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I have to create a video essay in school about a topic of my choice, and I have decided to talk about why living inside the matrix is actually not that bad.

In my opinion living inside the matrix is much better than living in the dystopian polluted real world, where the idea of death is very prominent, especially with the killer robots everywhere. Instead you could live inside the matrix, where you can live a "normal" life with no knowledge that it's not "real" (even though Morpheus says the Matrix is real), the real world.

Am I missing something? Is there actually a fatal flaw with living peacefully in the Matrix? Is there a real reason why the Resistance is trying the free the human civilization or do they just do it because they feel like it's the right thing to do?

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    You take the red pill or the blue pill, depending on if you really want to know what's going on. Would there be a reason to do it? Yes, it's called "Free Will". Mar 8 at 13:09
  • The problem here is that you may have concede multiple things: The movie's mythology includes the ability to have a choice (as Johnny Bones pointed out), then from there U have to ask if being able to have a choice is important in terms of existence? To support your idea that it can be "good", you need to point out that life (whether we are talking political, spiritual, mental/physical) there are already limitations to being alive & most people can't be islands onto themselves, thus have to live within the confines of only ever having so many choices in any given situation... Mar 8 at 19:46
  • It may be refereed to as the human "condition", because to exist in life is conditional, let alone an argument for how to *best exist and if those things are practical or not? Can life still have meaning in a simulated reality? Mar 8 at 19:48
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    Not an answer, but the character Cypher perfectly embodies what you discuss - "freed" from the Matrix, he longs to go back to live in ignorant bliss. You could argue both ways - there are good and bad points for both living inside and outside. You also need to think about it on an individual level and for humanity as a species, living in thrall to their machine captors (and they are literally held captive by the machines). A gilded cage indeed.
    – user25730
    Mar 8 at 22:52

3 Answers 3

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The matrix is bad

People who live in the matrix have zero autonomy. Most people consider autonomy really important. The matrix provides the illusion of autonomy without the substance. So: it not only deprives them of autonomy, it actively prevents them from discovering the truth behind the illusion. That makes it doubly bad.

People who live in the matrix are necessarily allies of the robots who are seeking to kill or enslave all humans. (If you're in the matrix, you provide vital energy to the robots that they use to hunt and kill other humans.) Whether or not to support the robots is a political decision, and the matrix denies its inhabitants not only the choice but even knowledge of the situation.

I'd say one of the most important questions you should ask yourself is: what is "the good life?" Many people think the good life includes things like having a family, achieving professional success, living comfortably, and earning the respect of one's peers. All of the people who think that necessarily believe that freely choosing one's goals is vital. Moreover, all of the people who disagree with that picture of the good life also necessarily believe that freely choosing one's goals is vital. The matrix denies any measure of freedom to the people who are trapped inside.

They don't even have power over the simulated world of the matrix, because the current state was dictated by the robots in their attempt to keep humans pacified. So, any injustice in the simulated world will necessarily be perpetuated because the robots consider it an important element of their facade.

In the year 2000, humanity was plagued by organized crime, human trafficking, widespread hunger, poverty, disease, war, capitalism run amok, and countless other ills. It was far from a perfect time. Agent Smith calls it "the height of [human] civilization," but he's really just talking about technological progress and autonomy: ~2000 was simply the high-water mark we had reached on our own before the robots intervened and took everything away. For all the robots know, humanity was just 50 years away from achieving sustainable peace & prosperity. But we never got to find out, because the robots seized the planet. And now we never will.

People who live in the matrix are essentially pets: some of them may live comfortably (economic inequality was very bad even then, most of the world's population was poor -- even most of America was too poor to afford health care), but they have no actual power over their own lives or the world they live in. There are no scenes in The Matrix set in the rural South, or Bosnia, no scenes with young girls forced into prostitution by criminal gangs. In the year 2000, not everybody got to wear a leather trenchcoat, own a flip-phone, have a computer in their home, or even get three meals a day.

If your definition of the good life is just: "being physically comfortable and entertained until death," then go ahead and spend every minute of the rest of your life playing an MMORPG in a dark basement somewhere. Such a person would fit right into the matrix.

Part of growing up and becoming an adult involves learning that life is more than simple pleasures, more than merely avoiding misfortune. The matrix cannot give people anything else, because it is designed precisely to prevent them from learning they are being denied more.

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NOTE: I WROTE THIS MYSELF (no copy paste)

The Matrix is Good. And we’re not just talking about the movie. We are talking about the Matrix, the programmed simulation that almost the entire human race is forced to live inside.

In the 1999 movie The Matrix we find out that it is the future and machines have enslaved almost the entire race into living in a simulation of and using them as a power source. Outside the Matrix, there is a group of people called The Resistance, with their life goal being finding “The One” and putting an end to The Matrix.

There's a natural, simple thought that The Matrix encourages. This is that there's something bad about being inside the Matrix. We here think that this is what the movie got wrong! And that the Matrix is actually the best thing to ever happen to the human race!

But before we explain why, let’s talk about why some people and the movie claim that living inside the Matrix is bad. Everyone living inside the Matrix is being deceived about the real world, and The Resistance say that they need to realise that they are living a lie.

But why is the Matrix not good? Actually, people living in the matrix are much better off than people in the real world. In the real world, everyone lives underground and eats mush for every meal of the day. But in the Matrix, everyone lives at the peak of human civilization. It’s a pretty easy choice!!!!!

Sure, the Matrix still has lots of problems. For example there are still hundreds of thousands of people suffering from poverty and hunger. There are still bad people. But not everyone’s life is working a desk job and hacking the pentagon like Neo.

But why? Why is the Matrix Not Good? Would people rather live in a polluted dystopian world run by machines where you have to eat mush for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Would people rather live in a world suffering from global warming and terrible diseases? Would people rather live in a world where there isn’t even sunlight? Of course not! The machines are doing a good thing for humans, even though they don’t know it. It is like a prison for humanity, but the only downside is how people feel about it. An argument for why the matrix is bad is that people should know the truth. But in the world in this film, not knowing about the badness of reality is probably for the better (like RAC).

The Matrix is good, and here’s how to prove it: What would happen if Neo was victorious? What would happen if the Matrix was destroyed, and all the world’s humans woke into reality? Well, there’s only one city and we’re guessing there’s not a lot of food slop to go round for billions of people. So, most of the people would just die. And that’s not counting the fact that there are huge armies of robots wandering around, ready to pretty much kill everyone (important fact). So, almost all of the Matrix-humans would end up dead pretty quickly.

Without the Matrix, life would be alright in the future, but we would also have to adapt to global warming and that sort of stuff. In the Matrix, humans don’t need to worry about the big stuff, so we can be much more productive. And since the Matrix runs on human-power, it’s environmentally friendly! So basically, the Matrix is better than the real world. I think.

In the movie The Truman Show, there is a similar occurrence occuring. Truman Burbank believes to be living in a normal world until he realises that his life is Plato’s Cave analogy or whatever. He finds out that he is living in a scripted world, this is not good. It's different from The Matrix because the only person being deceived is Truman, the sole victim and his life would be much better outside of his small fake world. For example, there is no Fiji in his Dome, while there is in the real world.

On the other hand, there's no Fiji in the real world, but there is in the Matrix.

In the book Ready Player 1 there is another similar occurrence occurring. The world is basically destroyed, the majority of the world is suffering from poverty, the world is completely polluted and wrecked and most of humanity spends the majority of their time living inside a simulation called the Matrix whoops I mean the Oasis. The Oasis started as a video game until humans turned into their second life. In the Matrix, most of humanity is “forced” to live inside a simulation, and they don’t even know it exists, while in Ready Player 1 most of humanity sees the Oasis as an escape from their broken world.

Anyway, in the second book Wade Watts is the owner of Greg’s Games or whatever and he finds and releases a new technology called the ONI tech, which causes the user to smell, hear, and listen to their surroundings in the Oasis, like they are really inside it. This creates a worldwide addiction to humanity as they escape their degrading world to experience perfect utopias inside a simulation. By the way, the ONI tech is a machine that plugs into your head to send sensory signals straight into your head to make you feel, smell and hear inside the Oasis, which is very similar to plugging your head into the Matrix. One of the characters in the book who opposes the idea of using ONI even says something along the lines of “You should never plug your brain into a machine! Haven’t you seen The Matrix or SAO?”

Considering the state of the real world in The Matrix, we think it’s safe to say that Cypher had the right idea. Living inside the Matrix is better than living in the crap real world, and even though humanity didn’t have a choice, we think the robots unknowingly gave them the best thing they could hope for. This holds true in the Ready Player book series, where humanity chooses to escape their horrible reality and basically live inside a video game, and they end up thinking the sole reason for even sleeping and eating in the real world is to wake up and put on the OASIS Headgear. So there’s only one thing left to ask, what do you think? Would you rather live with your friends and family inside a norBecause in the end, it’s your choice. (or not if the robots have you trapped and there's no Neo).

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  • This is a very long answer! It is almost like an essay script. Why are you talking about "The Truman Show" and and Ready Player 1, I have never seen those movies. Nonetheless, I could use this as inspiration for my video essay task! Thanks!
    – Mr Keprins
    Mar 8 at 12:56
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    This appears to be copy/pasted from somewhere. If it is, you must credit the source.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 8 at 13:04
  • No, I actually wrote this as a basic script for a video essay back in Year 9. I wrote all of this myself, so I'm sorry, but I don't think I need a source @Tetsujin
    – Cohen
    Mar 8 at 13:12
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    You might want to clarify that at the head of the piece, else the "we at WA Uni' just looks suspicious.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 8 at 13:14
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    Oh yeah. Lol! Forgot about that. When I wrote this essay as a basic script, I didn't actually record myself saying that! Sorry about the confusion. I'll edit now
    – Cohen
    Mar 8 at 13:16
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The main theme of The Matrix you mention is a parable for people living their lives blindly, whether by choice or not. An example of this might be a middle-aged man who has lived his entire adult life with the same approach of his high school years.

Only out of the Matrix can true growth happen.

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