Objectivity, in the form of Principles:
Posted by khuram on August 30, 2006
Objectivity, in the form of Principles:
Up till now we have discussed subjective and objective statements. We also have discussed systems of statements. The conclusion that we have derived about the status of such ‘systems of statements’, as code of law, rules and regulations or code of religion etc. is that we should consider these kind of systems of statements as ‘objective rules’ in all the cases. Previously, we have described that other forms of objectivity and subjectivity, which are ‘objective principles’, ‘objective tendencies’ and ‘subjective tendencies’ also exist. Now we shall discuss these forms of objectivity and subjectivity.
Before having described the concept of ‘objective principles’, it is necessary to define ‘universal principles’ first and then to differentiate between universal principles and cause effect relations. We can define universal principles as: “Various general nature phenomena that exist in the functionality of material and abstract universe as well as in the psychology and behavior of living things.”
By the phrase ‘general nature phenomena’, we mean series of events that always occur in same order and sequence and/ or always give same results under same objective conditions. The concept of ‘universal principles’, in this context, seems to be the same as the ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships. These two concepts however are different. We have defined ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships as ‘experience based generalizations of associations of information’ and in some cases as analogical conclusions. The concept of ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships is similar to the concept of universal principles in that ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships also mean series of events that occur in same order and sequence. The real difference would become apparent if we say that ‘event flow type’ cause effect principles actually do not mean series of events that always would occur in same order and sequence and always give same results under same objective conditions. These cause effect relationships actually are such (experience based or analogical) ‘understandings’ of humans that make humans ‘think’ that the series of events as experienced (or derived as analogical conclusions) would occur in such order and sequence as is ‘understood’ by them. It is quite apparent that human understandings may or may not be in agreement with reality. While analyzing the nature of these cause effect relationships, we have seen that the cause effect relationships may be invalid also. So we can differentiate the concept of ‘universal principles’ from the concept of ‘event flow type’ cause effect relationships on the basis of following points:
i. ‘Universal principles’ are the real general nature phenomena that exist in the functionality of universe whereas the ‘event flow type’ cause effect relations are the general nature phenomena which are derived/ defined by humans and are ‘understood’ by them as a part of the functionality of universe as well as of their routine life matters.
ii. ‘Universal principles’ are independent of human knowledge and understanding. They would have their objective existence even if there is no human who can try to understand them. Cause effect relationships, on the other hand, are the product of human understanding. Humans can understand universal principles also. In this case human understanding i.e. ’cause effect relationship’ and the universal reality i.e. ‘universal principle’ would be same.
iii. We have used the word ‘principle’ in the case of ‘universal principles’ and ‘relationship’ in the case of ’cause effect relations’ in order to point out and emphasize the difference between these two concepts.
iv. Cause effect relations not only include the understanding of general nature phenomena that are part of the functionality of universe but also include the understandings of general routine life matters. For example, the understanding of a general routine life matter that ‘buildings are constructed by mesons’ is a valid cause effect relation but mere fact that buildings are generally constructed by the mesons cannot become a universal principle. Universal principles do not include these kinds of general human life routines.
v. Cause effect relations may also be invalid due to the inaccuracies in the human understanding. Universal principles, on the other hand cannot be considered to be inaccurate even if there prevail some inaccuracy in the functionality of material universe. It should be noted that if really some inaccuracy in the functionality of the material universe exists, then occurrence of same event may not give the same result over and over again. It seems that the principle should be considered invalid in this case. But actually the universal principle is not invalid even in this case because by definition ‘universal principles’ shall give same results under ‘same’ objective conditions. So if due to a change in the objective conditions the new results taken happen to be different from the previous ones, then it cannot be concluded that the universal principle was invalid. In fact the impact on the final results of the change in the objective conditions would be determinable in this case.
vi. Cause effect relations are ‘known’ understandings of humans. Humans cannot have ‘unknown’ understandings. So there can be no such thing as ‘unknown cause effect relationships’. Whereas the universal principles are independent of human understandings so there can be both ‘known’ as well as ‘unknown’ universal principles.
vii. If universal principles are understood by humans then they can be considered to be ‘known universal principles’. In case of ‘known universal principles’, the cause effect relation and the universal principle would be same. In such conditions, it is better to refer to such universal principle (or the cause effect relation) as scientific principle. But since scientific principles can be subject to improvements and expansions as a result of application of any new information relating to the issue, so scientific principles may not always be equivalent to the concerned universal principle. Scientific principles are actually those cause-effect relations that claim to describe (or represent) a universal principle. Humans ‘consider’ scientific principles as representative of the universal principle because they verify the ‘objective truth’ of the scientific principle using the available or known ‘objective verification techniques’. These ‘objective verification techniques’ are known as ‘Scientific Method’. It must be noted that ‘scientific method’ itself can be subject to errors and mistakes or even a correct scientific method can be inaccurately applied in certain cases. In this way, ‘objectively proved’ scientific principles may remain insufficient/ incomplete and/ or erroneous. A scientific principle, which has been successfully proved as an “objective truth”, has the meaning that understanding given by the scientific principle has been proved to be ‘objectively true’ because the ‘truth’ of this ‘understanding’ has been confirmed by the ‘scientific method’. Since ‘scientific method’ employed in that particular case itself can be subject to errors, so an ‘objectively true’ scientific principle may not be in agreement with reality (i.e. reality, in this case is the concerned ‘universal principle’). Therefore, even in case of a ‘scientific principle’, the ‘objective truth’ may be different from the ‘real truth’.
Objective principles are those cause-effect relations that claim to represent a universal principle. These are considered ‘objective’ because their ‘truth value’ is ‘objectively verifiable’ using the ‘scientific method’. Those objective principles that proved to be ‘objectively true’, as per the application of scientific method, would become ‘scientific principles’. Those ‘objective principles’ that have been proved as ‘objectively inaccurate’, as per the application of scientific method should be considered to be ‘objectively inaccurate’ objective principles, or can be considered ‘invalid ideas’ also.
Scientific principles are those ‘objective principles’ that have been proved to be ‘true’ as per the results of the ‘objective verification’ using the ‘scientific method’. In case the scientific method employed was absolutely error free, then ‘scientific principle’ and the ‘universal principle’ would be same and there would be no difference between ‘objective truth’ and the ‘real truth’. But if there was some mistake (may be un-known) in the ‘objective verification process’ using the ‘scientific method’; in this case, there shall be difference between ‘scientific principle’ and the ‘universal principle’ and so the ‘objective truth’ and the ‘real truth’ also shall be different in this case.
Newton’s laws of motion can be considered to be among the examples of those scientific principles that exist in the functionality of material world, whereas Pythagoras’ theorem can be considered such a scientific principle that exists in the functionality of abstract universe. Similarly, the principle of ‘classical conditioning’ can be considered such scientific principle that exists in the functionality and behavior of certain living things. These scientific principles, subject to the conformity of their ‘objective truth’ with the ‘real truth’ can be considered as the examples of ‘known universal principles’ also. And obviously we cannot give any example out of ‘unknown’ universal principles simply because they are still unknown to us.
We have seen, in the case of objective statements that the truth-value of the objective statements can be verified by an ‘external object’. In the case of ‘universal principles’, we are not concerned with finding out the truth values of these principles because universal principles them self would be true whether or not the truth-value or even the existence of the principle is known to us. In the case of universal principles, we are actually concerned with finding out the objective-truth of our own understanding of the principle. If we successfully (objectively) verify that our understanding of the principle is true it means that we have arrived at a scientific principle. The issue is how to objectively verify our understanding about a universal principle in order to arrive at a scientific principle? Every objective principle (i.e. our objective-type understanding about a universal principle) in fact, is a claim that the understanding given by it, is in agreement with the universal principle. If we ‘objectively verify’ this claim to be true, then this ‘objective principle’ would become a ‘scientific principle’. The meaning of ‘objective verification’ is that the objective principle has been proved to be ‘objectively true’ as a result of the application of ‘Scientific Method’. We already have seen that there can be difference between ‘objective truth’ and ‘real truth’. If in a particular case, there actually exists a difference between ‘objective truth’ and ‘real truth’, then the ‘objective truth’ in fact is wrong and the ‘scientific theory’ is actually misleading in this case. There can be several reasons for the difference in ‘objective truth’ and the ‘real truth’. For example the scientific method itself can be erroneous. Secondly an accurate scientific method may be inaccurately applied in a particular case. Another reason may be that an accurate scientific method was accurately applied but the results may have been wrongfully concluded. In this way wrong results can be given the status of ‘objective truth’. The only way to minimize the difference between ‘objective truth’ and the ‘real truth’ is to continuously review the previous results of the application of scientific method. Let us emphasize that this activity has been badly overlooked by the scientific community. The fact is that every result of the application of scientific method is currently considered as the final one and so there is no idea that there can be difference between ‘objective truth’ and the ‘real truth’. Scientific principles are considered as equivalent to universal principles whereas actually there is difference between scientific principles and universal principles. If scientific principles are the universal principles, then we should not hope for any kind of improvement in already established scientific theories. But since scientific theories, practically are in a continuous process of improvements, so there is no valid basis for to consider scientific principles and universal principles to be the one single thing.