I start with asking two kinds of questions that seem unrelated but I think that some relation. They both are a latter anyways (that’s the point, everything is a latter). These came from sitting with my genius best friend, Peyton. One day we are going to record these think tanks (I’m coining that method of teaching- I’ll talk about that a lot, later). This theory is about the first question.
- If you suddenly had the super powerful ability to go back into the past, which option would you pick? (a.) visit the past and have the ability to alter it, or (b.) visit the past as merely a viewer.
You’d think that was all. You choose (a.) or you choose (b.). But you have to consider the cons if you choose (a.); altering the past will directly impact your current reality (the present). I think this part is obvious. So, what’s the rebuttal? If it ends there, then picking (b.) is the obvious answer. Everyone should pick (b.). But it’s a latter. Choosing (a.) could involve someone that is willing to die for the greater good. Killing Hitler, while knowing it will change (or end) their life forever. Some justice deserves to be served if given the ability, no matter the cost. But there is more to think about! More latter. Someone could choose to alter the future if they have personal “unfinished” business. Regrets, murder, revenge, etc. This does not seem as morally sound. Unless we decide to break up the morals (more latter). So far:
(a.) pros: dying for the greater good; cons: could be altering for the wrong reasons.
It seems like choosing (a.) is now more worth it. Who cares if a few people decide to use it for the wrong reasons? If Hitler is killed we should obviously choose (a.). This could be the end- it’s not. We are forgetting something. We are assuming that people are only picking (a.) because they are a saint or they are evil? There is no room a middle ground.
notice how choice (b.) seemed so clear in the beginning. And now it should obviously be choice (a.).
There’s a problem with our pro. We assume that the only good reason people are choosing to alter the future is because they are willing to die for the greater good. But why else would people choose to alter the future if they know it will alter their own present life? Because they don’t know. It’s not that obvious. Some people have a lack of knowledge. But there’s even more to the latter: not only will there be some people who are ignorant, there will also be some people that try not to alter anything, but fail. What about the people from the pro category that wanted to do good, but messed up? But altered the wrong thing. Is that not a con? Is that not two cons inside the pro itself? But what’s the difference between a regular con vs. a crack in a pro? Do they hold the same weight, or is it just a weak pro?
I think it is. I would choose (b.). For personal reasons, obviously. I would use the power as a historian, not a warrior. I could go into the latter on this if I wanted to; wondering why I care more about the access to my own personal knowledge than I do the wellbeing of others. Is my moral compass wrong? I immediately extend that question; are your morals necessarily wrong just because you wouldn’t sacrifice your own life to save others?
But we have to remember that choosing (a.) doesn’t necessarily mean dying for the greater good. What if we aren’t talking about my morals at all, but about my calculation of risk? Maybe (b.) is just the easiest choice. Maybe it’s just the safest choice. There are more reasons why someone would choose (b.). Well, to answer the question (I have thought it through in the moments since I’ve typed it); none of that matters anyways. I am only concerned with my morals when discussing choice (b.) because I chose choice (b.). I want to justify myself. That is not logical thinking. I’m involving my own person beliefs and therefore it is hindering my ability to think of valuable cons for (b.). But do morals matter? Were they suppose to matter when looking at the pros and cons for choice (a.)? Not everyone is going to look at the choices logically, so morals must matter. Can we dissect it even more?- we can.
So what’s the answer? Do you choose (a.) or (b.)? Well, it depends on how far you’re willing to extend the latter. None of this really matters anyways, but why not think about it?
This is the way that I think (about everything).
I also have another part to this- the second question. It’s coming.