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The result of a paradox?

posted by Tornreaper on - last edited - Viewed by 474 users

so there are a lot of people discussing paradox plotholes here. But my question is if Marty and Doc failed to prevent a paradox what will the end result be?

I got curious because we have been told that it'll destroy the universe. But does that mean if a paradox did occur there will be nothing? What will happen afterwards? Also in the game Doc mentions he was only referring to the end of the world as they knew it. So does that mean a new universe will take it's place?

What are your thoughts?

7 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Honestly, the whole 'paradox blowing up the universe' thing is a bit of a joke...considering the number of paradoxes in BTTF2 and 3.

    The truth is that no one knows what would happen if there a paradox is caused in the 'real world'...but in BTTF, it seems that either the time traveler will fade from existence (as in BTTF1), or will end up in an drastically altered reality (as in BTTF2).

  • i think history would actually Rewind and replay everything in a corrected version destroying the paradox maker AKA virus. like a computer doing rollback.

  • Well, arguably that's what DOES happen to Marty (or rather, WOULD have happened) in BTTF1...and what happens to Old Biff according to the deleted scene in BTTF2. They both alter history such that they prevent their existence and are erased from existence as a result...albeit, AFTER they made the changes that erased their existence.

    Trouble is, BTTF doesn't take into account the paradoxes caused when time travelers erase their MOTIVATIONS to change the past. For e.g. the paradox caused when Marty saves Doc in 1885, resulting in there being no tombstone in 1955 for him to find. Or the paradox in the Game (one of many, in fact) wherein, in Episode 2, Ep 1 Marty has no reason to go back in time and save Arthur McFly because Ep 2 Marty has done so already and so Ep 1 Marty wouldn't even realise his existence was in danger...

  • @sn939 said: Trouble is, BTTF doesn't take into account the paradoxes caused when time travelers erase their MOTIVATIONS to change the past. For e.g. the paradox caused when Marty saves Doc in 1885, resulting in there being no tombstone in 1955 for him to find. Or the paradox in the Game (one of many, in fact) wherein, in Episode 2, Ep 1 Marty has no reason to go back in time and save Arthur McFly because Ep 2 Marty has done so already and so Ep 1 Marty wouldn't even realise his existence was in danger...

    I actually think that's a good thing. It makes the story too damn complicated and most gamers won't even realize this plot hole unless they really think about it like most people on the forums do.

    I just wanted to know what the ending result of a paradox would be. I know we can't know for certain (And testing is out of the question lol) but we can make up a theory.

  • It actually really depends on the model of time travel and causality employed by a story.

    Under the fixed time/closed loop model, the Grandfather paradox is impossible, simply because everything that had to happen HAS happened and NOTHING can change it. If you go back to change the past, you either change nothing or end up CREATING the history you set out to alter in the first place. This of course lends itself to ANOTHER kind of paradox-the Predestination paradox.

    Under the 'many worlds' theory, a paradox is likewise impossible because traveling back in time simply creates a new reality which 'branches off' from the original at the point of divergence created by the time jump. So it doesn't matter what you change, as it will never affect the reality YOU came from and your original motivation to time travel.

    Then of course, there is the rather amorphous theory of the single alterable timeline, which BTTF employs. In such a theory, a paradox is VERY much possible-in fact, any attempt to intentionally change the past WILL cause paradox as you will destroy your motivation to change the past if you do so...

    To my mind, BTTF's treatment of paradoxes, while silly on the purpose, is probably the most 'realistic' and plausible interpretation. In BTTF, a paradox (at least one which threatens the time travelers existence) destroys the time traveler who meddles with time...rather than the unlikely result of destroying the universe! Because honestly, I really don't see how the future can affect the past WITHOUT time travel i.e. if Marty DOESN'T travel back in time on October 26th 1985, how can it change the fact that he ALREADY appeared in the past on November 5th 1955?

  • I think that this is exactly why the plotholes were there, to give gamers sort of a defining moment where someone would either be observant and realize that there were plotholes, or that someone would just finish the game as how the story went.

    Just like in films, they give the audience something to think about, to give life to it even when you're done watching it.

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