Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Would you ever turn back time?

  1. Apr 10, 2004 #1
    Every now and then I find myself testing whether my life could (have) be(en) better by having chosen another temporal path. What this usually means is "if I had known better then, could I have improved my present status?" Is this wish reserved to the human condition, or is it a viable option in the physics in the universe overall?

    I have yet to recognize a juncture where time itself gives me a choice of paths by which to go. Perhaps this is the ignorance we face in judging our cosmos: to turn back time is moot because, even if we did, we observers would never be able to distinguish between our possible futures in hindsight.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2004 #2

    Loren, I do it all the time, its called daydreaming. Only after indulging, do I reflect and change my temporal path, if I so choose.
  4. Apr 10, 2004 #3
    Having recently seen The Butterfly Effect (which, by the way, is not as bad as people may suggest) I would have to say no. Even if you are not satisfied with the choices you had made, how can you be sure that if you hadn't made them things would have been better?

    If you believe in fate, you could not or would not want to go back and change anything because "things happen for a reason". If you believe in free will, you will realize how many decisions we make from day to day, but you will never know for sure how much each decision affects the rest of our lives. So how would you know which one to change?
  5. Apr 11, 2004 #4
    People said the Butterfly Effect was a bad movie? I thought it was the best movie ever. For a while I've been wanting to do things too late to be done, and because of that I've come to appreciate the fact that the people around me define who I am. And they're all manipulative because they watch too much t.v. Believe it or not, it's true. Now when I mull over the regrets I have, one at a time, I see that the vast majority of them are frustrations with not being able to change things so I can enjoy the things I like how I like to. Relate to the Boyfriend Girlfriend relationship, then in the context of school. It's all or nothing, the hormone-filled kids realize. No integrity or no sex. My heartfelt opinion! =) And now I must say in all seriousness, I do not need to change the past Why? Because I don't beat myself up for things I didn't do, now I beat other people up. And you know, beating people up later on after they've forgotten all the things they did to harm you is sweeter. In fact, I want to go into the future to beat people up. As Shakespeare said, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." Don't have regrets! Sing it with me, "I didn't ask for this ****."
  6. Apr 11, 2004 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You are absolutely right. I know a lot of things I would like to change in the past, but although it might remedy the problems those decisions made, it's possible that other even worse events could happen instead.

    Instead of looking back and regretting past decisions, I believe we should look forward having learned from past mistakes and try to make better decisions in the future.
  7. Apr 11, 2004 #6
    Butterfly Effect is one of those movies you are going to either hate like nothing else or love, just one of those movies... anyway..

    If i thought that I wouldn't be here.
  8. Apr 27, 2004 #7


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I can't regret anything because I am happy where I am today. If I would have taken a different path, it doesn't necessarily mean I will be where I am now, but better.

    "Different life experiences lead to different thoughts, and different thoughts lead to a different life."

    There was a quote I thought about today, or this morning. I am not religious, and not trying to start any religious topic. I was thinking about those who thank God about all they have accomplished or have received.

    Here it is:

    "Those who believe in God fail to believe in themselves."

    This relates to the fact that people forget to thank themselves, for all the hard work they put into themselves. Even for luck, thank yourself for being able to receive such luck.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?