Posted by: TheAuthor | 11/02/2011

Twist of Time

I have been watching the Terminator quadrilogy series over the past few days. My thoughts have since been strung over the idea that; If you went back in time (if it was possible) and changed a particular event, would it change the future.

Strictly speaking, time follows a set path. The future will always be ahead of you, the past behind. Could going back in time and preventing a murder, for example, lead to a future where the victim survives. Or, however, would it lead to a case where because there was no murder, you didn’t go back in time to prevent it and therefore didn’t save the victim. This spiral of a somewhat catch 22 sequence could be never-ending. Food for thought I think.

There is a theory on a few websites, suggesting that the future is already written. What you will do has already been decided and you have no free will of your own. Contradicting this idea is one of free will, that (in the words of Sarah Connor/Terminator) “There is no fate, but what we make for ourselves”.

If, like in the Terminator films, you discovered a way of preventing an event from occurring and acted on your intelligence. Could the very act of you trying to stop events, actually cause them to happen in the first place?

For example (and I go back to the film!). You have knowledge that the machines start the war with humans in a retaliation attack, the software controls all military actions without human intervention. So, to stop the war you make an attempt to ‘pull the plug’ on the self-aware computer software. The software deems this a threat and defends itself the only way it can, starting the war. If you never made the attempt to ‘pull the plug’ would the war have begun?

Time is a dangerous paradoxical thing, we should just enjoy what we have now and live without regret.

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Responses

  1. Another great post and a very interesting situation. Oddly enough I have been having a similar discussion with some friends of mine and we gave it some considerable thought, taking into account the various theories on the subject. If you follow the theory that whatever decision we make creates a parallel universe then the act of going back in time to prevent a situation would have no effect on your own personal time line but would instead create a universe where said situation never took place.

    My geekiness did go into overload after this post but I find the whole idea of time travel (whether possible or not) and parallel universes fascinating.

    • It’s an interesting topic, parallel universe theory sounds very plausible as well. For instance, Back to the Future part 2 when Biff gives himself the Almanac to become super rich. That is the theory I most believe. There is a thought that for every choice you make in your life, in an alternate universe you make the opposite choice. This means that there would be an infinite number of parallel universes, for every possible cause or consequence. Would you tune into one of those universes, if you were to go back in time and change an event?

      It is indeed, a fascinating conversation piece.


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