A New Thought Experiment

I first was introduced to this idea in college during one of my philosophy classes, I cannot remember which one but I can undoubted tell you that I passed that class with an F+, okay maybe it was a C. Anyways, I have concocted a brand new thought experiment, or at least I think I did. To be honest I think this is just a spin on a few different ideas that I have come across, but nonetheless I think they are interesting.

All religious aspects aside I think the basis of my questions is would you basically do what Cypher did in the Matrix. Not betray his friends, but knowing that the Matrix was not “real” would you be okay with living the rest of your life in a “paradise.” I guess the difference here is that both choices are “real,” meaning that the paradise is an actual place where you can live in the flesh but all knowledge and logic from the normal world would be stripped from your mind. You would have no knowledge that the other existed.

To me I think living in this paradise would undermine what it means to be human. Suffering is the quintessential point of what it means to be human according to Buddha, which I agree with. Life is suffering. Basically you would just spend your days being blissfully ignorant, not knowing anything different, or anything outside of paradise. But what does it matter? If the paradise is all you know then nothing else matters, but my argument is that could you willingly make that choice to be taken to this paradise and leave what you know behind.

I also think that if you were to live in the paradise you are no longer human, as we would define it, as the many different aspects that define us would no longer apply to those individuals. They would not suffer as we would, there would be no famine, no war, no disease, nothing that we as a species have grown accustom too. Now, just because we are use to those things does not make them right, but they are a part of us and who we are, and again they are what makes us human beings.

I would argue that living in a paradise would strip us of our humanness. To me I think you would be just an unthinking drone, a shell more or less, something similar to A Clockwork Orange. Although, it would be nice to live in a world without those things mentioned above, but I stress again that they are a part of who we are as a species.

You cannot develop as a person and grow if you are never challenged, so what kind of life would that be for a person living in this paradise? On the other hand I do not think anyone in paradise would be concerned they are not challenged, so it is a double edged sword. I do not know what I would choose given a choice. Would you rather be blissfully ignorant for the rest of your days or live in a world full of suffering which is an essential part of being human?



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