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The Way We Think

What are you thinking about right now? Hopefully the intelligence of the writer, but that's besides the point. This writeup isn't intended to explain or suggest the mechanics of the physical act of thoughts, but intended as a psychological pondering about human nature.

Let's think of an example... I don't believe in capital punishment. This doesn't mean anything more than if I was in charge of the world, there would be none. Of course, if one of my close friends or family members was murdered by some knife wielding psycho, I would be overcome with anger and my instincts for revenge would probably induce a feeling in me that would make me want the killer dead.

I'm pretty sure it'd happen with most of you readers, too. Even if you're for capital punishment, if it was one of your family members, close friends, or even someone you absolutely knew was innocent put to the electric chair, you may have reservations.

In a sense, even our beliefs can be easily changed by a small event, which is what makes us so dynamic as a species. The world is changing because people are changing... We are evolving, but to what cause? The Matrix compared humanity to a virus because of our destructive tendencies, but it is correct in some ways. For example, we kill our own kind, not even for our basic survival, but sometimes to terrorise others to promote their own beliefs. The two aeroplanes which crashed into the world trade centre on 11th September 2001 killed thousands of people, who were innocent victims, i.e. there was no direct reason for killing those people. Admittedly the destructivity of humanity can probably be accounted to a very small percentage of all of us, but that doesn't make it right. Even the smallest amount of degradation in our societies could be devastating. Again, calling on fiction, (as with The Matrix, earlier), the species of The Borg in Star Trek aim for perfection, which involves a collective intelligence, and all drones working in cooperation. One has to wonder whether if a situation like the film Independence Day occurred would bring our species together.

Psychology is classed as a science by most organisations, however surely, because there is no certain way of tackling each situation as a psychologist, it is less of a science and more of an art. We all think so individually to one another that our species' problems and solutions cannot all be written into a textbook.

The way we think... well, to be honest, it's weird, isn't it?

Descartes said 'I think therefore I am', implying that self realisation is enough to prove to yourself that you exist, but how do we gain self realisation? Consciousness is something we all take for granted, but do any of us know how it works, where it goes when we die or where it came from? No, but we have beliefs. Some people believe it was a gift from God, and the consciousness remains after death, and is 'promoted' to heaven (or hell if you weren't on Santa's last Christmas present list). It all comes down to the way we think but maybe down to our evolution.

If there is a stage when animals become self aware, then humans must have evolved to become self aware, and hence, add in the consciousness, and beliefs in various explanations of it all. If there is no level of evolution when animals become self aware, then all living creatures have consciousness, and therefore beliefs and varying thought patterns that make them as individual and dangerous to themselves as we are to our own kind. But does this mean that a creature as simple as an ant could follow this (frankly insane) thought process about the way we think?

The only real conclusion to the idea comes in your own opinion. You know yourself better than I know you. So how do you think? What are you thinking about right now?

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