Last night was the final summer RetroCinema movie night at Movie Tavern in south Arlington. The movie that ended the summer was Terminator 2: Judgment Day. At this point in the story John Connor has been born and is a teenager while his mother, Sarah Connor, is in a mental hospital. During this movie, two terminators travel back in time from the future. One is sent by Skynet to kill John while the other is sent by the human resistance to protect him. Meanwhile, Cyberdyne, a company that secretly recovered the remnants of the first terminator machine that was sent back from before John was born to kill Sarah, had begun development on new technology advancements based off the recovered scraps. With trying to escape the terminator sent to kill John, and the unfolding revelation that the protecting terminator told of the future events that were to take place, the struggle became more that just survival. The struggle in the movie became about preventing the future from coming happening as the terminator tells it will happen. Could the Sarah and John alter future events with the knowledge from the terminator?
Simply, no. For the sole fact that John exists. The future is written because in the future John sends Kyle back into the past to protect his mother from the first terminator assigned to kill Sarah before John was born. Kyle, unknowingly, becomes John’s father. If John had not been born, then Kyle would not have been sent back in time to protect Sarah which would have fathered John in the first place. People want to believe that they have free will, that they are in control of their future, destiny, fate, etc. The hard truth is, if time travel is possible, no matter what, space-time must be a fixed course that we perceive traveling through it. The future cannot be prevented just as much as the past cannot be altered. Whatever happened has happened and nothing can alter that chain of events.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves is a nice thought, but if Einstein’s space-time theory is correct (definitely accepted in many scientific and philosophical circles), then the future is just as fixed as the past. The space-time continuum cannot be altered, and our decisions and lives have been laid out for us. However, this does not mean we cannot enjoy the ride. Just because you may or may not know what a rollercoaster tracks look like and lead to does not mean that people do not enjoy the ride. Many say it is best to not know where the tracks lead, but you still trust that they are preset to lead to their destination. So sit back and enjoy it.
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