Everything begins with an idea…Earl Nightingale
What is the world like? Is it a good place?
If it’s a composition of good and bad elements, which of these elements do we wish to keep? Who gets to decide which parts we rid ourselves of? What makes the world this way? What would it cost to change it? Can we even change it?
If we do possess a degree of control over the reality that confronts us, what are the odds we will make moral and productive use of such control? What would we require to ensure we make proper use of it? Can good simply come from our intentions, or do we need more than that?
If so: What?
Philosophical questions like this aren’t for everyone, but I love them. Questions like the ones above have played a substantial role in shaping my life. I would even go as far as to say that they have shaped your life, too. Regardless of whether you have either thought them explicitly until now.
If, however, we want to play an active role in shaping our lives, the world, and our shared realities, we must continue to ask important philosophical questions. With each new piece of knowledge human-kind gains, or uncharted territory it wanders into, we must refine, enhance and update our thoughts and procedures — as individuals and a collective.
Not everyone will have an interest in such things. I’m not going to sit here tell you that you should. That is for you to determine. But, if you do, I hope this site can help.
Because of my interest in philosophical ideas, I will be endeavouring to put that interest to good use. This is where I will attempt to do it. My aim is that ThereforeThink becomes a platform that has some tangible ability to produce value.
ThereforeThink is a foundational step in my journey as an individual. It is not a platform I share with others or is explicitly constrained in the topics I can discuss here. As such, it will evolve to the extent that I do — being both a catalyst for, and result of, my own development.
While I may be setting my sights a little high, I believe ThereforeThink has the capacity to contribute to the important questions, conversations and ideas of our time. However, no matter how grandiose that target, I don’t want all the content to be philosophical. There will also be practical and readily implementable information relating to a broad array of topics and subject matters. I won’t suppose to be an expert in these things, but I am a strong believer in the power of well-conveyed first-person experience . Especially when combined with — and not used in myopic opposition to — third-person sources of knowledge, such as science.
The purpose is to share, analyse, criticise and refine ideas as well as accumulate and integrate broad networks of knowledge.
ThereforeThink is, in part, to help refine the maps we all use to navigate the territory of the world. By maps, I mean the ideas, models, concepts or any other various presumptions that we all make use of in order to function effectively. To varying degrees, of course.
ThereforeThink will aim to help you upgrade your maps, and mapping software, so that you can more reliably understand the world and its inhabitants. At times, I may do this by directly articulating some scientifically established information. Others may involves the proposal of a not yet well-founded idea, which you can compare to your own experiences. You can then accept, reject or refine the ideas based on its merits.
Either way, the processing of both agreeable and disagreeable ideas and information should allow you to enhance your mental and moral maps.
So, while ideas, and their consideration, can at times be thought of as frivolous in comparison to action, I believe them to be of the utmost importance. If you, however, believe that action really is of greater “real world” value than ideas, I implore you to recognise that even this belief is an idea. As such, all of the “valuable” action that follows is founded upon it.
Everything begins with an idea. That is what makes them important.
It is because of this importance that we must take great care in establishing their accuracy. Acting on inaccurate information, or an underdeveloped idea, can lead to disastrous outcomes. If history is evidence of anything, it is evidence of that.
However, while simple in theory, in practice it is anything but. The world is not a simple place and conceptualising it can be difficult-bordering-on-impossible.
As such, the employment and promotion of critical-thinking will be a prominent and recurring theme throughout this site. To make the most of our lives we must first strive to accurately understand the world. This is, or sheer improbable luck, are the only chances we have when it comes to interacting with it effectively.
The first step on this path is to recognise that the world is not black-and-white, nor even shades of grey.
The true colour of the world is, as far as modern science can tell us, made up of an infinitely diverse spectrum of colours. Furthermore, humans can only see a small portion of this spectrum. Yet, still, the world is much more than that. There are sounds, smells and other perceptual sensations. These sensations can influence our emotions, the recall of memories, how we interact with our immediate surroundings and the judgements we think we make objectively.
Though, beyond the level of a single individual, we are all components of many different collectives. These various collectives are made up of people whom we share either biological, geographical or socio-cultural similarities. These networks — families, schools, cities and societies — are governed by people who, for better or worse, are much like ourselves. We refer to them by names such as parents, principals and public officials.
With this in mind, when examining a single individual, there is a lot of complex phenomena forced into the equation. It is almost baffling to consider how a single individual manages to function effectively, let alone a group of them. Yet they, and we, do. Primarily, I would suggest, because of the ideas that our groups are founded upon.
Everything begins with an idea. And, just the same, it can all be ended by one, too.
Welcome to ThereforeThink.