[From Kenny Kitzke (2004.11.10)]
<Rick Marken (2004.11.08.1430)>
<I thought it might be fun (and pertinent), given the recent election results, to discuss “values” or “morals” from a PCT perspective. Apparently, those who believe in what are called “absolute” or “God given” values were the margin of victory in the presidential election.>
Unapparently, it is mere speculation that such voters provided the margin of victory.
I do know there were voters for President Bush who held an ethical belief reference perception that partial birth abortion is murder. Some of them may have used this belief as the pivotal reason/purpose why they voted for Bush instead of Senator Kerry. Kerry had voted several times to support this murder of an innocent human baby, inches and minutes away from life (under anyone’s definition of when life begins) and would have rights protected under our Constitution.
Whether that issue, tax cuts, terrorism, Iraq, etc., provided the margin of victory, I don’t think anyone can say?
Count me in as one who is interested in understanding human nature. Count me in as one who sees PCT as providing a perspective about human nature.
<1. What are values in PCT?>
In general, values in PCT would best relate to the reference signals. They are what we “want.” What level in the human perceptual hierarchy a “value” resides seems dependent on its specifics. A soft drink value reference (such as Coke or Pepsi?), is probably at a lower level than a decision on having a partial birth abortion.
<2. Where do values come from in PCT?>
The reference signals in PCT at any level come from the next higher level control loop.
As I mentioned in Chicago during my presentation, “A Missing Link in PCT/HPCT,” this model works pretty well EXCEPT for from where do the reference signals for the highest level come?
Is there a better answer from HPCT than from the rather mysterious, hypothesized “Reorganization System?”
Until HPCT has more credible and tested evidence about whether such a system actually exists in humans and how it works, I contend, HPCT will remain somewhat buried under the avalanche of other popular theories of human behavior and nature.
<3. Are there absolutely right and wrong values in PCT?>
Absolutely not. This is very important in understanding human behavior, including what takes place in a voting booth. It should help propel the value of PCT!
However, humans each make their own choices of right and wrong values to hold as references. They do not appear to be absolute in any sense. They change over time and circumstances.
Again, how this all takes place and why (naturally) in humans are areas that further research into PCT/HPCT may someday reveal. It may one day be as clear as how one actually catches a baseball! Hooray for Rick!
In Chicago, I speculated about the human spirit, some sort of function within our human brain (different from what some call the conscious mind) that enables us to make selections of right or wrong references or values for ourselves. This function (Bill Powers likened it to the human conscience) remains somewhat mysterious, sharing an attribute with the PCT proposed Reorganization System.
As a Christian, I have obtained some bias and understanding about this unique human capacity to determine right or wrong. But, it does not take any belief in God, or God given absolute values for men, to acknowledge that there is something special and powerful in the nature of humans that goes beyond other living things.
Even Immanuel Kant (I believe he was an atheist) wrote about ethics (this is very different from morality, of course). He suggested life for humans would be good if they followed just one rule as their categorical imperative. That rule is: Always act as you think anyone ought to act in the same situation, WITHOUT thinking of your own wishes or interests.
This “Oughtness” is very similar to what a Bible believer would call the Golden Rule. But, I doubt that neither Kant’s Categorical Imperative nor the Bible’s Golden Rule will ever be followed completely by man. Evidence abounds that it is next to impossible for man to do so perfectly. It is our nature not to do so.
And I think PCT/HPCT explains that too. We can’t act without thinking of our own wishes, interests, wants and values. We are hard wired to not do that while still alive.
Thanks for raising the issue, Rick.