Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #5

Re: The Matrix Trilogy

Thank you very much for your Matrix articles! I have a mental problem called obsessive compulsiveness and after watching The Matrix last night (I admit I was not ready for the seriousness of the the films philosophical implications) and I ended up having a lot of worries about existence and whether or not we are controlled. Today I read your Matrix articles and they have really intrigued me and I feel a bit better now. May God bless you for all the work that you do to help discerning Christians. I am very grateful for your articles and hope that you may write many more interesting reviews. I love your site and hope it will continue for a long time.

Thanks for writing. Your experience is a testament to the evocative power of the Wachowskis’ film, and I completely understand how being prone to obsessive-compulsive thoughts you found the film’s imagery troubling you afterwards. (I’m quite familiar with OCD, having family members and friends with varying levels of obsessive-compulsiveness, and I certainly know how a film like The Matrix can get under your skin and become a problem.)

I’m gratified to hear that my articles were helpful to you. I believe I mentioned in one of my articles that the “brains-in-vats” proposal is broadly attributed to Descartes (with the sci-fi component added by Jonathan Dancy), and that Descartes went on to refute the proposal based on what we can infer about God simply on the grounds that we exist.

Starting with “I think, therefore I am,” Descartes went on to argue that God is, and that the existence and nature of a loving and all-powerful God gives us confidence that the nature of our perceptions and their relationship to the world around us is fundamentally trustworthy.

For what it’s worth, I think it is rational to follow that argument and to trust God with what we must inevitably do anyway, trust our perceptions and our ability to understand the world.

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