In the film, The Matrix, the human race is forced into a “dream state” by a powerful group that controls their reality. “The Matrix” is a false reality where people live an ordinary life. However, this reality, or illusion, is being forced onto people who readily accept it as truth. This concept is where Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay, “On Truth and Lies in a Moral Sense” (1873) begins its argument. Nietzsche begins his argument by explaining that we have a need to form groups or “herds”. To keep these groups together “a uniformly valid and binding designation is given to things” (452). This idea basically boils down to groups create metaphors to further the groups purpose. Nietzsche continues by explaining that “This creator [of metaphors] only designates the relationship of things to man” (453). Ultimately, we can only derive metaphors from a human point of view. As a result of assigning these human designations, the whole identity of the “thing” is lost. Nietzsche wants us to break away from the designation given to “things” by groups because designations will only categorizes things as black and white.
One might object here that if Nietzsche is arguing against truth, how that argument can be true. Of course, Nietzsche’s argument does imply that we are “deeply immersed in illusions” (452). But, Nietzsche is saying that truths have lost their meaning over time. What Nietzsche really means is “Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions; they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal no longer as coins” (455). The essence of Nietzsche’s argument is that a metaphor, over times, loses its meaning. Even more, we begin to accept these illusions as “truths”.
First, let us take a look at how metaphor’s came to be. Nietzsche describes metaphors as “peace treaties” or a common agreement. Nietzsche asserts that “man wishes to exist socially with the herd; therefore, he needs to make peace and strives accordingly to banish from his world at least the most flagrant [war of all against all]” (452). Nietzsche is surely right about “peace treaties” because a cooperation is a necessity in order for this group to progress. Instead of individuals fighting amongst themselves, metaphors are created in order to communicate amongst the group. As a result of groups of “humans” to communicate amongst each other Nietzsche insists that “This creator [of language] only designates the relations of things to men” (453). Nietzsche’s point is that the creation of the language is a subjective “human” view of how the person views the object.
As a result of rules being created for a group to communicate, whoever joins this group must adopt the set of rules. According to Paul E. Glenn in the essay “The Politics of Truth: Power in Nietzsche’s Epistemology” (2004) communication is the basis for how a groups epistemology is spread. Glenn argues...