Time Travel/Ethically Speaking
My ideas start with:
Since I am intrigued with Stars Wars, Back to the Future, The Time Machine and Planet of the Apes, my formal paper #4 will be on Time Travel.
The question of whether or not that is can be done as compared to whether or not it should be done. At what point do we want or need to manipulate the past or future. The crucial thing here is to recognize the distinction between changing the past and influencing the past. Time travel should not allow one to influence or change past. That is not to say that a time traveler must remain entirely motionless to avoid changing the past. In other words, an individual will be able to travel back in time and affect the past only if he had already done so. That premise accepted, the moral decisions confronting a time traveler are no different from the moral dilemmas we confront every day with regard to the future: we can bring about future events, but we cannot bring about an event that will not occur. We feel as though we are “changing” the future, but we are actually taking precisely those actions that will make the future the way it will be.
Changing the past or future is exactly what was supposed to happen. Should we only be allowed as a spectator? Should we be allowed to profit from knowledge of the future? Should we avert disaster?