Personal identity is something, feature, behavior which is used to distinguish one person to another. A person is given an identity according to time he /she was born or place of origin or according to events that was happening at that time.
The complexity of personal Identity comes to when two people of same body size, colour , sex, place of origin and same time of birth, seems diverse in their behavior and thinking capacity. It this divergence of persons that help us identify differently.
The man cannot be the same all the time hence he/she cannot be referred to just a man just as we can refer to a cat. This is because things around a man evolve. Things and weather/ climate are not constant, they keep on changing. Places where there are desert, they were once forest and cohabited by humans and animals. Once they changed into desert, the man had to change places or adapt new ways of survival hence we cannot say a man is same all through
The particles of a matter will remain the same as long as nothing is added or removed from it. From this view we can hold that a man shall remain the same if nothing is changed in him/her and it will be hard to differentiate them. But this cannot be true since when man mate there is change of gene hence they develop differently from their parents.
A man cannot be same with each since every human have memory loss or life experience. A person’s action is characterized by life experience, thinking capacity or recollection of past events. We react differently to common situation depending on our personal experience and the knowledge we have gathered throughout our lifetime .Human beings die and new ones are born hence there is change of generation with new ideas and challenges
It will be wrong to identify a man using common features of the body since we have different thinking capacity or knowledge, life experience, gene or memory loss. A man should be identified according to his behavior and he/she contribute to mankind. Every man is an individual being with unique characteristics and behavior that cannot be share or transferred from one person to another. We might have same organs, weight, mass, height but we are unique in our own way.
Animals or trees can be classified the same since their thinking capacity, weight, mass, height when everything is held constant is the same. To a man this will be different even if everything is held constant. Their thinking and memory loss is different. Man is driven by consciousness.
A man is exposed to external forces which change his/her behavior. Plans and animals remain the same since they cannot feel or experience these external forces. When a man is exposed to this external force he reacts by changing his position or behavior hence it’s hard for a man to be faced out completely from the face of the earth.
The bigger puzzle is if a normal person become mad or drunk or fall into a coma will he or she be the same the same person or will the identity of the person change. This scenario is very complex but Locke argues that you cannot take away their soul (spirit), personal experience, memory or knowledge in total. They will still remain the same persons they were before since their thinking capacity and consciousness is unique and suit them.
Another puzzle is when the man is a small child will be a different person. Locke argues that we cannot identify a person through their body parts, substance since this can be cut off through accidents. Hence a person identity can only be judged from his behavior through his/her life time or what he or she stands for and believe in.
The word ‘man’ has just been used to describe all human common characteristics such as body features and their organization body substances. The word man is used to distinguished humans from rests of animals but each man is and individual self with unique personalities. The word man is used to reduce confusion when generalizing human beings.
When we look at a person identity we check what a person individually stands for and believe in. what makes him or her stands out from the rest of mankind. His intelligence and thinking capacity, how he feels and reacts toward certain issues he/she faces in everyday life. This is what constitutes persons consciousness.
Consciousness is the driving force in humans ‘man’. A mad man or drank person is described as a person without consciousness. It makes us to judge right from wrong. It prevents us to do things which are considered inhuman. A true identity of a person is judge or given through her/his consciousness.
Conscious is what makes person to be rational, think differently from other men. Our thoughts and action are guided by our consciousness. It does not change with time. Its constant that’s why is hard to change somebody behavior. Consciousness is only affected by memory loss, that’s why a person will behave different when drunk.
Change of place, time does not change a person. A person will adapt to the new environment but his /her identity will remain the same. When a person’s hand is cut off, his /her does change. The man will just find a way to cope without the hand but his thinking capacity [consciousness] will remain the same. Even change of occupation and place doesn’t change the true identity of a person. So it’s wrong to call or judge all the humans ‘same’ or identify them according to their body characteristics. Everyone is unique.
Locke, J. An essay concerning human understanding. Raleigh, N.C: Alex Catalogue, 1990. Print.