Where do my thoughts come from? Do they come from the emergent properties of the billions of neurons that populate my brain? Or do they originate from lower-level processes? Are these thoughts of mine just the byproduct of certain physical interactions between tiny atoms and molecules? Is this a conscious decision?
I believe that these decisions and the consciousness of our human lives are absolutely derived a higher level of decision-making – that is, the emergent properties of neurons. Why do I think this? It’s because I believe that the thing that differentiates a conscious, thinking human being from a mere animal is the ability to do things are not necessary and even potentially self-harmful. What comes to my mind quickly that seems like evidence is the seemingly modern problem of eating disorders. Humans are the only creatures that will intentionally not eat even when their body tells them that they need food. Can this come from the lower level, physical parts of the body? Generally, eating disorders germinate from psychological disorders (found in DSM-IV) – can this be attributed to the body? Personally, I believe that it cannot. A lower-level process cannot be responsible for making this devastating decision to simply not nourish itself. A certain level of consciousness must be needed to intentionally hurt themselves. As such, I believe that it must be higher-level.