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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Moral vs. Factual Belief

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  • #31
    Originally posted by siam View Post
    @ Anomaly
    Some ideas expressed are interesting...but I have dissatisfaction with some aspects....
    Hello Siam, thanks for responding.

    1) Striking with hammer---boulder vs child
    Thought experiments that do not account for diverse circumstances may be inadequate/inaccurate? For example, Mt Rushmore in the U.S. is carved with faces---but this was sacred ground to the Native Americans who thought of it as defacement. Likewise, Mt Fuji in Japan is considered sacred and tourists defacing it with graffiti carvings or trash is upsetting to many. So too, a doctor rebreaking a child's bone to reset it correctly may be a necessary and good action...or when an accident has occurred and the only way to save the life of a child/adult might be to sever a trapped limb....?....
    Rigidity in ethico-moral discourse can lead to injustice....and perhaps even oppression.....
    I think you overburden the purpose of thought experiments, they are only analogies used to present a certain point. And the mechanism of value does take into account the defacements you mention. Unlike factual properties which are drawn from individual facts, moral properties are drawn from human activities within states of affairs, sets of circumstances. The normative enters into play in inert matter just to the degree [human] agents’ activities interface with it and their interests are benefited or maligned by actions directed toward it. Example: the striking of granite by sculptors in the creation of Mount Rushmore was activity in and of itself divorced from prescriptive meaning. You need to ‘focus in’ to separate the ‘micro event’ taking place within the bigger picture of human interest in the set of circumstances that includes the sculpting. Of itself, chipping away at marble is just a descriptive action. The bigger picture that you argue for is the “state of affairs” situation in which prescript now comes to bear as evidenced by offence to the Indians and the wrongness associated with vandalism. The doctor’s re-breaking bone in order to repair is, I don’t think, the same thing; the substance he was breaking was part of a person, a biological entity, a container for the union of matter and vitality [from a dualist perspective] and therefore not prescriptively inert as inorganic matter is. Stop and think about it, the great majority of substance on the earth’s surface has some connection or interface with biological—especially intellectual—organisms, giving rise to countless means for moral properties to occur. People own land, create material goods which are then sold and owned, infrastructure connects geographical areas, towns and cities spring up, and construction projects are sometimes stopped due to the presence of endangered species. All activities and interests attached to the matter involved are normative or prescriptive affairs by addition in some way of human interest and activity attached to them. Striking the boulder assumed no ownership or other interest that would detract from the pure observation that aside from organic attachment, inorganic matter is normatively inert. Hume noted essentially the same thing in his “no ought from is” axiom.

    2) Binaries/dualities---Yin/Yang are often thought of as complimentary binaries rather than opposing binaries. Regardless of "reality" (metaphysic) as unity, duality, or multiplicity...if we understand these "elements"/concepts as necessary and complimentary, rather than as opposing and one element more significant than the other...perhaps our metaphysic may be more flowing/elastic and a better fit for "reality"...?....If we were to assume harmony/balance/peace as the purpose of creation (equilibrium) then it would be easier to accommodate difference?---Divine rules/laws ("values") as of a different grade than human ethics which would be different from animal/plants (laws of ecosystems)...etc....
    I agree that there are instances in which opposites serve complimentary purposes. The falsity [and its effect, evil] imposed on the circumstances in which the woman who smothers her baby in order to save others hiding from enemy soldiers has its utilitarian good in the saving of the others. But I don’t see that hiding the truth of evil for evil’s sake in a scenario of harmony and balance serves any purpose. It seems to me the further addition of falsity into a society in which the darkness falsity naturally imposes on the cognitive functions (which I suspect can be traced to sociological disorders becoming so prevalent today), though it initially sounds good, ends up in adding detriment to an already broken system. As I pointed out to Jim, the idea of there being divine rules and laws is from the perspective of value mechanics, almost incoherent. There is no need for multiple divine rules or laws. There’s only one: revere, respect and serve truth, the only absolute. The ideal we’re looking for is found in this simple formula. Harmony, balance, peace, life, congruity, love, etc. are all derivatives of this one simple quality and its end is perfection. Laws and rules start jumping out only because truth is violated, neither God nor anyone else needs to think them up. The harsh tones of the moral are a screeching cacophony produced in the essence of everyman by our rejection and break with the absolute. This is why we come to hate and have contempt for truth; our own [largely] self-produced falsity produces the sting of the law from the inside. The stating of moral rules and regulations found in activities within states of affairs are just metaphoric pointers to this one cure for all the causes of evil.

    3)Justice---If we focus on harmony/balance as a core "force"/direction of creation then it might be helpful to consider Justice not just as a "value" but as a framework within which we/humans form systems of ethico-moral intentions/actions for our societies. Just as creation works within a framework of (physics) "laws " ---humanity could consider "Justice" as a tool for the achievement of balance and harmony (= Peace) within societies..?....
    In the Quranic story of Abel and Cain---the dispute between the 2 brothers led to bloodshed and so "laws/Justice" was advised by God for humanity....the restoration of balance and harmony within human relations leading to peace.
    Therefore...what is permissible (right) and what is not permissible (wrong) are two complimentary concepts that can be part of a system of "measure" with which we consider the weight of ethico-moral "values" under varying circumstances in order to arrive at the most "just" thing to do that can contribute to balance and harmony leading to peace.
    ......U defined "value" as measure of the mixture between truth and falsity---correct?
    Moral value has little to do with evolutionary or social causes. Evolution can join hands with her social constructivist sister and triumphantly claim “progress” in dismantling notions of absolutes and granting each person his or her own truth free from needlessly restrictive. Worship at the postmodernist/evolutionary altar where truth is sacrificed daily dictates that all respect the right of other life forms to thrive. This blind march into increasing darkness renders purported intellectual and cultural progress a delusion.

    I read a blog recently where a fellow argued for the truth of social construction, offering evidence that society can agree to call “red” “blue” and vise versa, where our experience of red is called blue and the reverse. This, he claimed, proves that societies and cultures are in control of truth. Claims like this seem to miss the distinction between instrumental truths—with which humans have a measure of control—and truth simpliciter or intrinsic truth. As agents we have the freedom to assign truths to our own constructs. We print paper/cloth money and assign values to various bills of our choosing. We can call it true that a fire truck is a fire hydrant and a hydrant a truck, but if we do so alone and without consensus we’re going to have some trouble if we speak much about fire trucks and hydrants to others.

    Instrumental truths are ours to create and change. A building is true to the extent it meets its designed goals—to provide safety and comfort as well as utilitarian practicality and aesthetically pleasing features to the liking of its inhabitants. It becomes falsified to the extent these features deteriorate or are neglected. But intrinsic truth is found. Was it true that a given solar system in a given galaxy formed from the gasses of the big bang at the time in the universe’s creation that it formed, or was this not true until there was a human mind to acknowledge it? Some truth, moral truths included, are intrinsic. This is the truth that can’t be changed. It can be hidden to suit the purposes of those who profit from its misuse, but truth remains absolute and unscathed. The powers that form cultures can create temporary pseudo moral truths, but these are instrumental distortions of the absolute, which are pirated for a time, because the effects of falsity in the information of minds creates ambiguity and unknowing with respect to the absolute nature of intrinsic prescriptive truth. We can never see absolute truth clearly, only sense its presence intuitively.


    4) Evolution/linear progress---If evolution is used as an argument for linear "progress" of ethico-moral thoughts/systems from "primitive" to "cultured"/progressive---then I would have to disagree. Such arguments for "superiority" of one system over another are problematic IMO. Instead if we consider human history as cycles of action, reaction, counteraction...flowing towards equilibrium then both sides of the equilibrium---enlightened/civilized vs ignorant/barbaric are a necessary complimentary ingredient of a vibrant "system"....?
    How do terrorist acts like flying large planes into crowded buildings work with moral good to create equilibrium or moral progress? How would this be a “complimentary ingredient of a vibrant system”? You lost me here.

    5) U wrote "Cultural norms as integrated systems of beliefs and practices are morally "right or wrong" according to their statistical relation to "absolute truth".
    Lets say, "absolute truth" = Unity,...the expression of this concept in various cultures and languages will be diverse...therefore the judge of "right/wrong" with regards to their expressed "truth" resides with the community of the believers/followers of that "truth" and not with another....so, even if truth is one---it generates a multiplicity of expressions/practices.
    Agree that the nature of absolute truth does, among other things, create unity. And I accept that some level of religious pluralism must be true….this is an inherent and inescapable feature of value mechanics. Yes, there are different interpretations of absolute truth. But in a world where we agents are capable and often pretty enthusiastic in fragmentally falsifying our own essence or information, this produces in individuals and the corporate structures they form (societies, cultures, governments, religious denominations, etc.) by interaction and consensus of similarly falsified minds distortions of bearing toward absolute truth. Note the delusional aspect of falsification I mentioned above. Truth and falsity in this hypothesis are causal powers within individual intellects. Evil is the effect of fragmental falsity emerging in consciousness [more likely the subconscious, theoretically; I’m no psychologist, but almost no one who performs evil on any level does so with full understanding and acceptance of it] to produce evil acts. The multiplicity of expressions and practices you note is certainly true, but from where I’m standing this means different cultures and societies express their own particular styles and methods of good and evil. To the extent those practices are in union with absolute truth, they are “good and proper”. Vise versa for those in tension and resistance. All those goods you mention in your post flow from the former, and corruption and detriment from the latter. Sorry getting late, past my bedtime...I'm rambling.

    Comment


    • #32
      Apologies in advance---but if I could reword some concepts to check for comprehension....?....

      1) micro event vs symbolism to a macro circumstance.
      One presumption can be that a rock--inert, inorganic---is of less value (no value) than a bone which is assumed animate, organic.
      Another presumption can be that there is no value distinction between inorganic and organic as both contain the "Divine". (Kami, spirit, prana, divine breath....etc)
      therefore any distinction or lack of distinction may be a result of cultural/metaphysic bias?
      what may not be sacred to you may be sacred to someone else......

      2)Unity within diversity vs Unity with uniformity (homogeneous unity)
      If we consider "change" as a catalyst for vitality and stagnation the result of inertia then it is essential to consider equilibrium (balance/harmony) in the context of change---or Unity within diversity. The other option---Unity with uniformity is the path to extinction.
      at the genetic level---it is gene diversity and mutations that keep many species going---uniformity often leads to extinction of the species....
      complementary binaries provide the "pendulum" towards equilibrium but equilibrium without reaction/change leads to stagnation and stagnation creates the means to extinction. In order to have "vital systems" reactions need to be ongoing---which means diversity is essential as it is the creative material that produces change....and change causes reactions and reactions causes the pendulum to keep going....which means the "system" retains its vitality

      3) Intrinsic truth vs expressed truth
      You mentioned instrumental truths as those that human beings decide for themselves---correct? I will change the wording to "expressed truth" for my convenience....Let us assume that God (or whatever) made creation "in truth"---that is, truth is in the very being/nature of all creation both inorganic and organic. We can call this "intrinsic truth". So a rock gets eroded with the flow of water and both water and rock are in accord with their "intrinsic truth" or nature.---correct? Then there are animate organisms that live instinctively in accord with their nature/"intrinsic truth" and those that have the ability to decide otherwise (limited free-will). When one decides otherwise to intrinsic truth---justification that overcomes resistance---is required. It seems this is the difference between intrinsic truth and expressed truth---for example, Mt Fuji, which is considered sacred, has hiking paths, shops/rest stops and such---in order for this not to be vandalism---it has to be justified with some excuse/reason.
      Justification can act as a convenient "cover" to hide "intrinsic truth"...and this is what you call Falsity?---correct?

      4) Equilibrium---truth/falsity as complimentary ingredients of a vibrant system.
      If "expressed truth" contains both truth and illusion(perception)...then one persons judgement of this "expressed truth" may be the opposite of another person. One perception of falsity is another's truth. The Afghan fighters were labelled "freedom fighters" at one point and "terrorists" the next. Their labels changed but their mission/justification to "free" the land of "foreign" occupation remained the same.....The U.S. declaration of independence also states that it is a right and a duty of the people to overthrow an abusive government....so are they terrorists or freedom fighters?
      Ibn Khaldun had a theory of history---in this he proposed that a civilization (a society based on civility ---such as ethics, laws, justice....) rose from hardship and formed a union and an identity which helped its progress...this progress brought happiness and stability...but prolonged stability leads to stagnation (corruption) of the civilization contributing to its crumbling and demise at the hands of those less "civilized" who then rise and build from hardship....and the cycle continues.....therefore---this rise and fall of civilization is an "intrinsic truth" of history/law of nature----the cycles of action, reaction, counteraction that create flows of equilibrium and change in a "system".

      5) Diversity is not only a matter of different expression of "truth" but also different weights on "values" (liberty, equality, property....etc) the combination of these different weights creates different ethico-moral conclusions...?....

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by siam View Post
        Apologies in advance---but if I could reword some concepts to check for comprehension....?....

        1) micro event vs symbolism to a macro circumstance.
        One presumption can be that a rock--inert, inorganic---is of less value (no value) than a bone which is assumed animate, organic.
        Another presumption can be that there is no value distinction between inorganic and organic as both contain the "Divine". (Kami, spirit, prana, divine breath....etc)
        therefore any distinction or lack of distinction may be a result of cultural/metaphysic bias?
        what may not be sacred to you may be sacred to someone else...…
        Hey Siam, thank you for your input. I operate mostly in an introvertive vacuum, popping onto theology or philosophy boards from time to time to test ideas. It’s a much needed treasure when I run into those who, as you are doing here, call me to question and force me to think harder.

        Agree, a rock’s “value” in the sense I think you intend is a matter of perspective. The bone: if from a skeleton, same as rock. Prescript is attached to life. Though bone retains the coding for life in dna, vitality itself is gone.

        If I understand you correctly, you’re suggesting because the single [absolute] value source is present in all things, all things are thus actually “good”; metaphysical/cultural bias doesn’t make sense to me because it conflates prescriptive with descriptive. I find myself doing this in my own thinking and have to correct it from time to time to keep aware of the difference.

        In my thinking normative propositions, actions, ideas, motivations or other moral/ethical expressions should be judged for their standing with or against a fixed prescriptive truth standard. Aquinas’ evil as a privation works fine with static material truth but is insufficient to define moral evil. Privation in the sense Aquinas uses it is just a subtraction, which works well enough with descriptive truth. Subtraction by privation creates inert deficiency but could never produce moral evil. Dividing by two just keeps reducing the goodness of a complex entity until the end of the line base constituents are reached, material fundamental parts are immutably true. Aquinas used the example of blindness as the non-moral evil of privation of sight from the eye. From a purely natural point of view, the matter involved in the cause of blindness has just changed. Each bit of matter in the arrangement which resulted in sight remains unchangeably true, it’s just that some of the matter is either no longer there are has mutated to different locations within the configuration, resulting in blindness. I often use the house or building analogy with the observation that a building is falsified to the extent it no longer serves the purpose of its designer to put forward a teleological perspective.

        But moral truth is different as pointed out in the thought experiment. . It’s nature is pure prescript which can be falsified. Metaphysics weakly and theology strongly investigate this via metaethics and value studies. Philosophy treats the prescriptive and descriptive as equal, metaphysics seems to stand between philosophy and theology, which sharply defines the moral-factual as natural-supernatural causes. I try to maintain a metaphysical middle ground, but I’m sure my Christian bias comes through.

        So metaphysical/cultural value has to be interpreted in different terms than the material because they deal with normative expressions of actual rather than instrumental falsification. Prescriptive falsity produces the more robust moral evil while descriptive falsity is just expressing a perspective.


        2)Unity within diversity vs Unity with uniformity (homogeneous unity)
        If we consider "change" as a catalyst for vitality and stagnation the result of inertia then it is essential to consider equilibrium (balance/harmony) in the context of change---or Unity within diversity. The other option---Unity with uniformity is the path to extinction.
        at the genetic level---it is gene diversity and mutations that keep many species going---uniformity often leads to extinction of the species....
        complementary binaries provide the "pendulum" towards equilibrium but equilibrium without reaction/change leads to stagnation and stagnation creates the means to extinction. In order to have "vital systems" reactions need to be ongoing---which means diversity is essential as it is the creative material that produces change....and change causes reactions and reactions causes the pendulum to keep going....which means the "system" retains its vitality
        You posed some good food for thought here. I’m not smart enough to know the answers but will offer a couple observations. First, I see the vitality catalyst at work in both moral and factual existence. Matter at base is vibrating energy, and life is theoretically vibrating force. [illustrations] So….whence comes stagnation leading to extinction? This is a normative, not material, issue. Imagine countless hypothetical solar systems with lifeless planets…extinction doesn’t apply, only changes of states. Extinction is appropriate to life. An organic is in one dualist view life force fused with material energy. If the information of both is wholly true, life will proceed perfectly within the parameters of change programmed into it by its designer. So it seems to me in the “unity with uniformity” formula that uniformity is itself not the path to extinction. Perfect uniformity achieves only good. Instead, the formula leading to extinction should be corrected to “disunity [falsification] with uniformity”.

        3) Intrinsic truth vs expressed truth
        You mentioned instrumental truths as those that human beings decide for themselves---correct? I will change the wording to "expressed truth" for my convenience....Let us assume that God (or whatever) made creation "in truth"---that is, truth is in the very being/nature of all creation both inorganic and organic. We can call this "intrinsic truth". So a rock gets eroded with the flow of water and both water and rock are in accord with their "intrinsic truth" or nature.---correct? Then there are animate organisms that live instinctively in accord with their nature/"intrinsic truth" and those that have the ability to decide otherwise (limited free-will). When one decides otherwise to intrinsic truth---justification that overcomes resistance---is required. It seems this is the difference between intrinsic truth and expressed truth---for example, Mt Fuji, which is considered sacred, has hiking paths, shops/rest stops and such---in order for this not to be vandalism---it has to be justified with some excuse/reason.
        Justification can act as a convenient "cover" to hide "intrinsic truth"...and this is what you call Falsity?---correct?
        I think it depends on what you mean by “justification that overcomes resistance is required” for the one who chooses a path in enmity with intrinsic truth. I suspect you mean the one who chooses wrongly thereby falsifying the soul/mind then seeks justification for retaining the false belief(s) this choice (or more likely multiple instances of this choice, creating a falsified state adequate to unite with a false belief as true) creates….?? If so then yes, I think you’ve summed it up adequately.

        4) Equilibrium---truth/falsity as complimentary ingredients of a vibrant system.
        If "expressed truth" contains both truth and illusion(perception)...then one persons judgement of this "expressed truth" may be the opposite of another person. One perception of falsity is another's truth. The Afghan fighters were labelled "freedom fighters" at one point and "terrorists" the next. Their labels changed but their mission/justification to "free" the land of "foreign" occupation remained the same.....The U.S. declaration of independence also states that it is a right and a duty of the people to overthrow an abusive government....so are they terrorists or freedom fighters?
        Ibn Khaldun had a theory of history---in this he proposed that a civilization (a society based on civility ---such as ethics, laws, justice....) rose from hardship and formed a union and an identity which helped its progress...this progress brought happiness and stability...but prolonged stability leads to stagnation (corruption) of the civilization contributing to its crumbling and demise at the hands of those less "civilized" who then rise and build from hardship....and the cycle continues.....therefore---this rise and fall of civilization is an "intrinsic truth" of history/law of nature----the cycles of action, reaction, counteraction that create flows of equilibrium and change in a "system".


        5) Diversity is not only a matter of different expression of "truth" but also different weights on "values" (liberty, equality, property....etc) the combination of these different weights creates different ethico-moral conclusions...?....
        Expressed beliefs one acts on (or has potential to act on) are always a single thing made up of multiple subordinate propositions. Moral ethical Beliefs do contain true and false elements, to the extent a belief is expressed in word and act it serves the individual and his organization of like believers as an expressed or instrumental purpose.
        A) Afghan fighters were freedom fighters.
        B) Afghan fighters were terrorists.

        Two different beliefs, each arrived at by a consensus of subordinates. Falsification has the effect of disrupting the perfection of true [accurate] thought, which makes moral and ethical apprehension so difficult for us. At the end of the day, both A and B stand in some fragmented relation to both unconditional truth and to falsehood. All information--beliefs, propositions, thoughts, interpretations, motivations, emotions, ideas, etc.--is fragmentally falsified.

        Agree, each contain different “weights” on values creating different moral conclusions, but one will I believe have a mathematically sufficient quantity of truth to justify its standing as a true belief. The other will not. It’s possible that they could balance one another out by each containing exactly the same numeric amount of truth, but I suspect this is rare and probably not possible due to the magnitude of subordinate propositions feeding beliefs like these. Simple beliefs that have only a few supporting propositions are much more likely to balance. By the time a world class belief is reached, it has been well ‘seasoned’; one by a greater number of false propositions [because false begets false] in the pursuit of justification, the other will have more true [truth begets truth] than false subordinates rendering it justifiably true. The encumbrance the false brings into the cognitive arena is for me what produces the “expressed” function…belief as catalyst for act degrades into producing instrumental states or circumstances….and for me this gives the instrumental feel to beliefs themselves.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Tassman View Post
          They don't. Morality and ethics developed for the same reason, i.e. they are a product of evolution as it lends itself to our survival as a species. In short, they are an instinctive survival mechanism.
          I always thought the two were the same thing. So what is the difference ?

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
            I always thought the two were the same thing. So what is the difference ?
            "Both morality and ethics loosely have to do with distinguishing the difference between “good and bad” or “right and wrong.” Many people think of morality as something that’s personal and normative, whereas ethics is the standards of “good and bad” distinguished by a certain community or social setting".

            https://www.britannica.com/story/wha...ity-and-ethics
            “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
              Why do moral and ethical thoughts, beliefs, propositions, motivations, etc. seem different than purely descriptive or factual ones? Consider the following statements:
              1. It is okay to rape someone as long as this is done as part of a study to determine first hand the psychological effects the act has on victims.
              Not true

              2. There is nothing wrong with believing 40 + 16 sometimes equals 55.
              Failed third grade math.

              Very poor way to introduce a thread.
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                Not true



                Failed third grade math.

                Very poor way to introduce a thread.
                He's saying consider the following statements, as hypotheticals, not as factual assertions.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                  He's saying consider the following statements, as hypotheticals, not as factual assertions.
                  I considered that and it still does not compute.
                  Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                  Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                  But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                  go with the flow the river knows . . .

                  Frank

                  I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    I considered that and it still does not compute.
                    You have to read those hypothetical statements in the context of the point he's making. They clearly weren't meant as his literal beliefs.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Value-Based Morality and Ethics as a Challenge to Evolutionary Morality Theories

                      Part One: Basics

                      The secular status quo projects a materialist view, generally that matter is all there is. Abstract objects and concepts—properties, qualities, traits, universals, etc.—are not real; usually consigned to ideas in minds or sometimes dismissed altogether as irrelevant to reality.

                      The mechanism of value holds that information is all there is. Reality is a pool of “unformed” information, roughly analogous to James S. Saint’s “affectance”:
                      https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...tance+ontology

                      By “unformed” is meant the “raw information” of a greater reality doesn’t share the same ‘thing-attribute’ dual structure as existence; its parameters are largely hypothetical and unknown. Existence is the “structured information” of this universe and all it contains. On this view, matter is only a mode of information within structured existence, subordinate to reality. This is a broadly theistic account of reality.

                      Briefly:
                      To arrive at value mechanics as a process (or complex of processes) the information of existence is reduced to constituent “bits” of information called iotas. An iota of information can be used in rough analogies to matter in reduction; I frequently use an atom-iota comparison, except there would be hypothetically many iotas of information in a given atom. Information reports being [in-forms perception/conception]; atoms have constituents; the constituents are particulars (neutrons, electrons, etc.) that have properties (spin, charge, etc.), and each of these are arguably formed from one or more iotas of information. An iota of information is structured as a single, smallest piece of information (I) made of a dichotomous union of abstract elements: Particularity (P) and Quintessence (Q); thus I = P+Q. P serves the single purpose of providing individuality to a thing, and Q each thing’s essence; properties, universals, etc. P is approximately equivalent to “thatness”, Q to “whatness”.

                      A final part of structured information is what I call Form (F) seen in the pattern of external force(s) which supervises [imparts parameters by which information acts and interacts with other existents] information. In the material world the non-contact forces serve this function. Some have argued against this by pointing out that the non-contact forces are merely manifestations of matter itself. This is irrelevant; what is under consideration is the pattern of activity, the source of that activity is extraneous and unrelated. In the prescriptive realm I take F to be God or some independent prescriptive force put in place by God. If there is a natural source for prescriptive value outside of mind I’m not aware of it, but if that knowledge ever surfaces it will have to be considered as a replacement for the supernatural notion of God as prescriptive Form.

                      The totality of structured information is: I = F + (P+Q)

                      Value
                      The idea of two kinds of value, descriptive (factual, material) and prescriptive (normative, moral) has already been introduced earlier in this thread and will be assumed part of the hypothesis.

                      The radical departure exhibited in this model from the prevailing wisdom is that the quality of value is in this view a condition of being and existence, an ontological reality within every iota of information singly, and outwardly within the fabric of every existent in complexity. Further departure: value not only has causal efficacy, it can be demonstrated to be the primary impetus for human behavior in contradistinction to evolution as morality’s source.

                      Value exists in one of two grades or denominations, true ( t ) and false ( f ).

                      Value in matter itself and in properties, universals and most abstract objects is immutably true and not actually falsifiable, though by its rearrangement or departure from an object can have instrumental falsity. Aquinas illustrated this with the analogy of blindness as an evil insofar as it denied the good of sight to the eye. Important to this view is that good and evil can have either static or dynamic meaning when applied respectively to factual or moral existence. Aquinas’ use of blindness as an evil is of the technical and descriptive sense of the term.

                      Of all information, only Q of the human soul can be falsified, and this by human [agent] choice.

                      Value exists in the subject-object relationship in one of four possible configurations. These are based on a single relation that is simple and uncontroversial: truth and falsity are in a state of enmity with one another. The first value expressed represents the subject, most commonly that of agent apprehension, the second is a considered object of information.
                      1. t – t
                      2. t – f
                      3. f – t
                      4. f – f
                      In #1 the first value would represent value state of the “living information” of human mind. The second value is typically the represented value conferred to intellectual operation via linguistics—pixels on a computer monitor, ink on paper in written language, or spoken communication received by air waves into the eardrums. The second value could also be from the information of memory or of deduction in the processing of knowledge an agent holds as having sufficient warrant to be true.

                      Interestingly, in matters of value attached to knowledge, opposites repel and likes attract—just the opposite of the electromagnetic force where likes repel and opposites attract. Therefore items #1 and #4 above signify attraction and 2 & 3 represent repulsion. In terms of the intellect-external moral proposition, #1 might be truth content of a mind in union with the truth content in a proposition. #4 is a relation sufficiently truthbearing minds would call “bad”; the union of the mind [agreement] with a false proposition.

                      Item #2 represents the state in which the truthbearing mind experiences conflict against a false proposition. Encountering falsehood in descriptive propositions brings forth a mild tension, while a much more dynamic resistance arises in the sufficiently truthbearing mind from contact with the a moral proposition. #3 would be opposite of #2; falsity within the intellect here encounters tension and/or resistance to true propositions. These four relations at the micro level of the iota accumulate to create in the individual in macro existence predispositions toward or away from truth in the formation of beliefs, motivations, etc. An agent may be predisposed to favor either prescriptive or descriptive propositional positions, but the dynamic is always prescriptive; factual value is normatively inert and lacks this capacity.

                      Part Two will address the problems of soul-body location, the seemingly deterministic path this presentation of value seems to impose and a possible model for the forming of moral belief via value interactions between mental states and brain states.

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                      • #41
                        Part Two


                        Location and Value’s Role in Brain States

                        Probably the biggest problem with dualist accounts of being is the interaction problem: what mechanism can there be for material-immaterial interactions like body and soul or mind and matter? While the ‘informational dualism’ defended here has nothing new to offer for the interaction problem, I believe it does make a contribution to another problem associated with dualism, that of spatial location. Materialist accounts claim superiority over dualism because behavioral accounts in persons can be traced to neurological patterns and processes, which have spatiotemporal location within the brain. The correspondence of behavior and belief to brain states [location] seems to support naturalist/materialist/physicalist models.

                        Dualism.jpg

                        But in reduction the value mechanism shares a “part to part” platform with its material counterparts thus sharing in matter’s spatial position.

                        FIG_THREE2.jpg

                        In their paper Emotion, Cognition, and Mental State Representation in Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Salzman and Fuzi (2010) make the following distinction between mental states and brain states:

                        “The concept of a mental state is intimately related to, but distinct from, what we call a brain state. Each mental state corresponds to one or more states of the dynamic variables—firing rates, synaptic weights, etc.—that describe the neural circuits of the brain; the full set of values of these variables constitutes a brain state. How are the variables characterizing a mental state represented at the neural circuit level—i.e., the current brain state? This is one way to phrase a fundamental and long-standing question for neuroscientists. At one end of the spectrum is the possibility that each neuron encodes only one variable. For example, a neuron may respond only to the pleasantness of a sensory stimulus, and not to its identity, to its meaning, or to the context in which the stimulus appears. When neurons encode only one variable, other neurons may easily read out the information represented, and the representation can, in principle, be modified without affecting other mental state variables.”

                        Using the quote above as a guide, I will assume some set of mental content [blue] informing a particular associated brain state [red] represents the moral belief that P. It seems plausible according to Salzman and Fuzi, who use the example of the immaterial qualia of “pleasantness” as a material sensory stimulus, that prescriptive value states serve the role of dynamic variables creating mental states which in turn generate [inform] corresponding brain states.

                        (One wonders whether a dualist could escape unscathed by materialists for so freely substituting p for ~p; yet this is apparently acceptable as long as ~p is presented as identical to p.) Because true value states naturally lead to goods, the stimulus of pleasantness would, if falsified, produce instead a corresponding opposite—say, disagreeableness—which would cause a corresponding degree of rupture, stain or natural resistance within the value-fabric of the intellect’s holding of P, assuming this fabric is predominantly truthbearing. Though only a rough example, the above demonstrates the value mechanism’s ability to lend itself in reduction to a material and technical hypothesis for what is considered from a theological perspective to be a spiritual process.

                        location2.jpg

                        One of the strengths of this view is that since in the information dualism proper function is dependent on the prescriptive-descriptive fusion (which would theoretically generate the substance dualist’s soul-body union), it follows that a disruption of either process could render the same results. For example, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio in his 1994 “Descartes’ Error” brought back into the public eye the famous case of Phineas Gage, the construction worker who, in 1884, suffered an iron spike driven through his skull in an explosion. In a study including a 3D recreation of brain location within Gage’s damaged skull, Damasio expressed in DeCartes’ Error (1994) confidence that Gage’s accident, “…compromised prefrontal cortices in the ventral and inner surfaces of both hemispheres while preserving the lateral, or external, aspects of the prefrontal cortices.” The result was that Gage, who was reported to be polite and clear thinking before his accident, changed. After the accident he was said by reports from that time period to have become, “…insolent, bizarre, capable of the most vulgar profanity, which he had never used before, showed little regard towards his peers, was intolerant of limitations or advices which were in contrast with his own desires, and was always ready to elaborate plans for future activities that he would shortly thereafter abandon.” Both his moral and rational statures were changed by his accident.

                        But the value mechanism model requires that proper function follows from the sum processes of the prescriptive soul-descriptive body union. Gage and others who have suffered similar damage suffer no merely changes in material configuration, but changes in value states from good to worse. People change from better to worse in both their physical and moral stances as a regular part of life, some by damage to the brain but most without suffering any such injury. The value mechanism accounts for defect to moral, emotive and cognitive functions imposed from either material or immaterial realms leaving the dualistic structure in place. The materialist model lacks explanation for how defect occurs without injury to the material machine. The informational dualism seems the only mechanism able to not only overcome the location problem when placed in the context of reduction, it also seems the only description able to account for these defects from either physical or essential [spiritual] perspectives. On the material and brain state side falsity is created instrumentally (from the perspective of the observer) by displacement or removal of matter from the configuration necessary to produce proper physical and/or mental function. On the prescriptive side the actual falsification of the soul’s Q can create deficiency in the mental states that would mimic the same area of correlation, i.e., the same brain state, that a corresponding defect in the material component would produce.

                        FIG_4_2.jpg

                        The top portion of the above graphic illustrates the perfection of cognitive and emotive functions within “wholly true state” circumstances. The brain at top symbolizes healthy brain states. [Disclaimer: I’ve never claimed any level of artistic ability.] Perfect brain states are achieved to the extent the parts effecting them are operating properly (true states). The dark areas on bottom brain demonstrates corruption imposed on brain state(s) when only the immaterial prescriptive components of the mechanism are falsified. This points up the importance of maintaining an understanding of the whole system in the study of its parts; if this holds, treating the brain as a purely physical apparatus can never achieve fully accurate results as some percentage of cognitive and physiological heath problems are caused by falsification in essence.

                        The graphic below demonstrates the effect of falsification in accordance with the fundamental value interactions noted in Part One. The lines connecting iotas represent the dynamic feature of prescriptive value I call “affiliation”, not a part of discussion in this thread but pertinent to the idea of the participation of immaterial mental states with physical brain states. Affiliation is the power inherent in prescriptive truth [material truth has parallel dynamic] by which information “cooperates” or works uniformly together, and this cooperative and building function is passed on throughout the systems formed by smaller parts of information. Affiliation is a sort of “glue” by which it is true, for example, that cats have fur and snakes scales, empathy and sympathy, though having shared meaning elements, are nonetheless conceptually distinct qualities, that oil and water have properties which render the two mutually insoluble and that lust, pride and envy are discrete evils.

                        FIG_2_2.jpg

                        Some philosophers and scientists, comfortable in the sufficiency of naturalistic explanations, accept that the universe “just is” and needs no more explanation. There are a number of explanatory formulas for the “just is” view: abiogenesis, the natural process by which life arose from inert matter, biopoiesis as production of organic matter from complex self-replicating organic molecules. And autopoiesis or “self creation”, a theory whereby living systems replicate and maintain themselves. Some may argue that truth as a monistic force that forms all existence is just a ‘reverse engineering’ of sorts, a fitting of what is into what one wants it to be. To the contrary, I maintain this view of truth merely takes what is and extrapolates a hypothesis that lines up logically to fit the facts. But this same charge can be turned around against the “scientific” views just mentioned. I maintain all the scientific theories above are observations of the power and force of truth itself, its "affiliative dynamic".



                        Deterministic Value States

                        Briefly, value changes from the level of the individual iota upward to complexity in higher order systems just seems to call for mathematical demonstrability at macro level consciousness. If value states are tied to the physical and mental function—especially moral function—then the mechanism of value is, like material order, a deterministic process. Specific sins by discrete individuals are, like defective thoughts, physical diseases and relationship disasters merely pieces of wreckage waiting their turn to happen at the properly calculated times.

                        The short and [to me] obvious answer to this remains what I have taken to be the same answer to material determinism: the human will seems to be a sufficient game changer. Though certainly not always so, we often recognize that decisions we need to make will have their lay on the land either in accordance with or opposition to a reasonable reading of possible outcomes based on (what we hope to be) sufficient knowledge of the potential for how events will unfold. Literally any contemplation along these lines, no matter how faulty their premises, seem so completely at odds with the nature of determinism—which is wholly unresponsive to all but the next billiard ball coming down the pike in an endless, mindless tag game—that it appears to stand alone as bits and pieces of bright light in a gray, mechanistic landscape.

                        This is the best summary of the view I’ve been able to muster. Thoughts?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Roy View Post
                          They seem different because they are different.
                          Yep.
                          Many and painful are the researches sometimes necessary to be made, for settling points of [this] kind. Pertness and ignorance may ask a question in three lines, which it will cost learning and ingenuity thirty pages to answer. When this is done, the same question shall be triumphantly asked again the next year, as if nothing had ever been written upon the subject.
                          George Horne

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Anomaly View Post
                            Okay, I see a lot of room was left open in the OP. I maintain that:

                            1. truth or any concept of value requires a mind of at least intellectual or higher caliber
                            The highest known mind or at least intellectual caliber is human nature which reflects the natural diversity of the evolved cultures over the history of humanity. Morals and ethics are necessary for the survival of the natural evolution of humanity

                            2. truth either
                            a. preexists or
                            b is a product of human minds or
                            c has some other natural explanation for its existence.
                            The objective evidence indicates b and c.

                            Thesis believe in a.
                            Last edited by shunyadragon; 08-26-2020, 04:00 PM.
                            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                            go with the flow the river knows . . .

                            Frank

                            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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