We Think Therefore We Are

[Guest Article by Amar Gupta, third year student at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.]

Cogito ergo sum in Latin, usually translated into English as “I think, therefore I am”is a famous philosophical statement by one of the greatest thinkers of all time, Rene Descartes which became the foundation of Western philosophy.
Simply put, the statement means that if someone is wondering whether or not he exists, that is in and of itself a proof that he does exist ( the reason being at the least there is an ‘I’ that is doing the thinking.

Whereas the statement itself is a philosophical refection, it nevertheless emphasizes the most important distinguishing characteristic of human beings from other mortals in the world, that being the superior thinking ability which we possess and the virtue of cognition of self or “I”. Throughout the long and arduous history of human civilization, we have gone from step to step and reached the present position wherein we have amassed a huge reservoir of knowledge of the universe in which we live in, through observation, analysis and critical reasoning.

Machine Intelligence
Machine Intelligence

Whether it was the discovery of fire or of the internal structure of the atomic nucleus, the basic questions of What? Why? Which? When? and How? have never changed over time. Whether it is liberal arts and sciences or modern technology and business management, the complex and analytical human mind is and and always has been the true champion. The complexity of the human mind can be best gauged from the fact that in spite of using it successfully for understanding almost all of the things that exist around us, we haven’t been able to achieve a complete understanding of the human mind itself and it remains elusive of our comprehending ability till date.

Therefore, perhaps we should once in a while take a break from the chores of life to appreciate the sheer beauty and complexity of our greatest asset, our mind, and should also be thankful to the almighty / evolution of life on earth ( wherever one’s belief lies ) for endowing us with this unique and prized possession. Unfortunately, in the modern chaotic world, this is seldom done by us and on top of it much of this is rather wasted in inactivity which is hardly a justice to this gift.

Indeed,what is more popular on Google search suggestion as “What percent of brain did Einstein used?”,it is said though he used around 15-18 percent which would be almost 1.8 times more than a average being,would surely astound me or anyone,though it is certainly matter of debate on what grounds,and scale or parameters this statistical information is inferred.But what is more important is that we would certainly not disagree on the fact that in his era Albert Einstein was surely a super-humanoid,that is primarily the reason why his ‘brain’ is often been a subject of research and speculation,and was preserved to be a matter of research so as to why his ‘Glial cells’ were strikingly more in number as compared to 11 average men included in the research at UCB.

Now imagine,the most important discovery of Einstein,his so called dream-The String theory,a mystery so profound,which even 55 years from his death,with hundreds of thousands of scientists on the cutting edge of physics are having a tough time deciphering.

That could have been only one example, the reason why we should believe that this truly is a “Kalyug” despite of all the Technological and Global advancements would be the decline of our ‘thinking abilities’.

Ancient mythology, no matter of which region or religion it belongs to surely boasts of some of the super intellectual humanoids, earth has ever seen, the scriptures, the structures, the hymns, the philosophy, the medication, the art, the lifestyle, the beauty and the coherence with the nature, for which we are craving about at the very moment, was so enriched and high on standards, that we ever could be, absolute contentment at that time. There were no tools at that time, no superficial pedagogy systems, no precise ‘customer concept’ of marketing the niche tools devised for a particular genre of person, then also they achieved a state of excellence, and a truly unparalleled one in that era.s

They all argue on the name of God, criticizing his very motive of excruciating human, and the catastrophe,the holocaust and whatever not. People die on the name of your god, my god,no monotheistic religion,but the very fact that they ignore is why there has to be a reason in all of these, why there has to be a confluence between religion and science, we have stopped asking ‘Why?’ to ourselves, after 4000 years of cold war between the counter parts, and still no illation whatsoever one can simply put it as –“What if his ways are higher than ours”, its almost analogous to, explaining an ant how a TV works, what if we are not intelligent enough to understand his ideology, that should be the end of the story, take it or leave it.

Thus, let us pledge today to utilize this boon to the best of our abilities in a world that is increasingly becoming chaotic and on the edge of being run by lunatics and fanatics. Let us stand up for ourselves and our fellow men whenever we see injustice being meted out or truth being obstructed. Let us take some time out to rise above our individual materialistic worlds to think about the bigger picture and feel for our oppressed and depressed fellow beings in any corner of the world, and at the least ‘think’ about what we can do about it.

For it is only by thinking that we have a vision, which later transforms into reality.

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