General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Change promotes Thinking, or Thinking promotes Change?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30938points) July 2nd, 2009

Which brings about the other?

It depends upon what type of change is involved.

Cause and Reaction are not the same as Thought and Action.

Cause/Reaction manifests change with no thinking required.

Thought/Action creates change intentionally.

If we react to something, we are not thinking about it. The mosquito is swatted without a thought. We react to stimuli. After the reaction, we ponder, and make a thoughtful action by getting the bug spray.

One change was Caused. The other change was Created. In this manner, Change promoted Thinking, which in turn promoted Change.

The same relationship is apparent in our experience of earthquakes, bar fights, roses, intimacy… most everything I suppose.

May we separate them, Change and Thinking? I believe so.

Which is preferred?

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23 Answers

Thammuz's avatar

A little of both. Change makes you think about how things changed and what the effects of change were, and the conclusions you get might push you towards action themselves.

Clair's avatar

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

sanari's avatar

It’s a cycle that feeds upon itself, and can reverse in any situation. It’s really not that deep.

marinelife's avatar

Either one is quite common.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Not too deep at all. Until we inquire as to how the “cycle” began. Did change or thinking push the first pedal?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Neither. The code came first. Evolution took over from there. Does code arise from change? Or does it only come about from thinking?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


As well, perpetual energy has yet to be discovered. How may a “cycle… feed upon itself”? What can eat itself and live?

laureth's avatar

A wise friend of mine once told me, “It is easier to behave yourself into a new way of thinking than to think yourself into a new way of behaving.”

Thammuz's avatar

@laureth really smart stuff… i gotta think of that.

lloydbird's avatar

Having given it some thought I am prepared to venture that “Change” precedes,and therefore promotes “Thinking”; by virtue of it being an alteration of a condition or state. “Thinking” is but that which is experienced by an entity within the realm/ambit that ‘Change’ occurs in.

Blondesjon's avatar

Thinking only starts a project. Change means it never gets done.

YARNLADY's avatar

You’re over thinking this one. They are both required and interchangeable in most cases.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


A landslide changes the coastline without a thought. I’ve had numerous thoughts today that haven’t changed anything. One does not automatically constitute the other.

Change without thinking is very possible.

Thinking without change is very possible.

They are not interchangeable either. My thinking could create a landslide, but only for a specific purpose. The thoughtless landslide has no purpose at all.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


What if my Thinking is about Change? And once it’s changed, I don’t have to think about it any longer.

I’m thinking about changing my shoes. Once I’ve accomplished that change then I think no more on the matter.

YARNLADY's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Maybe there is a bigger, or smaller picture that isn’t as obvious here. For instance, I’m told that every thought does bring a change in the structure of the brain. And every change is just a seeming change, since everything in the great scheme of things still stays the same.

Blondesjon's avatar

Your example is exactly what I mean. You are spending time, that you can never get back, coming up with semantic arguments to philosophical questions.

Thinking starts it. Change ends it.

The rest takes care of itself.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


Are there cases when change happens all by itself, without thinking? I completely agree that change marks an end of things. Can it also mark a beginning of things, or is thought required for that? I completely agree that thinking can initiate a change TO end things. Can thinking also mark the end of things, or is change required for that?

You’re disturbed at me for dwelling upon this. I’m not trying to get under your skin. I’m simply doing research for my theory of Cause/Reaction vs Thought/Action.

Ultimately, if you say with finality, that “Thinking starts it”, then you must believe that a sentient entity started existence as we know it.

I’ve made a case that change can come about from two reasons.

1. Cause and Reaction
2. Thought and Action

If our existence is a Cause and Reaction form of Change, that’s fine. But it doesn’t work if you believe that Change requires Thought first.

Blondesjon's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies . . .You take me wrong, sir.

You and I have very differing views on what language is.

In my reality, time is wasted when you debate philosophy with semantics.

In your reality philosophy depends on semantics.

Neither is right or wrong. They simply are.

mebooba's avatar

Man makes history, but history makes man. ~ K.Marx, The 18th Brumaire
(no, I am not a Marxist; I am a cheerleader)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


I’ve seen it all now.

“The Pon Pom Philosopher”

It could work!

nebule's avatar

I’m not sure… I would proffer…both simultaneously in the non-existence of time as an illusion…

but I know nothing and your questions are brilliant as ever x

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