I think, therefore I am

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Ninja20p, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Cogito ergo sum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This seems to be an interesting anecdote for some, in this thread I will attempt to argue it is poor logic and ultimately flawed.

    "I think, therefore I am."

    Analyzing it in pieces you notice that it presupposes an 'I' in the beginning making the rest of it non-nonsensical, what ever I is, states it exists with the first word.

    In the other half it jumps to the end, concluding that everything with the capacity to think, exists. The problem with this is you are assuming thoughts come from existent beings, or that thoughts exist at all.

    Cogito ergo sum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I am a bit faulty right now, so bare with me. I compare thinking to prove existence of your self to be real, to the bible proving the existence of a deity somewhere.

    What does everyone think?
  2. Sorta like how a chair exists but it cant think...

    Or am i barking up the wrong tree
  3. I don't know if you exist, I do know I exist. Also I'm not sure if I can't understand a damn thing you said or if you flat out made no sense. "Non-nonsensical" just say sensible man.
  4. Well, to put it bluntly; Thinking proves thinking, not your very existence.

    Sorta, you get my above text?
  5. #5 AfganiKush, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012

    Well if thinking proves thinking, then can we confirm that thought exists? And if thought existed would the origin of thought not exist also? I realize there are fallacies on both sides of the argument, but i feel one to be less far fetched than the other. I realize we cannot prove an origin of thought, but until evidence suggests otherwise i will continue to believe that thought is originated from individuals' brains, not an outside source.
  6. It's hard to put down what I was thinking when I started the thread, I find myself trying to recollect my words.

    I guess it is something like, how do thoughts prove you or your reality existing if they originated from a place you doubt existence to?
  7. Quite an interesting question that spawns a lot of questions in return. I guess the first would be how do you define reality? Is it the absolute truth? Or what there actually is? Its a bit of a grey area that our primitive brains have trouble grasping.
    Lets just say for the sake of the argument that our thoughts all come from an outside source. So is reality, in your eyes, the origin of thought/those thoughts themselves? If so then what is the world we live in? A matrix style illusion? A product of our thoughts? If our world is not "real" in the sense that we think of it, then what it is it? Too high atm to even make sense of this :confused:

  8. I mean we already know that everything is made of atoms, and those are not solid. And that they are wave form until you look at them, which causes them to go particle form. This gives an interesting thought of whether something exists only when being seen?

    Our senses are all connected through our brain to process sensory information picked up while living. The world would then seem to be nothing but information waiting to be processed and shown in a certain visual style. Perhaps creatures can evolve to see the world in a much more different way then humans perceive. I mean, are certain sensory adaptations capable of obtaining the information the same way no matter who's brain is processing it?

    This thread is spawning lots of thinking about reality at large.. And yes I would define reality as either what it ultimately is, or a personal how different animals would perceive information and see reality.

    I feel like there are no words for the territory I am going into in my mind.
  9. I actually strongly agree with your original post, and have thought the same thing before...if you lost your train of thought, let me help you find it ;)

    It is, indeed, flawed logic. He assumed the 'conclusion' he would reach from the very beginning. The statement begins, "I think." He assumes an 'I' that is 'thinking.' Since 'I' think, 'I' must exist, obviously. Basically, his statement manipulates the initial conditions by working an assumption into his phrasing, then proves the assumption that is implicit within it.

    It is supposed to be the ultimate statement of skepticism, where he 'doubts everything, and concludes that he can only say with certainty that he, himself, exists.' First of all, in order to even define the 'I' he supposedly proves exist, other things/people MUST exist, because 'I,' as with all words, can only exist in contrast with other things. 'I' only exists if there is 'other.' If there is 'just this,' without any central self, as they say in the East, then even his statement goes out the window.

  10. Yes phenomenal! I don't think I thought it to be exactly that but you have quite a sound argument for why his logic is flawed! :hello:
  11. Death is the disintegration of the body from an highly ordered state into a less ordered state. Our physical substance is the same as that of the Earth. As our bodies dissolve back into Earth, so does the self. One then realizes the substance of humanity is the same as the Earth, and that we humans are a part of a grand life cycle, you realize that the Earth and the Human Race are all one and the same. But then you realize that the animals are made of the same Earth substance, which means that humanity and the animals are also one and the same. And then you realize even further that the substance of the Earth is made up of even more fundamental universal substances. Life and the Universe are one and the same.
    Does this, therefore, contradict one of the most basic principles of philosophy, "I think, therefore I am." No, it does not, for the intelligence that man evolved is in fact the universe become conscious!

    saw this on some other forum thought it was interesting so I had to post on here
  12. #12 phyer, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
    How is "I think" assuming anything? It's a pretty solid axiom to base an argument off from my point of view. In this share experience called consciousness everyone thinks yea? How can one think if there is no one?
  13. I think therefore I am(existent), assumes from the beginning there is an I and that it exists.

    Thinking only proves thinking, not your entire existence.
  14. How can there be something to do the thinking if it doesnt exist? Descartes was merely trying to put forth the theory that your individual consciousness must exist because it is able to question its own existence.

    "A common mistake is that people take the statement as proof that they, as a human person, exist. However, it is a severely limited conclusion that does nothing to prove that one's own body exists, let alone anything else that is perceived in the physical universe. It only proves that one's consciousness exists (that part of an individual that observes oneself doing the doubting). It does not rule out other possibilities, such as waking up to find oneself to be a butterfly who had dreamed of having lived a human life."
  15. #15 TheJourney, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
    Who is it that thinks? There are thoughts. 'I' is something that you assume to exist, to link all the various experiences, thoughts, and emotions, that arise and fall. A thought arises, and then it is gone. Then a new thought appears, and similarly falls away. 'I' is a later assertion, asserted in order to provide a sense of continuity.
  16. Its all speculation my friends..NO one knows the truth. Dont put too much emphasis on the reality of our reality...Reality is after all the most real thing any of us can find, so why not accept the fact we will never know, and find something in this crazy world to dedicate yourself to, and find happiness.

  17. But how could it prove that definitely, if the thoughts could originate from elsewhere besides the self? Your entire existence could be a lie or illusion. Your thinking only proves thoughts and nothing more right? Thoughts could be anything.

    Once again great post :D
  18. #18 phyer, Aug 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
    It seems like your confusing what he means when he says "I". He is not saying him as a person exists, he is only proposing that the consciousness having the thought in the present moment must exist to have that thought (see the instantiation principle).

    How can thoughts originate outside consciousness? Can you explain further? Give an example?

    I will say, like most things in philosophy, the theory cannot be absolutely proven right or wrong. There will always be skeptics and there will always be believers.

    There is a reason philosophy is a major branch of study and taught in universities. Obviously no one knows an objective truth and may never will but is that a reason to stop thinking about it? That's like saying we will never reach other galaxies so we may as well not even try...

    What makes you think that you can't dedicate your life to something and be happy while having a strong interest in philosophy?

  19. I don't think I can give a concrete example. I also don't think that you can give an example of it coming from consciousness, we don't understand these things to a point.

    How could it objectively prove his consciousness to exist, if there is a possibility that it doesn't?
    -That is my over reaching point.

  20. Nothing in philosophy is ever objectively proving anything, as that would make it absolute truth. Our knowledge of reality is primitive.

    That being said, although this phrase doesn't objectively prove anything, it does give a very strong argument for the existence of ones consciousness. A consciousness must exist to even doubt that it exists yea? If not then what is doing the doubting?

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