Greenabby has a post entitled “I think, therefore I am?”. I like the question mark on the end. I guess old René Descartes would have a period there. If we didn’t have the capacity to think, all we’d be is walking, eating, digesting, etc., etc., animals. But the thinking part — that’s the spirit!
But the existentialists — like Jean Paul Sartre — have it the other way around: existence comes first. In other words, I AM , therefore I think.
There’s a famous story of Sartre’s, called “The Wall”, in which a man, condemned to death, suddenly feels totally free, exilerated, and filled with a sense of absurdity of all life, he laughs at and insults the beaurocrats who have condemned him. But the final irony is yet to come: in the morning as he is led out to be shot, he is notified that he is freed. The story ends with him rolling around in insane laughter on the prison grounds.
Update: Just now I found the story on the internet. It’s a little different from what I remembered from many years ago, but mainly in one not so small detail. It’s a chilling story in more ways than one. Here’s the link.