(ORDO NEWS) — The paradox of predestination occurs when a time traveler tries to influence events in the past, but unknowingly becomes only an integral part of them.
This results in a “time loop of causation” in which “Event 1” in the past has an impact on “Event 2” in the future.
Any attempts to influence this or that event in the past will lead to the very cause of the accomplishment of this very event, and not to its elimination. This paradox suggests that events that ever happened just had to happen.
Good. Imagine that your close friend was hit by a car. You make a jump into the past, to a moment a few hours before this terrible event, in order to change the course of history, to save a person dear to you.
Rushing to the scene, you reach the goal and discover that you were the very driver who took the life of your friend! Thus, your attempt to change the past has led to the paradox of predestination.
One way to deal with the paradox of predestination is to accept the fact that all events that have ever happened are an integral and self-consistent part of reality and the universe itself. By trying to rewrite the past, you will only end up playing your part in creating reality, not changing it.
The paradox of predestination in cinema
In the swanky 2002 film The Time Machine, based on the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells, young scientist Alexander Hartdegen witnesses a robber take the life of his fiancée Emma, which forces him to create a time machine in order to travel back in time and save his beloved.
However, all of Hartdegen’s attempts failed, leading him to conclude that “I could go back there a thousand times… and see her die in a thousand different ways.”
A desperate Hartdegen jumps centuries into the future to see if the paradox has been resolved, but there he meets the Morlock Leader (the main antagonist) who tells Hartdegen:
“You built your time machine because of what happened to Emma. If she were alive, she [the time machine] would never exist.
So how could you use your car to go back and rescue her? You are the inevitable result of your tragedy, just as I am the inevitable result of your life.”
Everything that happened should have happened. We cannot change the past, but we can create the future.
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