Let's say I have two planets that are one hundred thousand lightyears away from each other. I and my immortal friend on the other planet want to communicate, with a strong laser and a tachyon communication device.
I record a message on the tachyon communication device and release the message at exactly the same time as I activate the laser, both of which are directed to the other planet which is one hundred thousand lightyears away. Say it is the year 0 for both of us at the time I did this.
If tachyons existed, then the message would arrive to my friend before the photons in the laser. It would arrive, say, a thousand years earlier. From my vantage point, that message will arrive to her at year 99,999; the same would be true for my friend's vantage point. However, she will only see the laser at year 100,000.
So since she got the message at year 99,999, she immediately sends me a reply back going through the same procedure as I did. She records a message and releases it at the same time as the laser. The tachyons will arrive 1,000 years earlier than the laser, so for me, I will receive the message at year 199,998. I will receive the laser, however, at year 199,999.
It seems to me that communication this way does not violate causality. I will still have received the message after I had sent it.
If tachyons truly violated causality, though, I realize it should arrive at year -1 for her, and so she can reply to me at year -2, which would mess me up by year 0 as I will ask her how she knew I was planning on sending her a message before I sent it. I could send her a different message, which she would end up receiving at year -1, and will end up confusing her as she would have received one message asking her out, and the other asking her how did she know I was asking her out. She then decides I am crazy and sends me a message at year -2 that she does not want to date me, and so she will have both turned me down and entertained me before I have even asked her out.
On the other hand, let's go back to year 0 and add a third device to our list: an Alcubierre drive. After I send out the message and the laser, I get impatient and do not feel like waiting 99,999 years, so I get on my Alcubierre drive spaceship and arrive on her planet at the same year 0. My friend is not in her office, so I leave a note to her also immortal secretary saying I dropped by and that she should expect a message for her in year 99,999.
I then get back on my Alcubierre drive and land back on my planet, still on year 0. Meanwhile, the tachyons and photons I sent out are still racing to arrive to her. By year 99,999, she receives the message just as I Alcubierre drive back to her, and I pick her up for dinner.
But the point of my question is, it seems to me that just going faster than light, if that alone was what you had, would not violate causality. It must be something else. I understand time dilation and that things with mass cannot travel at the speed of light, but using the Alcubierre drive, hypothetically speaking, I was still able to outpace the photons while also having mass. It still did not produce causality problems. Alcubierre drives are also valid solutions to GR.
It seems circular to me to say that what makes traveling faster than light violate causality is because it violates causality (if faster than light communication was divorced from causality problems, then the causality problem would cause itself -- thereby violating causality and, hence, we would scrap it and conclude that there is no causality problem after all).
What is it that I am missing? If someone could help me out, that would be excellent. I've been itching to ask my friend out for a few millenia now. :)