I am?

Which philosophical tradition am I steeped in exactly?

It doesn't matter, exactly. Modern western culture is steeped in several, so you are probably a mish-mash. However, philosophies that believe in total honesty are rather out of vogue, and you actively questioned the harm due to lies, so it was a pretty safe guess.

In the philosophy of science something that is *falsifiable *technically is something you can only attempt to prove to be false. It's not the same as something that is true (because something that is true, is not falsifiable).

Not quite correct. A thing is falsifiable if it is "contradicted by a statement that is logically possible." Or, more practically, a thing is falsifiable if we can imagine a test that could possibly disprove it.

"All swans are white," is falsifiable, in that "Here is a black swan" is not a logically impossible statement. "All men are mortal," is not falsifiable, because the statement, "Here is an immortal man," cannot be made. I can say, "Here is a guy who has been alive throughout history," or "Here is a person who heals from all wounds we can throw at him." But to show him truly immortal requires waiting until the end of Time itself, after which we are not present to make the statement. Thus, we can never assert a person as immortal, so mortality is non-falsifiable.

Now, the point about the statement being

*logically possible* becomes important, because we must understand what logic actually is before we fully understand falsifiability.

Logic is a system through which we can take true statements, and through some operations, we can deduce other true statements. "Given A, B, and C are true-> some operations -> D is true."

We can use this to determine the truth value of other statements - If we have the assertion E, we then say, "Given A, B, and C -> some operations -> D. If D = E, then E is also true. If D!=E, then E is false."

However, note that we still need true statements A, B, and C to begin with. Without them, we can use the operations of logic to compare the truth value of two statements - I can determine if D equals E, or if D does not equal E. I can know if they have the same truth value, or different truth values, but

*not what those values are*.

A, B, and C are axioms. They are

*assumed* to be true by the logical operations. Their truth cannot be

*determined* by the logical operations. At best, we can determine that the set of axioms is not consistent - that they cannot all be true at the same time. But, we cannot tell which one might be false.

So, the Peano Axioms define the arithmetic properties of the natural numbers. It is by the Peano axioms that we know that 1 + 1 = 2 (in values - whether you express this in decimal or binary or whatever is irrelevant to the logic). Given the axioms, that 1 + 1 = 2 is not falsifiable, as no logical statement to contradict this can exist.

However, there are other axioms.

We can create a consistent (indeed, a trivial and pretty much useless) set of axioms, in which 1 + 1 = 0.

*GIVEN THE AXIOMS*, this is not falsifiable, as no logical statement to contradict it can exist.

So, we have two statements - 1+1=2, and 1+1=0 - and both are true, and both are non-falsifiable. But you don't take one to say the other is false, because they are based in different sets of axioms. They are

*different number systems*, and crossing them is a misapplication of logic. Logic only applies

*internally* to the set of axioms.

This is why I said that moral philosophy systems were a lot like formal logic - they also

*have axioms*. These are

*assumed* to be true. You cannot use your axioms to prove that another's are false - the logic of moral philosophy only works internally. What you consider to be "good" or "evil" or "harm"

*depends on your axioms*, your base definitions of morality. And yours may be different someone else's, and they lead you to different results. But, yours doesn't disprove theirs logically. The logical statements we'd use for falsifiability

*depend* on the axioms, they don't

*apply* to the axioms.

Up above, I mentioned that we can have a definition of a number system in which 1+1=0. I also said this was trivial, and pretty much useless. But, "useless" is a subjective term. We, on Earth, here, in this universe, have little to which that number system constructively applies (honestly, I've only seen it used in discussions very like this one). Most arguments of moral philosophy come down to such

*opinions*. The issue isn't actually about absolute truth, but about

*applicability*.

Or, you know, you can just watch

*The Good Place*, and get pretty much the same result as this post...