The ethics of time travel

I asked my daughter several months ago if I could go to Kindergarten too. She told me that I’m too old. I said that I wish I was 5/6 years old again so that I could go to Kindergarten. Her future goals now entail building a time machine for me so that I can go back in time, be a little girl again, and go to Kindergarten. I love my kid!

Well, this silly conversation along with movies like Frequency, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Butterfly Effect, Hot Tub Time Machine, Back to the Future and many, many others sparked a conversation with my boyfriend and me about the ethics of time travel. Here’s a piece of the conversation:

Me: Abby’s going to build me a time machine when she grows up. Isn’t that awesome! We’ll be rich!

Kessel: Well, you’d have to get a lottery ticket or bet on sports or something because you can’t sell something like that. There would be too many people going back in time and messing with the space-time continuum.

Me: Well yeah. I’m all about the mega millions!

Kessel: Or you could go back and invent Facebook.

Me: That’s wrong.

Kessel: Why?

Me: Because it’s stealing. I didn’t come up with the idea, so I shouldn’t take credit for it. It’s not fair to the people who really did invent Facebook to be screwed over like that.

Kessel: (He cited a Hot Tub Time Machine reference that I can’t quite recall because I’ve never seen the movie.) Well the same thing’s true if you win the lottery. You’re taking it away from someone else who would have won.

Me: True, but they would have won and become rich solely on chance and luck. The Facebook guys became rich based on their intelligence and creativity. Going back in time to get the winning lottery numbers is  like using my own (well, my daughter’s) intelligence and creativity (you know, because she built a freaking time machine!) to make money . . . so therefore, we deserve it more than the people who would have just won by chance or luck. I would go back and invest in those companies though . . . like the guy did in Frequency with Yahoo.

So that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the ethics of making money from time travel. What do you think? Is it okay to go back in time (or into the future) for personal gain? If so, are there certain ways to do it that are more ethical than others? 🙂

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joiane on March 25, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    How do you know the person who is credited for the idea didn’t go back in time and claim it?


  2. Posted by poolman on March 26, 2011 at 2:04 am

    The best we can do with time is love. We each only have a certain amount of daylight to create an effect on life. The personal gain would be joy. If you go back, it would better serve you to have spent more of that time ministering to others. Every other gift will perish. The rule is truly golden! 😉


    • Hey hey hey now! No need to get all serious on me when I’m playing around with fun stuff :p

      I need to break up the serious blogs with some silly stuff every few days 🙂


  3. […] “The Ethics of Time Travel“-Just discovered this post and I wonder if now that she is a big “Doctor Who” fan, if any of this has changed […]


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