The legacy of humanity as a whole and individuals specifically is that of their actions, not their intent or what actions they refrained from. However one’s actions do not exist solely without provocation of circumstance, they are triggered by certain stimuli and are the resultant of multiple factors. Plato asserted that the highest form of thinking was that of philosophy, the discussion and contemplation of the various esoteric aspects of reality. This proposition is based on the assumption that one’s thoughts lead to one’s actions. Thus humanities’ legacy is based on its thoughts or its belief system. This is what interests me, what and why people believe a certain way. Far too often individuals don’t understand why they believe the way they do. Too many beliefs are gained from others with no thought as to why the original owner of the belief thought it and as George Orwell said “if [one] cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them”.
People’s beliefs are influenced by those they respect as a natural by-product of voluntary association. We succumb to not only “peer” pressure but to pressure due to society in which we are exist. It is this society that installs one’s moral code and their conduct. Yet individuals respond differently to similar societal influence. By analyzing how individuals act and why they act one can determine if it is these slight differences in society causes the massive difference between saints and demons or if it is due to the inherent character of the individual. Therefore, questioning the beliefs of others allows one to glimpse the very nature of humanity and whether one is doomed to eternal incompetency. This is why I intend to both informally and formally continue in my examination of the origin of others actions. In essence I intend to follow the Socratic Method of asking why to every response I receive. Debate has helped me in developing the instinct to ask the questions that can be most productive; however I have been stymied in examining the psychology of individuals, an inherent part of determining the origin of thoughts. This is what I hope to gain, an understanding of the electrical processes behind mankind’s inclinations.
Being born and raised in Utah has been both a boon and a detriment to me. It has been a boon in instilling the highest code of ethical behavior, however it has been a detriment in strongly encouraging me to reject all “lower” forms of behavior. I have found that often one’s beliefs are rooted in tradition and parents without any consideration for the merit of the idea independent of external influence. Questioning others beliefs has not only helped me to clarify my own, I hope that it has forced others to defend their ideas. Our legacy will be our actions, which will be determined by our beliefs; it is wise that our beliefs be based in independent merit and are subjected to scrutiny.