Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Globus » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:23 am

...so what's the problem? I've got two chairs. I choose to sit down in the more comfy one. Is that selfish? Yes. Is that in any way - morally or otherwise - bad? No.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Alex Starkiller » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:26 am

It's a kind of selfish. Technically and all that. It's not purely your own benefit, though. And yeah. That chair thing's a good analogy. Why should you not choose the happier life, when it does not negatively affect someone else?
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby RyukaTana » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:36 am

Globus wrote:...so what's the problem? I've got two chairs. I choose to sit down in the more comfy one. Is that selfish? Yes. Is that in any way - morally or otherwise - bad? No.



I would describe that as 'self-centered', not 'selfish'. I wouldn't say something is 'selfish' unless one willingly harms another for one's own benefit.

Thus, I wouldn't describe the time travel scenario as 'selfish' either. Of course, I'm not sure that it makes any sense, and I don't actually know the context of the rest of debate.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby snowyowl » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:25 pm

Jub3r7 wrote:According to the person who presented this idea to me, time-traveling is considered a really selfish act since it only effects the person doing it and if the event being changed is supposed to help others, it really doesn't and simply places you in an alternate timeline where that event is/was changed.

This is a bit of an odd viewpoint. In most stories, when you have two alternate universes they're either considered equivalent to each other, or the most recent one is the one that counts (again: Back to the Future).

It's obvious why the two timelines might be considered equal. It's also intuitive to me that the "current" timeline could be the most important - there's no sense in worrying about things that are past, and the fact that "the past" is measured in a rather five-dimensional way doesn't really change that.

I don't get why you'd consider the "original" timeline to be the real one. This reduces the alternate histories to a sort of sandbox, which you're free to play around with as much as you like because it doesn't actually matter. Could I really give 21st-century weapons to the Aztecs "just to see what happens", and only be considered selfish?

Or are you taking the view that the "altered" timeline would have existed whether or not I actually time-travelled there, so I can't take responsibility (good or bad) for anything that goes on in it? Because that doesn't feel right to me: you should still have to take responsibility for your decisions, even if you know that another version of you made the opposite decision.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Jub3r7 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:35 pm

...Even if I knew that another version of me made the opposite decision... in bed. Oh. :Ellen:

I think the original timeline is considered to be "real" as in, that's where the person is supposed to be, but tbh this wasn't my favorite time travel theory.
In an effort to explain what the other person meant, I forgot to participate in a section of my chorus all-state audition, and even without that portion my score was high enough to make it. However, I was disqualified for not completing the audition.

Apparently if I did something such as send back a telepathic message to myself as a warning not to forget, I alone would be transported to a different timeline where I did remember and experience things that don't happen in the original timeline, rather than rewriting history or bringing everyone with me to this new experience.

And maybe self-centered is the better word, and it's interesting that there is apparently a connection between comfy chairs and altered timelines.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby snowyowl » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:27 am

Jub3r7 wrote:In an effort to explain what the other person meant, I forgot to participate in a section of my chorus all-state audition, and even without that portion my score was high enough to make it. However, I was disqualified for not completing the audition.

wat?
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Horizon » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:03 am

He's saying that he's on a team, and that team enters a competition. He doesn't show up, and his team wins the first round despite his abscence. He, however, was not allowed to compete in the next rounds, due to being absent. That's the best I can figure it.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby snowyowl » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:47 pm

I'm not good with metaphors.
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Horizon » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:35 pm

What's a meta for? What purpose does it serve? Why do we use metas? Are there alternatives?
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Re: Time travel ethics / Categorical Imperative

Postby Alex Starkiller » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:31 pm

Meta is an abstract concept useful only for obfuscation.
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