Since every living being has a metabolism, we all live in non-equilibrium state. We keep on exchanging molecules and atoms with our environment. I assume that our brain is affected by this as well as the rest of our body.
So while my atoms keep on changing while I'm writing this, why am I still the same person, or better the same conscious being as I was tens of years ago?
(I was pretty shocked when I realised that the first time.)
I'm not speaking of growing up and being influenced by society. I just wonder, that all atoms of my body might be exchanged, without having an effect on my thinking. Does this mean, that there is something non-physcial (the mind or call it soul if you like), that can't be exchanged or can I influence my thinking by started to eat only carrots from northern france (just an example, not meant seriously ;-)?
EDIT Thanks for all your comments, so far. I would be happy to find some references to further read on the topic. Thanks.