Criminal Charges and the Use of Information Theory
Information can be regarded as the answer of uncertainty; it solves the question of what a thing is and thus identifies both its basic nature and its essence. The concept of information also has various other meanings in different contexts. The meaning of information can be described as the capacity to communicate, manage, store, deliver or process information, especially information relating to knowledge. The information provided must be useful to the users, so that they can utilize it for their own benefit. It can therefore be categorized into three forms: technological, institutional and social.
Information theory then postulates that information is neither real nor accidental but wholly conceptual. This implies that it is not an object that can be put in any space, shape or form and that it can be only a relation between a certain system of interacting physical objects. The information theory thus postulates that the causal inputs to the operation of an agent’s brain have certain distinguishing characteristics which distinguish it from other agents who do not possess those attributes. These attributes then enable it to distinguish among possible agents who are acting under the influence of conflicting interest groups, desires, goals, etc., and to make a criminal charge against a person who breaks the law by engaging in an act that would otherwise be illegal.
Proponents of information theory maintain that a criminal charge cannot be established unless there is a showing of an intention on the part of the actor. This means that the only way to prove that an act was intentional is to show evidence that the actor intended to commit the commission of the crime. They further argue that in order to establish a criminal intention, it is not necessary to show that the actor actually knew the content of the information he was communicating, as if somehow that were true, the information would not constitute a crime. However, some philosophers argue that intention is an attribute of human beings and thus requires the existence of a self-consciousness, which they say can be demonstrated, to be a person who actually intended to commit a crime, even if such intention is a mere accident of a momentary flash of emotion.