The Instigator
KingDebater
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
PotBelliedGeek
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

If it's possible to go faster than the speed of light, then time travel (into the past) is possible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
KingDebater
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,562 times Debate No: 43471
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)

 

KingDebater

Con

I am con.

Today I'll be debating whether the ability to travel at speeds faster than the speed of light means that it's possible to travel (into the past) through time.

First round is for acceptance.

Definitions
Time travel - n. travelling through time to the past or future (i).
The speed of light - 299,792,458 m/s (ii)


Sources
i. http://bit.ly/1dJBQkz
ii. 2004. Penrose, Roger. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe.


PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
KingDebater

Con

I'm sure that you understand how we see things. Light bounces off them and then into our eyes, allowing us to see that object (1).

A very educational and pretty diagram explaining How we see things

C1: Seeing the past
There is a way that would allow us to see things from the past. There are places in the universe in which the light that bounced off our Earth (or any object) has not reached. If we travelled to that place in the universe in a speed faster than the speed of light (another way of doing this would be to warp spacetime, but that would be dangerous), and the looked at the object whose light had not reached that place yet, and we were able to see that object, then what we'd be seeing is the light that had actually reached that place, so we'd be seeing what that thing looked like in the past (2).
Then, if we travelled at a speed above the speed of light to the object, we'd obviously be seeing things that happened in the past.

However, everything we heard, smelt and touched would be from whatever was happening in present day, because it wouldn't actually be the past, we'd only be seeing things that happened in the past when the light hadn't yet reached your eyes. Otherwise, it's the present.

C2: Paradoxes in travelling from the present to the past
If time travel into the past were possible, then you'd be able to interfere with the past in such a way that changes the future. For example, you could go back in time and kill your granddad. Since your granddad is dead, he could never give birth to your mother and so you wouldn't be able to exist. But, you couldn't have killed your granddad because in this scenario, you don't exist. This is one of the many paradoxes with travelling into the past. There are many more you could think of, this is just one.
See, if you interfered with the future (present), as you likely would, it would be different. But the present cannot be one thing and not another in accordance to the law of non-contradiction (3).
Therefore, being able to travel at speeds above the speed of light wouldn't make it possible to travel into the past as an impossible thing cannot happen.

In summary,
a) The ability to travel at speeds over the speed of light does not make it possible to time travel into the past.
b) Travelling into the past is not possible anyway.


Sources
(1) http://www.engineeringinteract.org...
(2) http://csep10.phys.utk.edu...
(3) http://quod.lib.umich.edu...
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I will divide this round into two sections. I will first illustrate that my opponents arguments do not in any way disprove the ability to travel into the past. The second section will prove that given the ability to travel faster than the speed of light, one would then be able to travel into the past.

SECTION ONE:

1. "C1: Seeing the past
There is a way that would allow us to see things from the past. There are places in the universe in which the light that bounced off our Earth (or any object) has not reached. If we travelled to that place in the universe in a speed faster than the speed of light (another way of doing this would be to warp spacetime, but that would be dangerous), and the looked at the object whose light had not reached that place yet, and we were able to see that object, then what we'd be seeing is the light that had actually reached that place, so we'd be seeing what that thing looked like in the past (2).
Then, if we travelled at a speed above the speed of light to the object, we'd obviously be seeing things that happened in the past.

However, everything we heard, smelt and touched would be from whatever was happening in present day, because it wouldn't actually be the past, we'd only be seeing things that happened in the past when the light hadn't yet reached your eyes. Otherwise, it's the present."

My opponents arguments can be summarised as follows:

"By looking at extremely distant objects, we are looking into the past. This does not constitute time travel, because while we may see an occurrence in the past, we ourselves are in the present."

I agree entirely with my opponent. By looking at distant objects, we in no way, shape, or form travel into the past.

The second part of my opponents argument : "Then, if we travelled at a speed above the speed of light to the object, we'd obviously be seeing things that happened in the past."

My opponent demonstrates here that he truly misunderstands the entire concept of "lightspeed=Timetravel". I will present my argument, and let my opponent refute me, rather than vise versa.

2. "If time travel into the past were possible, then you'd be able to interfere with the past in such a way that changes the future. For example, you could go back in time and kill your granddad. Since your granddad is dead, he could never give birth to your mother and so you wouldn't be able to exist. But, you couldn't have killed your granddad because in this scenario, you don't exist. This is one of the many paradoxes with travelling into the past. There are many more you could think of, this is just one.
See, if you interfered with the future (present), as you likely would, it would be different. But the present cannot be one thing and not another in accordance to the law of non-contradiction (3).
Therefore, being able to travel at speeds above the speed of light wouldn't make it possible to travel into the past as an impossible thing cannot happen."


Here my opponent attempts to disprove the possibility of time travel based on the possible outcome. This is fallacious in that this argument is based of of the following logic:

If A happens, and makes B possible, then we choose to do B, which would negate A, then A is always impossible.

The fault here is obvious.

SECTION TWO:

The only possible way to travel faster than light is to summon post-infinite energy[1]. While this is not possible, we are arguing from the assumption that it is.

According to the theory of specific relativity, an object moving compared to a stationary object will experience slower time than the stationary object to which it is compared. The faster the object in question moves, the slower time it experiences[2]. Eventually, the slowing of time will cause it to freeze altogether. Physicist have determined that this occurs at the speed of light[3]. Following the same pattern, if one were to travel faster than the speed of light then time passage would go negative and the object would them begin to move into the past.

Sources:
1. University of California
http://math.ucr.edu...

2. The University of New South Wales
http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au...

3. Stanford University
http://einstein.stanford.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
KingDebater

Con

C1: Me and pro agree here.

C2
: The logic here is better formulized in a syllogism like this:

P1) If A enables B, A is impossible
(j. Nothing can enable impossible events, as they are impossible)
P2) A enables B
(j. Going into the past - where your granddad/nan is but you (from that time frame) aren't and you (from the present) are, you could kill your granddad/nan)
C) A is impossible
(j. Follows logically from the two premises)

SECTION 2: Pro's third source, a link to a page on Stanford University (1), states:

"So, time does 'stop' at relativistic speeds, but you have to get to practically the speed of light itself to get the most extreme situation."

Relativistic speeds are defined as "a speed that is a significant proportion to the speed of light" (2). Pro's third source never mentions the time passage going negative, only slowing down.

From these last two points, we can disprove time passages going negative:

P1) At a speed proportional to the speed of light, time would 'stop'.
(j. (1))
P2) Speeds above the speed of light are proportional to the speed of light.
(j. By definition, proportional means "Properly related in size, degree, or other measurable characteristics; corresponding" (3). Speeds (slightly above the speed of light) would certainly be proportional to the speed of light because they have measurable characteristics)
C1) (from p1,p2) At speeds over the speed of light, time would 'stop'.
(j. The logical conclusion following the first and second premises)
P3) If time 'stops', then time passages do not go negative.
(j. This is pretty self-explanatory. Stopping cannot be the same as going negative, as proved by my point about the law of non-contradicition, which is applicable in this scenario)
C2) (from c1,p3) Time passages do not go negative.
(j. The logical conclusion following the first conclusion and the third premise)

So let's look at pro's second source (4), which is on the same subject. Under the heading "Is time Dilation true? How big are the effects?", the page talks about clocks slowing down (yet not time passages going negative), and also talks about a certain speed that electrons can travel at, but never mentions speeds that would enable time passages to start going negative.

Thank you.

I lose the game.

Sources
(1)
http://einstein.stanford.edu...
(2)
http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3)
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
(4) http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au...

PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I just typed up a 10,000 character round, and it was somehow deleted when i clicked the review button. I am at college and between classes, and I do not anticipate having enough time to retype this round within the 22 hours left on the time limit. I ask my opponent and the voters not to view this round as a FF, but rather as technical difficulties. If my opponent wishes to continue with more arguments, I will reply to both of his rounds in R4.

My apologies.
Debate Round No. 3
KingDebater

Con

Potato, potato.

All arguments extended.
PotBelliedGeek

Pro

I apologize, but time constraints do not allow me to type the final round of this debate. work, school, and running the politics club are simply taking up too much of my time, and I am unable to dedicate the time to typing a 10,000 character round. I assert that my opponents rebuttals are results of lack of understanding and I quite frankly believe that this will become clear to the voters.

I realize that my lack of time constitutes a breach in conduct, and I fully expect to be penalized by the voters for it. I only ask that the voters also weigh my arguments and sources against my opponents, and award votes as they see fit.

Again, I apologize to both the voters and my opponent.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
Don't worry, I believe you. The same thing happened to me in my recent debate with Imabench. Luckily, I hadn't written much at that point.
Posted by PotBelliedGeek 3 years ago
PotBelliedGeek
I just typed up the whole 10000 characters and when I went to submit it deleted the whole thing. Im pissed.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
@PotBelliedGeek I'm sorry about that. I'll send it to you as a challenge.
Posted by balassuriana 3 years ago
balassuriana
speed of light is a aster .we have stars boombing and we have sun....sun as big bang the theory is a gaucher ..how can stars to lighter then sun. ..go into past is mastering loomigs ,quasars we get into across over
Posted by PotBelliedGeek 3 years ago
PotBelliedGeek
I tried accepting, but it says i dont meet your criteria.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
Okay, then. I won't use URL shorteners in my debate arguments.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
I'm a hater of them, as they obscure useful information. Such as if a link is to a .edu or .gov site I really want to take it seriously, if it's to Yahoo Answers than it's not worth my time to look at.
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
I just think that link shorteners make the whole thing look a bit more sophisticated. From the debates I've read, anyway.

It may not have the same effect coming from me.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Good topic... But seriously, using a URL shortener to hide dictionary use?
Posted by KingDebater 3 years ago
KingDebater
I've now removed the definition of the word possible altogether, as it's not exactly a word that needs defining.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheAntidoter 3 years ago
TheAntidoter
KingDebaterPotBelliedGeekTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Ultimatley I understand their was a FF, but ont one significant to VB over.