Ignorance is bliss

Posted: September 11, 2006 in Uncategorized


Morpheus: “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?”Morpheus:” What if you were unable to wake from that dream, Neo? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?”

‘The Matrix’ presents the all encompassing illusion, so ubiquitous and convincing was this illusion that release from it was considered dangerous for people over a certain age.How do we know reality from a dream? This has been the daily diet of Philosophers down the ages.

In the Matrix they made the point that some are aware of reality but don’t want to live in it, preferring illusion. Consider Ciphers’ deal with Agent Smith:Cipher:” You know, I know that this steak doesn’t exist. I know when I put it in my mouth; the Matrix is telling my brain that it is a juicy and delicious. After nine years, do you know what I’ve realised? Ignorance is bliss.”It seem ’s to me that there is no basis in a purely materialistic world such as that afforded by Darwinian Evolution for everyday phenomena like that of rationality, purpose or a sense of wonder.Like Cipher this nonexistent foundation is ignored by the Darwinian faithful, ignorance is not only bliss, it is absolutely necessary.

J.B.S.Haldane expounds on the materialistic basis for rationality “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain. I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms”

Where does purpose come from? How can purpose arise out of a purposeless random atomic blender such as our universe? Purpose is an illusion –it must be! If the most fundamental physical component (such as a quark) of our existence is purposeless then from a materialist perspective so must we.Richard Dawkins (defender of the Faith) says this:” All the great religions have a place for awe, for ecstatic transport at the wonder and beauty of creation. And it’s exactly this feeling of spine-shivering, breath-catching awe – almost worship- this flooding of the chest with ecstatic wonder that modern science can provide. And it does so beyond the wildest dreams of saints and mystics.” (Is Science a Religion? The Humanist 57, no.1)

The greater question isn’t how awe struck someone gets every time a new gene is discovered but what is the foundation for that experience. If all of reality is finally just a rearrangement of atoms and molecules then what is the basis for Dawkins ecstatic transport of Wonder? Surely even that is just an illusion?

From a materialists point of view maybe ignorance is bliss?


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