Thursday, February 21, 2008

Circular lives and time travel

  1. Necessarily, having the same kind of genuine bliss for an infinite amount of time is intrinsically better for one than having it for a finite amount of time. (Premise)
  2. Leading a genuinely blissful life over a temporal circle that wraps around from t0 to t1 (you have a blissful life from t0 to t1, and time wraps around so that t1 is actually the same as t0) would be intrinsically just as good as living out an eternal recurrence of a genuinely blissful life of the same kind and length as the temporally circular life. (Premise)
  3. If both of the scenarios in (2) are possible, then (1) is violated. (Premise)
  4. The scenario of an eternal recurrence of a blissful life is possible. (Premise)
  5. The scenario of a life arranged on a temporal circle is impossible. (By (1)-(4))
  6. If a circular life is possible, so is a blissful circular life. (Premise)
  7. Therefore, a circular life is impossible. (By (5) and (6))
  8. If circular time is possible, so is a circular life. (Premise)
  9. Therefore, circular time is impossible. (By (7) and (8))
  10. If time travel is possible, so is a circular life. (Premise)
  11. Therefore, time travel is impossible. (By (7) and (10))

In (2), the life of infinite recurrence is the circular life "unwrapped". I am open to the possibility that (2) in the argument is false, and that it is due to the "infinitely many times around" misapprehension of what circular time would be. It could also be that experiencing the same kind of bliss twice is no better than experiencing it once. I am also open the possibility that (8) is false—maybe there can be circular time, but lives of persons might not be circularly arrangeable. Likewise, I am not that sure of (10).

In any case, the thought experiment embodied in (2) seems worth thinking about. As you approach t1, you become more and more like you were at t0, and then, lo and behold, t1 is t0. If I lived on a circular time, I would never be facing death. Yet my life would be finite. It would not only be finite in the objective way of a life of someone whose functions got faster and faster, thereby ensuring that over a finite span of objective time he accomplished a life that was of infinite subjective span (i.e., a super-task life), but the circular life would be a life that has only a finite subjective span, though no beginning or end.

1 comment:

Atomdancerrr said...

Gospel of Thomas 18 & 19.

18 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"
2Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. 3Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death." 19 Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being. Ephesians 4:15. Rather speaking the Truth in Love, we are to grow up in EVERY way, into the Head, into Christ. Ephesians 4:10. He who descended is He who ascended far above the Heavens that He might fill all things." Now THAT is evolution in action! :-)