Bioethics News

The Matrix. Euthanasia and organ donation

The Matrix. Euthanasia and organ donation

You probably remember the scene in The Matrix in which Morpheus explains to Neo the terrible secret: “You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

In the jargon of The Matrix, I’m a blue pill person and believe that I’m in touch with reality. Perhaps I am deluded.

Elon Musk, billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, on the other hand, is definitely a red pill person. Last week he told a conference of geeks in San Francisco that we are probably part of a powerful computer simulation. In fact, he estimates that “There’s a one in billions chance that this is base reality”. (See story below.)

Musk is an intelligent man, but I wonder if he understands the ethical implications of the red pill. If we are really marionettes in a super-human intellect’s simulation of reality, nothing much matters. Certainly worrying about right and wrong is a waste of time. Human life doesn’t matter much either, as we are all just blips in a gigantic computer game. There’s not much incentive for social solidarity.

What do you think? Are we living in The Matrix?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.