The Truman Show and The Search for Truth by hcj


									The Truman Show and The
     Search for Truth
                General Theory
• Religions suggest this world is not the “real”
  world. According to Buddha: “A wise man,
  recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does
  not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”
• Plato in his Allegory of the Cave argues that the
  world of the senses is a world of illusion; and that
  the true philosopher must see through this
  illusion to the truth.
• Galilio appears a hero of science in his willingness
  to argue against the beliefs of the church to
  assert the earth revolves around the sun.
  But: What’s so hot about the truth?
• The truth is frequently: ugly, painful, hard, and
  disillusioning. There is no Santa Claus.
• Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it.
• Better to be a happy pig or a miserable human
• Should you tell your best friend that his girl or
  boy friend is cheating on him or her?
 But people seem to prefer the truth.
• Philosophic Thought Experiment. Imagine a
  machine, like in the Matrix. If you hook your
  brain up to it you will be given a perfect life. It
  will have ups and downs, just like real life, but in
  the end you will say: I have lived a full life. I have
  achieved all I wanted to achieve. I have no
• Would you hook yourself up to such a machine?
• The great majority of people say, no.
• People seem to prefer the truth.
• People do not want to live a life that is fake,
  phony, or somehow an illusion.
               Quotes from ETR
• “The truth is intrinsically valuable to someone who
  cares to know the truth even if it is inconvenient. It is
  valued intrinsically…however unpleasant it may be and
  regardless of the burdens it places on one”(EIR 73).
• “We also want our own existence to be ‘true.’ Nearly
  all of us so crave authenticity that we would not be
  willing to trade an authentic existence, even suffused
  with anguish and disappointment, for a contrived
  existence that is thoroughly artificial but relentlessly
  pleasurable (EIR 75).”
 The Plot of TS as Search for Truth
• Part 1: We are shown Truman’s life. He has a
  house, a car, a wife, and a job. He lives in a
  very pleasant small community. But he is
  vaguely discontented. He appears obsessed
  with a lost love. In a way, he appears a typical
  man in his late 20’s. He has achieved his goals
  but not yet accepted his fate.
• Part 2: Strange things start to happen. After
  the incident with the car radio, Truman starts
  to observe the world around him. He sits in
  town square and looks. He starts to test the
  “reality.” But he wonders if something is
  wrong with him. Is he paranoid? Trying to be
  spontaneous he tests more vigorously and
  tries to leave Seahaven. He is going out to
  seek knowledge that might relieve him of his
  doubts about the reality of the world around
• Part 3: Convinced that he is being watched
  (though he has no clear proof)(why should
  anybody be watching him), Truman goes
  “crazy.” He escapes from his own house by
  digging a hole in his basement and heads out
  to sea. Apparently, he believes the Truth lies
  off the island and beyond the horizon.
• According to Plato, once a philosopher sees
  the light of truth, he will act in ways that make
  others, who have not seen the light, think he
  is crazy.
• Part Three and a Half: The Truth Revealed?
• Once Truman’s boat hits the wall and Christof
  speaks to him directly and explains his
  situation, Truman has a choice. As Christof
  says, the world on the other side is no better
  than the world of Seahaven, and that world is
  safer than the world out there. But once one
  has seen the Truth is there really any choice.
  How would we have felt about Truman and
  the movie as a whole had he simply gotten
  back in his boat and gone back to Seahaven?

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