Conflation

31 Jul

This is a very sensitive topic in philosophy and science.

I believe the melding of consciousness with narrative-like constant conjunction has been responsible for all manner of misguided claims for the supernatural, the paranormal, and perhaps even..gasp..the moral.  Attachment to the supernatural is another way for ‘sanity’ to maintain itself.  It sidesteps the finite and frustrated human situation by suggesting that the rules aren’t really the rules.  The world has jokers up its sleeve, so maybe we can feel special and unlimited!  This argument ultimately fails on the grounds that portable and stable identity requires all sorts of fine-tuned limitations and specifications to begin with.

This is very different from the measured observation that experiential reality is shocking beyond all human conception.  I’d say that it is, but this doesn’t change the requirements of a meaningful living identity in terms of structure and process.  It just zests it up in some mysterious way.  It adds rather than interferes.  If anything, the inconceivability only sharpens the visible limits of the human perspective.

Consciousness is astonishing, but its various tapes/rolls/serials are usually much less fantastic.  What we seem to have is a fiendish mix of the insipid and the awe-inspiring.  Cross-imbuement is commonly attempted, and it’s sad old-hat stuff by now.  “Everything is bland, and you cling to your desperate mystery!”  “Everything is enchanted, for one miracle is enough to prove it!”

The truth is not to be found in either extreme, but blandness is the safest bet for anyone who has even a bit of trouble keeping their thoughts coherent.

I can understand a vague appeal to something transcendent on the basis of  first-person experience, but past takes on this were dominated by overly ritualistic and conflated approaches.  The colors of the rainbow were not disassociated from the specific landscape they were painted into.  The entire complex ritual was considered Sacred, and so it was not open for dissection or rearrangement.  Hume Hume Hume — his insights have a lot of mileage left in em’.

There may have been some conflation between inconceivability and logical possibility.  Qualia: inconceivable until given, but logically possible.  One can always add new aspects to a logical picture so long as they don’t interfere with the pre-existing ones.  Imagining identity as we know it without consistent regional rules is logically impossible.  So, present inconceivability cannot be validly used as a get-out-of-mortality-free card.

 

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