The key to a wide range of philosophical and political questions is determining the origin of thoughts. By thoughts I mean the voice that is derived from my thinking. For example, the thought coming to me currently is how I will structure the description of how thoughts are a key that will fit the locks of questions such as determinism and abortion.
In terms of current biological studies and those of neurologists, humans have yet deciphered the origin of thoughts. The current ideal is that the nerves in the brain, neurons, produce thoughts and signals are passed via electrochemical signals. Somewhere within the signal is transferred from dendrites to the nucleus to the axon a thought is produced. However, there are still numerous of people that believe in a thought process outside of the boundaries of the brain.
Why is determining what thoughts are so crucial? The first application it would provide would show what alive is. By seeing what is alive, the debate of abortion will quickly come to a close, as people will know when it is the actual killing of a conscious being. A second application would confirm whither the philosophical theory of determinism is correct. Determinism is a theory based on cause and effect. It says that if all information of this plain of existence is known, then the future can be determined and everything is fated to occur. If thoughts are just functions of the brain responding to a certain stimuli and producing an output then humans are fated to a certain demise. Not only are humans fated to do certain things, the question of personal identity is brought into question. If indeed thoughts are just a function of brain cells running a program based on inputs, then are we nothing more than over complex computers? Another philosophical question that will be answered will be the possible existence of an afterlife. If thought exist outside this plain of existence, then it is truly possible that there is an afterlife beyond the physical bounds of this world.