Volume 2, Issue 3, 2011
Jimmy Alfonso Licon
No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales
Steven Hales constructs a novel argument against the possibility of presentist time travel called the suicide machine argument. Hales argues that if presentism were true, then time travel would result in the annihilation of the time traveler. But such a consequence is not time travel, therefore presentism cannot allow for the possibility of time travel. This paper argues that in order for the suicide machine argument to succeed, it must make (at least) one of two assumptions, each of which beg the question. The argument must either assume that the sequence of moments is invariant, or that time travel through time requires distinct, co-instantiated moments. Because the former disjunct assumes that presentist time travel is impossible and the latter assumes that presentism is impossible, the suicide machine argument fails.