Reason is the foundation of freedom of thought and by understanding what it is we begin to understand the root of individualism. Many theories have been batted around that are extremely hard to understand only because they fail to even look at the very definition of the word. Once you look at the very meaning of the word then the concept of reason begins to materialize before you.

The word itself suggests that reason is nothing more than the intellectual justification for an idea. Once we established its definition we can then begin to understand why it is essential for the freedom of one’s own thoughts. Every thought we have needs a reason behind it or we would have no reason to think it is true. It is simply the ‘why is this true’ explanation that provides the intellectual foundation for its existence in our conscious minds.

The phrase ‘for reasons of my own’ is thrown about in polite conversation but it turns out this phrase contains the fundamental truism behind free thinking and its byproduct known as individualism. Every thought or conclusion we have about anything exists within our own mind for reason of our own because if they are not held for reasons of our own then whose reasons are they being held for? The right to have any independent idea exist because the only reason a person needs for them are always their own.

It does not necessarily have to be correct in order to hold it in our minds because it only needs a reason for it. The reasoning itself could be incorrect which is why we need to analyze the reasons behind it. This is called analytical reasoning in which we examine the reasons behind our own idea or another person’s idea. This is the only process by which we can discover truth because simply generating a thought does not necessarily mean that though is correct.

This may opens up criticism that the right to hold any thought you want simply because you provided a reason for them is simply allowing people to create their own quote-unquote truths. This is not correct because it is natural for a person to want to separate what is correct and incorrect and the process by which we do that is called analytical reasoning which requires us to set the objective in our thinking to truth itself.

Our internal freedom to reason simply gives each person the power to determine their own opinions of yet-to-be-discovered unknown facts. The natural fall out of this is the compartmentalized consciousness of each person since each person’s opinions of those yet to be discovered facts form independently based on their own reasons for them. This is the nature of individualism itself and it can not exist until we realize that the only justification needed for a person’s thoughts are their own reasons for them.

Edward Browning Bosley
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