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Additional resources for Philosophy & The Matrix
It seems that the Matrix simply takes advantage of a sort of mind control already operating in the everyday world. We are told that what keeps people from taking control of the Matrix world is their taking for granted the common sense view of how things behave, such as, if you fall you will get hurt. More generally, what keeps people in line is their tendency to believe what the average person believes, and consequently keep doing (and not doing) what one does and doesn't do. 20 Aldous Huxley similarly lamented the conformity of the brainwashed masses in Brave New World.
Is some possible "real" existence better than any possible Matrix? Or is some possible Matrix better than any possible reality? With Mark Twain’s help, I shall present an argument that one important notion of the best existence, the Christian one, Heaven is after all a Matrix. The point of my polemical approach is not so much to criticize Christianity, but rather to bring the issue of the nature of ultimate value into sharper focus. What is the Matrix?
25. F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, (Vintage Books Edition, March 1974), # 335. 26. See Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores, and Hubert Dreyfus, Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997). Early in the film. Morpheus says:"What is the Matrix? Control. " and James Pryor, at the end of his essay, tried heroically to make sense of this claim by speculating on what the AI programmers might do to the Matrix dwellers. If the machines had done any of these things, Pryor would have the right to say as he does: "In the movie, humans are all slaves.