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