Thursday, October 31, 2019

Terminator's dark fate

I haven't seen the newly released Terminator: Dark Fate. I've just been reading some reviews.

  1. It seems like the reviews of this movie are mixed. On the one hand, it sounds like this is the best sequel to the first two Terminator movies.

    On the other hand, it sounds like it still falls short of T1 and T2. Apparently there's nothing seriously wrong with the characters and the presentation, per se. Also, the CGI is said to be first-rate (e.g. flawlessly de-aging Ahnuld and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in an introductory scene). But evidently the story suffers. Indeed, the story seems to be the main problem.

  2. If so, I suspect that means there's little left to say that hasn't already been said. T1 and T2 pretty much said it all. What more can a franchise say about the dangers of A.I., killer robots, time travel, and strong female protagonists? At least a secular worldview can't say much more. If so, this illustrates the limitations of a secular worldview.

  3. Take a worldview based on naturalism and neo-Darwinism. What's the significant difference between an A.I. cyborg and a human being? Aren't we both essentially meat machines?

    What room is there for supposedly human distinctives like free will and consciousness? Given naturalism and neo-Darwinism, free will is an illusion. Both A.I. cyborgs and human beings are hardwired to do what we do, either by preprogrammed neural circuitry from a computer programmer working in tandem with a robotics engineer or by natural selection and random mutations acting on our species across the eons to give us the genome we have today +/- the social conditioning we've been raised with. Either way, how does free will really exist?

    Furthermore, consciousness is most likely an emergent property of the physical brain. Consciousness is reducible to the physical brain. Likewise, other creatures could have consciousness. Other creatures could evolve to be conscious like we are. Perhaps someday, after Homo sapiens have long died out, the Earth will be ruled by sentient dolphins. That's not necessarily a joke, not if naturalism and neo-Darwinism are true!

  4. By contrast, if the Terminator series could have Christian theistic foundations, then there would be far more to work with.

    Given a Christian worldview, even if a robot seemed to be as conscious as a human being presumably due to similar or superior intelligence (i.e. intelligence is more like a "symptom" pointing to an underlying consciousness), that doesn't necessarily mean they are conscious. A.I. could be as intelligent as our supercomputers (e.g. Summit, Sierra), or indeed far more so, and even more intelligent at calculating this or that than Einstein, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are conscious in the same way humans are conscious. I presume humans are conscious because we have a God-breathed spirit. At the very least, a Terminator movie could play with these ideas.

    Likewise, on a Christian worldview, one could write a story based on the debates between free will theists like Arminians vs. Calvinists. There are many directions this could go.

  5. Another idea is personal sacrifice. It's moving to see Ahnuld sacrifice himself to save a human being, but if we think more deeply about it, why should we care about a self-sacrificial cyborg? Indeed, on naturalism and neo-Darwinism, why should we care about a self-sacrificial human being? Sure, they took one for the team, but at the end of the day, so what? It's not the individual who counts, but the collective species.

    On Christianity, self-sacrifice would have far more depth of meaning. For one thing, it could point to the fact that there are some things worth dying for. Moreover, this in turn could imply this life isn't all there is. There's something more.

    This stands in stark contrast to secular self-sacrifice where sacrifice is either something we were preprogrammed to do for the greater good of the population as a whole or something we would be foolish to do if we could avoid it since the individual self is everything. It's all about passing on one's genetic material. It's all about living longer and better than the next guy.


  1. I would love to see the series finishing with John Connor defeating skynet. Give the series it's rousing finale.

    Everyone hates T3 but the last 20 minutes are really good when the machines unleash the apocalypse.

    1. "I would love to see the series finishing with John Connor defeating skynet. Give the series it's rousing finale."

      Oh yeah, that'd be fun! :)

      "Everyone hates T3 but the last 20 minutes are really good when the machines unleash the apocalypse."

      For what it's worth, if anything, my opinion is the best of the Terminator movies besides T1 and T2 is Terminator: Salvation with Christian Bale, but I still thought it was mediocre. I haven't seen The Sarah Connor Chronicles but that might be the best of the post-T2 lot. At least judging by reviews online.

      From what I've read, Dark Fate apparently starts after T2 and pretends like the rest of the movies don't even exist. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I guess I'd have to watch the movie. Although I don't really have much of an interest to be honest. Maybe if/when it comes out on Netflix.

  2. The fight scenes between the Terminators were fun, but I'm honestly tired of the newer action movies making all the traditionally male protagonists female. Male soldiers aren't going to follow a female commander and no 70 year old Sarah Conor (in handcuffs, no less) is going to take down a full grown man--it's all Hollywood fantasy

    1. Yeah, very true! I think it's just fan service to bring back Linda Hamilton/Sarah Connor. Heck, even Arnold at this point wouldn't be very realistic if he wasn't supposed to be a cyborg.