The Way of Knowing

The Way of Knowing

From the very beginning of emergence of philosophy, humanity has wondered about the sense of life in the Universe and the way of knowing the truth. The most prominent philosophers on the globe created the background of development of alchemy to search for the philosopher’s stone. They believed that it would turn metals into gold, could make a human life eternal, and would equal a human being to God. Nowadays, some modern philosophers claim that a virtual reality exists. They try to persuade humanity that the human elite can move into the higher level of its development and cross the verges of space and time with the help of some computer technologies. Using Socrates’ “allegory of the cave”, modern philosophers have forgotten his famous apothegm of recognition of knowing nothing. Moreover, modern scholars violate the Christian morality and, therefore, will bring more grief than profit.

Socrates, Descartes, and authors of the movie The Matrix, Andy and Lana Wachowski lived in the different epochs, however, the idea of doubting the correctness of their perceptions of reality unites them. According to Socrates, the human reason was as if chained in a cave to perceive images, which an unknown author showed (Plato, 2015, p. 220). He believed the life in the Universe to be in the shape of a stage in a theater, in which human beings were spectators. They could not change the scene or watch more without freeing themselves. Therefore, Socrates doubted whether humanity perceived what was happening on the stage in a correct way. Nevertheless, Socrates recognized that he had known nothing about the Universe (Plato, 2015, p. 31). It forced him to develop his philosophical studies for improving society.

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In the seventeenth century, Descartes was considering a change of his opinions during a certain period of life, concluding that his life experience forced him to do it and to recognize his mistakes (Descartes, 2008, p. 15). Therefore, Descartes criticized his earlier beliefs due to the wrong principles of the perception of reality (Descartes, 2008, p. 165). According to Descartes (2008), the major reason of his errors was his senses, and he compared his way of thinking with those who suffered from various mental illnesses, as they could not perceive the reality in a correct way as well (pp. 65-83). Therefore, he supposed that his mind slept before, and at a more mature age, Descartes was able to see all his mistakes. He connected it with demons, which were constantly deceiving him. Therefore, Philosopher started to doubt the rightness of some sciences, physical existence of some natural phenomena, and shapes of celestial objects. It forced Descartes to realize again his former belief. Philosopher could not find any answer to the majority of questions, however, his doubts increased. Of course, Descartes could recognize that he had known nothing about the Universe.

Andy and Lana Wachowski created the situation, where the major character of their movie, Neo, found himself in the virtual reality, by taking a red pill (Silver, 1999, The Matrix). He rejected his former life for the sake of the search of the truth in order to make humanity happier. According to the plot of the movie, human beings had to subordinate to the certain Matrix, developed by the higher reason. A huge computer controlled the whole life of the human civilization instead of God. Some of the human beings managed to create a group, which rose against the Matrix and reached a new level of development beyond the verges of space and time. At the same time, some of them wanted, as Cypher did, to remain within the Matrix, to live in the world of illusion. Unlike Socrates and Descartes, Andy and Lana Wachowski do not doubt their rightness concerning the Universe. Moreover, they created a negative character of Cypher, who did not want to change his way of life (Silver, 1999, The Matrix). In addition, the Wachowskis rejected the idea of God, which was in works of Socrates and Descartes. They substituted God with a computer machine.

All philosophers state that the majority of human beings would be very glad to know the truth about reality, rather than to remain in Socrates’ cave. Nevertheless, Cypher preferred to stay in his world, and he was right. There have been numerous discoveries in the modern world, which allowed humanity to learn how to clone living creatures, including human beings. It is now possible to clone any dictator, for example, Hitler or Mao Zedong. Of course, if any totalitarian regime seizes the power in any developed country, it could use this opportunity to clone dictators, posing a danger to whole Universe. It is easy to imagine what Hitler or Genghis Khan could have done with the modern nuclear weapon in their arms.

The transformation into other reality can pose more danger to humanity than any clone of Hitler or Stalin, because any terrorist would have the ability to change the future of the Universe. For instance, some terrorist could use mental abilities of world’s prominent scholars to become a ruler of all. He could define which nation should exist, and which one should disappear without a trace, erasing from the memory of humanity their existence. From the point of view of Christianity, transference into another reality is a separation of the human soul from its body. It is an amoral action, a sin. Moreover, Neo used a red pill to escape from reality, and so drug addicts do. Could Neo take some drug? In that case, the movie is about drugs and drug addicts. Of course, at present, anyone can use drugs or alcohol to escape from reality. However, it causes illusions only and is a real evil.


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