WHAT IS TRUTH?
Information With Value
A Property of Information
Truth Is Measurable
True Value Theory defines Truth as "Information with Value". Because value is defined as "Ability to Increase Effectiveness", The definition of truth becomes "Information with Ability to Increase Effectiveness".
A Matter of Perspective
The Bridge between Conscious Awareness, and External Reality
"Rather than Love, Than Money, Than Fame, Give me TRUTH"
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
It has the power to set you free. To grant you power. If you don’t have it you are truly lost. You need it to drive your car. To log into your computer. To score well on an exam. To know yourself and navigate the world around you. What is Truth, anyways? More than that, what is the nature of truth? How to classify this strange and beautiful creature in a way that it can be tamed. In a way that it can be fully understood. True value theory is an attempt to do just that. To construct a useful framework to be able to understand the concept of truth in a useful and meaningful way.
What does this really mean? Truth is, in its essence, information that is objectively helpful. That can make is easier to do something that you want to do. In other words, information that can measurably reduce the time and resources you need to complete a task. Truth must be linked to actually completing tasks in the real world, because this makes the concept both more useful, and more powerful. For a practical example, check out this post : Directions as a kind of Truth
It can be held in light waves, sound waves, any kind of pattern, any kind of symbol, structure, or meaningful arrangement. Any of your senses can give you truth. Your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, even your tongue.
A change in effectiveness can always be measured as a change in the time and resources required to complete a task. Because both time and resources are measurable quantities, the effect truth has will also be measurable.
There is another way to think about truth, however, that can make this concept clearer. Truth can be thought of as a prediction of the outcome of a measurement or experiment. Imagine there is a tree in front of you. You are told that the tree is 30ft high. This information, that "The tree is 30 ft high" is actually a prediction that the value you will get after actually measuring the tree will be 30 ft. If it is true, it is then information that allows you to more effectively predict the outcome of an experiment. Truth can also be defined this way.
Truth : The prediction of the outcome of an experment.
This way to think about truth forces a skeptical scientific perspective. It forces realization that information claimed to be true will never necessarily be true. The tree might not be 30 ft tall no matter who or what says it is. There is no "ultimate" source of information that absolutely must be correct. Truth is determined when action is taken or measurements are made. This definition of truth is useful because it requres this perspective.
Anything that can store, transmit, or receive information of any kind can communicate truth. In true value theory, truth is considered a property of information. It is not restricted to being a property of language, sentences, or statements. Essentially any information of any kind can be a "Truth-Bearer". This means that truth can exist completely independently of language. Truth is simply information with ability to increase effectiveness. The type of information or means of communicating it does not matter.
Understanding and respecting that truth heavily depends on perspective is critical to properly understanding the concept. How does true value theory deal with the issue of different perspectives in truth?
Information with Value is the definition of truth that treats the concept of truth from a personal perspective. Your "Information with Value" is your truth. It is the information that helps you accomplish what you want in life. If you were a robot, or a computer, this information would be very much like your program code, telling you what do do, how to behave, react and respond. This information is unique to you and your specific situation in life. If you happen to live in an area where violence and theft is common "don't go out alone at night" and "don't wear visible jewelry" might be an important part of your personal truth, your "information with value" that keeps you safe and alive. For someone else who lives in a very safe and friendly area, "Go out alone at night and talk to people." might be a valid pat of their information with value which allows them to more effectively have fun and meet new people. In this way, each person has their own set of "Information with value" that can differ dramatically, even be in complete opposition depending on circumstances. To each individual person, given their own individual circumstances, these differing pieces of information can be equally true, and equally valuable.
A Continuous Spectrum
Information is rarely completely true or completely false. Rather, truth often exists in a continuous spectrum. Information can be very true, just a little true, or anywhere in between. First think about the definition of truth "Information with ability to Increase Effectiveness"
Think about what effectiveness means. More effectiveness means less time and resources are needed to achieve a desired result. More effectiveness at making money means earning each dollar takes less time and resources. More effectiveness at fixing your car means that you can fix your car with less time and resources. Truth is information that has the power reduce the time and resources you need to complete any task. Whether by a large amount, or a small amount. Truth is continuous because time and resources are continuous.
What does true value theory suggest about the ultimate nature of truth? Your"Information with Value", or your truth is essentially all of the useful information that your senses give you about the world.
It is also all of the useful information that your consciousness has access to about the world. Whether it be information about what to be afraid of, information about how to do your job, or information about who to talk to and how. Your truth is, in this way, inseparable from your conscious model of the world. If your information about the world is Truth, you will, by definition, be able to effectively accomplish tasks in the real world. Put another way, without truth you cannot effectively do anything, or accomplish anything that you want to. Having no truth is in this way analogous to being in a cage, unable to effect the world in a meaningful way. Truth is the key to unlock that cage, allowing your conscious awareness to influence the world effectively. This is the power and the nature of truth, to be the bridge allowing conscious awareness to purposefully influence the external world.