Time Traveling

Originally written by me on January 8th:

Recently, I listened to an interesting scientific segment in which this physicist named Brian Cox explained “the science behind Dr. Who” and revealed the true possibilities of time travel (an article about what he said can be found here). In particular, in philosophy, when considering the level of control that humans have, there are acknowledgements of many limits that seem to either be uncontrollable or only controlled by a supernatural being and there are other views of the human being as having more control (such as how Rousseau thought that people can naturally do good and even have the power to start over and cure their sinful selves on their own). However, one particular element of human control that seems like a mystery is time. Initially, without looking much deeper into the science of time, it seems as if we are absolutely unable to control time and that it is a superior force that controls us.

Nevertheless, Brian Cox revealed some very interesting observations in physics that seem to show that we are in more control of time that we may first think. For instance, he revealed how “If you go fast, your clock runs slow relative to people who are still,” although it is basically negligible unless you reach speeds close to the speed of light. This concept creates a remarkable claim: that everyone can be a time traveler in some sort of way. While he did say that going backwards in time is still just a theory in physics, he showed how going forwards in time is very possible if you move fast enough. Say, for example, you travel in a rocket going at a speed approaching the speed of light and come back to earth after what seems to you as just a few years; you may, as a result, come back to an earth that has advanced in time by hundreds or thousands of years!

However, there is one question I have about the possibilities of applying these concepts. Is it even right to attempt to travel through time? Is it natural to travel to the future? Do we even have a right to attempt to travel back in time? In a world in which our lives our based on linear cause and effect, would time travel destroy the principles with which we live our lives? Time travel, especially in reference to traveling to the past, can possibly lead us down a dangerous road where we care less about the permanent nature of our decisions and attempt to fix every flaw that occurred in our lives (so that we disregard learning from our failures and seeing life as a collection of happiness and sadness).


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by David J. Glowny

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