Comparing Descartes And The Matrix

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Curtis Strickland

Compare and contrast The Matrix with the readings from Plato and Descartes. What are some similarities and differences?

The biggest similarity among The Matrix, Plato’s cave analogy, and Descartes’ reflections is that they question whether the reality experienced through the senses is definite and real, or if it is just an distortion of reality. The Matrix is a movie about a cyber “reality” where everyone is connected to a super computer and their virtual reality is simulated (“Synopsis: The Matrix,” n.d.), Plato’s cave analogy asks if what is thought to be reality could merely be shadows (Plato, n.d.), and Descartes (1641) reasoned that, since we are capable of being deceived, we could just as likely be mislead about what is truly real. Based on this thinking, he went on to consider which higher power it is that has exposed us to such deception (Descartes, 1641). Though different in some areas, these three sources all speculate on whether
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The Matrix attributes the human race’s delusional reality to the intelligence of a computer (“Synposis…,” n.d.). Plato (n.d.) did not say who has put the two cave people in their chains, but the conditions regarding their enslavement seems to infer that exclusive, “enlightened-to-reality” members of the human race were keeping the cave people in bondage to keep them from experiencing reality, and only showed them what they wanted the cave people to experience. Descartes (1641) held onto his belief in a Supreme Being of love and compassion that would not knowingly allow His children to live in deception, and determined that our sensory deception must be due to the effort of a fallen being. If Plato, Descartes, and the writers of The Matrix were able to come together today, it would be safe to say that none of them would be able to agree on what is the probable cause of a delusional

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