Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Insanity of Panpsychism and Metaphysical Idealism

For some reason that I can't quite fathom, there have been a lot of articles in the popular press lately about either or both of Panpsychism and Metaphysical Idealism. I suspect it's because they don't threaten a thing about the status quo. We're all afraid of antiracism anymore. Or anything which can be polarized.

Of course, I find these approaches to metaphysics plenty attractive. But they don't really change anything, except to get rid of the same Occam's Razor rule breaking idiocy that they replace with a still worse violation. By calling everything conscious, one doesn't solve anything about the human brand of consciousness, which is so obviously singular. By calling all reality "mind" one finds oneself in the same place. These thinkers just simply can't do both/and. 

Mind and consciousness are distinguished in nearly the same way that material reality is distinguished from woo woo reality. It changes nothing to claim universality to either of these words. There are no new strategies available to test and to understand reality. Calling both or either universal qualities is an unnecessary all or nothing play. Dangerous for that.

Now of course, nobody's asking me, and nobody's going to ask me, but if you ask me, these approaches can only come from people who know far too much. Meaning that they have dived too deeply into one discipline or another and have more they need to get rid of (but can't let go of) before allowing for more radical interpretations such as the one that I would propose. 

I'm suggesting that emotion is the universal they should be looking at. There's no real woo woo about emotion other than the evident fact that it can't be measured materially, and that it's been assigned to the realm of qualia, whose existence I contest right along with Daniel Dennett, although I'm not quite so atheistic as he and the other storied four, now three R.I.P. horsemen are. 

My fundamental knowledge that God is real is based only on the conviction that we're not ever going to understand everything, nor are any of our successors or assigns even if evolution does somehow keep going. Humanity as we now construe it is the only full stop to that. On par with such other extinction events as meteor crashes or solar death, if far more premature and technically avoidable. Which means that anthropogenic stoppage is no random matter. 

To reiterate again what absolutely nobody seems to get, I'm defining emotion as the felt pseudo motion of conceptual arrangements. Never mind qualia, concepts are real, and are related to material reality by the fact that we need material approximations of conceptual arrangements in order to be able to speak of them. Take circles and squares, for instance, or any old idea for that matter. There are no ideas which exist in material reality. There is no idea of a tiger, but our decision making emotive reaction depends on having that generalization in mind. Logic is far too slow to deploy in the face of emergent reality. Logic is required only to lay the foundation for emotive choice.

Squares transforming to circles elicit about as much human emotion as would a dandelion show evidence of consciousness. Dandelions don't react or respond to generalizations, though they sure do elicit an emotional response among humans, depending on all sorts of associations. 

Yes, Virginia, art is at the root of humanity, and no other species. We live now almost entirely bereft of art, having replaced it by artifice, so long as the artificial has economic valence. The emotions we feel toward money matters are approximately as profound and bereft of actual evaluation as are our political feelings, depending as they do on very bad actors.

Go red! Go blue! I prefer football for that stuff, and my team is both red and blue.

I'll keep pounding on these things until the moment I die, I'm sure. But no worries, that event won't be any further away than the apocalypse you all believe in but don't know what to do about, or our collective awakening, which will happen willy-nilly. Whichever comes first. Our collective behaviors just now are atrocious, but then we've never been so collective as a species until so very recently. 

Don't go blaming yourself as a member of my species. You have no more real choice than does a dandelion. The story of Jesus taught us choice, if we could only jettison the claptrap about how special we are as individuals. We are nothing as individuals unless we get it together. That's the rest of the story. 

As my mom, Virginia, always said, it's darkest before the dawn. True that!

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