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The question, “Who am I?”, can be answered depending on a person’s particular beliefs. For example, it depends on what a person believes makes up their personal identity, such as; personality, values, etc. This question can also be answered by determining which personal identity theory someone believes in and what part of them they think persists over time. I believe that memories, personality, values, and lifestyle all play key roles in personal identity and answering the question, “Who am I?” I believe in a combination of the body theory, memory theory, and illusion theory. I believe that people physically stay the same, in their own bodies, but their personality, values, and memories also play roles in determining who they are as a person. I also believe that people can constantly change, like their personality or values, but still technically be the same person.
I generally agree with the concept of body theory. Body theory states that, “According to this theory, we are identical to our biological bodies, and we persist through time as long as our bodies retain functional organization.” I believe that I am always me because I am the same body my whole life. For example, the body in which I was born is the same body that I am currently and will be the same body at any other point in time of my life. In the situation that a man is brain dead and the question, “Is he still the same person even in his vegetative state?” According to body theory, the man in the situation is indeed the same person because as long as he is alive, it does not matter if his brain is damaged. However, I do not agree with this, I believe that this man is a different person because he is not capable of having thoughts of his own and he cannot perform any of his regular usual activities. There is also the problem of, if I switched bodies with my sister would she be me or would I still remain to be myself just in a different body. I believe that I would still be myself just in a different body because I would still have the same personality and memories that I did have in my old body, just in a different body.
I somewhat agree with the concept of memory theory. Memory theory states that, “I am identical to a person who existed in the past as long as I can remember at least some events that were experienced by that person.” Essentially, memory theory indicates that if you have a memory of something that you have done in the past, then you are the same person you were during these memories. I believe that if a person has no memories than they are not themselves per se. For example, if a man has Alzheimer’s disease is he the same person that he was before he had Alzheimer’s? I think that the man is the same person he always was because he is still in the same body and he does still have all the memories from his past and he has just changed his personality because of his Alzheimer’s disease. According to memory theory, if I had memories from my childhood and I remember them at my current age, then I am the same person. At the same time, if I remember my current memories when I am old, then I am the same person, however, if I am old and I do not remember my childhood memories then I am not the same person. I do not agree with this part of memory theory because it does not make sense that current me would not be the equivalent of old me and childhood me.
I minimally agree with the concept of the illusion theory. Illusion theory is the concept that the human body is constantly changing and there is no such thing as personal identity because of constant change. Illusion theory essentially says that everyone changes every single day so there is personal identity does not exist because of the constant change. Illusion theory is similar to memory theory in its own way. For example, they both address change over time and the persistence problem in ways that soul theory and body theory do not. I believe that the human body and one’s personal identity does undergo change, but that change does not make that person a completely different person every day. Unlike illusion theory, I do believe that personal identity is indeed a thing because every single person has their own unique personal identity. If there was no such thing as personal identity, then every single person on this earth would be exactly identical to one another, and not one single person is exactly identical to anyone on this earth.
I believe that personal identity is a tricky subject to touch on. For instance, I believe that personal identity is based on personality and values. But at the same time, if I was asked the question, “Who am I?”, I would first respond with, “Well, I am Lucy.”, essentially talking about my physical body. Then, I would start listing off my personality traits, my values, and what I do on a regular basis. Personal identity is also tricky because there is the question of, “If my personal identity changes, then do I also transform into a different person?” I think that even a drastic personal identity change would not result in a different person because technically even if someone changes they are still the same person. For example, I view myself as a genuinely nice person who cares about other people and is very social and outgoing; and if I were to drastically change into someone who cares about nothing and stays in the house all day then I would be the same person that I used to be, I would just be acting differently and everyone would still call me Lucy. So essentially, I believe that although a person’s personal identity can undergo drastic change throughout their life, they still technically remain the same person. However, I believe that personal identity is largely determined by personality and values. For instance, if I had a completely different personality and values then I do now, then my personal identity would not be the same as it is now, however, I would still be the same person I am now, I would just act a little bit differently. I used to think that my personal identity could be determined based on other people. However, I do not think this now because I am the only one who determines my personality and values. Although, I do admit that I act a certain way around certain people, but this is not my personal identity or me being two or more different people. Essentially, I believe that the question, “Who am I?”, can be answered by listing off your different personality traits and values, however, it can also be answered by saying you are yourself because you are inside your own body.
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