Wednesday, 5 October 2016

No consequences?

There's an episode of Stargate (4:6 Window of Opportunity) where the earth gets stuck in a time loop, repeating the same 10 hours over and over again. Only Jack and Teal'c are aware of what's happening.

They are getting increasingly frustrated, when Daniel points out: "if you know in advance that everything is always going to go back to the way it was, then you could do anything for as long as you want without having to worry about the consequences."

Cue a lot of silliness...

Jack: How far is Aloris, anyway?
Teal'c: Several billion miles, O'Neill.
Jack: That's gotta be a record.

What's interesting, though, is that (apart from Teal'c pre-emptively slamming a door in the face of a poor guy who has 'repeatedly' opened it in his) neither of them uses this opportunity to do anything morally wrong.

Which is good, because Daniel's statement about things done during this period not having consequences is incorrect. 

Sure, they don't have physical consequences. And no-one else remembers what they've done. But Jack and Teal'c do, and can learn from each repeat.

In fact, Daniel himself is relying on this. Their accumulated knowledge, gained over the months of looping, enables him to complete the impossible task of translating an Ancient text in a few hours. A text that lets them eventually figure out what's going on - and  stop it.

Everything we do has consequences. It may not obviously affect the world or others, but it affects us. By repetition we train our character, whether for good or bad. What we do - even what we think - changes who we are. And that does have consequences, for ourselves and others.

the mature [...] by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Hebrews 5v14
train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 
1 Timothy 4v7-8


JamesGSR said...

I love that episode, it had me rofl-ing. Great points about how it would have affected them, if not anyone else. Being a good person is just as important when no one knows as when people are watching!

Kirsty said...

Me too - it was hilarious. Oddly, a lot of the really ridiculous stuff was added afterwards as it was too short - but I think that's what really makes the episode.

You do have to wonder where Jack found a set of plus fours or a pottery wheel under Cheyenne Mountain, though... :-)

A good balance with a bit of drama and the sad backstory too.