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Identity
in Philosophy

By anonymousdebateranonymousdebater 128 Pts edited August 2018
What makes you you, since your cells and atoms constantly change?
MasterofPun



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  • anonymousdebater You are the collection of cells. The cells which make the collection may change but the collection is for the most part the same form. You are not your cells you are the what they all add up to be. Like how a TV is what we call atoms and materials in a certant form. It can also be argued that you are really just your brain but I would say that you are your intire body. Other wise you would not say you are wounded when your body gets wounded. Techonly we all have an atom which made up the same person in the past but that does not make you them.
  • The me who wrote this message is permanently dead as you read this. If I am still alive now, I am a different person very resembling of 'me'.

    Who is 'me'? I am but a concept. In reality All you see is a body... The identity and past you chain it to are what lead to people trapped in lives they wish they could go back in time and undo.

    It doesn't matter how much a pedophile tries to right their wrong, they are tarnished for life... What's the point of prison?

    Instead of branding people as X or Y we should come up with an 'ideal person' and help all get closer to being it, forgiving them for past sins. 

    I personally do hold grudges but the grudge may not necessarily be against who that person has become today. See?
  • If we are different people, then how can we be responsible for our promises that we make because the person who made the promise is not the same person who will keep it? Plus, is it still our family member if we have changed and the family member has changed? The implications of this are tremendous, and so we simply assume that we are the same person so must be bound to our promises.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1451 Pts
    The identity is purely the concept our brain holds, and it hardly has anything to do with the world around our brain. Allow me to offer a very simple mental experiment that will demonstrate this argument.

    In the distant future, we will be able to synthesize the individual's memories. Suppose we generate a memory of a person that has never existed in reality - through programming. Then we inject this memory into the brain of the experimental subject, overriding all of his memories. How will this individual, when awoken, see himself? Obviously he will use those injected memories to understand who he is, and even if we tell him that these memories are synthesized and do not describe his past, he still will never be able to escape those memories and they will always define his world view (if you disagree, consider the scenario where you learn tomorrow that you are such an experimental subject, and the evidence demonstrated to you proves it beyond the reasonable doubt - will you discard who you are, or will you remain the same person, just with a new bit of knowledge about yourself?).

    As such, our identity is defined purely by the content of the grey matter in our brains. Change this content - and you will change the person's identity.
    drodgersDevon
  • I am, who I believe myself to be in the moment
    dbox
  • @anonymousdebater You are pure awareness....you are what is observing the physical body, its senses and the mind you are not the body but the one operating that body just like driving a car or vehicle. In other words you are first soul, a conscious soul and that soul is your actual awareness as in the one watching and experiencing through the physical form. While the body and cells are in a constant changing state your conscious awareness is not, it remains "you", it's the fixed condition that is your observation point and that is what is perceived as the soul. You, are an individual expression of the Creator and that origin is a pure, omnipresent fixed state of awareness/intelligence and you are an individualized piece of that reality. So you are first a conscious awareness/intelligence that inhabits a body, or embodiment, you physical body is temporal. 

    What makes your personality and creative expression? when you left the Creator as a new seed God imparted in you a particular way It wanted to express Itself through your vessel and that is your creative imagination that all your creative abilities, passions, interests originate in others words the "core" you or the inner you. The observer that seeks to express itself and have experiences. The atoms and cells are just what makes up the human form and all its parts and functions they are here one minute and gone the next but the material body is nothing more than an appliance where the power source is the conscious soul, the appliance does not create the power source or the current of electricity it only channels it, it's just a machine and so is the body, the bodies brain and functions restrict and confine your souls experience to this realm. And so as the physical body passes away the soul leaves that body, or the conscious you remains and continues to experience. That part of you is now eternal and its Source always was, your awareness will transition from one experience to another.
    John 17

    21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

    23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


  • i am me. my consciousness
    EtrnlVwethang5
  • I doubt is possible to express things like this easily and clearly - ordinary everyday language just wasn't designed to handle it, so we end up using loose analogies, metaphors and words in 'scare quotes'.- usually in the form of cliches and platitudes.

    In your head is a brain.  The brain's main job is to get the body containing it to behave appropriately according to external conditions.   To do that, brains maintain an internal model (or representation) of the world, with a representation of 'the self' right at its centre, because preserving the body that corresonds to 'the self' is the whole point of the exercise.

    So 'self'  (or 'I' or 'you') is a model of the body, a model which has evolved to preserve that body in - what is almost certainly - the real world.



  • so they say. Another materialist just so story that isn't proven.@keithprosser
  • OutplayzOutplayz 88 Pts
    edited August 2018
    @anonymousdebater

    We aren't mindless objects. Their is the hammer analogy i remember. A famous person i forget used a hammer. 100 years later, someone went to sell the hammer and advertised it as the "famous person's" hammer. However, the hammer got a new grib, got a new head, basically was reworked. So, the person selling that hammer couldn't sell it as the famous person's hammer since everything was new. That is true in objects. But our brain, our consciousness would be the same as if the hammer was melted down and then reworked on. It is the same hammer but newly made. 

    Our bodies are the vessel we need to function in reality. Therefore, our bodies are subject to change. It is our mind, our consciousness, which remains consistent. At this point it is hard to explain bc yeah, we may not have an identity since things are new. I don't think there is a term for the consistent factor that make me, me. You can just say there is a "me-ness" that stays consistent. For myself, the best way i can describe what that is would be through things like my favorite color. 

    I may have changed throughout the years, but my favorite color(s) have remained the same. Not only have they remained the same, my reasoning for why i like these colors have remained the same. I like the color black bc it is symbolic of darkness, goth, dark music, etc. I like the color hot pink bc it looks great with black. This element of myself hasn't changed through the years. An element of who i am has stayed consistent. Therefore, if you don't have an identity, you def. have a self or a "me-ness" that stays consistent throughout your life. That can be your identity/self.   
  • @MayCaesar

    The identity is purely the concept our brain holds, and it hardly has anything to do with the world around our brain . Allow me to offer a very simple mental experiment that will demonstrate this argument. 

    In the distant future, we will be able to synthesize the individual's memories. Suppose we generate a memory of a person that has never existed in reality - through programming. Then we inject this memory into the brain of the experimental subject, overriding all of his memories. How will this individual, when awoken, see himself? Obviously he will use those injected memories to understand who he is, and even if we tell him that these memories are synthesized and do not describe his past, he still will never be able to escape those memories and they will always define his world view (if you disagree, consider the scenario where you learn tomorrow that you are such an experimental subject, and the evidence demonstrated to you proves it beyond the reasonable doubt - will you discard who you are, or will you remain the same person, just with a new bit of knowledge about yourself?).

    As such, our identity is defined purely by the content of the grey matter in our brains. Change this content - and you will change the person's identity

    Accepting these premises, which I believe are yours (correct me if I am wrong) and I will follow them to what I see to be the logical conclusion.  

    P1) Identity is what "makes you, you"
    P2) Identity is defined as the concept/content our brain holds...(of?)
    C) Our identity is what we conceive it to be

    P1) Identity contingent on memories
    P2) Memories can be replaced
    C) Identity can be altered

    I this right? And correct me if I am wrong, but are you John Locke? (or his transferred consciousness?...what the difference right lol)


    Respectfully,
    Devon






  • dboxdbox 30 Pts
    @anonymousdebater

    It is unreasonable to conceptually divide a whole person into their aggregates to determine which of the aggregates define personal identity. By way of applying Occam's Razor, if the solution can be satisfactorily ascertained without adjusting the structure of the problem so to speak, it is this option which should be attempted to falsify first. In this case, the simplest solution is the best.

    These aggregates consist of:
    •  the body and concepts which flow from it such as the ability to reproduce/ pass on genes, grow, respond to internal and external stimuli, and the ability to think
    • the mind and its ability to reason/ judge, recognize its own existence, formulate language able to represent abstract concepts, and store and recall events outside of their occurrence in time.
    • the spirit and the soul (I recognize them as distinct, though I still am fine-tuning how I understand the Bible to speak of them) and the implications associated with them, namely that there is a God who made them a part of us and a God to whom we are accountable (we on instinct make decisions from a value system based primarily outside of strict syllogisms, but based on whether or not we view something as right or wrong. If we see a violation of a "right", if it is grievous enough and if we are not guilty of the same, we will usually have a strong emotional cry for justice. This hints at our basic nature as a moral one and is too knee-jerk for us to think that the moral reaction is born of reason, though reason can be applied in most cases after the fact. These two are the seat of our affections and personality.
    • the societal roles we bear such as husband, father, child, student, doctor, teacher, friend, pastor, Christian, Heathen etc
    It is senseless to divide these up and make one responsible for making you who you are to the exclusion of the others. You are everything you are right now. 

    Sidebar, while the cells change, the DNA remains your DNA, so each new cell is just as much "you" as the last, meaning that even after a whole cycle of your body's cells that body is still distinctly and uniquely you.
    someone234Applesauce
  • What makes you you, since your cells and atoms constantly change?
    we are just a collection of memories, that is all.
    "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"
    The Animals
  • @Devon

    In essence, yes, it is a good summary of what I meant to say. I think identity is defined by our organism, it is not an entity existing in itself - and while you could say that we have a certain degree of control over our identity, in the end that control in itself is relying on the concept of "free will", which is suspect, since according to, at least, modern views "free will" is not really free and we only perceive it to be free.

    Regarding Locke's interpretation of transferred consciousness, I think he leaves out a very essential detail: the source of of conscious perspective. We unfortunately do not know yet what makes us "us". For example, if I was cloned, where would my perspective be? Would I see the world from my old version's perspective? From the cloned version's perspective? From both at the same time? From neither? I do not have the answer, but I do think that the example of transferred consciousness he has considered is much more complicated than something that can be resolved with a simple philosophical argument.
  • dboxdbox 30 Pts
    @MayCaesar

    Thank you for the response,

    I would be interested to hear your evaluation of my position a few posts up. 
  • I am a soul and a body. One of these things will be broken and die (the body, predictably). The other will not. The other will be perfected in God's presence. I will receive a new body that is perfect as well - and it will become a part of my identity.

    I think of identity as body and soul. I'll lose part of my identity when I die. That's not too big of a bummer in my opinion, because I know the Bible says we will get a better body later. I think it'll be strange to be without a body, but as long as I can be in the presence of God, it'll be alright.

    That's what I think.
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