An Analysis of Cypher’s Betrayal and the Problem of Evil
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The Matrix, written and directed by Lary and Andy Wachowski, is a 1999 science-fiction action film that has been regarded as one of the most igneous and highly imaginative films of all time. It depicts the complex story of a dystopian future in which the reality perceived by most human beings is actually a simulated one created by AI machines who use the suppressed humans as energy sources. Though the main characters of the story have freed themselves from the matrix, one character named Cypher (a.k.a. Mr. Reagan) regrets learning the truth and wants to return back to the dream world. Cypher is an example of antagonist Agent Smith's belief that "as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering" as he believes that he will be absent of suffering by retreating into the matrix (Andy and Lary Wachowski). Cypher's betrayal spurred on by his intense opposition of suffering parallels other figures from both history and fiction as well as introduces the philosophy of the problem of evil.
Probably one of the most apparent figures that Cypher parallels is Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus Christ's twelve disciples. In the same way that Judas is Jesus's disciple, Cypher is the follower of Morpheus, yet both decide to betray their leader with the prospect that they will obtain something better. In the Gospels, Judas is consumed with monetary gain and is upset when he sees a woman named Mary, anoint Jesus' feet with a "expensive perfumed oil" that was the equivalent of about one year's wages for a worker (Holy Bible, Matthew 26). Believing that this act was wasteful, Judas is spurred on by his greed when he goes to the chief priests and betrays Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. However, Judas is deceived...
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