The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

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Post Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

Another option is the "split timeline" approach that Star Trek dabbles with sometimes, but it would be a stretch for Christian SF - that would imply that God had a potentially infinite number of universes all working in parallel. Now, I've had some fun with aliens, but that's a far cry from God being so indecisive that he kept different possibilities running.

Then there's the "something changed" approach in "Back to the Future" and others, where the time traveler returns to find that he really has changed the present by what he did in the past. Some SF has come up with plot twists to protect the hero long enough that he can go back in time and fix it.
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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

PeteKoziar wrote:Another option is the "split timeline" approach that Star Trek dabbles with sometimes, but it would be a stretch for Christian SF - that would imply that God had a potentially infinite number of universes all working in parallel. Now, I've had some fun with aliens, but that's a far cry from God being so indecisive that he kept different possibilities running.

Going off on the worldview aspect here, I feel like a "past can't be changed" view almost requires belief in a God of some sort. Because you know if time travel were invented, some moron would try to go back and kill Hitler or create some other sort of paradox just to see what would happen. And without God being in control, what's stopping something like that from actually succeeding? (Probably a rather irrelevant comment to the conversation, but it made me think.)

Anyway, more on track: time travel is fascinating but it's difficult to have a satisfying (for me) theory for if you're changing how things happened, fulfilling what always happened in the past, or creating an entirely new timeline/universe. If you change what happened, what happens to everyone who existed before the change? Do some people stop existing because now they were never born? Do some people just appear? If you fulfill what always happened in the past, there's the depressing aspect of the "Red Queen's Race"; running and running just to get to where you always were. You can't change things no matter how badly you want to. If you create a whole new timeline or universe or whatever...well, it's like the other one, where you can't actually change the past. Somewhere, everything you went back in time to fix still happened. Maybe things are better for you now, but on one level, you didn't fix anything.

...of course, all of that is an incredibly pessimistic view of time travel. IT'S ALL FUTILITY!! :twisted: :blush:

Heh. Okay. Final thoughts. The inability to change the past makes things much less complicated, which is both good and bad, depending on the story you're writing. It's nice to be able to avoid the paradoxes, but the paradoxes and potential to screw things up are also pretty interesting.
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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:02 pm

Re: The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

Jack Williamson wrote an interesting pair of novels, one of which was called "The Legion of Time" in which the past, present and future were always changing as opposing forces were constantly working to change the timeline to their advantage.

There was another short novel called "The Big Time" by Fritz Lieber that had a similar subject, in which our timeline was fluid and changing, with an overriding "big time" progressing at a different rate.

As Christians, of course, we couldn't abide by such a thing, even though it would be fiction, since it would be hard to fit our God into such a scheme.

On another time-travel related note, if it were abstractly possible at all, what would happen to a Christian who tried to travel back before the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? I've half-seriously considered a story in which the time machine left him/her sitting on the floor when it left!
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Post Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:09 am

Re: The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

PeteKoziar wrote:On another time-travel related note, if it were abstractly possible at all, what would happen to a Christian who tried to travel back before the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? I've half-seriously considered a story in which the time machine left him/her sitting on the floor when it left!

I think that the person would be accompanied by the Holy Spirit just as in the present, but be unable to fully explain the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to the believers of that period. The Holy Spirit's indwelling is referenced in the Old Testament, so the believers who had seen the prophecies would be fascinated by someone who has seen the prophecies fulfilled--if God allowed it to be spoken of by the time traveler.
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Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:20 am

Re: The Past Cannot Be Changed...?

for the first time time travel makes a bit of sense. i have a question thought what do you think would happen if some came from the future and kidnapped a person right before they pass away? the family believe that person is dead and to history that person "died" on that day . would it be possible ?
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