The Prison of Freedom -- A Hypothetical Idea
Updated: Jun 15
(The following article can be seen as a sequel to this article on Razor Reapkvar, a fictional character).
What if you had all the freedom you could have as a choice-maker? What if all your choices won't have any permanent consequences, as long as you can restart reality, and render them from ever existing? What if you could make these choices over and over again without the need to have any remorse whatsoever, all because each of your external actions could be undone in this philosophical scenario?
In Judaism, it is said that a person's life is like an entire world. What if you could take away that world and all the things contained within it, only to restore it as if the very taking had never happened?
In reality, some amount of fear or caution is required in order to live wisely and honorably. If you murder someone, they will not come back. If you loot someone's house, they might lose their belongings and even become penniless. You get the idea.
However, what if it comes with a price, so you aren't as godly as you might think you could be by having this time-restoring ability? What if you escape a certain location you're in and lose that ability permanently?
This is what made me create the hypothetical idea that I'd like to call "The Prison of Freedom." In actual prisons, you are physically confined and can't do much, but when you are in this hypothetical prison, you are basically sucked into a pocket dimension where you can play God by having control over time, but when you leave the dimension's territory, you lose all your godly powers forever.
In a certain video game, I am planning to make a character I made, called Razor Reapkvar, into a blackguard, which is basically the antithesis of the all-good Paladin. However, in order for that to occur, I feel obligated to create a development in his character that would justify him being not only a barbarian and a fighter but also a servant of darkness.
For those still not acquainted with this character, he is basically a voice-haunted killer who kills anything in his path because his voices tell him that, by killing, he will be rewarded with the unknown concept called "E.X.P."
In order to redeem himself, for he does not kill voluntarily, Razor seeks the words of an evil sage, whose intent appears to be good. Lacking the intelligence to realize his true nature, Razor seeks his counsel. The sage, who wants his servitude, offers him a deal.
"I will give you a residence in a town whose citizens' deaths will be meaningless when you murder them, as you will be able to restore their lives infinitely and still gain the so-called EXP you speak of. However, should you leave this town, you will not be able to restore the lives of those you've killed in said town."
"Will I be able to restore the many lives I have already taken?" Razor asks.
"They will not be retained, I'm afraid. However, you have the chance to redeem yourself by making your future killings insignificant. In return," The sage concludes, "You must never leave this town for any reason whatsoever. You will thus be locked in a prison of freedom.
"Think about it, for you have the chance to reap no one's life anymore, forever from this world. You might not know peace, but at least your hunger will not make you feel more regret than you already feel."
The true intent of the evil sage is simple: to use the "prison" dimension to train a powerful, submissive blackguard to do his bidding, get him out of there whenever he pleases, and manipulate him by creating an excuse for his "fault" for not following the sage's rules.
Video games are, pretty much, "prisons of freedom", as long as you have the ability to save and load different files of them. When you load a previous save, you can make a past event go in any way you please, thus rendering said event insignificant in impact.
When you play a video game, even when you cannot cheat, you can still play God but be confined to a certain region where the game takes place. You thus become a "pseudo-god" by having powers in a region you can never leave. Many video games also allow you to play the game again after you finish it while still giving you certain benefits from your previous playthrough, such as funds, equipment, and so on.
If I were in a "prison of freedom", I would replay the same conversations I had with Ms. Chen, my disconnected former friend, and see what she would say if I chose different responses to her responses. I will do so over and over again until I better understand why she detests me so much, even to the point of seeing me as irrelevant.
I would be glad to gain that ability just for that. After I finish a certain route, I will restart and learn more by trying a different path. Then, when I believed I had all the information I needed, I would discard this godly ability, simply because I didn't need it any further. I already isolate myself from the world in the mountains, and I don't have much I regret doing.
Do you have things you regret doing, or at least, things you would've liked to have gone otherwise? What if we could "load" and "save" from our past, make different decisions, and thus create and live a different route? Then, regret will not have to be necessary for those who feel sorrow for their life decisions.
However, since life is not a video game, everything you do has the potential to create an event that is called a "point of no return". Do you really want that to happen when you can prevent it from happening? Then, you should take into account that you cannot "save" your life like you can in a video game. That is the ultimate lesson of this article.
Other than that, I've been trying for 8 years to understand why Chen detests me so much, but I've failed to understand, and it appears that there's no one to tell me. It's so frustrating, to finally be disposed of on a Valentine's Day, just because of a reason you fail to understand.