Rose and the Philosopher’s Chocolate: Who ARE you?

I mean, who ARE you?

Are you the way you look? If you lost a limb, god forbid, or half your face in some awful accident, would you still be you? Or, less you?

How about if you were born with three arms, and you had one removed, leaving you with only the average quota of two? Would you be any less you?

Ok, so how about if you had your boobs increased to size KK (is there such a thing?) and your two bottom ribs taken out, and your face re-modelled to look like Katy Perry – are you still you?

Which You ought you to love, when you’re being advised to ‘love yourself the way You are’?  The old you?  The new you?  The ideal you?  The you you’ve kind of got used to but you don’t like much – seeing as things you don’t like are always much more virtuous than things you do, take broccoli and icecream, for example.

Or are none of these things essential to you. Perhaps You are just the spirit and brain inside of the shell.  Change the shell and the essential You remains.  Then why not change the shell?

These things puzzle me.  What do ‘you’ think?

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33 comments

  1. Why not throw in the changes that we go through over time. a baby is not the same as an adult. We are not the same when we are happy versus when we are totally losing it. This is not the person I thought I knew, people say when something blows up. Maybe the answer is that we are not things, we are processes.

  2. I think it’s a very profound question and one I struggle with too sometimes. I am unable to separate the shell from the ghost for myself but I don’t mind others doing that. Hence while I am pretty comfortable with the idea of enhancements in general, and considered them a few times, I’m just not sure if I’d personally be happy with it. But smaller changes, why not?

  3. I haven’t read this yet … but in life, i think this is what fascinates me deeply. Who are we? Who are you? What does our history say about us … and how does it change us? Nature v. nurture, etc. i”ll be back to read. Time for shower and work. Night night to YOU! xx

  4. Interesting. Me? I am me. With all my changes and processes and patterns and faults and good points. I am one man – here and now. I can’t change who I am. I have accepted who I am. Doug. My outward appearance will constantly change as will my thoughts and feelings. But I think…I am a lover of life. Yep…that’s me.
    Doug

  5. I know better now who I am than I did a couple decades ago. Or maybe I’m just finally being more honest with myself. Either way, I suspect I have more to discover thanks to life’s way of throwing change in our face. As for my literal face, well, I just don’t look in the mirror as often anymore, so its changes don’t really disturb me.

    • I’m with you, I don’t either (look in the mirror so much). I suppose the question is, though, how we define ourselves as opposed to ‘not us’. Our clothes are ‘not us’ but they move when we move. We don’t consider ourselves any less ‘us’ when we lose a limb, but we do when we lose part of our brain. Are we just a control centre with ever-decreasing powers moving out from the hub?

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  6. here’s my quick and dirty take on it. If a polar bear eats off half your face, you’re still you because you didn’t choose to change anything and the polar bears actions are not a wider statement on you. However, if you go to Dr Charkaravaty and ask for the total Katy Perry make over, then yes, you are changing or redefining what you are and, by extension, making a statement about some different state of who you are. IOW, we’re defined by the choices we make

  7. Heraclitus and the Cantor were on the case. Heraclitus said “everything flows”; Cantor said there are only two real numbers – zero and infinity. Any point in between is both arbitrary and changing. Go with the flow.

  8. Why THIS question?!?!?! WHY?!?!?! It’s unanswerable! 😛

    Fancying myself a bit of a youth philosopher myself (pretentious much?)
    I think that people are constantly changing – on a daily basis- due to our experiences and the people we meet, even if it’s just a strange man you encounter at the bus stop… I think that as humans, evolution is constant.

    There is the constant debate regarding body (physical presence) vs. mind (soul).. and if either is altered, how you change as a result. I’m fairly sure that if you got half your face ripped off in an accident, sure – your physical state would change – but your mind would also be severely altered..I mean, you just got your face – the thing you look at every day – ripped off! We put so much importance on our physical being that it’s inevitable.

    On the idea of plastic surgery and external modification, I believe that sure, you’re going to feel a bit of an esteem boost at first – given that you’ve just been made to look like Katy Perry. But at the end of the day, you’re still you in the sense that the majority of your thoughts are the same, and you still have the same outlook on life. If you end up alone – Katy Perry or not – you still end up alone.

    Wow… did that make any sense? I don’t pretend to actually understand anything even vaguely philosophical, so I’m pretty proud of bluffing my way through that!

    But that’s just what I think… 🙂

    • I think that was a brilliant bluff. Yeah, I think mind is body and body is mind – I don’t believe in a separation between the physical and the mental. Perhaps between the physical/mental and the spiritual, if there is such a thing. If I woke up and looked like Katy Perry, I guess I’d get used to it – but I don’t much like the idea. I wouldn’t mind looking like me but better, though.

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      • Well I certainly try my best 😛
        That’s an interesting view…I tend to agree.
        Yes, looking like Katy Perry – i.e completely different – would just… confuse me, and make me lose a large part of my identity. I generally look at myself in the mirror and think of improvements of the features I already have, for example, thicker hair, or larger eyes. I don’t usually look at myself and think ‘Oh god, I really wish I looked like Megan Fox today.’ Well I mean, I don’t usually….. 😀
        Is that what you’re saying?

        Thanks again for the post, it made me think! (never a good sign)

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