I and others like me do not see reality as elusive, that it is instead, fixable, understandable. Where you see there being no absolutes and no certainty, I and others like me see that knowledge about the world is built or accumulated in stages, with any knowledge held with varying degrees of confidence. So, unlike having no confidence in any of it, we can become quite certain of some things and continue to build our understanding from there, every growing our body of knowledge. I think from the historical record this approach appears quite successful to me.
You say that you do not see myth as indistinguishable from all other fictions which seems to me you are happy to place all of literary or artistic fiction under the same general category, yet keep myth separate and distinct. Perhaps it is different in that despite being fiction, there is some significant number who do not recognize or accept it as such. And certainly, holding a myth as true or real changes ones behaviors in a way different from fiction that is accepted as such by all. Is this really what we want, though? If it is acceptable to create artificial abstract constructs of reality and have them be true, how is such a construct to be challenged or amended? Certainly not on the grounds that it is fiction for now nothing can be fiction. Reality is whatever we say it is, whatever we believe it is. Now we can fill this abstract artificial construct of reality with abstract entities of limitless quantity and ability and who can question, who can challenge, for there is no standard, no firmament upon which to judge or evaluate any of it.
I agree that it is not false to say Icarus flew too close to the sun, but it is a fiction. There is a distinction, and it appropriate and reasonable to recognize that distinction. The world of abstraction is boundless, and in pure abstraction, anything goes. So with abstraction, we have a whole host of tools available to express our thoughts and ideas in creative ways, metaphor being one such tool. Yet the abstractions themselves are not physical things bound to the laws of nature, they are not real in that sense. What is false then, is to consider such abstractions as real in this sense of the term, and that is what is problematic.
Knowledge can be acquired collectively, and established by consensus, sure. Shared convictions can be credible, and they can be arrived at through rigorous application of reason and observation. Still, there can be no certainties, only degrees of probability. Quantum physics tells us that much;
“When an observation is made on any atomic system that is in a given state, in general the result will not be determinate, ie., if the experiment is repeated several times under identical conditions several different results will be obtained. It is a law of nature, though, that if that if the experiment is repeated a large number of times, each particular result will be obtained in a definite fraction of the total number of times, so that there is a definite probability
of it’s being obtained.”
-Paul Dirac, The Principles of Quantum Mechanics
Meanwhile, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle establishes as a general property of reality, a limit on how much can be known regarding multiple characteristics of a given entity. The more precisely we identify the position of an entity, the less precisely we may identify it’s speed; and so on. Thus, there is a limit up to which we may determine physical variables, a limit generally identified in quantum physics as the Planck constant.
So much for science, which at the quantum - ie fundamental- level, is held to be indeterminate and probabilistic. As for myth, narrative, legend; true stories, fantasies, fabrications, and so on: I come from a land of mist and water, where everything is indistinct, where form looms out of the fog, and where, in the words of our greatest poet and dramatist, all that is solid;
“is melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all that it inherit, shall dissolve…
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
Most certainly, or perhaps most probably, nothing is fixed, form and order are always in flux, and what we call knowledge is really only our best approximation.