I was thinking about this some last night and some today. Tonight, I’m just going to write my thoughts out loud as I continue. Maybe someone will say something to improve them in some way. I think such musing is good for helping me clear out my own thoughts and if some of you are interested in the way I think, it invites you into the process.
I thought of this with working in the library with being told not to change the books but move the books. Now to change the books would be a change in substance. To change their location though would be a change in accident. The books could be changed in any way that is called an accident and still be books. It is their being that must be the same. For instance, if you burnt the books, they would no longer be books. They would be ash.
I thought about myself then. Is there anything essential to me? I could have called this “Who am I?”, but I wanted to make sure we could all relate. You can ask this of yourself. Is there anything that is absolutely essential to you? This gets into also what is essential to being a human.
Is it my DNA? Well, maybe not. I could have 47 chromosomes and still be a human being. My DNA could be any number of combinations and I’d still be human. Also, what happens when I die? Do I cease to be? If there is a change in my DNA, do I really change in my being?
Now I like to consider myself someone intelligent but in my case, is it essential to me? If I was to get hit on the head and lose my intellectual capabilities, would I cease to be me? Now I wouldn’t perform the way I did before, but that is function. I am pondering would I still be me? I think I would be. There would be a direct link between this person and that person.
Is it my imaginative side? Well, I doubt that as well. If I lost all interest in my imagination, I would still be me. Again, this is simply function. If I were to cease to be a Smallville fan, I would be me. If I gave up my games, I’d still be me. If I gave up apologetics, I’d still be me.
In fact, is it my Christianity? I actually don’t think so. I think there is a direct link between the old creation and the new creation. It is not that God destroys us and remakes us. It is that he takes us and transforms that which is not of him into that which is of him but it is the same patient on the table the whole time.
There is only one thing I can think of and that is the image of God. I do not think I would be me for instance if I was a woman instead of a man. I see that as an aspect of the image though. If I was totally incapable of rationality, I would not be me. If I did not reflect the nature of God at all, I would not be me.
I also think there is an idea of me. God knew me for all eternity before I actually came into existence. He also knows what he is shaping me into and what I am to be. In essence, if God is not, there is no objectivity to my existence. One reason my person is the same is because it exists in the mind of God. Without that, it would simply be matter with no person behind it.
At least, that’s where I stand now. Does it need refining some? Yep. However, I think there is something here and I plan to keep working on it.