Thursday, 30 January 2020

The Problem With The Terminator: Part 2 - The Grandfather Paradox

"Don't call me Grandfather, Dick Wad!"
The purpose of this post isn't to knock an excellent movie. The Terminator is one of the best Sci-fi movies of all time.
I am not one of those people that moan about movies not fitting into current hypothesis or theory and roasting them because of it.
This is more of a thought experiment only and shouldn't be taken too seriously or critically.

The Premise

The Grandfather paradox states that you will create a causal loop (Paradox) if you go back in time and kill your Grandfather in his youth as if you do this, your father won't exist, and hence you won't exist and if you don't exist, you cannot go back in time and kill your Grandfather in the first place.

"I'll Paradox You!!"

The Problem 

The Terminator goes back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor and stop John Connor from being born.

If John Connor isn't born, he cannot go on to lead the resistance against Skynet.

If he doesn't lead the resistance, Skynet won't be at the brink of defeat.

If Skynet isn't at the brink of defeat, they won't build a time machine and send a Terminator back to kill Sarah Connor.

"I had literally nothing to wear..."

The Discussion

So it would seem that Skynet couldn't succeed anyway by sending a Terminator back to kill Sarah Connor.

Lets assume that the Terminator had successfully dispatched both Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor. He would then need some way of letting Skynet know everything that had happened so that Skynet would know to build the time machine and send a T800 back to 1984 to avoid the paradox.

The Terminator would need to lie low in an area that he knows will be unscathed by Judgement day, and then wait it out until Skynet has "Matured" enough to recognise what he is.

He could then download all information regarding the previous time iteration, the reason why he was sent back in time and what Skynet needs to do to prevent the causal loop to Skynet.

The loop then starts again.

Skynet build a time machine out of necessity to prevent a causal paradox, destroy the old T800, build an identical new T800 and then scoot him back to 1984.

In fact, if The Terminator identified himself to Skynet too early, he may have given Skynet the idea for the design of the T800 causing a bootstrap paradox, but that's a different problem and a different post!

"Hey Kyle, is this metal doowacky a paradox ?"
(Sigh) "Sure Sarah. Why not..."


The Terminator was defeated by Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, setting into motion nothing more than an enjoyable movie franchise (and a whole load of other Paradoxes...But that's another post).

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