Here I’ll put a recent formulation of Informationism for you to review:
An Explanation of Informationism
If you’re anything like me you’ve noticed that there are far too many people who have an idea about what you should do, what’s ‘right’ and ‘good’ – If you’ll only listen to them.
You’ll be glad to know that Informationism is nothing like that.
Informationism starts from the idea that you’re going to do something The question is; “what can we know about that ‘something?’ ” Depending on your view of human nature it might be either quite alot or not much.
If you believe as I do that evolutionary forces have a great deal to do with how we will act then you will probably believe that that ‘something’ will be some sort of attempt to preserve and benefit our genetic and cultural information, as if we were living in the ancestral environment that we primarily evolved in.
The idea of Informationism is simply that we continue to try and benefit our information, but do it consciously, and tailor it for our current environment.
The core idea behind Informationism itself, is that the world (and us as part of it) consists of distinct replicatable units, these being the elements that informationism works with. However, regardless of the actual metaphysical state of the world, it would presumably be enough for an idea of Informationism to be implemented, for it to be successful in it’s own terms.
The Fundamental Internal Requirement of Informationism
The most basic thing that implementing a belief in Informationism should do, is actually benefit your information. If it does not do this then there is no point being a ‘Informationist’ – you would be better of believing something else. If for instance being a Christian was going to benefit your Information more, then you should go and do that instead. You would no longer be believing that you should benefit your information, but you would actually be benefiting it more, so it would be the most Informationist position.
Definition of the Informational ‘Entity’
It’s not just individual human persons that an be Informationists, it’s any entity that is capable if making intellectually informed decisions and carrying them out cohesively. It may be a government a group, a company, or an individual. However, it is not just the information within the bounds of the decision making entity that is of concern (where that entity is Informationist) but all information that is the same as information within that entity. A standard example is that of a person who has a child. They will seek to preserve the child as it will share information with them as the parent. This information will be both genetic and cultural.
The idea of preserving and creating content similarity for the Informationist entity (typically a human individual) is a key concept of Informationism. Whilst it may not seem right on the face of it, it is infact what we do all the time, and formalising it into that position makes sense. You would not, for instance; want to have a discussion with someone, and have your positions move apart, because this would violate content similarity. Content similarity can be summed up as preserving, and creating more instances of that which is the same as ‘you’, whatever ‘you’ happens to be.
A Position that’s being Advocated
It is important to realise that this isn’t a moral theory. I don’t think that this is what you should morally do. The reason for this is that morality itself is a fraught concept. Basically it’s extremely contested, even what it means for something to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Therefore, it is better to avoid all of that kind of mess, and simply concentrate explaining Informationism and what it means. Since it is not a moral theory it also avoids attack on the basis of ‘Naturalistic Fallacy’.
It is rather a logical position that’s being advanced on the basis that you’re got to do something and everything else makes less sense in logical terms so you may as well do this. It’s like a default position.
Informationism Parallels Morality in Many Cases
Although it’s not claimed that Informationism is what’s ‘right’ as such, it is often the case that what is considered to be right will benefit your information. This is because our natural moral sentiments evolved in the ancestral environment, and so that part of what we will tend to do often remains what we (informationally) should do. This as we still live in social groups, and the management of behaviour towards of the members these still remains a priority concern.
Informationism also creates a similar scale of ‘duties’, which would be moral duties if this were a morality, and this is based on the level of content similarity, or how much information the person (or decision making entity) has compared with that which it is making a decision about.
For instance, for a human; a member of the same family is owed more than a random individual. A random individual is owed more than a member of another species such as a dog. A dog is owed more than a plant and so on. This allows us to make sense of what would be moral obligations, but here they are neatly paralleled by an Informationist understanding.
An Altruistic Approach
Further to it its near moral nature, Informationism is not to be confused with the philosophy of Egotism, which says that what we should do is what is in our own best interests. What Informationism advocates we do is what is in the interest of our information not ourselves (although this may constitute a good part of our information).
One of the ways in which Informationism can clearly be shown to be different from Egotism is that if an exact clone* of a person was created, an Informationist would owe that person just about the same level of consideration as what they owed themselves, because they would share all the same information. Under Egotism however they would be owed nothing.
Further to this; I would say that our conception of our selves relies on a recently generated myth.
See: The Refutation of Liberalism (A much earlier writing of mine – proceed with caution)
*Note: I am talking about a clone in terms of everything, not just genetic cloning.
Informationism is Compatible with most Belief Systems
You can add Informationism to most other belief systems as it does not require that those beliefs are changed, but rather that they are promoted. This will hopefully create content similarity in others so that they share your beliefs.
Thinking About It
If you think it in a charitable way, I think you will find that Informationism as a philosophy solves many of the decision making problems which we face. However I am open to some hard working out of any difficulties with the theory and hope to hear some.