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Metaphysics of Time Travel: Granddaddy Issues

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By Babbel1996 – Own work (Transferred from de.wikipedia to Commons by Saibo using CommonsHelper.), CC BY 2.5, George enjoyed and hated the privileged position of being the grandson of Edgar the Tyrant, the man who had killed his kindly brother Sam. Edgar had conquered the Seven Systems with alien technology and established the most crushing despotism in human history. Like his grandfather, George was a brilliant scientist with a special talent for understanding alien technology. Unlike his grandfather, George was burdened with ethics and compassion. After discerning the secrets of an alien time machine, George nobly decided to sacrifice himself by going back in time and killing his grandfather before he discovered the trove of alien technology that enabled his reign of terror. After travelling back in time and locating his target, George took careful aim with the alien plasma rifle, confident that the heavy weapon would guarantee the death of his grandfather. It did exactly that, vaporizing not only him but several meters of ground around him. George expected to be erased from time instantly, but in realizing that he still existed he realized he still existed. Thinking that it might take some time for the effects to catch up to him (or head back to him, however it worked) he sat down to wait. And wait. When nothing happened, he thought “hmm, maybe that rumor about grandma and Uncle Sam was true after all” and travelled back to his time.   Time travel, as any time traveler will tell you, is problematic. One of the classic problems is the Grandfather Paradox. The problem is as follows: If you can travel in time, then you should be able to go back in time and kill your grandfather (or grandmother, to avoid sexism in temporal murder). However, if you kill your grandfather, then you would never exist and would not be able to go back and kill him. As such, time travel would make it possible to kill your. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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