I don't think it can be so cut and dry. What defines a basketball player? The fact that they play basketball. What does somebody who likes to play basketball do? They play basketball. They are a basketball player. They are not a crocheter, they are not a nit picker, they are a basketball player.Jikan wrote:Disagree.
The statement "I am a diabetic" articulates a form of identification, an identity. The second statement, "I have diabetes," articulates a characteristic of a person that may or may not have an identity structure built around it. Other examples:
"I like to play basketball" vs "I am a basketball player"
"Frank once beat his wife" vs "Frank is a wifebeater"
in both these examples, the latter formulation is much more reductive. The relevance to this discussion? The two statements "I keep a vegetarian diet" and "I am a vegetarian" reflect this distinction too. The latter articulates an identity one has built for oneself, while the former just describes something about the person, a characteristic.
This isn't splitting hairs. It's a consequential distinction, especially in a Buddhist context.
EDIT: looks like Simon beat me to it. Sorry to pile on.
My diet is vegetarian thus I am a vegetarisn.
If Frank beats his wife then Frank is a wifebeater. Frank is a wife beater because he beats his wife.
Greg has a vegetarian diet thus Greg is a vegetarian.