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Views: 1,646  ·  Replies: 15 
> Philosophical Debate on Time Traveling
Perry
  Posted: May 7 2015, 10:26 AM


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The concept of time traveling is not new. Throughout ancient times, human has always pondered about traveling back in time or traveling far into the future and the ramifications that it could have. In this topic, I want to specifically talk about traveling back in time and discuss about its morality.

So there are three basic scenarios.

  1. You travel back in time, made some changes. Go back to the present, then finds out things have changed drastically. This is time travel in the same world line.
  2. The other scenario is, you travel back in time, made changes. But you find out nothing has changed when you go back to the present. This is time traveling to a different world line of the past.
  3. Last but not least. You travel back to the past, made no changes whatsoever. Hop back to the "present" and finds out things are just not quite the same before you left. This is time traveling to a different world line to the past AND to the future. Essentially this scenario prevents you from ever going back to world line you started with. Every time you time travel, it's a different world line.


Movies usually focus on the first scenario because it's more entertaining and because we humans are creatures that reason and value cause and effect. So let's ask the hypothetical question.

Let say we live in a Scenario 1 universe where traveling back and forth in the same world line is possible. (Let's imagine for a second that history can be changed.) You work for a secret government agency that has developed a time travel device that allows physical time travel. You are sent back to June 1895 in Leonding, Austria. Your mission is to kill a six-year-old boy named Adolf Hitler. Knowing your action will prevent the loss of millions of lives, will you finish your mission?

This is a classic trolley problem with a time traveling twist added to it. What will you choose? Kill an innocent boy in exchange for millions of lives that have or haven't been born yet? Or will you look the other way and abandon your mission because deep inside you know if not for Hitler, someone else will take his place. Not to mention, this change is so historically significant that it could have other drastic and unforeseen ramifications in present. Our society might not be advanced enough to develop the time machine, then you will be stuck in the past forever. Thus, making this a one-way ticket.

Will you still choose to finish the mission then?

For me, I would never choose the mission in the first place. What happened already happened, we shouldn't be so caught up with the mindset of altering the past for some illusive greater good.
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Tessou
Posted: May 7 2015, 10:57 AM


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But if the timeline was altered to the point that mankind doesn't develop time travel... how did you travel to the past?

Some events in history are "doomed" to be static facts, or else they would not have happened. If it was me, I would go back simply to record that which has been lost to time. Observation is fine, but alteration is playing god.
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Spaz
Posted: May 7 2015, 01:27 PM


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Dare I say it... Hitler did a lot of good things for Germany, and WWII did a lot of good things for the world. The technology and industry that comes out of a proper war is incredible.

So think about it this way... Yes, lives were lost. It was tragic. But what is the cost to today of saving those lives in the past? How many countries would be in worse recession right now if not for the economic jump start? How many companies would have shut their doors years ago? How much worse would world unemployment be? Nuclear weapons would have been a much more recent thing, but what about the other technologies that were co-developed? If nuclear power hadn't taken off? How much longer would we have had to wait for jet aircraft if the drive to produce a faster fighter aircraft hadn't been so great?

I think I've made my point? I dunno. Feel free to agree or argue!
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Möbius
Posted: May 7 2015, 02:36 PM


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I literally facepalmed halfway into the first post.

Apart from that, Tessou has the right idea with being an observer.

But that would require something along the lines of a very strict moral code for whoever is doing it. Maybe so strict that it wouldn't be possible.
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kyonpalm
Posted: May 7 2015, 02:43 PM


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QUOTE (Tessou @ 3 hours, 41 minutes ago)
Observation is fine, but alteration is playing god.
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Möbius
Posted: May 7 2015, 02:44 PM


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QUOTE (kyonpalm @ 55 seconds ago)
You can't have one without the other.

And with that, the thread suddenly improved a hundred fold. Thanks man!
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THE_HONDA_CG2
Posted: May 8 2015, 09:36 AM


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The terminator movie series?

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Seri
Posted: May 8 2015, 09:41 AM


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I know what I know from Steins;Gate, pretty much. tongue.gif
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Tessou
Posted: May 8 2015, 09:55 AM


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Obviously we've had some restraint, if it's ever possible. Massive amounts of atrocities still happened and we still don't know who wrote the Bible.

Tumblr still exists.
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APX
Posted: May 8 2015, 10:38 AM


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I mean, i'm sure i'm not the only one who will do this (Tess just mentioned it) but the first thing i'd probably go and "see" would be this "Jesus" person, maybe few days before the thing happened and he was buried, set up a little hidden camp to see if what they say really happened, or if aliens.
kyonpalm
Posted: May 8 2015, 10:51 AM


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QUOTE (APX @ 13 minutes, 13 seconds ago)
... the first thing i'd probably go and "see" would be this "Jesus" person, maybe few days before the thing happened and he was buried, set up a little hidden camp to see if what they say really happened, or if aliens.

I'm pretty sure there are at least a billion other more interesting things to check out with a time machine than that. Most of them being events that occurred within the last thousand years, with a focus on the last few hundred.

This post has been edited by kyonpalm on May 8 2015, 10:52 AM
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APX
Posted: May 8 2015, 11:41 AM


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QUOTE (kyonpalm @ 49 minutes, 46 seconds ago)
I'm pretty sure there are at least a billion other more interesting things to check out with a time machine than that. Most of them being events that occurred within the last thousand years, with a focus on the last few hundred.

Like what exactly? Things in the last hundred years or so have been recorded/documented, religious debate such as this would be at the very top for pretty much everyone, since it could be the biggest troll or something more.

personally for me, i'd like to see the Mayans, just to see how and why they just disappeared out of thin air., it baffles many, and there's so many theories that it makes me wonder.

Maybe Area 51?
Nomake Wan
Posted: May 8 2015, 12:07 PM


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QUOTE (Perry @ Yesterday, 11:26 AM)

  1. You travel back in time, made some changes. Go back to the present, then finds out things have changed drastically. This is time travel in the same world line.
  2. The other scenario is, you travel back in time, made changes. But you find out nothing has changed when you go back to the present. This is time traveling to a different world line of the past.
  3. Last but not least. You travel back to the past, made no changes whatsoever. Hop back to the "present" and finds out things are just not quite the same before you left. This is time traveling to a different world line to the past AND to the future. Essentially this scenario prevents you from ever going back to world line you started with. Every time you time travel, it's a different world line.

Actually, you have possibility two incorrect. Possibility two is actually the most likely if recent studies about quantum interactions are anything to go by (source), so let me make sure it's clarified before we proceed.

In possibility two, you travel back in time and make changes. This creates a new world line in which you have travelled back in time and made changes. You can even go back in time and kill your own grandfather and nothing will happen because all you've done is created a world line in which you travelled back in time and killed your own grandfather. If you travel forward in time, you do so along the world line you just created. So you end up in that world line's future, in which you do not exist because you killed your grandfather. However there is no paradox because in this world line you are a time traveller.

The only way to travel to the past, effect changes, then return to your original future (as seen in Dragonball Z) is to somehow have direct control over traversing world lines. It is probably the most improbable of any suggestions.

EDIT: Technically speaking as soon as you allow time travel, possibility 3 is the most likely. The chances of preserving a world line once you introduce a closed timelike curve is pretty much zero.

This post has been edited by Nomake Wan on May 8 2015, 12:09 PM
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kyonpalm
Posted: May 8 2015, 12:09 PM


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QUOTE (Nomake Wan @ 1 minute, 56 seconds ago)
Actually, you have possibility two incorrect. Possibility two is actually the most likely if recent studies about quantum interactions are anything to go by (source), so let me make sure it's clarified before we proceed.

In possibility two, you travel back in time and make changes. This creates a new world line in which you have travelled back in time and made changes. You can even go back in time and kill your own grandfather and nothing will happen because all you've done is created a world line in which you travelled back in time and killed your own grandfather. If you travel forward in time, you do so along the world line you just created. So you end up in that world line's future, in which you do not exist because you killed your grandfather. However there is no paradox because in this world line you are a time traveller.

The only way to travel to the past, effect changes, then return to your original future (as seen in Dragonball Z) is to somehow have direct control over traversing world lines. It is probably the most improbable of any suggestions.

EDIT: Technically speaking as soon as you allow time travel, possibility 3 is the most likely. The chances of preserving a world line once you introduce a closed timelike curve is pretty much zero.

Post of the thread.
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Möbius
Posted: May 10 2015, 01:59 PM


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Something kind of related:
YOUTUBE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiUz04P3hRM )
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RalliKai
Posted: May 10 2015, 05:24 PM


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Topic just had me thinking about this movie.

YOUTUBE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3XNEWtJF0o )