If you had a time machine....

jetsetter

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A fine motive Sir - I concur.

I'm not entirely sure he is saying that preventing the slave trade would be a good thing. While the act itself may have been terrible its consequences have been quite different. Perhaps without the slave trade we would be more racists due to the fact that we would never have had to confront the problem.
 
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Mally Dangerous

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I agree with Cobol. I can't say 100% that things would have turned out better but if I had a time machine I would definitely try to see if a wrong could be righted. And if I'm wrong in my actions I still have a time machine that I can use to further change things.
 

jetsetter

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Bad things are a part of human existence. We learn from them and grow. To prevent bad things from happening one would have to change human nature and for that you would need much more than just a time machine.
 

Doctor Blade

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1. Cripple Bill Gates as he runs to buy the OS he would relabel as MS-DOS.
2. Use those Powerball numbers I brought with me.
3. Get N. Tesla a good psychologist.
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Mally Dangerous

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Bad things are a part of human existence. We learn from them and grow. To prevent bad things from happening one would have to change human nature and for that you would need much more than just a time machine.

Yes, I realize that. With great power comes great responsibility and all that jazz. But that still would not prevent me from wanting to see what would happen if certain events did not happen. What if preventing the slave trade resulted in a far more stable African continent? The point is we don't know either way.
 

jetsetter

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What if preventing the slave trade resulted in a far more stable African continent?

It wasn't the slave trade (Slaves rounded up by Arab traders and sold to Middle Easterners and Europeans) that destabilized Africa.
 

LeVeL

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Over 30,000,00 died in the An Shi Rebellion, 45,000,00 during the Mongol conquests, 25,000,000 during the Manchu conquests, 25,000,000 during the Taiping Rebellion, 7,500,000 during the Russian Civil War, etc. Huge death tolls are not as uncommon as you might think and each have shaped our world in different ways. Trying to go back to prevent these events could make things worse and this is something you must understand. Death may be a terrible thing but what results from it may not be so terrible.
Bad things are a part of human existence. We learn from them and grow. To prevent bad things from happening one would have to change human nature and for that you would need much more than just a time machine.

So if I had the power to start WWIII right now and kill 10 million people, you wouldn't stop me? Because it sure would be a great way for everyone to test their new weapons! Yay! How is preventing tens of millions of deaths a bad thing? I can see where you're coming from when you say that we don't know what would happen if WWII, for example, didn't happen, but what we do know for sure is that we would save a shitload of lives. How the hell do you not value that???



btw, my initial death toll number included only WWII. If you throw WWI in there as well then the toll is between 55 million and 97 million :blink:
 

chaos386

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Bad things are a part of human existence. We learn from them and grow. To prevent bad things from happening one would have to change human nature and for that you would need much more than just a time machine.

Wanting to prevent bad things from happening is also Human nature, and you really shouldn't be surprised that people balk at your suggestion that the deaths were worth whatever advancements came as a result of the war.

Besides, if you're going to take the unforeseen consequences angle, pretty much everything you do in the past could make the future worse.
 

jetsetter

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So if I had the power to start WWIII right now and kill 10 million people, you wouldn't stop me? Because it sure would be a great way for everyone to test their new weapons! Yay! How is preventing tens of millions of deaths a bad thing? I can see where you're coming from when you say that we don't know what would happen if WWII, for example, didn't happen, but what we do know for sure is that we would save a shitload of lives. How the hell do you not value that???

I would stop you from starting WWIII now, not by going into the past after it has already happened. There is also the problem of if one had built a time machine then it most likely used technology developed in a war of some kind. Going into the past to change things wouldn't work because without that war there would be no time machine and thus no going into the past.

Wanting to prevent bad things from happening is also Human nature, and you really shouldn't be surprised that people balk at your suggestion that the deaths were worth whatever advancements came as a result of the war.

Besides, if you're going to take the unforeseen consequences angle, pretty much everything you do in the past could make the future worse.

Going into the past to prevent bad things is also quite futile because bad things will happen anyways.
 
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Soup?

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After all this causality debate, my idea's starting to look better and better isn't it?
I'd take a jaunt back to three weeks ago - I had the best afternoon nap in the history of afternoon napping.

Then perhaps a cruise back to when you could still smoke in pubs.

Then... nah, that'll do it.
 

chaos386

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Hmmm, what if you went into the future and changed things? Would that be possible? Would you affect the future-future? You could argue that going to the future from the past can't "change" things because they haven't happened the original way yet, but it shouldn't matter when you came from, technically. :think:
 

LeVeL

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I would stop you from starting WWIII now, not by going into the past after it has already happened. There is also the problem of if one had built a time machine then it most likely used technology developed in a war of some kind. Going into the past to change things wouldn't work because without that war there would be no time machine and thus no going into the past.

Going into the past to prevent bad things is also quite futile because bad things will happen anyways.

You're really missing the point here. First of all, if we stick to this whole time machine thing then by your rationale if I went back in time, killed Hitler, prevented the war from happening, and the time machine didn't get invented (although I don't see any connection at all between hitler and time machines) then I wouldn't be able to come back to the "present"? Tell you what, I'd still do it. Second of all, the argument isn't really about the time machine, its about you basically saying that the World Wars were not a bad thing because of all the technological advances that took place due to the war. My point is the following: f*ck the advances, what about the tens of millions of lives lost? And your last comment is just plain stupid, I'm sorry. How about I kill you? You'll die at some point anyways, right? So yeah, what's wrong with a World War? If you prevent it then another one will happen at some point anyways!
 

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Killing Hitler would only cause problems. If Hitler is killed, then someone else from the party will take his place. Probably Himmler.
 

jetsetter

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It isn't just technological advances that resulted from the war (though wars have been drivers of technological advances throughout the ages). Fighting the large war may discourage you from fighting the numerous small wars that in the end create more death and destruction.

If Hitler is killed, then someone else from the party will take his place. Probably Himmler.

A chilling thought indeed.
 

chaos386

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Killing Hitler would only cause problems. If Hitler is killed, then someone else from the party will take his place. Probably Himmler.

Obvious solution: go back in time to hire ninjas, then take them to before WWI or II to kill all the bad guys! :p

This is starting to feel like a bad sitcom plot. All I wanted was for her not to know her fish died while I was watching her aparment!
 

LeVeL

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Killing Hitler would only cause problems. If Hitler is killed, then someone else from the party will take his place. Probably Himmler.
Not if you do it early enough. Then the nazi party would never get powerful enough to do any real damage.

Fighting the large war may discourage you from fighting the numerous small wars that in the end create more death and destruction.
lolwhut
 
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