Red Pill or Blue Pill?

What does it mean to be real? According to the concept of existentialism, all our material objects and worldly attachments are all mere illusions that cloud the true meaning of life. All these social constructs have been created through struggles of power and wealth and have been maintained in our society to control people. In the absence of some of these constructs, perhaps the world would be a better place, but is there not value in some of these things that Camus and other existentialists call illusions?

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you were to take the leap of faith and believe fully in the values of existentialism. You would leave the world behind and say goodbye to your family, friends, and possessions, and live purely independently. If you lived free of outside perspective and societal pressures, you would probably be happy. However, I argue that we have been conditioned to live in our illusion of a society, and the existentialist lifestyle would not be very appealing. Would the happiness come from working hard and living an independent fulfilling life, or would it come from the fact that you are not living in an illusion anymore. In other words, is it better to be blissfully ignorant, or suffering in a life that is real? In the end, if life is really whatever you make it to be, as Camus says, then who is to say which is the real world and which is the illusion.

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2 thoughts on “Red Pill or Blue Pill?

  1. Rachel C.

    I find your analysis quite interesting. I agree with the fact that society has been built on our own social constructs. I mean, we don’t truly know what is real and what is illusion because we also created illusions. Humans created humans. I think that it’s possible to live by the ideas of existentialism but not be a full existentialist for your reason that you listed; the isolation of yourself from others.


  2. Abby H

    I really like the question you pose here, Haydn. Who gets to decide what is necessary for happiness? Existentialism and living a life absent of materialism or love or connection may make some feel happier because they are independent. However, it is the connection between humans and objects and animals does give happiness to people, and I do not think this type of happiness is any less real or valid than existentialists claim.


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