Is what you believe a means to an end…


… rather than an answer to why?

thisiswhatihavetosay : why - do you have the answer to the question of life

In the movie the Matrix Reloaded, the main characters meet the Merovingian (a trafficker of information) and the following discourse takes place:

Morpheus: You know why we are here.
Merovingian: … The question is, do you know why you are here?
Morpheus: We are looking for the Keymaker.
Merovingian: Oh yes, it is true. The Keymaker, of course. But this is not a reason, this is not a why; the Keymaker himself, his very nature, is a means, not an end, and so to look for him is to be looking for a means to do…what?

It is interesting how closely this is related to the question of our humanity. Here are the different explanations given as to why we exist (1):

  • We are a machine – we are valued for what we do or can do (achieve)
  • We are an animal – human nature is defined almost exclusively in terms of stimulus & response (instinctive)
  • We are sexual beings – where it is believed that all human behaviour is derived from sexual motivation (Freud)
  • We are economic beings – our behaviour is believed to be derived from self-interest (materialism)
  • We are a pawn of the universe – humans are locked in a cosmic struggle between forces more powerful than ourselves (not aliens)
  • We are free beings – where free will is seen as the essence of human personality and self-determination seen as THE great virtue
  • We are social beings – the prime significance of human beings lies in their position and function in a web of social relationships; our human nature is therefore not distinctly defined but relative to our relationships with others

But if you look carefully at them – and as the Merovingian rightly pointed out above – these views simply point to only a part of the reality of our existence, not the why we exist. We could paraphrase the discourse above as follows:

Morpheus: You know why we are here.
Merovingian: … The question is, do you know why you are here?
Morpheus: We are looking for ….

  • recognition (machine)
  • physical / sexual gratification (animal / sexual being)
  • wealth / possessions (ecomic being)
  • freedom to do as we please (pawn / free being)
  • significance (social being)

Merovingian: Oh yes, it is true. The (insert reason here), of course. But this is not a reason, this is not a why; [recognition, physical / sexual gratification, wealth / possessions, freedom to do as we please, significance] themselves , are by their very natures, a means, not an end, and so to look for them is to be looking for a means to do…what?

To glorify God and to enjoy him forever.(2)

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

Notes:
(1) – via Martin Pohlmann’s notes on Systematic Theology, BTC Randburg, South Africa
(2) – Westminster Cathecism, via via Martin Pohlmann’s notes on Systematic Theology, BTC Randburg, South Africa

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About Darryl Schoeman

My Personal Life : challenge leads to thought and thought leads to change More than the Apostle Paul, I can say that I am the chief of sinners (really really really). But I love God and I love the Bible. So I try to live my life with the constant realisation that God is PERMANENTLY with me (yes even when I sin), and seek His presence in everything that I do (except when I sin) and in everything that happens. I share this with others so that they too can believe it and then seek to live it.

Posted on February 5, 2013, in Christianity, Doctrine, Religion, Theology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I, myself, often utilize ‘pop culture’ in my own personal and social analyses. This scene from “Matrix Reloaded” comprises both elegance and eloquence, and your own analysis is… worthy. I enjoyed it.

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