‘Oh yes I can think clearly! Anyone who cannot think is a moron.‘ This is what most people would say and it’s true to some degree. We make decisions because we can think. We imagine new things and come up new ideas. We solve small and big problems. We cannot do all these things without some form of thinking.
Our brain is responsible for doing all the so called thinking. It receives information from our senses. Eyes, ears, tongue and skin are the senses brain receive information from outside world. When we are born, our brain is like a blank sheet of paper. It doesn’t contain any memory. When our brain receives information through senses, it record whatever comes in. This way our brain creates memory. As we grow older our memory content increase. This pile of data collected throughout our life is used for thinking.
Thinking is not a thing: or something that exist in our brain. It is an action, an activity. When most people say they are doing some thinking, what they are actually doing is taking some saved memories and comparing one with another. If you tell an average guy to solve a problem and then later ask him why he solved it that way, he will say, oh I did that before. Or I saw someone doing like that. He took information from his memory and compared with current situation. He then creates this event in his mind with solution. It works in his mind. So he made it as he imagined and it worked in the outside world too.
This is the way of thinking we are born with. Everyone is capable of doing that. Some animals like monkeys and gorillas can do that. Computers can do that. Though we call it thinking, in a deeper level its just comparing. This is useful in the early days, when we can go through our life easily. Today the world has changed. It‘s different from the way it was 10 years ago. Most of the things that worked 10 years ago no longer work today. So does this so called thinking we are born with.
A famous physicist said: ‘im convinced that the act of thinking logically cannot possibly be natural to human mind. If it were, then mathematics would be everybody’s easiest subject at school’
No one is born knowing the multipication table. If they don’t learn it they cannot multiply. Thinking is also a mathematical process much higher than multication table. Some people think they know how to think even though they haven’t learned it before. But they agree that it’s not possible to do multiplication if they haven’t learned the table. This irony comes from the misunderstanding that thinking is the same as comparing.
You can do real thinking only by learning it. After learning you should practice in order to be good at it. Just like when you learn to play guitar. You practice code, strumming, and guitar tabes. But after a while you can play it without even thinking about it. Same way once you learn the basics and practice a little, you will automatically be thinking properly.
Most people would say you need to learn logic. But I think its too boring to jump into it directly. Instead I suggest you to eat dessert first and then move into the main course.
There are two parts we have to go through: knowledge and practice. These two parts I intend to write separately as two articles. Knowledge part is about reasoning. Practical part is about scientific method. Both are very simple.