Surely there are no falsehoods without a conscious entity to make them. I.e. truth is the default state of the universe, those truths might be unrevealed without a conscious entity to discern them but they are still there, simply as properties of the universe. — TheVeryIdea
I think there's a small but major difference between our claims.
It's correct to say that there are no falsehoods without conscious entities, but that also holds for truths. "Truth", as I argue, is completely observer-dependent. It's incorrect to say "truth is the default state of the universe" because without observers, there is no truth. Rather, existence is the default state of the universe, and whether or not the models we construct correspond to that reality determines truth value.
However, there's an elephant in the room with this argument that
brought up, which is what exactly does it mean for the model to "correspond" with reality? As Pie says:
Talk of mental models and representation in general seems to want to put two things together side by side, but it seems that only the thing on our side is intelligible. How does 'the sky is blue' match anything ? — Pie
My solution to this, and also to answer Pie's general concern of how truth claims seem redundant, is to say that truth doesn't describe reality per se, but instead are constructible within reality. Consider the proposition "the sky is blue". I think Pie would say that our idea that the sky is blue would be true if, in reality, the sky is blue. This is a correspondence of some sort between our mental model and reality, but it isn't clear why the model must be treated separately from the reality; it seems to be redundant.
However, I propose a radical shift in perspective. That is to say, in reality, there is no sky, and there is no blue. The objects we commonly consider like the sky and the color blue are examples of ways we, as observers, carve reality. But these slices we carve aren't necessary, and may not be true in every sense. For example, consider a table viewed from the perspective of an alien species. An alien species isn't necessarily humanoid, nor has the etiquette to dine on such a surface. To most species, a table would prove rather useless. So I ask, would an alien species even consider the concept of a table? Couldn't they go about their lives, their existence even, across generations, and never want or need to build a table? I think so. So, although we may live in the same reality, one where we build and see tables, an alien, even if they saw a person using a table, I argue, wouldn't carve a table into their reality.
I'd argue we can expand this principle to include almost all human conceptions, and we could also apply it to ourselves to say that there could be ways of viewing reality that we would never even think of. And in this world of arbitrary world-slicing, it seems clear that the objects we hold to be "real" aren't necessarily real to all observers. If something isn't real to all observers, how could it be part of reality?
So now we have a conundrum, which is to say we want a statement like "the sky is blue" to be true, because it seems evidently so, but there is no real sky or real blue. If our mental model doesn't correspond to reality, how can such a statement be true? It's because while I do claim our slices of reality aren't reality proper, they are still constructible from the reality that is there. In fact, I'll cut this short and just get to the thesis: Truth isn't what is real, but rather, what observers can construct from what is real. "The sky is blue" isn't true because the sky is blue in reality, because there is no real sky to be blue, but because we can construct something called the sky from observation and determine its blueness again through observation and other reasoning faculties.
Now, there are further ideas to be discussed, such as what reality really is, if our world-slicing mechanism can't determine real things, or how a world without observers is different from just an "ineffable clump", but that's enough words for one post I'd say.
(In hindsight, I may have been repetitive on a couple points and not explained thoroughly why certain things are true, but I'll let others point out what they are.)