Monday, January 28, 2013

[Reader Questions] Am I in the matrix and does God watch Girls Gone Wild?

Click on the image to enlarge it enough to read.

I received the above 2-page letter via snail mail. Here is my response to the author.

Dear Mason,

Thanks for the letter. It may be hard for me to answer your questions accurately without sampling the liquid beverage you describe – the scientist in me likes to reproduce experiments before I come to conclusions. So next time, please send some of the relevant libation along with your questions, especially since today always ends with a 'y'. Despite my sobriety however, I will try to respond.

Question 1: “What is the probability than an omnipotent entity used my credit card?”

There is no probability. An omnipotent entity does not need to a credit card, because it does not need to pay for things. The entity can create anything out of nothing. Neither would it need a Snuggie since the being could warm itself at will. While it is true that the entity could make a draft so cold that no Snuggie could warm it, it is also true that it could create a Snuggie warm enough to counter the cold. You see, despite the philosophers who claim that omnipotent beings cannot engage in logical contradictions, my preferred answer to any question in the form of “Can an omnipotent entity do x” is a simple “yes,” since this is what omnipotence means. The entity can indeed do x whatever x is.

Finally, I do not think the entity would need a Girls Gone Wild DVD. If it is interested in seeing boobies (as, I believe female breasts are referred to by anyone who actually watches Girls Gone Wild), the entity could make them appear before its eyes at will.

Question 2: “How can I convince my brother that he lives inside the matrix?”

You can’t. First, by making him aware of the matrix, you will cause the matrix to fail for him. If one knows that he or she is part of the matrix, then one is no longer “in” it. Now, some might claim that they knowingly entered into it to cause mischief, as Neo did, but since you yourself don’t recall doing so, it follows that you didn’t. Therefore, either you are not part of the matrix or the actual matrix has you believing in a different false matrix to further camouflage its own existence. More importantly, you assume with your question that I am not part of the matrix, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking me about it. In fact, it is just as likely that I am an Agent and, as such, I will be coming to get you. I would advise you not to fall asleep anymore, regardless of what you drink.

Finally, although you do not ask it in your summary list, you did pose another question:

Question 3: “From a philosophical stand point, would I be a bad person both morally and ethically, if my brother somehow becomes unconscious and woke up in an abandoned factory?”

Most philosophers would ask for more information regarding the term “somehow” since the answer depends on whether or not you are responsible for your brother's ending up in the factory. However, I would suggest the question is moot. You are obviously a bad person already. What happens to him will not change that.

Jack Russell Weinstein, aka ANDY.

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