Evaluation of claimed prophecies

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by pinqy, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. pinqy
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    pinqy Gold Member

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    There have been many instances of claimed prophecies...from the Bible, Nostradamus, Thomas of Erceldoune, Ellen White, Jean Dixon, etc, etc. All are claimed to have correct prophecies. But how do we evaluate whether or not a prophecy is fulfilled?

    I suggest the following:
    1. The alleged prophecy must be proven to be made before the event.
    2. It must be recognized as prophesy before the event.
    3. Those who fulfill it must not be aware of the prophecy (or otherwise not be in a position to knowingly fulfill it).
    4. It must be that only one event could fulfill the prophecy.
    5. It must not be something anyone could reasonably predict.
    6. There must be some way to know the prophecy has not been fulfilled (vague, open ended prophecies don't work).
    7. It must have been shown to have been fulfilled in all detail.
    Any other recommendations would be welcome. As it stands, I am unaware of any alleged prophecy that meets all of the above criteria.

    My prediction: Someone will do a cut and paste of claimed fulfillment of Biblical Prophecies, most of which will clearly and obviously not meet the criteria.
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting. I come up with a few to evaluate.
     
  3. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't see that Real prophecies need to meet your criteria. You might not choose to believe them. But I dont see why they have follow these steps.

    For example, why must those who fulfull it not be aware of the prophecy? That makes little sense.

    Take Jeremiah 3:18

    It's an interesting prophecy. It prophecies that the Jews shall be gathered out of the land to the North and come back to Israel and recieve their inheritance. One could argue that it was fulfilled in 1948 (Personally, I think it's speaking more longer term than one moment).

    But why should it have any bearing on whether the prophecy is true or not if those who fullfill it have any knowledge of it or not? That doesn't make much sense at all.

    There are some interesting prophecies out there. I've always found Joseph Smith's prophecy of the Wars of the last days interesting.

    I've just always found the specifics in these interesting. Especially since before the Civil War, this was always cited as proof he was a false prophet because it would never happen. And afterwards, it was always dismissed because "anyone" could have predicted it.

    But Modern Warfare did start with the Civil war. Which of course, started in South Carolina. It was the first industrialized conflict that terminated alot of lives. The Prussians studied the North's tactics in the Civil war to create the German War Machine. And World war did start when Great Britain called upon other nations in order to defend itself against the German alliances. In fact, it's the alliances that are said to have been a major factor in the war.

    Very interesting IMHO. Of course, those without faith will not see it as a true prophecy, while those with faith will. People will nit pick and argue. Considering Joseph was murdered nearly 15 years before this began to be fulfilled, I think it's very impressive indeed.

    Another interesting one attributed to Joseph Smith, though considering it wasn't written down until many decades afterwards from a second hand source is also very specific. I don't know it's a prophecy that can credibly be attributed to Joseph Smith. But I could see it happening in the future:

    Whether the prophecy is correctly attributed or correctly recorded. I don't know the reliability of Mosiah Hancock. But i do find it interesting considering our current domestic and foreign policies.

    Prophecies are an interesting thing. But I think we need to note that there is a difference between prophecies and mere prediction. The Spirit of Prophecy is more according to the scriptures. The Book of Revelation reveals to us that the Spirit of Prophecy is a testimony of Jesus Christ. Those who can testify that they know Jesus Christ is the Messiah because of a witness from the Holy Spirit have the Spirit of prophecy to a degree and can be considered prophets even if they dont make any predictions.
     
  4. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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    That's interesting Avatar though the passages seem to be talking about a single conflict rather than a string of them but it does seem that was a fairly accurate prediction.
    Well, that is ridiculous. The others seem like a good start though.
    And here is where almost all prophases fail. These things are always written in vague language because that is the only way to claim you are always correct. Just make the wording fit a thousand possibilities but that sound good in all of them. I mean, a whore riding a seven headed dragon. Who actally thinks that a dragon is going to be flying around at the end times...
     
  5. pinqy
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    pinqy Gold Member

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    If I predict that the One True Grand High Poo-bah will be divinely revealed by whoever posts "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," on USMB, and someone reads my prediction and promptly posts the saying, is it divinely revealed (prophecy) or is it because the person chose to do it? If the even only occurs because someone reads the prophecy and intentionally tries to fulfill it, then that's not real prophecy, that's human action and choice.
     
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    My prophecies are the only prophesies you need.
     
  7. pinqy
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    pinqy Gold Member

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    If they don't meet the criteria, then by what means can we objectively state a prophecy has been fulfilled? If a prophecy doesn't surface until after an event it claimed to predict, how can we know that it was a Real prophecy or just someone writing the "prediction" afterwards?

    Ok, let's evaluate. Good hits with prediction of war and South Carolina. Check that it was written and meant as prophecy and I'm not aware of any reason to think it wasn't actually written by Smith before the war (if the first known copy of the prophecy wasn't public or recorded before 1861, there would be doubts, obviously). While possibly aware, it's clear no one started the war or arranged for SC to secede first in order to fulfill it. Multiple wars like that are unlikely...only one event would fit. We know the war occurred.

    So what's left are "Is it correct in all details" and "could it have been good guesswork."

    Well, it wouldn't take a rocket surgeon to predict eventual war between the North and South. And South Carolina was always a big agitator. So Accurate Prediction, but possibly just lucky guesswork.

    So details....the CSA did request military aid from the UK and from France. But the prophecy seems to be saying not only would they be called upon but would actually enter and a world war would result as a direct consequence. That did not happen. It was a reasonable prediction, given the European tensions and conflicts during Smith's life and the dependency on cotton and tobacco from the South. But the fact remains that it would be a big stretch to call WWI a result of the same war Smith successfully predicted. A possible reconciliation was that Smith saw 2 visions and thought them the same.

    In conclusion, I would say that while partly accurate, because the details are off by enough and because we can't rule out reasonable guess work, we cannot objectively say this was for sure a fulfilled property.

    The Crimean War is usually cited as the first modern war (first use of the railroad, the telegraph, and canned goods).


    Well, obviously this one has not been fulfilled. It has leeway though...the "war" of the 2 parties could be simply disagreement and verbal fighting rather than armed conflict. Multiple ways this could be fulfilled. The main problem with it is at what point could we say it is for sure a failed prophecy? It will be open for fulfillment for as long as the US exists.
     
  8. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Platinum Member

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    I've got a name for you...........Edgar Cayce.
     
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    ....suuuuurrrrreeeee. Well believe that...
     
  10. pinqy
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    pinqy Gold Member

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    I'm so ashamed I forgot him.
     

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