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The Matrix is NOT a Christian Movie

  1. May 4, 2003 #1
    With the sequel to the Matrix coming out soon, I am reminded of what happened after the first movie came out. About a million people with too much time on their hands decided to make websites paralleling the lives of Jesus and Neo.

    I just want to say that anyone who has ever actually studied religion in a non-biased context would clearly see that this movie more closely parallels the story of Siddhartha Gautama (akd Shakyamuni; aka the Buddha). I would also like to point out that I'm not asserting that the Wachowski brothers intended this allegory either, but it makes more sense than the Christian version.

    I believe that some people out there subconsciously realize that their belief system is less than perfect -- that is to say it is incomplete on its own. They realize that other people are not interested in their religion because of this incompleteness. In response to these feelings, they try to make their religion that which it is not. They are hoping to lure others to practice their religion by masking it behind something that is well received by society as a whole. These statements hold true for most religions in general.

    If a system of beliefs has true merit, then it will be self-consistent and people will gladly practice it without having to make changes so as to suit different cultures or different eras.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2003 #2
    Excellent post. But I don't understand why "matrix philosophy" is not consistent with christianity. If we all exist within the mind of God - as opposed to 'a matrix' - then the message of Christianity is still valid... perhaps.
  4. May 4, 2003 #3
    Can you elaborate on some of the characteristics that make neo less likely a Buddha parallel than a Jesus parallel?

    I made the same connection with the movie to the story of Jesus as alot of others from what ive heard did.
  5. May 4, 2003 #4
    But then again all the more reason why people might want to emulate it. :wink:
  6. May 4, 2003 #5
    the matrix

    nope. it's not a cristian movie. people only want to think of it like that.
    the matrix is deprived from the bible and even zen phillosophy. the directors are heavy readers into phillsophy.
    its the same like buddism. even cristianity has it's parrelels with buddsism.
    there are amny parralles and this is just one of them.
    we can be what we want to be and believe what we want to.
  7. May 4, 2003 #6
    Re: the matrix

    But it's not an anti-christian movie. How could it be?
  8. May 4, 2003 #7
    Indeed, a very good post. I like to think of the Matrix as nothing more than a movie that is worth watching more than once, or even studying perhaps (much like Lord of the Rings:wink:).

    A person could draw parallels between the Matrix and just about any religion, I would be surprised if this was intentional, although the Nebekanezer (spelling) makes you wonder, specifically about parallels to the Bible.

    There is a philosophy section on the Matrix website, and many other sites dedicated to comparing the Matrix with everything imaginable, it makes for interesting reading, but I don't know if they have any merit.

    I like your signature:wink:
  9. May 5, 2003 #8
    You'd have to be a christian or religious to see it as a religious movie. I saw no such thing, I just saw a movie that made me go to sleep. But it's better than Minority Report, that movie really sucked.
  10. May 5, 2003 #9
    Re: Re: the matrix

    No..not like Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ"....that was like total anti-Christian madness.:wink:
  11. May 5, 2003 #10
    Re: Re: Re: the matrix

    Have never seen it, to be honest. I'll take your word for it.
  12. May 5, 2003 #11
    Re: Re: Re: the matrix

    I invite you to see it. It's rather good IMO.
  13. May 5, 2003 #12

    Another God

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    OMG. The matrix put you to sleep???

    OMG... you thought minority report sucked???

    Meh, maybe i'm just too much of a technophile or something. Anything with futuristic stuff in it grabs my attention. Not that the matrix was particularly future orientated other than the setting. The take home message I got out of the matrix was just that 'maybe things aren;t what they seem'. It was just a form of the philosophical brains in vats concept. Nothing new, but presented in the usual hollywood style. (And well done IMHO)

    I never thought of making any religious connections with it though.

    Other movies which have this same sort of philosophical underpinning are '13th Floor' (all about virtual worlds created in computers, and how each virtual world thinks it is real, and if they create their own virtual worlds... and you never know which world is the real world anymore).
    And eXistenz was pretty cool as well. Similar concept, except with immersive computer games. If the games become completely realistic, hwo do you know when u are playing the game and when u are in real life?

    Instead of hijacking this 'Matrix - religion' thread though, I am going to start a thread dedicated to philosophical underpinnings of movies....See you there...
  14. May 5, 2003 #13
    I don't mean to sound really stingy, but this seems to be more "General Discussion" or "God and Religion" Forum material.
  15. May 5, 2003 #14
    I much preferred Existenz to Matrix. It seemed a much quirkier, weirder, less slick movie. I watched that and didn't fall asleep.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2003
  16. May 5, 2003 #15
    The matrix is a mixture of different philosophical and religious beliefs, but definitely has a strong Zen foundation. The Christian aspects of it revolve around the theme of love woven into the movie. In general, Asian thought doesn't address the subject of love very much at all. The most taboo word in the Chinese language means 'divine love.' The chinese say the most horrible crimes in history have been committed in the name of love and god, and some things should remain sacred.

    This is a distinctly different view from that of westerners who tend to invoke love for everything from selling mouth wash to religion. However, if you are going to sell any kind of existentialist movie plot today you have to adapt it to appeal to the largest markets available today: america, europe, and japan. The japanese like a lot of graphic violence, which the matrix has. The europeans prefer existentialism and artistic expression, and the matrix has at least the existentialism. And the americans want smaltz, sex appeal, and righteous indignation which the movie has.
  17. May 5, 2003 #16
    I agree with Wuli. As a European living in America, I know that I and Americans are often on very different wavelengths as regards to movies. If I have enjoyed a movie, American friends will invariably say it was too slow.

    I also find that American movies are far too dialogue-driven; everything has to be spelled out and explained. You have characters making long speeches and we all know the person is speaking to the audience explaining stuff.

    In European movies much more is left unexplained and you can interpret things, even endings, in many ways. Many Europeans like that, Americans think it stinks.
  18. May 5, 2003 #17
    I to thought that the movie was very Zen but missed the Christian connection. Star Wars' the force was very Zen like too and The Lord of the Rings is all about good versus evil. BTW I have always been surprised at how much the different religions teach the same things. Often it is hard to distinguishe the teaching of Budda from those of Jesus.
  19. May 5, 2003 #18
    As if those differences weren't difficult enough to reconcile, Asians tend to love extremely fast and complex plot development combined with nonstop action on a massive scale. Scenes of mobs running from Godzilla, bar room kung fu fights, etc. They also find american love scenes and slow plot development as boring, but european movies aren't much better in their view.

    I watch "Croaching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" again the other night. This is the first martial arts movie to win an academy award, and its blend of american and asian theatrical styles is interesting. Throughout the movie you'll hear actors say things like "that's just life." Often such translations of asians movies are for western audiences who can't swallow the idea of fate without choking. :0)
  20. May 5, 2003 #19
    My wife, who has never studied asian religion or philosophy, has come to say; "life is." and "It's only life." She is as southeastern/western as you can get and a Christian. Asians do not have a monopoly on meditation nor on fatalistic philosopy if thats what it is. I want to say Tao/Zen/Buddist but not sure that is what I want to say either. This is only a comment and no offense meant or taken.
  21. May 5, 2003 #20
    "Croaching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", now you're talking.
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