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2006-11-14
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The Philosophy Of Time Travel

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Time travel has long been a playground for science fiction writers and philosophers, typically regarding the interpretation of time and the paradoxes that arise from unnatural intervention. Prevailing schools of thoughts include which differ primarily in the concept of past and future, regarding whether or not everything exists simultaneously or only as fleeting glimpses of a moment. The Time Suicide Paradox where a person traveling through time attempts to kill themselves in the past, is amongst the classic mind benders for philosophers to explain logically whether or not time travel is possible. One of the critical philosophical questions of time travel regards how an event altering paradox may play itself out. Either a governing factor prevents the paradox from occurring or no external factors intervene leading to chaos.

Proving either case to be true through either scientific discovery or philosophical reasoning carries with it a burden of religious implications. Assuming the passage of time is linear, does the concept of time travel require fate and thus defy the notion of free will? Or does free will introduce a paradox that inherently prohibits man from traveling into the future or altering the past?


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