Films address different issues of life. On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense and The Matrix are films that address issues related in one way or another. This paper is aimed at highlighting specific aspects of the two films relating to the ideas, passed by them to the contemporary world. For instance, both films try to unveil the truth to the contemporary world concerning the realities facing the contemporary world (Rowley 12).
Themes in On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense
The Nihilism of Contemporary Europe
The film On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense is a fascinating film produced by Nietzsche. The writer captured an important crisis facing a man at the peak of science development. The Christian world lacked a clear explanation of its role in men’s lives. This is evident through the phrase “God is dead”. On the contrary, the development of science does not offer new values that can replace Christian ones. To his opinion, people had to find out some sources of value and meaning in their lives. He believed that if man could fail to find his mission in science then he could turn to aggressive nationalism. The last idea was based on the return to the traditional religion of Christianity (Ben 23). Nevertheless, his idea was to find some ways out by creating a willful verification of life.
The will to power as a doctrine
Power can be a psychological insight. The primary drive to power is realized through dominance and independence. The will to power is much stronger than the will for surviving. In this context, it is believed that this is why martyrs die, because of a certain reason. If they feel that they are associated with such a reason, they get motivated and the will gets stronger. Nietzsche is interested in the sublimate will to power, in which individuals change their will to power inward to pursue self-mastery and not others. An Indian mystic supports this aspect. On the other hand, the will to power explains the changing fundamental aspect of reality. From Nietzsche’s point of view, everything is bound to change (Rowley 34). Nothing lives without changes. He believes that matter always moves and changes according to ideas, the truth, knowledge and other things. Other themes that Nietzsche explores in the film include the conception of perspectivists about the truth: he looks at Christianity as a life-denying force. He also includes other themes, such as the doctrine of eternal assurance, the revaluation of values and a man being a bridge between Overman and Animal.
The Matrix is a popular film that is followed by a large group of people. It is a religious film that contains difficult topics not tackled by many filmmakers in the Hollywood. Most people believe that what they see in the matrix reflect their religious doctrines. Other people look at Keanu Reeves traits to be analogous to Christian Messiah. On the contrary, others view him as a Budhist. Therefore, the film highlights major ideas of Christianity, Budhism, Skeptism, Gnosticism and philosophy (Ben 45).
In his work Nietzsche looks at scratching on Christianity, giving arguments that are primarily opposite to life. He believes that Christian life is an attempt to refute all properties that relate to a healthy life. The aspect of sin makes people feel ashamed of their instincts and sexual activities. The idea of faith brings discouragement to people’s natural skeptism and curiosity. The idea relating to pity makes people cherish and value their weaknesses in life. Moreover, Christian values are based on the promises of the eternal life after death. This leads Christians devalue the current life by favoring the later life. He believes that Christianity is resentment to the real life together with people who enjoy it. In this context, the Christian life seeks to overcome health together with strength using a life–denying strategy. According to Nietzsche, the Christian life makes people hate better life to embrace poverty life.
On the other hand, The Matrix brings out Christian symbols in the film. The character of Keanu Reeves has the first name of Thomas. It can be the same as the doubting Thomas from the Bible. The other name Anderson means “the son of man” (Condon 16). This name was used by Jesus to refer to him, as He was born by a mother but without a father. This brings a belief that Jesus was indeed a real person in the world, since He is the son of man. A different character by the name Choi brings out the instinct of Christianity by referring to Jesus as a personal savior. This relates to the Bible, when the unclean spirits fell on the earth when they saw Jesus Christ. There are several Christian references in the film. The very last man’s capital city is Zion, which refers to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a holy city for the Muslims, Christians, and Jews. It is from this point that Neo falls in love with trinity. This trinity is greatly applicable in Christianity through the experience of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Rowley 56).
However, the issues that come out in the film relate to the Christian life and values. It is important to note that the themes are not truly Christian. Although, some people may view them as Christian values, because they have a common relationship. This is because Christianity uses many ideas and stories that have an impact on human traditions for millennia. The issues in the stories are a part of human culture in the same way as philosophical heritage. Therefore, The Matrix takes heritage in religious and cultural aspects in a specific manner, which brings destruction to many people from the main messages of Christianity. It even goes beyond Christianity to touch other religions, such as Islamic Budhism and other religions (Condon 47).
This reveals that The Matrix and On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense are not Christian movies. However, they use poor reflection of Christian values making Christianity appear in a superficial manner related to the American pop culture. It needs deepness for the sake of human-being used to sound bites over solemn theological contemplation. May be, they are not supposed to be Christian movies. Instead, they touch upon serious issues that may have been addressed by Christianity (Ben 57).
The Re-assessment of All Values
Just as hinted by the title of the film, Nietzsche attempts to define a place free of immorality. He does this by assessing psychological drawbacks facing morality. He manages to illustrate that individual values are not glued to some point or dependent on some ideas, but they are rather a depiction of a particular perspective towards life. For instance, he claims that Christian principles are primarily aggrieved and life-restricting and devalue the sole purpose of human existence. The principles also enhance weakness and diminish the cause of human existence. Nietzsche’s objective in the film is not to substitute Christian principles with a set of other ones, but to illustrate the principle of morality as being a core of primary psychological aspects that make them relevant (Condon 69). He had an idea of encouraging viewers to change their lives for better and lead honest lives based on positive psychological aspects. He claimed that lives devoid of these positive values are entirely irrelevant and of no help to any person.
Man as a Link between Animal and Overman
Nietzsche asserts that human life is a stage in life and not the end. Humans are different from animals, because they can control their intuitions to their advantage. However, a man fails by letting the intuition control his life and actions. This has enabled a man to pretend that he is civilized and skilled, whereas he is opposite of that. This aspect has compelled a man to ignore his Christian principles and adopt other negative morals because of the emerging pressure. Although he is supposed to be a link between animals and the Overman, this is often not true considering that a man does not live as expects. He has continually reserved particular morals that make it difficult to differentiate him from the animal and consequently fail terrible to form a link between the two. The Matrix also illustrates the aspect of a “confused man”. The viewer is unable to differentiate between a man and machines in the film. A man is fighting in a losing battle trying to unplug themselves from the ensnarement of serving computers. This reveals an undefined man in the film (Rowley 89).
The Matrix addresses philosophical themes in various ways. Through skepticism the film reveals that human beings are struggling to live on the Earth. The truth in this context is that people have not been given the real proof that the Promised Land of Zion exists. The question remains on how to explain the real and how to get the real. People are extremely undecided. Just before Neo goes out of Zion for the last time in the film Matrix he is given a present. This present is a spoon. In a real sense, the spoon is not a present. It can only appear in the minds and not seen or felt. People have not been shown the real in the film (Condon 79). They are wondering if they can access real objects.
This also happens in the film On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense where people believe in the second coming of Jesus who will then provide them with Eternal Life. They cannot feel the truth in the world that cannot be seen by eyes. According to the films, it is true that the truth about the Christian life is not valid. Eternal Life means suffering on the Earth expecting to get a reward somewhere people cannot reach and proof (Condon 90). The truth of the matter is that all people who are awakened in the matrix never have that faith that they are living in the real world around them.
The attraction of skepticism in The Matrix is quite powerful. It keeps on the scene every time. For instance, towards the end of the scene, Neo talks to the architecture and the wall around him. There are also many images of him on monitors. The images move through the screen several times reflecting that it is the real Neo speaking. In this context, it reveals the true world in reflection of Neo’s images on the screens. It reflects that the truth of underlying issues of religion can be of great value considering the life that can make one live with little struggle in the next world (Condon 99). The films may contain some truth, but no one can prove, since there is nobody who has ever reached the Promised Land and come back to provide the evidence of Christian beliefs.