We think so we are, someone said. But what are thoughts? And even if we think are we what we think we are? Are humans as special as they think they are?
On the one side I think surely yes. As humans are the only ones who can use their mind to develop stories way beyond reality. Only humans have a thing called religion and only humans are afraid of monsters and aliens. So. yes. special.
A thought seems to be something which is based on electrons moving along certain routes in our brain. Our senses are able to see the world in a certain way. Based on what the senses sense a signal is sent along a nerve until the signal is strong enough to trigger an action in the brain. No need to understand completely what happens then. The only thing we need to understand is that the thing out of our brain is a thing that talks to another thing (nerve, neuron or electron) in order to move many things (thought). So the connection is between the thing outside of our mind with a thing inside our brain. So a thing connects to a thing to trigger something we call thought. What the trigger from the outside does to the inside is based on the individual story of the thinking brain. This and the genetic coding makes the difference. Besides the genes all the rules in the brain are learned or experienced (language for example).
So a thing talks to a thing based on rules we had no control over. And all this makes then the thing we call thought.
Emergence. Of course. The outcome is more than just the sum of the parts. It is said. Emergence is only described by humans. It is the human mind that sees these things based on the ability of the human mind to fantasize. The human mind needs proper boxes with things inside to be able to function. Each box is labeled with its content like “society”, “home”, “family”. This goes well as long as nobody asks to open the box and to take a deep look inside. In these boxes there are other boxes and in these boxes there are other boxes, until nothing is left. The human mind works with labels which stand for certain ideas about something. These ideas are mainly based on the culture the mind was taught to function in. Emergence is one of these ideas. There is no thing called “society” or “religion” or “me”. All these are just labels on mainly empty boxes.
So I am sitting here and writing and saying at the same time that it is not me who does that. As weird as it can go. It is me. But. I learned a certain language which gives me certain rules to put things into words. The style of writing is mainly owed to the authors I read before, and same for the the knowledge in my mind. My emotional world is based on the genetic set and the mainly uncontrolled reality I find myself in. I type on a keyboard and see what i wrote. While reading another thought emerges based on what my eyes see on the screen and what my mind makes out of it. Sometimes i make a brief stop to find the words for something that i want to say. The wish to find the words for something is based on the evaluation that something is wrong or missing. This evaluation is done based on the set of rules in my mind. This set of rules says the argument needs to be logical and consistent. So it is the things in the past and the things happening now triggering certain reactions which make my hands write what I write. Still I am not a machine. At least not a simple one. And if one then a special one which changes its source code all the time.
But even if i know better, i cannot not feel like a thinking thing. This makes things tricky.