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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

In the future, could we build a time machine to prevent the crucifixion of Jesus?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (13196points) January 22nd, 2017

Also what would you change? Based on my previous question What are the ethics of messing around with time travel? Maybe the time-line could be intact if we take Jesus to the future and claim that he is risen?

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45 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

There would be much bigger priorities I would hope.

ragingloli's avatar

Sure you could build a time machine, but you would not find any trace of a ‘Jesus’.

VenusFanelli's avatar

NO, time machines are only fantasy.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It’s highly unlikely that we could build any type of device that could take us back in time. Physicists have suggested for a while that time travel could be possible, but only to the “future,” because time is relative and dependent on energy, so with the right set of circumstances one could hypothetically travel through time at a different rate than another. So, for the first part of the question, I’d go with “no.”

As for the other part of your question: I wouldn’t change anything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, preventing Jesus’ crucifixion would seriously mess up Christianity!

Cruiser's avatar

Why are you time traveling in the first place? What is the purpose of you diving down the worm hole?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Didn’t Gene Roddenberry address the issue of ethics in Time Travel? I’m not much of a Sci-Fi reader, but I think he did. He addressed just about everything else related to the genre. Or Ray Bradbury. Bradbury was big on ethics and social responsibility.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I would not stop the crucifixion. That event was “God’s plan.”
It would be much cooler to get Pontius Pilate the day after, and bring him forward to nazi Germany to spend like a week, then back home with the parting words, “just sayin’.”

rojo's avatar

@Patty_Melt What if God’s Plan included stopping it by utilizing future time travelers? But if stopping it was also God’s Plan then it wouldn’t have happened in the first place and if it was part of the plan then why would God even plan for it only to stop it by time travel from the future and if they did stop it, because stopping it was God’s Plan would that not mean that it never happened and so was not even an occurrence that was stoppable in the first place because it never happened and….. never mind, I am lost.

Kropotkin's avatar

Amusing proposition, since there’s no evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone that he was crucified.

What you can infer from that is that “preventing the crucifixion” is already the case, and neither a crucifixion nor a historical Jesus were necessary for Christanity to develop and flourish.

As for time-travel—I think if not theoretically impossible, then probably practically impossible.

If by some fantastical technological leap time-travel were ever developed—I’d hope it would not be used to abduct some hapless fellow from ancient Judea.

The only idea that appeals to me would be to travel back as a non-interacting observer. Maybe then it could be used a religious deconversion tool.

kritiper's avatar

No point in spending so much time and effort for so little possible benefit.

Sneki95's avatar

You’d break space time continuum (I guess). By stopping such a major event that shaped the future culture, philosophy and state of mind you’d break history.Everything after that would’ve been erased, including the moment you created time machine, and it will be all created anew. It’s like cutting a film track, and adding another piece of track as a continuation. By messing with the past, you’d create another reality, and shape future in all different ways that we can’t even imagine. Seriously, just look at everything that Jesus’ death, real or not, has sparked.

Which is why I suggest going to Sarajevo in June 28, 1914 and stop one particularly stupid kid. You’d recognise him because he’ll be eating a sandwich when a famous person passes by him. Whatever you do, stop him from doing anything else until he finishes his sandwich. The future after that day would be much, much more pleasant to deal with, if the man simply finishes his meal.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@rojo geez, now there is a buzzing in my head.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Wouldn’t that defeat the entire purpose of the fairy tale? Didn’t Jesus arrive on earth specifically to suffer and die for our sins?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Sneki95 Nice work. My thoughts exactly. The single most significant moment in the 20th century and far beyond that.

kritiper's avatar

@stanleybmanly It is easy to assume that notion was preconceived after the fact.

Zaku's avatar

Most authors of time-travel stories don’t think out what the implications are of the possibility of going back in past to change the future and/or how that works and what sorts of effects it would have and what it means about the nature of the universe.

The idea of going back in time to change the future/past has massive implications, many of them seemingly paradoxical, and having all sorts of complex implications related to relativity, physics, and the nature of the universe. And even ignoring all that, there is a further insanity-inducing rabbit hole of thought just involving the logical extension that if someone in the future can do that, then a nearly infinite number of other people could theoretically also do that. As soon as you think “oh what a great thing if I could go back in time and change history”, consider that an unlimited number of future meddlers might choose to do something like that for different reasons, some of which might well accidentally make you never have existed, etc. It creates a situation of infinite complexity and zero security, at which point the huge paradoxes start to be comforting, at least to me.

Going back to prevent Jesus’ crucifixion is an even more peculiar notion, since if you think he had something to do with divine super-powers, then he probably doesn’t need your technological parlor tricks, and you’d just be trying to mess with God’s plan, except you’d be part of God’s plan, since everything is, so hopefully he’d at least tell you God’s punchline at that point. Supposedly Jesus didn’t really want to avoid crucifixion. If you did talk him out of it, it’d erase most/all of Christian theology (unless he fooled you and snuck back to do it anyway), which would change most of world history for the past 2000 years in unpredictable but huge ways. What would that then do to the future you came from? If cause & effect applies, your future would not be anything like the one you left, and you’d be bringing back an unknown dude into a foreign future that probably gives no poops about the guy, unless he really was the Son of God™, in which case also who knows?

Another possibility is that given you do exist, and maybe cause & effect needs to make sense, you probably can’t change history. If you start to try, something must’ve happened to stop you, or else you wouldn’t exist to change it, so clearly you didn’t. Or you vanish in a puff of logic when you do. Certainly the future you came from does, unless . . .

Another option that could allow all of that would be if when you travel back in time, you actually also travel to another possible history, and the one you came from continues as it was. This tends to strongly imply to me that there are a practically endless variety of possible universes, and so the most you can really do is affect which one your consciousness is on by your choices, including both time travel and mundane choices without time travel. That actually seems relatively plausible to me, but also removes most of the significance of changing world history, since you really don’t – you just get to move to a history where something happened differently, of which there are probably infinite variations, and you vanished from one history where that change didn’t happen.

LostInParadise's avatar

I can’t get my head around the idea of traveling backward in time. If someone goes back in time and changes history, didn’t it already happen, being in the past? At the very least, we would have to allow for different parallel histories. If someone changes history, is it my view of history that changes or another me in some alternative history, assuming that I would still be born? I find it all very confusing.

Patty_Melt's avatar

If someone did do that, Christianity would have been squelched soon after.
At least two thirds of the world’s population would be Jewish.
America’s indigenous people would have flourished, and when eventually joined by God’s chosen people, would have been greeted warmly and taught to speak Hebrew.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@LostInParadise and don’t people get themselves all unborn when they go back in time?

LostInParadise's avatar

Good point. It really is hard to make sense of the concept.

I also have problems with how well we can predict the future let alone travel to it. Suppose I got a computer printout of what I will be doing in the next few years. If I see that I made a particular mistake, what is to stop me from doing something different?

Patty_Melt's avatar

^^^^^ Or… f@ยค$ing up all kinds of things on purpose for kicks, knowing you could get a do over like Groundhog Day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I heard, from a very reputable source, Dragon Rider’s of Pern, that if you go back in time and meet yourself, you’ll be in a world of shit. ESPECIALLY if you happen to materialize in the same space place your other self is occupying.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Then there is the theory that if you “time travel” you really go to another dimension. There anything could have happened or will happen but you can’t get back to your first reality dimension.

rojo's avatar

^^ If you got it from Dragon Riders then it has to be true as every word was inspired by the hand of God.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s right @rojo. It’s called Alternate Facts.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Can we all give you a group hug?

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III You can’t “unborn” yourself unless you upset the flow of time in the past so that you couldn’t or wouldn’t be born. It’s called a “time paradox.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

YES @Tropical_Willie!

Well, OK, so you go back in time and accidentally kill your great, great, great, great Grandpa. Then what @kritiper?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you!!

flutherother's avatar

It will be tried but the machine, an early prototype, will go off target and explode near the road to Damascus leading to the conversion of Paul the Apostle.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III It is impossible. If you went back and killed a distant relative that had to live for you to be born then you couldn’t be alive in the first place to go back and kill that relative.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, obviously you were alive, so if that happens, what happens to you at that moment?

Patty_Melt's avatar

Your son wants to exist, so he already went back in time to warn gramps. You kill a guy, but he’s an imposter your gramps hired. As a result, Steven King never happens.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that’s not good, either! Can’t it be Hitler?

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III You cease to exist. You blink out.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Dutchess_III no. That’s the price you pay for trying to manipulate the present from the past.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, but according to your last argument, @kritiper, you wouldn’t even exist to do the deed, so you can’t very well blink out. Oh what a web we weave….

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III There are many different possibilities in the world of science fiction. Pick your own.

kritiper's avatar

@Dutchess_III Can you see why it is called a paradox???

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yep. I was just chatting.

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