Summary of Article and a Reaction to the Matrix
As a human race, we invest a lot of effort in pursuit of happiness. More precisely, depriving one of happiness is equitable to depriving them of a reason for living or good life. In other terms, happiness is so sought after that a life without it seems barely worth having. Happiness is so important that even earlier philosophers are cognizant of the fact. According to Aristotle, happiness is either the ultimate end of the activities carried out by mankind or the ultimate end. This expresses in unequivocal terms that even earlier beings perceived happiness as a need. In more straightforward terms, an individual living life without happiness might do it of necessity rather than desirability. The article expresses the importance of happiness as a central theme in our culture in contrast with the fact that it still remains unknown, elusive and undefined.
Among the three striking features highlighted by the author is the fact that every plausible platitude has been uttered about the topic of happiness. As a result, arguments on the topic have been reduced to the measly correctness of one position or another or of the synthesizing. Consequently, the room for originality has completely been eliminated. The second striking feature as highlighted by the author of the article is the fact that even with the enormity of the importance of the topic in society, philosophers have had comparatively very little to say about it. Owing to the importance of the topic to human kind, one would think of it as indispensable fodder to the witty minds of philosophers. In contrast, there has been no platonic dialogue devoted to the topic of happiness. The third striking feature is manifested in the fact that non-philosophers generally think that there exists answer to the question, “what is happiness?’. Although they do not brand the quest for happiness or its understanding a hopeless endeavor, they think it is hard to find, define and attain (Griswold 3).
With happiness being such a constant theme in our lives, one would think it so much a part of our being that it would be unable to stay unknown; yet it remains elusive. The author concludes by painting the unsolved problem that happiness has become in the society. This is evidenced by the much that the topic has littered television programs, talk shows, novels, autobiographies, self-help books and even movies. The author depicts these as attempts to decipher the phenomenon. One would be blind to ignore the arguments of the author in his attempt to express the importance of happiness as a central theme in our cultured a contrast it with the fact that it still remains unknown, elusive and undefined. Thinking in retrospect, I agree with the author’s sentiments of the author. This is especially because I am not aware whether happiness is a continuum or a definite state of being even in my quest for the same.
The fact that I am not aware whether happiness is a continuum or a definite state of being and that I agree with the sentiments from the author of the article notwithstanding, I also believe that happiness is what you perceive of it. I posit that what we dream of when we go to sleep not only what we would like our lives to be but also more often than not the realities of life. The movie, The Matrix, shows the extent to which we go in pursuit of happiness. The Matrix features characters that are technologically and organically matched. This attributes kills some human aspect in them. Nonetheless, Cipher makes a deal with the dark side the only motivation being his need to be happy. This goes on to show how important happiness is to not just human beings but also hybrids. At times in life, pushed by the unyielding need to be happy, we make decisions that are fallacious. Although we stop at nothing in the pursuit of happiness, sometimes the end is the realization that we have to harbor and coexist with the probability that we may not find happiness in the very end.
The movie, The Matrix, raises the query of happiness from a broader perspective. This is the relation between reality and our state of mind or our subjective experience. The thesis of the movie is platonic to a good extent and suggests that true happiness and freedom depend on knowing what is real. According to this view, one might experience the subjective feeling of being happy and free, but in real sense he is unhappy and enslaved. It is possible for one to be utterly mistaken in branding oneself happy. Happiness and health have one thing in common; they share a similar concept that for instance one may feel healthy at one moment, but because of ignorance, one might be unaware of an unforeseen illness. This reinforces the thesis that reflection on oneself, happiness and the objective world are inseparable. The entire movie underscores the relationship between ones subjective sense and the reality.
I agree with the operational definition of happiness in the movie the matrix. From the novels perspective, happiness is a not a mood. The movie does not classify ecstasy, bliss and joy as happiness. This goes contrary to popular opinion where many people legitimately perceive and define them by one word, happiness. However, my interest is captivated by the other sense of happiness that is depicted in the movie. From the movie, the Mouse might seem happy spending quality time with the lady in red; the happiness is at best fleeting. I feel this is not the sort of happiness that is embodied in the previous article. Most individuals liken long-range happiness with satisfaction. When I focus on the feelings involved, I find the notions to have some commonalities. The two notions are resting points as lacking anxiety and disturbance as exhibiting peacefulness and calmness. Out of contentment, a person is not plagued by passions that cannot be satisfied, and his passions and abilities has achieved equilibrium (Irwin 62).
The movie paints a picture that where the character is willing to pay any cost, even killing someone in order to go back to the matrix in pursuit of happiness. This rhymes with the happenings of our contemporary society where mankind has made tremendous efforts to attain happiness. Many people have different elements that add up to their definition of happiness. I have seen individuals taking epic adventures in search of the elusive state of being; happiness. More and more individuals quit well paying jobs to opt for less glamourous options in the pursuit of satisfaction. In my opinion, the movie, though it features hybrids of humans and machines as characters, shows the extents to which humans go to achieve happiness. The thesis of the paper stated that happiness remains undefined, elusive and hard to attain. This marries well with the thesis of the movie that posits that happiness depends on knowing what is real. In conclusion, the movie is an apt allusion of the lives that human beings live and their efforts towards achieving happiness. All in all, happiness is what one defines it to be; of course within the confines of reality.
Griswold, Charles. Happiness and Cypher’s Choice: Is Ignorance Bliss?”. Chicago. 2002. Print.
Irwin, William. The Matrix and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Chicago. 2002. Print.