This is a discussion on Episode of Star Trek just made me wonder... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by RevolvingMag He killed his future self (but only about six hours future) in the present. Then wouldn't he cease to exist in ...
Alright, since were on the what if scenario, if he traveled back to the past and killed himself, would he die at the same time?
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned, "The Terminator". Same concept, someone/something from the future going to the past to dispose of someone who is presenting a problem in the future, which at the time was the present.
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You could also think of it as avoiding a universe ending paradox.
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You can't go to the past to kill yourself because if you succeed you are no longer alive in the future to make the trip to the past to kill yourself.
One of the theoretical hazards of time travel is that if you were to meet yourself, if you ever touched you would both annihilate each other and become pure energy. Same thing with parallel universes. That old thing about conservation of matter and energy.
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We have to consider the alternate dimensional timeline in the equation. Every single moment off of every single moment has infinite opportunities to spawn another timeline in another dimension. A butterfly beats its wings a millionth of a microsecond more or less rapidly and you can have a different set of circumstances. This is how InfiniDum tried to market the Hitchhiker's Guide as a single copy an infinite number of times in an infinite number of dimensions in an infinite number of timelines (Douglas Adams - Mostly Harmless).
The resulting argument would dictate that Picard did not kill himself, but an alternate temporal instance of himself. Look at Star Trek Nemesis... It was an alternate Picard he killed at the end. A very dark & vampiric Picard, but a Picard none-the-less.
Suicide would not apply since you have to end your own life to do so and after the instance he is still living. If the alternate Picard had been the killer rather than the killee, how would that have worked? Come back from the future, kill your past self before you came back from the future & it suddenly becomes impossible for you to have come back from the future because at that point the future you no longer exists.... Welcome to the temporal paradox with the only answer being multi-dimensional relationships.
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It's an interesting question especially since sitting through an entire episode of Star Trek...The Next Generation would make me want to kill myself.