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The Blue Pill or the Red Pill? -- Writer's Poke #128

For Writers:

In the move The Matrix, Neo is offered a choice. He can take the Blue Pill and continue to live in ignorant bliss, or he can take the Red Pill and learn the painful truth.

Why would anyone purposely choose pain over bliss? Yet there seems to be something hardwired in the human brain to do just that. We expect, however, to be punished for our choice.
This is what the Genesis myth is all about. Adam and Eve were basically told not to take the Red Pill. But they were, in essence, still given the choice -- and the right (the expectation) to be punished.

Now consider this: What value is being given a choice if you have no way of knowing the consequences of your decision? Neo cannot really know what will happen when he swallows the Red Pill, any more than Adam and Eve could know what would happen when they chomped down on God’s Apple. All that these characters know is ignorant bliss; but they also know that bliss without truth isn’t enough.

What pill do you choose, and why?

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” – Socrates


  1. The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance?

    Maybe, but I think Socrates has to explain what he means by knowledge and how he sees knowledge functioning. If knowledge means compassion, kindness, love, concern for others, charity, etc, than maybe he's right.

    But if knowledge is just knowing a lot about Shakespeare and Socrates, than I think he's wrong. Beter yet, he's ignorant and therefore evil.

  2. John,

    Perhaps knowledge isn't enough, but it's certainly a good first step, yes? Knowledge, as you describe in your comment, should lead to action (or to good works, if you will). What can ignorance ever lead to (that's positive)?


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