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Colin Smith
The New Testament places great stress on the identity of Jesus. He is God with us and this truth is of central importance, because if the Son were not God, we could not know the Father.
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An Interesting question!  Let’s look at this empirically.  

So: am I?  I am I patentpending?  Can I safely say I’m the same person who made my AO3 account, over two years ago?

Obviously I am not physically the same, as I have aged, and my appearance has changed (I like to think for the better), but this is referring to ‘qualitative identity’, the quality of being physically identical to an object, or, in this case, my past self.  i.e. two ties factory-produced to be identical likely would be qualitatively identical.  However, we always talk about numerical identity – the quality of being one and the same object – over qualitative identity when discussing a person’s identity.

Our properties are not the same over time, but our being is.  Therefore, our challenge is to prove that I am the same object with the same identity!  So, what constitutes the identity of a person across time?  Most philosophers fall into three schools of thought on the matter of what determines personal identity: 

  • A soul
  • A body or particular part of body (brain)
  • Psychological properties (memory, personality, sense of humor, ect.)

Assuming for the moment that I have a soul, let’s disregard that theory to focus on the ‘reductionist viewpoints’ – the concept that personal identity can be reduced into one aspect.

Additionally, most agree that as long as the change happens gradually enough, you are the same being, at your core.  Obviously, I do not have identical personality or capacities as to when I was six, but I have generally the same sense of humor, personality, memories, and capabilities as I did yesterday.  By this logic, the me from yesterday has the same sense of humor, personality, memories, and capabilities as I did the day before yesterday, and so on.  This forms a direct chain of connection between me and my six year old self, or, to address your question, the me from two years ago that assumed the pseudonym of patentpending on AO3.  We can therefore conclude that I am the same person as ‘patentpending’ from a psychological reductionist viewpoint.

However, in his 1970 essay "The Self and the Future.“, British philosopher Bernard Williams famously refuted the psychological viewpoint, proving that there are cases – such as where part of one’s mental properties are part by part replaced with another’s – that personal identity will have gray areas when looked at from a strictly psychological viewpoint.  

Therefore, we will also address the physical theory – that personal identity is the same if enough of a person’s physical mass (often referring to the brain) is continuous.  My brain has not suffered any injuries in these past two years, nor has a large chunk of it been removed, so we can safely say enough of it has been physically continuous in time and space to maintain my identity.  We can use the same chain argument as above to prove this suggests my identity is identical to the person who created the ‘patentpending’ account.

However, Derek Parfit’s 1991 essay "The Psychological View"expanded on Williams’ psychological spectrum into a combined spectrum, arguing that if a person’s body and mind are replaced one part at a time, there are cases where identity will have gray areas.  It is largely agreed that it makes no sense for identity to have gray areas, as it is impossible for you to be both yourself and not, so this similarly disqualifies the physical theory.

We are now left with the soul theory.  Proponents of the soul theory argue that identity is rooted in ‘something ultimate’.  In his 2019 book, “Are We Bodies or Souls?” Richard Swinburne argued that personal identity goes beyond what we think of as the ‘self’.  He argues people who hope to be reincarnated after death do not think the, for example, squirrel they are reborn as will have the same memories or body as them, but will be them nonetheless.  However, from reductionist viewpoints, even being able to comprehend this concept is impossible.

However, many push back, saying that as we cannot prove the existence of souls, we can’t definitively say that this is what accounts for personal identity.

Therefore, since the three things that can be used to prove personal identity have all been systematically addressed and discredited, no, we can not definitively prove that I am, indeed, patentpending.

Although, considering I do know the login, I’m pretty sure I am.

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“No aspiro a otros mundos ni a otros cielos. Me basta la porción de maravillas que me asignó la vida: un lecho para soñar, un cuerpo para amar, un corazón para creer, dos manos para bendecir y crear de la nada el infinito…”

-Todo es mío en el sentido que nada me pertenece, Gonzalo Arango.

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Angie and Brenna on what I have dubbed their Emotional Support Klippans. Yes, Klippans are easy to draw, but hey, they’re also a good choice for someone who quickly needs a new couch. What I’m saying is, it’s definitely in-character for Brenna to have a Klippan. Peace out.

Definitely a piece I’m going to refine a little here and there, but I definitely do not want to render it to death either. Just a few touch ups and it should be good to go.

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Definitely refining this one later on a little. While streaming I was just drawing like a wasp on red bull, and that works super well to gets lots of ideas cranked out real fast, but it does mean I gotta let them sit for a little while and then see what I feel they need. 

Am definitely digging the harsh contrast and bold lines here; Brenna’s choice here may not be fun, but it’s fuelled by conviction.

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Tried something different from what I normally do. I still feel it’s tame, color wise, but it was still liberating! When I paint traditionally, I have no qualms about going “And the shadows are blue today” (which, hey, sounds like a fun pretentious title for something, saving that for later), but I’ve always found myself to be hesitant in digital art, making my colors look rather boring, so this was a fun one to work on! The brush also did not allow for much precision and I love what that did to the process as well.

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Human beings, in their settled condition, are animated by oikophilia: the love of the oikos, which means not only the home but the people contained in it, and the surrounding settlements that endow that home with lasting contours and an enduring smile.

- Sir Roger Scruton, How to be a Conservative

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Context: I am a white person. I studied anthropology and then went and traveled all around the US and talked to a lot of people about race. With so many people urging white people to use their voice and privilege to begin discussions with other white people in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, here are some things that I’ve learned:

Keep reading

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“Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.”

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

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