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Paradox Or Not?

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    Let's assume that you found a book which literally had the story of your life, starting from birth all the way till death this book would cover all aspects and details of your life, past, present and future. The book was unchanging, i.e whatever was in the book would surely come to pass, there would be nothing that you could do to change a single thing in this book. My question is simple, would you be able to read this book? This is not a moral question, (i.e would you bring yourself to) would you actually have the capacity to read it? say you opened a random page, the book would read, '(your name here) opened the book and began reading it, say you flipped forward a page, the book would also account for this. You would only be able to read what had happened, not what is going to happen to you. But somebody else would have no trouble reading the book from start to finish. [Discuss].
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    Not sure if this counts as a paradox.

    But yeah, i'd imagine you would just read about yourself, but then you could always just read ahead. I.e., 'john read this page in the book, he then read this part of the book to verify the book's accuracy, then afterwards, he went and ate an apple.

    So long as john can read faster than he can 'do', he'd be able to read his future and thus, change that future
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    If someone else could read what was going to happen to you before it happened you could change it.
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    Don't think this is a paradox. Would destroy any notion of free will. If you knew it to be accurate then I don't really see the point in reading it. Since there would be nothing you can do to chance the events you might as well not know they are coming.
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    (Original post by angrydanmarin)
    Not sure if this counts as a paradox.

    But yeah, i'd imagine you would just read about yourself, but then you could always just read ahead. I.e., 'john read this page in the book, he then read this part of the book to verify the book's accuracy, then afterwards, he went and ate an apple.

    So long as john can read faster than he can 'do', he'd be able to read his future and thus, change that future
    But if you were reading faster than you were doing the stuff in the book the book would be wrong, wouldn't it? Or it would just be a retroactive account of what you've done, not what you will do.
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    The book would only be filled with you reading the book in a instant cycle, descriptive to the infinite.
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    (Original post by wizzar)
    Let's assume that you found a book which literally had the story of your life, starting from birth all the way till death this book would cover all aspects and details of your life, past, present and future. The book was unchanging, i.e whatever was in the book would surely come to pass, there would be nothing that you could do to change a single thing in this book. My question is simple, would you be able to read this book? This is not a moral question, (i.e would you bring yourself to) would you actually have the capacity to read it? say you opened a random page, the book would read, '(your name here) opened the book and began reading it, say you flipped forward a page, the book would also account for this. You would only be able to read what had happened, not what is going to happen to you. But somebody else would have no trouble reading the book from start to finish. [Discuss].
    No. Surely if you picked up the book, it would have been written, but it was unchanged, so the book could not account for the fact that you had opened it up. Therefore, it would not be a book on your life, but the basics of your life if you had not altered it.

    Then you have to ask yourself, is it a book on your life? How will you know, as it didn't account for the event you had just done (opened and read the book)
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    (Original post by Stratos)
    The book would only be filled with you reading the book in a instant cycle, descriptive to the infinite.
    Yes, I think you seem to understand what I'm trying to put across, maybe I haven't explained fully.


    (Original post by angrydanmarin)

    So long as john can read faster than he can 'do', he'd be able to read his future and thus, change that future
    Assuming this was the book of your life, you wouldn't be able to change anything ,if you could then this wouldn't be the book of your life from start to finish it would just be a biography, thus my suggestion that the person whom the book was written about could not read ahead, if you tried to read ahead, as stratos said, the book would account for this, thus it would just say"and he turned the next page, and he skipped 10 pages" you could not read past your own present because in the present you were reading the book, about your present and so on.

    (Original post by fizz113)
    No. Surely if you picked up the book, it would have been written, but it was unchanged, so the book could not account for the fact that you had opened it up. Therefore, it would not be a book on your life, but the basics of your life if you had not altered it.
    why not? why couldn't the book which is written about your whole life account for the time when you picked it up and read through it? you would pick it up, read your whole past and would then find that you could not read past the part of the book that accounts for your present.
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    (Original post by wizzar)
    Yes, I think you seem to understand what I'm trying to put across, maybe I haven't explained fully.




    Assuming this was the book of your life, you wouldn't be able to change anything ,if you could then this wouldn't be the book of your life from start to finish it would just be a biography, thus my suggestion that the person whom the book was written about could not read ahead, if you tried to read ahead, as stratos said, the book would account for this, thus it would just say"and he turned the next page, and he skipped 10 pages" you could not read past your own present because in the present you were reading the book, about your present and so on.

    why not? why couldn't the book which is written about your whole life account for the time when you picked it up and read through it? you would pick it up, read your whole past and would then find that you could not read past the part of the book that accounts for your present.
    Because it wouldn't be a book about your life. It would be a book about your life until now, and then the question is, is the book complete? Or has someone been stalking you and found about what you had done?
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    (Original post by wizzar)
    Let's assume that you found a book which literally had the story of your life, starting from birth all the way till death this book would cover all aspects and details of your life, past, present and future. The book was unchanging, i.e whatever was in the book would surely come to pass, there would be nothing that you could do to change a single thing in this book. My question is simple, would you be able to read this book? This is not a moral question, (i.e would you bring yourself to) would you actually have the capacity to read it? say you opened a random page, the book would read, '(your name here) opened the book and began reading it, say you flipped forward a page, the book would also account for this. You would only be able to read what had happened, not what is going to happen to you. But somebody else would have no trouble reading the book from start to finish. [Discuss].
    You should be able to read the part of the book that corresponds to your past, maybe the pages corresponding to the future also, but there would be no way to read the part corresponding to the present. Why? Because there would be an infinite regress. See:
    I take the book and I read it, and the books says: "SoulfulBoy read: "SoulfBoy read: SoulfulBoy read: "SoulfulBoy read..." and so on, actually, because of this infinite regress, the size of the book would be infinite and the pages you would read you say: "SoulfulBoy read: "SoulfBoy read: SoulfulBoy read: "SoulfulBoy read..."
    So, the present is not within your reach.
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    Isn't there a film like this?
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    (Original post by bethany a smith)
    Isn't there a film like this?
    I will make one as soon as I get to work with Spielberg.
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    Surely the book already knows whether you're going to read the book or not, assuming the book is in chronological order by opening up a random page surely you would be unlikely to read that you were reading the book, unless you just happened to open it on that page. Why can't you go to the end of the book and read the future? The bit about you doing this would already be written earlier in the book.
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    (Original post by wizzar)
    Let's assume that you found a book which literally had the story of your life, starting from birth all the way till death this book would cover all aspects and details of your life, past, present and future. The book was unchanging, i.e whatever was in the book would surely come to pass, there would be nothing that you could do to change a single thing in this book. My question is simple, would you be able to read this book? This is not a moral question, (i.e would you bring yourself to) would you actually have the capacity to read it? say you opened a random page, the book would read, '(your name here) opened the book and began reading it, say you flipped forward a page, the book would also account for this. You would only be able to read what had happened, not what is going to happen to you. But somebody else would have no trouble reading the book from start to finish. [Discuss].
    Who says you'd happen to open it at the page where it described the present? Don't you think that would actually be quite unlikely? You could quite easily flick to the back and read about your death at any point, assuming the book is complete before you pick it up.
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    (Original post by TurboCretin)
    Who says you'd happen to open it at the page where it described the present? Don't you think that would actually be quite unlikely? You could quite easily flick to the back and read about your death at any point, assuming the book is complete before you pick it up.
    True, the book would have to be complete before you picked it up, and the chances of you opening the book at the page describing your present are one/total number of pages which would be a lot of pages hence slim chance, thanks
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    A paradox is an argument where seemingly acceptable premises lead to a conclusion that is apparently unacceptable. The paradox can either (according to Quine, so debate this away if you want) be made veridical if the conclusion is acceptable after all, falsidical if the acceptable premises & reasoning turn out to be invalid or it can remain an antinomy if no resolution can be found. By this defintion, your question cannot be a paradox... It is just an interesting topic of debate. I'm doing a module on this (paradoxes) at the moment...

    Also, just to nerd up this thread a bit, isn't there a bit on Doctor Who similar to this??
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    So you can read about your past like an autobiography but not the future ? Sounds alright to me. I would read it. And wouldn't mind someone else reading my future.

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