falsity to find truth.

      I see no reasonable arguments that can be sufficiently mounted against the idea that truth itself, in both moral and factual realms, is the single, simple absolute standard toward which all activity should aim.

      That truth is power is easily verifiable. Fill out last year’s tax returns using entirely falsehoods. Name, earnings, dependents—fill in all the blanks with counterfeit information. Try living a day in which you freely substitute falsehoods with truths. Treat red lights as green, resolve that the brick wall you face is made of marshmallows and pound your head against it, pretend the Affordable Care Act works on every level promised and provides the absolute pinnacle of health care to every American; praise its perfection to everyone you meet. Spend your day inserting falsehoods into truths at home, work and in social settings and see how your day goes. One should pretty quickly concede the idea that value—both truth and falsity—as latent force has merit. These forces, sometimes antithetical, sometimes unifying, emerge in the interactions of intellectual agents with value-forces in external existence to shape opinions, affiliations, standards, belief systems—and eventually, societies and cultures. The medical technician examines blood and tissue samples under a microscope to gather health information about a patient. The impropriety of inserting false information into her report on the samples is so obvious that further discussion on the matter is unnecessary. Most of us take truth—the force that provides our primary directional beacon for every aim of life, work, play, relationships, etc.—wholly for granted.

      Cognitive Bias is a sociological term for defects in thinking. Focus here will be on two forms of value-influenced bias, what will be called Cognitive Sedition[CS] and Cognitive Obscurity[CO]. CS is a term for the aforementioned resistance caused by the t¬f relation in mental processing. The force of this mental property is exclusively directed to prescriptive matters. In particular, its cause—the fragmental falsification of human information or essence, affecting cognition—is naturally the corruption of a perfection because the nature of the true is set up by and proceeds from its attributes: unity, suitability, harmony, perfection, accord, good, organization, propriety, etc. with the perfection of life as arguably the greatest good and truth. Conversely, the false is associated naturally with discord, inadequacy, inferiority, dissension, evil, chaos, death, etc. Obviously, these opposites repel. CS plays out in three distinct cognitive reactions:

      A. The t^t union
      B. The t¬f opposition
      C. The f^f union

      Before getting into how these play out in prescriptive matters the CO function needs attention. CO, as name implies, is the quality of indistinctness in the cogitative powers, a cognitive destabilization of the t^t union by the admittance of fragmental falsity into the mind’s informational matrix, impairing its ability to form numerically sufficient t^t[i/] bonds in the patterning of mental content to effect the perfection of reason and knowing. CS and CO are closely related but not identical. While both are caused by the true-false antagonism, CS produces a robust enmity in prescriptive matters while CO is a general distortion of intellectual operation for all matters of deliberation and attention, prescriptive or descriptive.

      Definitions for the three possible value configurations provided above should help demonstrate the role value fragmentation plays in moral motives, accumulation of beliefs and responses to moral propositions. While the function for all three would apply to information ascribed to any material function, the information of intellectual operation as mental content in connection with external actual and propositional information.

      A. The qualitative condition or force between true information states producing attraction to true idea(s), the proper and appropriate function in an exchange or transaction between the information of perceiver and information perceived, with respect to this relation’s ability to produce true meaning.
      B. The qualitative condition or force between true and false information states producing repulsion and resistance to true idea(s), a corrupted transaction between the information of perceiver and information perceived, with respect to this relation’s ability to produce true meaning.
      C. The qualitative condition or force between false information states producing attraction to false idea(s), producing dissonance between the false idea(s) held with respect to this relation’s ability to produce true meaning.

      The above provide interesting outcomes for a variety of topics: motives behind the prescriptive beliefs one holds, the nature of moral beliefs, how the above would factor into reasons internalism and externalism, how this might play out in the identification of moral properties, etc. I find "C" most interesting: one who holds a falsehood then must expend effort gathering true propositions (arguments) to "prove" her false belief. No one uses false propositions to prove a false belief.

      As a theist, the above (assuming theistic belief is fundamentally, if not precisely, true) is interesting because it seems to provide—with some degree of analytical reliability—an explanation for not only the great moral divide throughout the various philosophical frameworks in history, but offers a coherent account for how and why persons accumulate both theistic/moral and anti-theistic/anti-moral beliefs and offers a basis for why they adhere.

      Thoughts?

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      Re: The "Spiritual Mechanics" of Truth - Part 1

      Post by Anomaly654 » Tue May 08, 2018 1:54 am

      I think I mentioned in an earlier post that this idea of value-driven cause for moral motivation started with the search for a solution to a theological problem. Around 20 years ago I tried self-employment after spending 20+ years working in the trades. Work was initially slow, and I took a winter job sitting in an 8x10 guard shack along the Mississippi River watching a parking lot for work crews installing new turbines in a hydroelectric dam, 6pm to 6am. In other words, I was doing virtually nothing for 12 hours per day, 7 days a week one winter. Decided to educate myself, so started reading Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and Contra Gentiles. Struggled with the archaic language, but in reading Part One Q. 16, a. 1 where Thomas is making the case that truth resides in the intellect but not things, he quotes Avicenna from his Metaphysics: "The truth of each thing is a property of the essence which is immutably attached to it." Bingo. This idea stuck with me, kept bugging me. Played it out in thought to what I felt were its logical conclusions and it grew.

      With this simple idea as a starting point (which led me to disagree with St Thomas on a couple of his ideas about truth—convertible with being, resides only in the intellect) not only did the resolution to the aforementioned theological problem present itself, but corollaries grew naturally from the notion of value mechanics” producing normative-based belief and behavioral patterns generally, some of which are noted above, and for moral motivation more specifically. (Speaking of which, I apologize for the text, it needs considerable cleaning up. Wrote it on the spur of the moment two consecutive evenings before posting at ILP and didn’t proofread very thoroughly.)
      Was encountering considerable flak for my beliefs at the time in my theology board posting [my universalism is unacceptable to the evangelical crowd, within which I spent a good portion of my adult religious life], and came to test the value mechanics hypothesis in a number of these discussions.

      Should note: I’m not saying the ideas are mine. Moving from metaphysical (hypothesis of value-endued information) to theological (Biblical Christianity), virtually all the fundamental ideas presented above are framed in various passages/teachings in the Bible, from both Testaments. Next post I’ll sketch an example of how I think value plays out in moral motivation based on some of the doctrinal discussions I’ve taken part in over the last several years and will try to extrapolate how the principles involved would form the patterns explaining our societal ills.

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