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I think, therefore I am

  1. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    I have chosen Descartes to begin my study in rational thinking. Rene Descartes is famous for the quote "I think, therefore I am."

    I want to make a stab and go a bit further.

    Things I know:

    I exist.
    I think.
    I can determine that some thoughts are more "good" than others.
    Therefore, morals must exist.

    Things I don't know, but suspect:

    There is a vessel that contains my mind (my body).
    There appear to be other entities who think and have bodies.
    There appear to be other things that don't think but have bodies.
    Therefore, other things besides me likely exist.

    Things I don't know:

    Are these other things that probably exist extentions of ME?
    Are things created, or do they merely exist?

    This is just a bit of fun for me, please don't think I'm taking myself too seriously here.

    1. Silverspeeder profile image59
      Silverspeederposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I found this very good observation of what Descartes probably meant by his statement.

      The guy was trying to figure out if he could prove that he existed, cause it was trendy then to try to prove what all existed and whether or not anything actually existed at all. They had a lot of time on their hands.

      He decided that the proof of his own existence was in the observation that he thought - had a mind that could think. So he decided that because he could think, he must exist.

      I think. Therefore I am.

      On a side note, this very guy once walked into a bar and ordered a drink. Bartender brought him a drink. After a while the barkeep noticed his glass was near empty. Another drink, Mr. Descartes?

      I think not, said Rene.

      And disappeared.



      My own slant on Descartes statement would be " I am, therefore I think."
      Meaning I am happy with the idea that I already exist and will take up my time thinking about other things.

      On the side note, I walked into a bar and ordered a drink. Bartender brought me a drink. After a while the barkeep noticed that my glass was nearly empty. Another drink Mr Silverspeeder?

      I am here, therefore I think so

      Enlightenment.....

    2. Jomine Jose profile image78
      Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I can think about unicorns
      Therefore, unicorns must exist?

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Do you think they do?

        1. Jomine Jose profile image78
          Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          That was your argument, morals exist because you think so, mine is only an analogy.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Morals exist TO ME. Has nothing to do with the outside world. I'm not even sure that exists, remember?

            1. Jomine Jose profile image78
              Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              'Exist' regards outside world only .

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                How can you prove to yourself that anything outside of your own thoughts exist? Through your senses?

                1. Jomine Jose profile image78
                  Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Suppose there is a galaxy xyz exists a million light years away and scientists haven't discovered it yet, doesn't it not exist because we do not know about it?

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    To us no, to it's inhabitants sure.

                  2. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    That's like the tree falling in the woods question. I would say, it probably exists. Like everything else probably exists. But I still can't say it absolutely exists. There is no way to prove it to myself.

      2. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        In your mind.

        1. Jomine Jose profile image78
          Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          What is in your mind is  what you conceived - a conception, not real and hence do not exist (just because one can think about it).

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Then what does exist? And can you prove it? Even to yourself?

            1. Jomine Jose profile image78
              Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Anything that has physical presence exist (that is independent presence regardless of mind).

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What is a physical presence? Does it have to be material?

                1. Jomine Jose profile image78
                  Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  What else is the meaning of 'material' or 'physical'?

                  1. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    To me, not much. There is nothing that is physical or material.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thoughts are real.
            They are how we know we exist so the thoughts must be real.

            The thoughts may not be right, but they are real thoughts.

            1. Jomine Jose profile image78
              Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Thoughts are 'real' only in relation to mind/brain, a connection between a few nerve cells.

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                That's interesting. Our opinions are exactly opposites. I can only prove to myself that my thoughts are real (although all my thoughts aren't necessarily true).

                1. Jomine Jose profile image78
                  Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Exactly,  thoughts are only perceptions that has no existence.  If thoughts had existence we could dream anything into existence.

                  1. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Why do you say that? I don't see how that conclusion necessarily follows. There are still rules (like the laws of physics). Maybe we can only dream certain things into existence.

              2. 0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Still something real. Expressing the thought is also something real.

                1. Jomine Jose profile image78
                  Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Things are real not the thought.

                  1. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    What is real?

                    Nothing physical is real. Just "waves' of collapsed probability. That doesn't even mean anything to me.

                    What's a physical thing? Nothing, really. A kind of barrier of force between other "things".

                    An electron is the only thing that I can think of that has it's own physical existence without being broken down into smaller parts. And what the heck is that? Is it physical? It has mass. What is mass,anyway? Just means it has volume or takes up space.

    3. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      This is not necessarily true. From my understanding with logic it would look like this . . .

      I think, therefore I am
      think, therefore am (The I's cancel themselves out)
      Think is an action
      Result of action is existence

      Ponder a car moves. The car exists since an action occurs.
      Forget the observer point of view unless you decide it is important. If it is important then it is a result of deciding witnessing the car move with the sense is a fact. For Descartes it is not the witnessing - experiential knowledge of consequence it is the fact one does decide. The action of deciding equates to 'therefore I am'.

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I'm not very logical:) That's why I'm studying logic, and Descartes. I only just started reading Discourse on the Method.

        This post is more along the lines of my personal views. Not exactly though, just a kind of generalized version of how I'm thinking about the subject of existence (from my own personal point of view). I don't expect it to make much sense to anyone. else. Mostly just doing it as an enjoyable activity. Kind of like a thought experiment.

        1. Jomine Jose profile image78
          Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Introduction to logic by Copi is a good book if you want to study logic, philosophy is not a good place to study logic. If you want to study philosophy,  Will Durant's story of philosophy and 'socrates ti sartre' by Levine is a good introduction.  Right now I am reading basic teachings of philosophers by Frost, which divides chapters based on topic rather than philosophers by the former ones.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks, I will put Copi on my reading list.

        2. tsmog profile image84
          tsmogposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I think every thought exercise is always worth it. I appreciate the forums when a thought exercise is a peer discussion focused on the exercise itself and the tangibles. Yes, intangibles will result with side bars sort to speak, yet a thread such as this offers with reading many views of sound reasoning to ponder. I tend to read much more than participate. This is one I follow because it seems to offer knowledge in many perspectives. smile

  2. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    I think, therefore...I drink

    smile lol

    Sorry, I couldn't resist

  3. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    Maybe our forms are only vessels created by us to contain our thoughts, in a manner to separate them from other thought complexes. Our way of becoming individuals. Or separating ourselves physically from other individuals.

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I'm afraid it's the other way around. Thoughts are a function of the brain.

      1. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        That's the current theory. I don't think it's true though.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Human babies don't become self aware until just before 2 (I think). When the brain and body matures so does thought. Thought is not independent of us. It's something our body does to survive.

          1. janesix profile image60
            janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Actually I agree with all that. The only difference is that I believe that the thought is the cause, not the effect.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Afraid I don't understand, the thought is the cause of what?

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thought is the cause of all "physical" things. Our bodies, rocks, the sun. Plants. Each thing has it's own thought complex behind it. Each person or rock or animal. Except for things like bees, where the thought complex encompasses the whole hive.

                EDIT: I'm kind of making this up as I go along, so bear with me unless that bores you:)

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  The problem is matter has existed long before thought.

                  1. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Unless atoms and rocks have a rudimentary form of thought.

          2. lone77star profile image91
            lone77starposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Perhaps that's an average, Rad Man. 2 years?

            My earliest memory was at 9 months. I was very self-aware, but English was still a new language to me. I could understand that my mother was angry and I had a sense of the thing she was angry about, but searched my soul for a reason how I could have forgotten to put up my toys.

            And thought is independent, if we are in spirit. Too many are stuck in their Homo sapiens body.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              All hail the great lone77star. I should point out that we don't start to remember out memories into the adults years until we are about 3.5 years old. You forgot to put your toys up. I guess you were walking at 6 months as well right?

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Considering that within the first year, a baby's brain development for learning is crucial in that it sets the stage for how it will learn the rest of it's life, however the baby has just more or less mastered the art of crawling, positioning and basic motor skills allowing it handle small toys. Certainly, at that age, a baby doesn't have the mental capabilities to comprehend even understanding the concept of putting up their toys, let alone remembering. A parent certainly shouldn't show angry behavior towards the baby because that expectation went unfulfilled.



              Reality has a tendency to do that.

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Perhaps he confused months with years? A nine year old might be expected to put his toys away.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  You could be right, perhaps he'll clarify for us.

  4. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    I think Descartes statement means exactly what is says, with no intermediate steps.  In order to perform though, one must exist.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Probably. I'm still reading his work (never have before.

      This is just a fun post, I'm not trying to be truly serious. Just letting ideas flow here.

  5. lone77star profile image91
    lone77starposted 2 years ago

    Descartes also believed in God.

    The universe exists, therefore He IS.

    I have seen without these human eyes, therefore I am not my body. And not all out-of-body experiences require trauma, drugs or surgery.

    Being able to think without a brain was very revealing, too. It let me know what Christ meant by everlasting life -- continuity of consciousness without a Homo sapiens "chalk board."

    When we took the forbidden fruit (ego) in the Garden (Heaven), we lost our ability to see as spiritual beings. We were left in eternal darkness. Then Homo sapiens was created and we could see again, but darkly as if through smoked glass.

    And when this species was threatened and the future existence of civilization in jeopardy, God brought the Flood to cleanse it of the threat. The Flood was an act of Love. None of God's children were harmed by it -- only the bodies they wore.

    Rod Martin, Jr.
    "The Bible's Hidden Wisdom: God's Reason for Noah's Flood"

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Who saw without eyes? Did you use your imagination?

      Who thought without a brain?

    2. A Troubled Man profile image60
      A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Did anyone else spew a mouthful of coffee on their lap?

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Yup. Someone is perhaps off his or her meds.

        1. A Troubled Man profile image60
          A Troubled Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          For some reason, I pictured George Carlin saying something like that in the middle of his standup routine.

  6. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 2 years ago

    (from Greek μᾶζα "barley cake, lump [of dough

    I wonder is the religious term "mass" stems from this.

    Like Christmas and Michaelmas.

    "Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly called in the Roman Catholic Church,[1] Western Rite Orthodox churches and many Old Catholic, Anglican,[2] and Lutheran churches.[3] Apart from "Eucharist" others are the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly (synaxis)", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and Divine Liturgy" and "Holy Communion". wikipedia

 
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