stock: typewriter

Random paradox thought.

If John Connor successfully stops Skynet then he’ll unmake himself. He’s the child of Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor. If there’s no Skynet then Kyle Reese will never go back in time, never meet Sarah Connor and therefore he’ll never help in the creation of John Connor. If John Connor isn’t alive then who sends people back to stop Skynet? And why does my brain have so many thoughts?

Unless the paradox theory of time travel does not hold true. Personally, I much prefer the Causal Detachment Hypothesis.

Under this hypothesis, in the timeline as it once existed, a John Connor sends a Kyle Reese back. So, poof! He appears in the past. But, his existence in the past is not dependent on his future self going through the same routine; he exists, therefore he exists, period, nevermind what Kirk's doomed relationship with Edith Keeler and the "Back to the Future" saga have conditioned people to think of when imagining time travel scenarios.

I tend to think this is the hypothesis Skynet believes in, as well. Otherwise-- if they send Terminators back to kill John Connor, and John Connor gets killed, and Skynet is successful, then why would they have created the time machine in the first place? One would think an advanced learning AI would be thorough enough with its logic to detect the potential paradox inherent in its actions. =)

"Oh noes, paradox!" might be satisfying on an angst level, but the hopeful version is more interesting in terms of long-term story-telling potential, I think.
*nods* That theory makes sense. I've just been watching too much Doctor Who in which when paradoxes happen nasty creature slips through and eat up the beings causing it or time just shifts back to correct itself and become linear once more.
I am so glad I'm not the only one who thought of this. Though that theory above sounds like a good one so... :)
I think on this all the time too. I just watched The Terminator last night (for the first time) and yeah.

How did John get born in the first place though? I mean, he was born and sent Kyle Reese back (to then father himself) but in the original timeline he must have been someone else's kid. Right? Ooooh, this makes my brain hurt!

I do like the theory that JediButtercup suggested. That is kinda the theory that I subscribe to.